Am I The ONLY One Choosing On Cloud Sneaks Over HOKAS?


There are days that I truly feel like I’m the ONLY one in this city not wearing HOKAs. I mean…I’m not usually one to succumb to peer pressure, but what’s the deal, you guys? So.Many.HOKAs!

On my daily morning walk to the kiddo’s school, outside every city gym I pass, all the center city playgrounds, and even outside of Philly….well at least every airport outside of Philly I’ve visited recently. HOKAs, HOKAs, HOKAs.

HOKAs are popular. And for good reason. They are very very VERY comfortable!

But…they’re not for me.

Who would have guessed it, but the self-proclaimed Comfort Shoe Queen of The Mom Edit is saying “No” to HOKAs and instead picking her new go-to sneakers (On Clouds) based primarily on appearance and not comfort! Blasphemy in my comfort shoe world, I tell you. What is happening!?!

On Cloud's colors + styles make them the best sneakers for my everyday use! Here's my comparison of the super-comfy Cloudaway, Cloudswift, & On Cloud X3.

On Cloudswift | On Cloud X3 | On Cloudaway

(If you don’t see your size…keep scrolling…more On Cloud retailers are listed below, under the photos.)

Actually, that’s not completely true. Let me rephrase: I’m picking my go-to sneakers on just the right combination of both appearance AND comfort.

I’ve been searching for a one-and-done sneak. I thought HOKAs might be my shoe (I tried them here), but have ended my mission with three pairs of On Clouds instead that I like WAY better than ALL of the HOKAs. Now that I’m back on the On Cloud train, I’m noticing that the SECOND most worn-sneaker brand in this city is definitely On Clouds, so I don’t actually think I’m completely alone here.

* Warning: If you’re looking for specific HOKAs or On Clouds, they sell out FAST (ugh!) and you may need to try multiple retailers (listed below) to find your sizing.

My On Clouds Review & The Search For The EVERYTHING Sneaker

A little history: My search for the perfect everyday sneaker was prompted by my annoyance at having three pairs of sneaks by my front door at all times. For years I’ve worn Brooks for exercise walks on the trail, Madewells as my go-to fashion sneakers with jeans, and On-Clouds with joggers for dance class and the gym. I’m happy with all three of these sneakers but felt like there had to be one sneaker out there that could do all the things.

What seems to complicate things with my one-and-done sneaker search is that I’m not actually that sporty. In practice or in style.

I’m not a runner (so if you ARE a runner, this review is likely not for you)…I’m more of a moderate regular exerciser that just needs all-around supportive and comfortable sneaks. And I’m in no way sporty in my fashion choices. So although I love the look of the bold and bright-colored sporty sneaks worn on others with all types of outfits, I’ve been searching for an athletic sneaker that reads more minimalist-chic, comes in a neutral color, and will work with my casual everyday uniforms.

On Clouds Vs HOKAs

HOKA Cliftons | On Cloudswifts

I will be the first to tell you guys that the HOKAs ARE fabulously comfortable and bouncy and I adore the feel of several of them, but the appearance just isn’t for me. There are definitely quite a few folks out there who don’t like the chunky look of the HOKAs, but the chunkiness is actually not what bothers me most — I just don’t like the prominent HOKA writing on their shoes and the fact that they have only limited lighter neutral colorway options (although these new ones in “shifting sand” look promising.)

After being disappointed in the look of the HOKAs on me, I found myself drifting back to wearing on repeat my older pair of On Clouds from my closet …and actually finding that I was happier with those old On Clouds than ANY of the new sneaker brands I’d been trying.

The On Cloudswifts are not as WILDY bouncy as these HOKAs, but they’re still pretty darn bouncy, with plenty of cushion, a nice secure fit and feel, and my feet have been very happy with them for almost two years. Keep in mind, I’m not running in these sneaks. I’m wearing them mostly for walking and exercise classes, but my black On Clouds have A LOT of miles on them and still feel great.

An On Cloud Shoes Comparison

Since my most-worn fashion sneakers are off-white (and I LOVE the way they look with everything casual), I decided On Clouds in white just might be my answer. On Cloud has a great selection of neutral colorways with clean simple designs that I’m finding very easy to wear with casual and workout wear.

I ordered three pairs of white/cream On Clouds hoping that one of them could possibly be my new one-and-done sneaker and guess what I found…all three are actually fabulous. They’re ALL actually still in my living room because although I’ve decided on just one of them as my go-to-sneak, I truly like all three and can’t bring myself to commit to just the one pair.

I will note that a few readers have reported bad experiences with On Cloud sneakers wearing out too quickly. I’ve had my black On Cloudswift sneaks for almost 2 years and have had NO problems whatsoever (my mom has this exact pair too and has had no problems either). Still, if you’re concerned about this (which I totally get), I would purchase them through Nordstrom (wildly good customer service and return policy) or directly through On (they have a warranty program that a friend used seamlessly).

1. On Cloudaway Hiking Sneaker

My On Cloudaway review? These check all the boxes for my new everyday sneaker.

At Nordstrom | At Backcountry | At Amazon | At Dick’s | At On

These comfy cute On Cloudaway Hiking sneakers are MUCH more than your typical hiking sneak. They are the final winners of my search and are officially my new one-and-done EVERYTHING sneaker. Note: These On Cloudswifts, however, were a VERY close second, and have more sizing available here and here. I already have the On Cloudswifts in black, so the main reason the Hikers were #1 pick was to have something different.

