Comparing On Cloud vs ASICS running shoes is another great running shoe match up. Both have some of the same traditional shoe features and yet, Cloud running is breaking the old school mold.
Over the years, I have been able to test out models from both brands to give you some personal insight along with basic shoe details.
We’ve got details on construction, fit, feel, fabric and more. But ultimately it’s really the feel on your foot that’s going to make the decision.
You’ll see I have tested a lot of these shoes and like both brands, but have some bias based on what feels good to me! So I definitely went in search of other opinions to round it out.
ASICS Vs On Cloud Key Differences
On Cloud and Asics offer a lot of similar features and models for all kinds of runners. There are options for moderate to max cushion and overpronation.
I would say neither brand is super high on the list of shoes that ultramarathon runners love, unlike the Hoka.
Asics has been around forever and is a long standing favorite of running stores and distance runners alike.
Meanwhile, On took hold in the triathlon market first and then quickly moved mainstream running.
I break down the differences in more detail below, but here’s a quick overview:
ASICS Running Shoes
- More narrow fit, especially in the heel and midsole
- Most ASICS are 8mm to 10mm, but they have a few that are 5mm
- Famous for its GEL technology, which provides shock absorption
- Designs a variety of shoes for many different sports
On Running Shoes
- More narrow fit in older styles, some newer styles have a wider forefoot
- Recognizable sole with the pods
- Claims their CloudTec sole reduces muscle fatigue and lowers HR
- Focus on improving speed off ground and reducing impact
- Mostly running shoes, but now has incredible jackets, pants, etc as well
If you’re looking for just a detailed look a On, checkout this full On Cloud Review >>
I’ve worn both brands and will add some personal thoughts, along with links to detailed reviews. Here you’ve got two of my well worn models!
ON Running vs ASICS Feature Comparison
While ON is newer to the running market, Asics has a long history that often makes it hard for many runners to switch to the newer style.
Both offer options to aid with comfort, support, stability, and cushion. Where they differ most are in the feel of the shoe while running.
The following breaks down each shoe based on the components buyers need to consider when purchasing a running shoe.
It’s gonna get a little TECHY…so you can just skip on down to the specific model comparison if you want, but personally if I’m shelling out $150 for shoes, I kinda want to know why.
The lifespan of shoes from both companies is fairly comparable.
- On recommends swapping out for new shoes every 310 to 465 miles, a bit more specific than most brands.
- ASICS recommends swapping out for new shoes every 450 to 500 miles.
Determining when to replace running shoes, of course, all depends on your gait, weight, and whether you run mostly on trail or road.
On shoes are a little hard for me to describe because I think they’ve changed over the last few years and are different with each model that I’ve tested.
While the length runs true to size, I would say some are a narrow fit and some have a little more room in the toebox.
I would not consider any of them a wide shoe.
ASICS has an external heel clutch for targeted fit and support, while the Gel technology allows for foot movement in various directions as the foot transitions, reducing heel strike. I would call it a very traditional fit, with the rounded toe and average toebox.
ASICS also features a shoe fit guide, but it takes a little sleuthing to find (you’re welcome).
On uses CloudTec technology which is entirely what makes their shoe look and feel different. They have little open pockets on the bottom of the shoe that compress with each step to absorb impact and in their words feel like a cloud.
I would say they are cushioned, but not plush.
ASICS uses Flytefoam technology that provides bounceback and responsiveness with each step. The two technologies are fairly similar, some would say both are a little less cushioned than other brands.
The company has been using their famous Gel technology for more than 30 years. It works well to absorb the shock with each step.
On goes against the grain of most stability shoes and works with your foots motion rather than trying to stop it. I appreciate this as it’s one of the many reasons I steer folks away from most stability shoes.
Instead, they changed the shape and location of some of the pieces under the arch of the foot which allows all of your muscles to continue firing, but slows that inward roll.
ASICS shoes provide stability through a dual density midsole system called Duomax, which enhances support and stability. That, along with the external heel clutch allow the foot to continue its natural movement while running.
Overview of heel to toe drop and type of cushion in most shoe brands.
The prices between the two brands are fairly comparable.
- On prices range between $130 to $170
- ASICS start at $110 to $160
Specialty items with more features (like carbon plates) will increase price.
You’ll notice that every brand offers a range and this is indeed due to a difference in technology and where they sell the shoe. They know that the big box store can sell the shoe with less in it, while the local running store needs to be best for dedicated runners.
ASICS Vs On Cloud Models
Now that you know more about each brand, let’s look at their top models in each of the main categories. There’s no winner declared here because all are great shoes, it’s just about which one is best for your foot.
With each of these, they are the top models so numbers are constantly changing as they make a little upgrade, but On doesn’t keep adding numbers to the shoe name like most brands doe.
Stability Running Shoe
As noted above both On and ASICS do a good job of not trying to force the foot in to position, but rather providing a wider base that immediately provides stability. So it’s a more natural feel that most stability running shoes.
It also has just that slight rocker effect, to help move you from heel to toe.
- 7mm drop
- 8.8oz women’s, 9.88oz men’s
One of the ongoing issues I have with On shoes is this…rocks.
The GEL Kayano is now in its 28th iteration and known as one of the best stability shoes on the market. Great for overpronators seeking stability, the GEL Kayano is an ideal shoe for marathons.
It’s more cushioned than most stability shoes and thus has remained a favorite of many runners for a very long time.
The fit is in line with most shoes, but you will notice a bit more of a heel lock. This is again to help with that foot pronation without over correcting.
