It was shocking when The Rock, an Under Armour sponsored athlete, wore the On Cloud X for his videotaped Super Bowl introduction. Immediately, people (myself included), tried to figure out what shoe he was rocking. Everyone who searched eventually found the Cloud X.
The Cloud X is a hybrid cross training and running shoe from upstart running brand On. It’s versatility lets the wearer bounce between various athletic activities. It’s also hella good looking (which I suspect is why The Rock chose it). Now, let’s see how it performs when put to the test.
Just like with the On Cloudflyer, which we reviewed last month, the On Cloud X has Helion Cloudtec cushioning alongside a plush insole. The plush insole sits atop a TPU Speedboard that helps to evenly distribute your weight to all the cloud cushioning elements. It’s a nice consistent feel throughout the foot. My stride felt natural, which isn’t usually the case with most other workout-focused shoes.
The cushion level is just a touch less than the UA HOVR Apex 2. It’s in the perfect range to handle various workouts and some running. I recommend running less than five miles at a time in the Cloud X because the cushioning just isn’t there for more. It handles deadlifts, squats, jumping, and sprints without feeling like too much or too little cushion.
On uses rubber with a very simple slanted line pattern on the clouds at the toe and heel. Looking at the outsole on my pair, there’s not much wear. The rubber’s hardness is appropriate for both working out and light running. The outsole should last the life of the shoe despite not looking all that aggressive. Testing in wet conditions didn’t come with any slippage or issues. It’s a simple outsole but it works as intended.
The midsole’s sidewalls come up high enough at the heel and midfoot to provide solid lateral support. And the forefoot features internally-reinforced sidewalls and a toe cap to keep the balls of your feet on top of the midsole. The heel counter is pretty basic and not super rigid. But it’s effective.
I felt secure doing various weight bearing exercises, sideways lunges, taking corners while running, and quick shifts of direction. The protection is subtle and well hidden but the end result is a shoe secure enough to handle varied HIIT and Metcon style workouts.
The Cloud X’s engineered mesh upper features various weave patterns including a really cool looking one on the medial side of the shoe. The tongue is seamless and integrated as one piece with the toebox. The tongue also features a few synthetic suede overlays for structure. All the materials are basic but, as usual, On has a way of making them look high class. Despite just using mesh, On manages to make one of the best, if not the best, looking cross trainer on the market.
The Cloud X fits true to size with plenty of room for wide footers and toe splay. Narrow footers that cinch the shoes up tight don’t have to worry about weird toebox creasing because On manages to mitigate that with the toebox/tongue combo structure. The mesh interior of the shoe is very soft and avoids any potential hotspots in the forefoot with a dual-layered mesh setup. Finally, On tops the fit off with some skinny but surprisingly nice feeling achilles and collar pads. The pads are broken up in an intuitive way that lets them hug the heel without feeling puffy.
The On Cloud X is a quality hybrid workout and running shoe that takes basic materials and puts them together in a way that feels almost luxurious. The high build quality handles any typical movements you’d make while working out or running. To top it off, the shoe looks great casually.
Is it worth $140? Only if you’re going to use them casually as much as you will for working out. If you’re just going to keep them confined to the gym, there’s other less visually appealing, less expensive options that will do the job.
Thanks to On for sending a pair to test. On did not receive any editorial control of the review. This review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the shoes for speed workouts, trail runs, treadmill training, long runs, casual wear, and more.