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On CloudSwift 3 Review: Quite Rounded
By David Salas and Bach Pham

The Cloudswift 3 is a road running shoe specifically marketed at urban running. The shoe comes with a firmer ride with moderate cushioning throughout. The shoe also brings an element of aesthetics that can double as a runner/lifestyle combo. 

On Cloudswift 3
Price: $159.95 at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10.2 oz, 290 g (men's size 9), oz, g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 33.1mm / 28.1 mm
Drop: 5mm
Classification: Daily Training, Lifestyle, Crossover


David: The On Cloudswift is a road running shoe that dabbles in a little bit of everything. This includes non-running wear as well. The shoe is a firmer riding model that is well rounded and feels grounded with both running and walking. I see this as a potential run commute option if someone doesn't have space for other shoes though can definitely operate as a daily trainer.

The On Cloudswift is a shoe that kind of represents On's alternative to adidas' Ultraboost. It's advertised as a "city runner" that's nimble and made for cruising through streets. It has a caged upper that screams urban and a very rounded heel design that keeps you moving swiftly. Maintaining a more classic On design langauge, it is a model that will please long time On fans while providing new runners a highly stylized option for everyday use.

: Adidas Ultraboost Light


David: The On Cloudswift 3 fits true to size in my Men's 9.5. The shoe runs with normal width throughout in the heel, midfoot, and forefoot. The volume is a little lower so the shoe feels a little more snug in general. The shoe uses a knit upper with a wrap reinforcement integrated through the lacing system. The material is very comfortable and feels sock like. The material does have a decent amount of stretch to it, though not so much that you feel insecure. There is a flexible heel counter that does a good job of holding the structure in the heel cup area without really feeling like it is even there. The upper has been pretty cozy for a running shoe. The sleek design and balanced colorways also give this shoe some bonus points for lifestyle wear. 

Bach: The Cloudswift 3 also fit true to size for me. The upper fits surprisingly glove-like throughout, without being uncomfortable. The knit upper is fairly soft and the cage does add a lot of structure to help tighten up the midfoot from being sloppy like some knit uppers can feel due to their nature. The shoe has a surprisingly flexible heel counter - a rarity in the On lineup - that never caused me any issues and held my foot in well. The front of the ankle around the heel is fairly stiff and the one noticeable thing about the upper on foot. I didn't have an issue, but just noticed it's presence.

The shoe should do fine for those with narrow to standard feet. This model is one of the few that does not come in wide for On Running unfortunately.

Less about the upper and more about the general fit, the heel is highly beveled. It is very noticeable how it holds the heel up in slight extension. It doesn't bother me while running, but while walking I do notice it enough that it's not my absolute favorite walking shoe choice, but I do think some people will like that a lot, especially since it makes for a fast transition which is nice for errands.


David: I liked the Cloudswift of the past and was looking forward to testing this model. It did not disappoint. I still love the Cloudswift. This is a shoe I have done multiple double daily tasks in. These doubles have included running 10 miles in the morning and then wearing the same shoe for work, or in instance wine tasting. The shoe is a firmer riding shoe with moderate cushioning throughout. The heel is very beveled and you transition very quickly through the heel and midfoot. The forefoot has a little more rigidity in this model than some of the other On models I have run. The shoe has a rocker profile throughout, though the heel is most noticeable. The shoe has a small amount of bounce to it and does feel half way decent at uptempo paces as well. The Swift for me feels best at rhythmic efforts though.

The overall security of the upper was surprisingly good given the stretchy knit upper. The Cloudswift has a decently wide base throughout that is coupled with the classic deep midline groove from them. The shoe just rolls nicely forward with each step. In future models however, I would like to see the forefoot made a tad more flexible. With how fast the transition is into the forefoot it would feel nice to have a more natural toe off. It currently a little too rolling with an awkward speed bump. This is not a deal breaker as I have really enjoyed my miles in this shoe.

