On Cloudstratus 3 review — a comfortable, everyday running shoe for running on clouds

It’s a big upgrade on the Cloudstatus 2

A photo of the On Cloudstratus 3 running shoes
(Image: © Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

This is a plush, comfortable running shoe from Swiss running brand On, that’s designed to keep tired legs feeling fresh. It’s a nice shoe to complete easy miles in and wear all day, but it’s not the cheapest on the market.


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    Plush and comfortable

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    Contains recycled materials

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    Eye-catching design


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    Not all that versatile

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Price: £170/$180
Drop: 6mm
Weight: 250g/8.9 oz (W), 290g/10.5 oz (M)
Type: Road

If you’ve ever loved the look of On running shoes, with its iconic cloud-like midsole, but found them too firm to be comfortable, the Cloudstatus 3 is the shoe you’ve been waiting for. It’s the latest version of On’s daily cushioned shoe, designed for comfort and reliability, and it’s an improvement on previous iterations — it’s softer than before, with two layers of On’s Cloudtec cushioning. 

But how does it compare to other On running shoes on the market, such as the hugely popular On Cloudmonster, and some of the other best running shoes released this year? To find out more, I’ve been running in the On Cloudstratus 3 for the past few weeks, putting it to the run-test over a number of different sessions and terrains. Read my full On Cloudstratus 3 review below to find out more. 

On Cloudstratus 3 review: Price and availability  

The On Cloudstratus 3 doesn’t come cheap. It costs £170/$180 which is on the more expensive side of the everyday running shoe market, with shoes like the New Balance 1080v13 and the Nike Pegasus 40 being a little more affordable. 

The On Cloudstratus 3 is available now from On directly and other third-party retailers. It comes in men’s and women’s sizes — the men’s shoe is available in a US 7-14 in four different colorways (white, blue, black, and a metal grey). The women’s shoe is available in a US 5-11 and comes in the same four colorways as the men’s shoe. 

On Cloudstratus 3 review: Design and fit 

On is known for its iconic design that is super-popular with runners of all ages, and the Cloudstratus 3 is no exception. The shoe has On’s classic cloud pods that run the length of the shoe. With the Cloudstratus 3, there are two layers of pods, which On says reduces the onset and duration of muscle soreness in lab tests, helping you to run further. 

Fit-wise, I’d say the shoe comes up true to size. I’m a UK 5 and wear a UK 5 in most running shoes, although I found I had to size up half a size with the On Cloudmonster. With the Cloudstratus 3, however, I had enough room in the toebox in my regular running shoe size.

A photo of the On Cloudstratus 3 running shoes upper

(Image credit: Future)


The upper of the Cloudstratus 3 is clearly designed to be comfortable — it’s soft and plush, and comfortable enough to wear all day. It’s not overly breathable and runners in particularly hot conditions might want to look for something a little lighter, but I appreciated the thick comfy upper of this shoe.

That said, despite the comfy upper, the lacing system on the Cloudstratus 3 took a little getting used to. On my first few runs in the shoe, I struggled to get a locked-in feel in the shoe, however after a few tweaks, I managed to get the fit right. This is definitely a shoe designed with comfort in mind. 

A photo of the On Cloudstratus 3 running shoes midsole

(Image credit: Future)


As mentioned above, this shoe contains On’s Helion superfoam, which makes up the two layers of cloud pods, and is designed to soften landings and roll your foot forward. There’s also a firmer nylon speedboard in this shoe, designed to propel you forward as you run. Underfoot, this shoe feels similar to the max cushioned Cloudmonster — it’s soft, plush, and really comfortable when you’re doing easy miles. 

That said, there’s not an awful lot of bounce in this shoe. There’s no aggressive rocker, and it’s not as energetic as other daily training shoes. That said, this isn’t a bad thing — I’ve comfortably worn these shoes on easy runs and longer training sessions, as well as for my run commute and around the office all day, and had no issues.  

A photo of the On Cloudstratus 3 running shoes outsole

(Image credit: Future)


The outsole of the Cloudstratus 3 is made from 100% recycled materials, meaning the entire shoe is made from 23% recycled content. It’s very grippy, and I’ve worn the shoe on wet concrete and light trails and had no issues with slipping.

A photo of the On Cloudstratus 3 running shoes midsole

(Image credit: Future)

On Cloudstratus 3 review: Running performance 

On the run, this is a stable, comfortable, cushioned running shoe. I’ve found some On running shoes in the past far too firm for my stompy style of running, but really enjoyed the miles I’ve clocked in the Cloudstratus 3. It’s definitely a shoe I’d reach for on easy running days, or longer runs in my next marathon training block. 

That said, despite the thick layer of midsole foam, this shoe isn’t overly versatile — it’s not that great at picking up the pace, and when I tested this during faster sessions, I felt like my legs were working hard to maintain my speed. If you’re not bothered about faster running and want a soft, cushioned everyday shoe, this is a good pick, but faster runners might find it a little heavy. 

A photo of the On Cloudstratus 3 running shoes upper

(Image credit: Future)

On Cloudstratus 3 review: Verdict 

This is definitely a cushioned cruiser, best suited to slow, easy miles. It’s a nice running shoe to escape in, and I’ve been really impressed with the changes On has made to this running shoe. I’ve loved this shoe as an everyday running shoe for slow easy miles, but also for everyday wear. They also look great. 

That said, those cloud pods don’t come cheap. If you’re after a more affordable everyday running shoe, or an everyday running shoe with a bit more versatility, I’d take a look at the Brooks Glycerin 20, or the New Balance 1080v13, both of which are a little more comfortable when picking up the pace.

Jane McGuire
Fitness editor

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past five years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.