On Running Cloud X Training Shoe Review

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Let’s review the Cloud X training shoe. Can a running shoe company make a good cross trainer for the CrossFit WOD?

On Running Cloud X - Quarter View
Will the Cloud X Training Shoe from On Running work for the CrossFit WOD? That’s what we aim to find out. Read on to find out more…

On Running is best known for making super-light and cushioned running shoes.

On Running Cloud X - Side Profile Left 2
Shoes from On Running are known for their distinctive CloudTec pods on the outsole. You can see them here.

Does their design methodology work in the cross training shoe market? That’s what we aim to find out in our review of the Cloud X.

Here’s some of the styles available now:

Cloud X Training Shoe (Black/Asphalt) The new generation Cloud X shoe from On Running is a training shoe. It combines several features from the On line with the stability you need for gym sessions and HIIT workouts.

Cloud X Training Shoe (White/Black) The Cloud X uses materials high in quality and low on weight. Flexible but tough, the engineered mesh upper has a function-focused weave pattern for durability, breathability and agility. And the no-sew design maintains a perfect fit during any activity that gets you fit.

Cloud X Training Shoe (Storm/Tide) The Cloud X is for those who refuse to define themselves by one activity. A lightweight and ultra-agile shoe built to handle punishing paces and intense mixed-sport workouts. It's at home on the track, street and in the gym. Get stronger, run longer.

On Running Cloud X Training Shoe Review on our YouTube Channel

Why read when you can watch? Check out this video from our YouTube channel:

On Running Cloud X Training Shoe – Overview

Let’s take a closeup look at the tech that makes this shoe work.

Let’s start with the fact that this training shoe is light.

Not just light by training shoe standards – light by running shoe standards too!

The Men’s Size 11 (US) shown here weighs in at 9.2 ounces.

On Running Cloud X - Side Profile Left 1
This shoe is VERY light. This Men’s size 11 weighs in at only 9.2 ounces!

Compared to other training shoes like the Nike Metcon 6 and Reebok Nano X, there’s a big difference.

For comparison, those shoes are in the 14 ounce range – that means the Cloud X is 5 ounces lighter.

Cloud X Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Side by Side 3
The Cloud X is 5 ounces lighter than a similar sized Nike Metcon 6.

Cloud X Versus Reebok Nano X - Training Shoes - side by side
It’s also much lighter than the Reebok Nano X.

It’s a difference you can feel immediately when you put these shoes on.

Why are these shoes so light? Let’s look at how this is accomplished.

The upper (which On calls an “engineered mesh”) is thin and lightweight. It’s a single layer material.

On Running Cloud X - Upper Closeup 1
The "engineered mesh" upper is lightweight and comfortable.

There are perforations up front to help with breathability – and these let the light shine in too (a little bit).

On Running Cloud X - Breathable Upper 1
If you look closely, you’ll see the sunlight shining through the perforations in the upper. It’s pretty breathable.

Overall the upper is comfortable and relatively soft.

It is not sock-like (stretchy and super-soft) like Nike’s FlyKnit.

But, it feels like it’s going to be tougher than FlyKnit.

(By the way, I’m talking about FlyKnit on the running shoes from Nike, not the really heavy, uncomfortable Forged FlyKnit on the React Metcon – Not a fan!)

On Running Cloud X - Upper Closeup 2
Super closeup of the upper – you can see the perforations here.

Beyond that, the upper is pretty simple – no extra straps, wraps, or layers.

All together, the upper is light – because there is a minimum of material.

We’ve got real shoe laces and a tongue – as you’d expect on a running shoe.

On Running Cloud X - Laces and Tongue
The regular shoelaces and tongue get the job done. What more can we ask of shoe laces?

The other half of how this lightweight shoe is made is the cushioning system.

Let’s look at that next.

On calls their technology “CloudTec” (like running on clouds).

In particular, in this shoe we have Helion foam in the midsole, and CloudTec pods on the outsole.

By the way, the heel to toe drop in these shoes is 6 mm.

On Running Cloud X - Side Profile to the right
Helion foam in the midsole for cushion. Heel to Toe Drop or Offset is 6 millimeters.

The foam in the midsole works in conjunction with the CloudTec pods on the outsole.

On Running Cloud X - Stacked
The CloudTec pods are tall, and spaced widely apart. This is a very flexible shoe too.

These are relatively firm, and hollow (see photo below).

The CloudTec pods aren’t solid – they are hollow – so that helps save weight too.

