In less than 15 years since the company was founded, On Running has become a formidable contender in the multibillion-dollar athletic shoe industry alongside long-established brands like Nike, Adidas, and New Balance. Specializing in running shoes, On has gained a loyal fan base of runners and casual sneaker wearers alike who swear by the brand’s footwear with cloud-like comfort. If you’re ready to see what all the On hype is about but not sure where to start, we’re here to help with this buyer’s guide, where you’ll learn a brief history of the brand, sizing information, key styles, and more.

History of On Running Shoes

On Running was founded in Switzerland in 2010 by Olivier Bernhard, David Allemann, and Caspar Coppetti, who were all passionate about running and outdoor sports. Bernhard, a former professional athlete, and multiple Ironman winner, had been experimenting with different shoe designs to improve running performance.

The breakthrough came when Bernhard collaborated with a Swiss engineer, creating a prototype that featured a unique cushioning system inspired by the sensation of running on soft ground. This innovative design became the foundation for On’s signature technology, which they named “CloudTec.”

Since its founding, On Running has become one of the fastest-growing sports shoe brands across the globe. The company’s commitment to innovation, performance, and minimal design aesthetics has resonated with athletes and casual sneaker wearers worldwide.

What is On’s CloudTec technology?

CloudTec is the cornerstone of On Running's footwear design. The technology consists of individual cushioning pods, or “clouds,” on the outsole of the shoe, which compress upon impact to provide a cushioned landing and then rebound back to their original shape for an energy-returning push-off.

This combination of soft landing and explosive takeoff is intended to mimic the sensation of running on clouds, hence the name “CloudTec.” The design aims to offer a smooth and natural running experience while providing support and protection from impact.

Popular On Running Models

On Cloudsurfer

The Cloudsurfer is known as one of On’s best all-around models for everyday training. It features CloudTec with a unique “Speedboard” that promotes a natural rolling motion, making it suitable for everything from long-distance runs to casual jogs. The Cloudsurfer is known for its comfortable fit, smooth ride, and durable construction.

On Cloud 5

The Cloud 5 is the latest edition of On’s flagship model, simply named the Cloud. This model is great for your daily run or just enjoying the amazing comfort casually. The Cloud 5 also features CloudTec technology constructed in the brand’s proprietary Zero-Gravity foam for lightweight and responsive cushioning. (By the time you’re reading this, there could be a later edition of the Cloud, but it should have a similar look and features.)

On Cloud X

The Cloud X is known as one of On’s most versatile models, suitable for running, gym workouts, and cross-training. Featuring CloudTec and Helion foam, it offers a combination of cushioning, support, and flexibility, making it a favorite among athletes who engage in a variety of workouts.

How do On Running shoes fit?

By most accounts, On Running sneakers are known to fit true to size. This means you should go with your normal shoe size when purchasing a pair. Some wearers do find that some On styles run slightly small, and they suggest going up half a size from your normal shoe size. If you’re looking to purchase one of the brand’s waterproof models, it is recommended to go up a full size from your normal size, as the shoes have more padding and structure.


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