- 10mm drop
- 9.3 oz women’s, 10.5 oz men’s
Neutral Running Shoe
I’ve run in a few of the earlier models of this shoe, but as their most popular shoe it’s one of the few that continues to get a number to note that it’s new and improved!
We are currently up to model 7. Though it’s simply listed as the new Cloudsurfer. This is absolutely far and away my favorite version of most On Running shoes!
I would look at this as a speed training or daily trainer shoe for 6-8 miles. It has a completely new midsole and outsole, that uses the pods, but turns them in to softer cushion and eliminates the issue of rocks getting stuck!!
This one is designed with moderate cushion for those medium distance runs (5K to half marathon). In other words, it doesn’t have the extra padding or structure that we often like to see in a marathon shoe.
- 10 mm heel drop
- 7.2 oz women’s, 8.6 oz men’s
- See my full review of the Cloudsurfer
This shoe will appeal to most runners looking for a neutral fit. The inclusion of ASICS technologies like the Flytefoam and the GEL offers cushioned support with a responsive fit. Whether you’re a casual runner or a hard core marathoner, this shoe is a great choice.
Finally with the 24 they made some additional changes to be more gender specific because yes we do have differences in our feet.
If you’re looking for similar performance with a lighter environmental footprint, take a look at the GEL Nimbus Lite.
- 8mm drop
- 8.7 oz women’s, 10.5 oz men’s
Read my full review of the Nimbus
Cushioned Running Shoe
I really enjoyed my first run in these shoes and was excited to take them out again. It’s now where near as firm as the other On shoes, it’s in no way the plush style of a Hoka Bondi.
The Bondi feels like you put your foot in a cloud. For On the cushion is more about the absorbing of impact, rather than what you might think of as traditional cushion. That’s not a bad thing, just different expectations.
This absolutely felt like the most cushioned On running shoe I’ve tested. Making it a good daily easy run trainer.
- 6mm drop
- 8.11oz women’s, 10.76oz men’s
See my full review of the On Cloudmonster >>
The generous FlyteFoam provides ample cushion and the shape accommodates a wide array of foot shapes. Additional rubber on the outsole offers extra durability.
It’s often pointed to as a go to shoe for those who haven’t tried many running shoes and are getting started. It’s not going to be the super plush feeling of a Hoka Bondi, but is a good cushioned traditional running shoe.
- 8mm drop
- 8.1 oz women’s, 10.1 oz men’s
Carbon Fiber Plate Shoes
Are they cool new technology, yes.
Do they last as long as your other shoes, nope.
So if you want to test these out use them for speed work and then race day!
ASICS is trying to catch up in this area and released a few shoes all at once which many folks can’t quit tell apart. The Edge is going to be the shoe with less cushion, less weight and better for those racing sub 3, etc.
This is a maximum cushioned carbon fiber plate for the marathon runner in you. It’s going to give you both that feeling of comfort over the miles along with the pop that’s often lost in a highly cushioned shoe.
- Unisex in the SKY+
- 5 mm heel drop
- 5.8 oz women’s SKY, 7.2 oz SKY+
This was one of the earliest carbon fiber shoes I tested and it’s very different from the Vaporfly. Instead of high cushion, this is more like the feeling you might get in your daily trainer.
The lack of cushion isn’t a bad thing, just different. That being said, with each iteration of the Echo, they are adding more cushion to keep up with other brands, just not that super bouncy feeling. For many runners, I think this is a good thing and might strike that balance of speed and cushion, without the worry about Achilles injuries that are popping up.
I was truly impressed with the updates in the Echo 3 from the original Cloudboom. BIG win for me is not having the pods that trap rocks on the bottom! This shoe also fits better than the original. That being said, the HOKA Rocket is still going to be a bit wider fit.
- 10 mm heel drop
- 7.6 oz men’s and women’s
- See current models
Watch my detailed video on how Carbon Fiber Shoes work.
More About On Cloud Running
On started in 2010 in Switzerland, when yet again another runner thought “I could do this better.”
This time it was three retired professional athletes, who decided there needed to be a shoe that had more firmness to create that bounce off the ground, along with cushion.
They went from their first prototype in January 2010, to having it sold in stories by June 2010! How insane is that timeline?!
By 2014 and 2015 professional athletes were wearing the shoes and winning races, creating even more buzz about these unique looking shoes.
More About ASICS
Founded in 1949, by Kihachiro Onitsuka in Japan, ASICS is an acronym for the Latin expression “Anima Sana in Corpore Sano” (“healthy mind in a healthy body”).
The company released a basketball shoe in 1950, followed by running shoes in 1953. Among those running shoe products included the Onitsuka Tiger, still a popular shoe today, though mainly used as a casual shoe as opposed to a marathon shoe.
Today, Asics designs a wide variety of shoes including: running, tennis, volleyball, wrestling, and golf.
How to Choose On or ASICS Running Shoes?
Now that we’ve gone through the different models, you have a better feeling for what sets each apart. I can’t recommend enough that you buy knowing you can take them out for a few runs and return.
Seriously, return policies are pretty amazing.
And remember: Your gait and feet will likely change over time and you may need to change shoes.
This is also why I recommend rotating through several pairs of shoes at once.
Keep in mind that shoe design can change, even with the same model, so always assess how the shoe fits every time you replace a pair.
For more help selecting the right shoe for you, don’t worry, I’ve got you:
- Nike Vs New Balance running shoes
- Altra Running Shoes Review
- Top 5 Marathon Running Shoes
- New Balance Vs Brooks
Other ways to connect with Amanda
Instagram Daily Fun: RunToTheFinish
Facebook Community Chatter: RunToTheFinish