The Cloudswift ride is quintessential On. It has a firmer sole that rolls really nicely forward. On always delivers a smooth transitioning ride, and the Swift is not exception. It does so with a highly beveled heel that reminds me of past editions of the Maxroad. It facilitates a very quick transition to a more minimally rockered forefoot. The shoe is fairly stiff through thanks to On's Speedboard (this is their new generation Speedboard though, which is noticeably bit less stiff and malleable than past versions), with limited flexibility throughout the shoe. The ride feels like a rocking chair, rolling from heel-to-toe. Once you get going the Cloudswift 3 really knocks out miles.

Going back to the sole, this is a firmer ride and definitely not the softness of a Cloudmonster or Cloudsurfer. It's not a bad thing, just different and will come down to preference. I will say it's not a harsh firmness. You feel plenty cushioned in the shoe, just without a sinking sensation that softer shoes provide. The Cloudswift felt best for easy day paces. It can pick up the pace a wee little bit, but I would not take this on a workout, especially it running a touch heavier at over 10 oz - though, thanks to the rocker design, it feels lighter on the run than the numbers suggest.

The outsole covers the typical high use spots. The grip is decent. I felt fairly confident on wet road, although I would not take this out on a rainy run as the upper soaks a good bit. It runs on dirt and grass okay, but nothing standout.

The Cloudswift doubles fairly well as a rockered walking shoe. The heel for me is just a bit too beveled (a rare thing for us to say at Doctors of Running) for my personal preferences and like I mentioned earlier, as it keeps the heel extended up a touch. If the shoe had a little bit more flexibility in the heel, I think this would be a knockout for me.


This is not a formal stability shoe, though there are a few things that help make the Cloudswift 3 feels pretty stable throughout. The shoe has an overall firmer feel throughout and does not have too much foam deformation upon loading. The shoe uses sole flaring really well through the forefoot and the heel. The underfoot base is decently wide without feeling like you are on a boat. The midline groove subjectively makes you feel like you are centered. The upper could probably be a tad less stretchy and refined, though it honestly didn't give me too much issue (especially running on the roads). It has enough things here done well that I would put it into that stable neutral category we talk about at DOR pretty frequently. 

The Cloudswift 3 is not purposefully a stability shoe, but it does feel very stable as David says. The firmer sole and Speedboard provide more than enough rigidity to keep you grounded, and a moderately wider base helps keep you soundly on the platform. There is a lot of guidance through the highly beveled heel and rocker design that shoves you forward, along with a massive guidance line underneath that is classic to On. The Speedboard also helps further that forward propelling feel. On shoes in general have been inherently stable in the past. The Cloudswift 3 is no exception.

Thoughts as a DPT: Crossing Over
By David Salas, PT, DPT, CSCS

When I look at the On Cloudswift 3 I mainly think of this as a crossover shoe that leans towards running. This is a shoe that I can run in, take to the grocery market, and stand at work in. The shoe may be a little too rounded through the heel for formal weight lifting. I have been able to do light weight lifting just fine in it, though I am not sure I want any significant amount coming down on that platform. This section today is going to focus on what I like to see in my "crossover" shoes. 

When I bring the word crossover up I mainly refer to a shoe that double dips in its genres. The shoe is a little bit of this and a little bit of that. Like I noted above, the On Cloudswift 3 is quite comfortable in a variety of settings. What makes it shine, for me, is that the overall package is very balanced and comfortable. The shoe runs on the firmer end, though has enough cushioning for both running and standing. I normally don't like squishy soft midsoles for walking or standing around in and the Cloudswift serves this nicely. The upper is also comfortable for both running and lifestyle wear. The material is a little thicker, though very stretchy and accommodating for long usage. This becomes important when swelling throughout the day starts to happen. The other thing is the platform. The platform underfoot runs a little wide, though not overly so. This helps with both the running and the standing. When there is too much flaring I feel like I hit the sides of the shoe on things, my feet  work harder, and that it can be distracting during daily tasks. This shoe makes me feel centered with standing statically, walking, and running. Some of the higher stack options also feel a little too rockered for daily usage outside of running. This has a much more balanced profile, though the heel is rounded pretty sharp. 

