Few brands have managed to create a running shoe that toes the line between performance and style quite so well as On. Since arriving on the scene and promising to have us all running on clouds, On Running has been a brand to challenge heavyweights like Nike, Adidas and Asics. And if you’ve spent any time in a pair of Ons, you’ll already know that these are shoes with the fashion chops to live on your feet even when you’re not out getting those miles in.
Case in point: the Cloud X 3 Shift, a shoe that will work as well for weekends at food markets as it will for marathon training… and you can also leave it on if you need something gym trainer adjacent since it’s supportive enough for lifts and nicely cushioned for bursting into burpees.
The first big tick is that it’s a pleasingly light shoe. On says the X 3 Shift weighs 245g — roughly the same as the last generation Cloud X — with an almost paper-like three-layer mesh upper. Far from bulky, skinny laces and tongue also keep that weight down without neglecting their duties to keep feet nicely locked in.
After a pre-workout stretch, I’m on the treadmill with them to see what On’s signature Cloudtec sole and Speedboard tech deliver when it’s time to run. The answer is that it’s a firm but responsive feeling: at least if you’re planning to use it for a 3km run as opposed to a 30km one.
After a quick treadmill run out it’s time to head to the weights section as I continue in my quest to build back up my glutes strength after injury. This is where the Cloud X 3’s spacious fit comes into its own and provides a solid and stable base to lift from. Maybe it lacks the bells and whistles of a dedicated weightlifting shoe, but if you’re planning to use it for some light or moderate lifting time, then it’s certainly not out of place here.
Next, it’s time to put the X 3 Shift to the HIIT test and see how it handles some shorter, sharper workout work. I’ve loaded up the home workout Fiit on my phone, prepared to tackle reverse lunges, jumping jacks, squats, and planks multiple times. After 45 minutes of work interrupted only by the regular need to wipe the sweat from my forehead, I’m happy to report that the outsole held firm and On’s cushioning tech didn’t struggle absorbing those more explosive moves.
The biggest compliment I can give the Cloud X 3 is that I’m continuing to lace them up for time in the gym, in-flat HIIT workouts, swinging a kettlebell and jumping on my rowing machine. It’s best to think of the Cloud X 3 as one that can do a bit of everything. It’s light, spacious and stable when you need to lift and cushioned if you need to run or box jump. That there are very few shoes that look as good as this one while doing all that truly makes this the Swiss Army Knife of training shoes.
New Balance’s Fresh Foam X 1080 is the jewel in its running shoe crown
Nike’s Pegasus 39 deserves a spot in the running shoe hall of fame
The best men’s running tights for all-weather runs
The best men’s running shorts for speedier 10kms
The best sports and running underwear for chafe-free, comfy workouts
The best trail running shoes for off-road speed, comfort and style
Read the full article here