In short: Several stability running shoes that are similar to the On Cloudrunner include the Brooks Adrenaline, Hoka Arahi, Saucony Guide, and ASICS GT 2000. The Saucony Guide, in particular, has a ride similar to the On Cloudrunner but is much cheaper.
The Cloudrunner is the newest addition to the ON’s running lineup. Each shoe has little pods on the sole that compress with each step to absorb impact and in their words, feel like a cloud.
While its unique feature makes for a durable and comfortable ride, its drawbacks hold it back from becoming a daily trainer. Chief among them is the expensive price.
If you’re looking for a pair of running shoes that are similar to the On Cloudrunner, here are some cheaper alternatives that are budget-friendly and won’t break the bank.
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Let’s start from the ground up. Each On Cloudrunner shoe has little pods on the sole that compress with each step to absorb impact and in their words, feel like a cloud.
The cloud “pods” are enveloped by the zero gravity foam which provides me with a bouncy feeling. However, the downside to all this plushness is the lack of an energy return.
On the other hand, the Brooks Adrenaline features an updated cushioning courtesy of the DNA LOFT v2. It’s super soft, just like the Cloudrunner, but never too squishy.
Another thing I admire about the Brooks Adrenaline is there is no slippage when the surface is wet, thanks to the dense blown rubber found on the outsoles of the shoes.
This rubber provides traction and handles all mother nature throws at it, unlike the On Cloudrunner’s tread, which is on the lighter side, so it struggles a bit in wet conditions.
Another pair of running shoes that are similar to On Cloudrunner is the Hoka Arahi. Compared to the 3rd and 4th versions, the 6th version made some noticeable changes to the upper part.
The Arahi’s thick midsole is made of CMEVA foam. It’s used in most of Hoka’s traditional offerings, which is a balanced foam that provides a firm ride with a hint of bounce to it.
When I put them on for the first time I found a balanced feeling, not too plush, not too firm. In fact, it’s my favorite part of the shoe because of the amount of cushioning in the heel counter.
The On Cloudrunner, on the other hand, has double mesh that provides ample cushioning from heel to toe. There was a medium amount of cushioning in the heel.
While I admire the strength and durability of the On Cloudrunner’s upper, it lacks breathability in my opinion due to the second layer of the mesh and its thickness.
In terms of looks, the Saucony Guide is nothing similar to the On Cloudrunner. However, the Saucony Guide has a ride similar to that of the On Cloudrunner.
The outsole of the Saucony Guide keeps things simple and doesn’t try to be more complex than it needs to be. It isn’t complicated but offers great traction and control.
I think the outsole is better than the On Cloudrunner, which as I’ve mentioned before, is on the lighter side, so it struggles a bit in wet conditions and surfaces.
That being said, the midsole of the Saucony Guide is quite stiff and doesn’t have the best energy return in my opinion. It makes the shoe feel heavier than it actually is.
I’d much rather have the On Cloudrunner because the shoe held my foot in place for the most part aiding in the stability of the trainer, although it has a standard heel counter.
ASICS GT 2000
Out of all the shoes on this list, the ASICS GT 2000 is my favorite alternative to the On Cloudrunner. It’s basic, reliable, and provides light-stability without the expensive price.
Taking it out of the box I was first surprised by how light it felt, but the shoes over the long run actually surprised me the most by how comfortable the midsole was.
My feet did not hurt at all mid-run or in the hours after. The FLYTEFOAM Propel has a better feel than the On Cloud pods in my opinion, which lacked energy return.
The On Cloudrunner is known for its bounciness but I think it’s just too much. Most of the time, the extreme cloud pods can make it feel like you are working harder on your run.
GSLMOLN Walking Shoes
Before you say anything, I’d like to point out that this particular shoe was chosen simply because it has a similar profile to the On Cloudrunner, particularly the midsole area.
Are you going to have a good time running while wearing these shoes? Absolutely not. As its name suggests, the GSLMOLN Walking Shoes is a pair of walking shoes. Nothing more.
It’s more of a fashion sneaker than a reliable daily trainer for running. Don’t expect crazy technology from this shoe because it has none. The midsole is there just for looks.
That being said, I love the vast color options. There are more than 21 color options to choose from, all of which are bright and vibrant. It’s the perfect pair of fashion sneakers in my opinion.
Wonesion Running Shoes
Yet another fashion sneaker that resembles the On Cloudrunner is the Wonesion Running Shoes. Yes, it’s labeled a “running shoe” but it’s a fashion sneaker more than anything else.
Similar to the cloud pods of the On Cloudrunner, the Wonesion shoe is equipped with a midsole that looks like a honeycomb. It adds cushioning to provide a comfortable feeling.
Again, it’s just a fashion sneaker so don’t wear the pair for running. It’s a cheaper alternative that you can wear for daily errands and walking, nothing more.