Because of the balance of the things listed above I have really enjoyed my experience in the Cloudswift 3 as a crossover shoe. This is a shoe I continue to log road miles and working hours in on a relatively normal basis. 


David: I really enjoyed my time in the Cloudswift 3. My main recommendation is to make the forefoot a little more flexible. The stiffer platform lends itself to the rolling sensation, though it slightly off as it transitions through the forefoot and toe off. The fast moving heel and midfoot would actually feel nice with a contrasting flexible forefoot. It would be a quick, though natural feeling transition. 

Bach: Even though I enjoy a firmer ride, I think the Cloudswift will find a lot of popularity with On's new, softer sole design seen in the Cloudmonster and Cloudsurfer. The slightly softer midsole would help make this a highly comfortable shoe that bridges running and walking well. The new midsole also I believe is a touch lighter, which would also be a welcome change.

Keeping most other components in place - especially the highly rockered design along with width of the base and caged knit upper - I think that would be a compelling change that brings in a lot of new fans.


David: The On Cloudswift 3 is for someone that likes running shoes on the firmer end with some appeal to usage outside of running. The shoe does have a rocker profile in the heel, but is much more gradual through the forefoot. This could serve as a solid run commute shoe, or a simple do everything shoe (run, walk, store, light lifting). 

Bach: The Cloudswift 3 is shoe for anyone loves a firmer, rockered ride that feels very fluid. This is particularly for a runner who loves urban aesthetics and wants a shoe that blends running and walking well. This is particularly a shoe for those who have been a longtime fan of On Running footwear and prefer the firmer rolling ride compared to some of the softer ones that On has been delivering with their newest models. Gently in the lifestyle category as well, I received a lot of compliments on the shoe while running errands! If you're wardrobe leans athletic casual, the Cloudswift will slide into your rotation very easily. I found it harder to wear out with more traditional clothing.

The Cloudswift is a daily cruiser that will pair well with a lower profile trainer like a Cloudflow or super shoe like the new Cloudboom Echo 3 which can cover workouts. If you are looking to really tackle a lot of training miles, I would maybe lean into the Cloudmonster first if that is your priority as far as performance goes, unless you do prefer a firmer sole.

Lastly, the Cloudswift 3 comes in at $159.95. While high, it does compete well with the Ultraboost Light which starts at $190 new. I think for anyone who is looking for a shoe that is versatile for both running and life use, this is a good bet in the On lineup, but those more running oriented should also weigh in the Cloudmonster if looking for a higher stacked shoe out of the brand.


Fit: A- (Good fit and dimensions, though volume might be a tad too low for some)
Performance: B+
 (Heel and midfoot transition quickly and smoothly, though forefoot could have some improvement)
Stability: B+ (Slightly wide platform, good usage of sole flaring, firmer platform, though stretchy upper)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+/A- (The design is dope)
Personal: A- (Something I continue to wear for both running and work hours)
Overall: B+/A- (A well balanced shoe for both running and non running usage)

Fit: A- (For a knit, a solid fit throughout that should suit narrow to standard feet fine)
B/B+ (A solid, fluid ride with a firmer sole for those that have that preference. If versatility outside of running is in your wheelhouse, this is a B+)
Stability: A- (All of the classic stable neutral elements provide a confident ride on foot)
DPT/Footwear Science: B (With a lifestyle focus, the shoe performs well all things considered, but falls behind some of On's latest offerings)
Personal: B+ (I do enjoy the ride quite a bit once you get going. I also enjoy a firmer riding shoe. I think there is some room for improvement here to make it a true A shoe for me though)
Overall: B+ (Those looking for a shoe that blends lifestyle with running will enjoy the Cloudswift 3)


On Cloudswift 3
Price: $159.95 at Running Warehouse

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***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at On Running for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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