On Running Cloud X - Cushion CLoseup
You can see daylight through the CloudTec pods. This is another secret to the weight savings.

There is a durable rubber on the bottom of the CloudTec Pods – for durability and traction.

On Running Cloud X - Outsole
Rubber on the outermost layer of the CloudTec pods for durability and traction.

My only complaint about the outsole – it’s is VERY squeaky when wet.

Run outside in the morning (dewy grass, after a rainfall, etc.) and you’ll be squeaking with every foot step – far more than the average wet shoe outsole.

To be honest, it’s almost too much.

But that complaint aside, I like the cushion in this shoe.

Remember this is a CROSS TRAINER, not a running shoe.

It’s got more cushion in the heel than the Nano X or the Metcon 6 – which makes it better for running – and it’s super-lightweight.

The real sweet spot for these is bodyweight HIIT – box jumps, cardio, classes, etc.

Cloud X Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Front View
The Cloud X is better for running than the Metcon 6 – because it is so much lighter and has more heel cushion.

You don’t feel like you are weighed down with concrete blocks because of their lightweight.

How does it compare to a true running shoe?

Being a trainer, there’s much less cushion – so I wouldn’t use this for long runs, but it’s fine for your average CrossFit WOD style of running – 400 meters, 800 meters, sprints, etc.

Cloud X Versus Reebok Nano X - Training Shoes - Sole to Sole 2
It makes a better short run shoe than the Nano X for all the same reasons (much lighter, cushion in the heel).

The cushioned heel is nice for short runs, sprints, box jumps, and more.

But the heel is too cushioned for very heavy weighlifting (like barbell squats, deadlift, cleans, jerks, etc.)

The Cloud X is ok for dumbbell, kettlebell work and similar light weights – but there is too much cushion in the heel for really heaving lifting.

(So don’t use these for serious barbell strength work, powerlifting, or bodybuilding.)

The Nano X and Metcon 6 are better choices in that regard – both are excellent for lifting heavy weight.

Nike Metcon 6 Versus Reebok Nano X Side by Side 2 of 2
These are the shoes you want for big barbell exercises. The Metcon 6 and Nano X with their very firm and stable heels are better for heavy weightlifting.

But, if you are doing a very balanced workout – these shoes are a nice option (as long as the outsole is dry!)

On Running Cloud X - Heel View
Cloud X – a nice lightweight training shoe.

These are decent for side to side dynamic movements too.

The base is wide, and the outsole extends upwards to make a sidewall around your feet.

On Running Cloud X - Front Quarter
These have a wide base for stability.

Lastly, being from a running shoe company, there’s proper reflective details on the shoe – to help with safety in outdoor activities at night.

On Running Cloud X - Closeup of Logo
Various details on the shoe are reflective, including the logo on the heel (and sides.)

On running Cloud X Training Shoe – Fit and Sizing

These have a very light-weight, comfortable fit.

They run true to size.

On Running Cloud X - Side by Side Again
These run true to size. My normal shoe size of a Men’s 11 fits perfect in length and width. I recommend you order your regular running shoe size.

Therefore, I recommend you order you normal running shoe size.

On Running Cloud X Training Shoe – In Summary

It’s nice to have a lightweight training shoe option.

The Cloud X training shoe is significantly lighter than other cross training shoes.

And while it’s got too much cushion in the heel for barbell lifting, that is a big benefit to just about everything else.

Combine that with the extreme lightweight – and you have a very nice shoe for jump rope, box jumps, rower, air bike, short runs, and more.

(I wouldn’t climb rope with these though – there’s no particular protection for the lightweight upper from rope friction.)

But otherwise, these are a nice training shoe option.

(Just remember they are much squeakier than average when wet).

On Running Cloud X - Side Profile
On Running Cloud X – a nice training shoe.

Photo Credits

Some product photos on this page are property of On Running.

This website is not affiliated or associated with CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.

Cloud X Versus Reebok Nano X - Training Shoes - Heel to Heel
Cloud X versus Reebok Nano X. The Nano X is much taller, bulkier, and heavier.

Affiliate Disclaimer

We are an affiliate of various sellers of this shoe. If you buy Cloud X shoes after clicking the links in this article, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. This helps us to bring you in-depth information and content on these great training shoes.

Cloud X Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Side by Side 2
Cloud X Versus Nike Metcon 6. The 6 is built like a tank – and has the weight to prove it. The Cloud X is better for short runs and cardio.