At Backcountry | At Amazon | At Dick’s | At Nordstrom | At On
Similar Coatigan | Denim | Bag | Hoodie | Top | Pants

Pros: Appearance-wise, the Cloudaway was JUST what I was looking for. A little bit of chunkiness, an interesting tread, and a simple neutral colorway. I love the pull-on, adjustable lacing style and although my specific colorway has sold out in many places, I do like the other colorways as well. Comfort-wise, they are lightweight, cushiony with a nice springy step, and a true delight to wear for all-day walking on pavement, gym workouts, dance classes, and exercise trail walks. Plenty of stability, a medium amount of arch support (just how I like them), and I’ve actually been wearing them without my super-feet inserts (which I put in pretty much ALL my sneakers). Attached tongue (some folks like that, some don’t).

Cons: The laces have been stretching as I wear them. I keep making them tighter and tighter with the lace adjuster, which has worked perfectly to get just the right snugness, but I do wonder if long-term they will get too stretched out.

Sizing: Tons of reviews say to size up, but I’m wearing my regular sneaker size and they fit just fine. Hmmm… maybe they had a sizing issue and fixed it? If you’re between sizes I would say to size up, but as I said…I’m happy with my typical sneaker size.

2. On Cloudswift Running Sneaker

The only reason I'm not keeping these is that I already have a pair of black On Cloudswift sneakers I love.

At Zappos | At Nordstrom | At Shopbop | At On

My number 2 pick. And only number 2 by a very VERY slight margin. I adore these On Cloudswift running shoes and since I’ve happily owned the black version for almost 2 years, I came very close to picking these as my number 1 pick. I decided on the hikers, however, to try something slightly different.

At Zappos | At Nordstrom | At Shopbop | At On
Similar Coatigan | Denim | Bag | Hoodie | Top | Pants

Pros: Appearance-wise, I ADORE the look of these sneakers. Similar to the look of the Hikers, they’re JUST what I was looking for. A neutral, easy-to-wear colorway, with a chunky interesting tread. Plenty of neutral colors as well as playful bright options in this style. Comfort-wise, they’re lightweight with a cushiony footbed similar to the Hikers with a nice springy feel. The tread feels a little more grippy on hard surfaces than the Hikers. They, like the Hikers, have an attached tongue which makes them super easy for me to put on, but some folks don’t like this feature. They have a light-medium arch support. I do prefer to wear them with my Superfeet inserts (like I do for most sneakers) for extra support on long pavement-walking days or miles of trail walking.

Cons: These shoes have some mixed reviews online, especially from purchases made several years ago, from folks with wider feet, and a few runners. For runners, I always suggest going to your local running shoe store instead of buying online and having them fit you for a good running shoe that meets the needs of your specific feet. For my purposes, however, (mostly walking the city and exercise classes), they have been fantastic.

Sizing: Some reviews say they run small, but they are TTS for my feet.

3. On Cloud X3 Training Sneaker

On Cloud X3 are a comfy all-around sneaker with a sportier look.

At Zappos | At Nordstrom | At On

Coming in #3 (but still a GREAT shoe) is the On Cloud X3 Training Sneaker. Not much I didn’t like about these sneaks…I just liked the look and feel of the other two a bit better.

At Zappos | At Nordstrom | At On
Similar Coatigan | Denim | Bag | Hoodie | Top | Pants

Pros: Aesthetically, I love the look of these (the black accents, the interesting tread), but they do have a sportier look than the Hikers or the Swifts. These, not surprisingly since it’s in the name, feel like all-purpose cross-training shoes. Less cushiony and less bouncy than the Hikers and the Swifts, which made them great for balancing and finding my form with weight exercises.

Cons: Although I think I would really like the firmer, less bouncy, footbed while doing exercise classes and going to the gym, I do prefer more cushion and bounce when I’m pavement walking or on my feet all day. Although I liked the way they looked with workout wear, I preferred the look of the other two sneakers with casual everyday wear.

Any die-hard HOKA fans that want to state their case? ALWAYS, happy to hear from you guys with all your shoe opinions!


Hey, Pinners…

On Cloud's colors + styles make them the best sneakers for my everyday use! Here's my comparison of the super-comfy Cloudaway, Cloudswift, & On Cloud X3.


    • Absolutely….that makes total sense. I will say…I was a bit in shock at how EXTREMELY cushiony some of the HOKAs were and my hospital staff friends tell me they like the HOKAs even better than Danskos…. which of course ruled the hospital hallways for quite some time. If I was on my feet for 16 hour shifts, I imagine I would be making a different choice. 🙂 Thanks for writing in!

  1. Eh, I like both Hoka and ON. Tried multiple styles on in both brands, and I ended up with Hoka. One isn’t better than the other when it comes to school pickup, Costco trips, and light/moderate fitness. Honestly, none of them are super fashionable, just really comfortable and they fit in with the current athleisure trend. They are completely equal in my mind when it comes to your average American doing a Target run and walking the dog.

  2. As a retail employee, please don’t bring your ‘well loved’ items back to the store for a new one every time they ‘wear out’. “Oh, this didn’t hold up well” the customer says as she presents a handbag she used as a work tote, jamming her computer that the bag wasn’t meant to hold after a year or two.

    I am not a runner, so I have no idea how long sneakers are supposed to ‘last’ (I’ve been wearing my Anniversary Sale OnCloud sneakers for over a year of casual wear with no issues) but let’s all introduce a bit of reality into our lives with regards to actual wear vs idealized wear.


  3. I actually do not like my Hoka’s and am looking for a replacement. I have owned 1 pair of Bondis and 2 pair of Cliftons. While all 3 pairs were initially comfortable, they have rubbed a callus on the inside heel of each foot when I walk long distances in them. I am going to try OC next…now just to decide which pair…

  4. This is a great recap, I too prefer the On styles over HOKA. Is the color of your On Cloudaway the Ivory/Pearl or the White/Glacier? I could not tell. They look great, remind me of the Chloe sneakers!

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