Hoka VS On Cloud: Which Is Better?

With so many running shoe brands on the market, it can be hard to decide which one is right for your needs. Two popular options are Hoka and On Running.

This article compares key features of both brands, including comfort, performance, durability, and style. Read on to learn which shoe might be a better fit for your running goals.

Comparison Table between Hoka And On Running:

FeaturesHokaOn Running
Founded In2009, France2010, Switzerland
Comfort and FitVery cushioned and comfortable, wide toe boxSnugger fit, firm cushioning from CloudTec pods
Color OptionsLimited color optionsWide range of colors and patterns
DurabilityDurable EVA foam, high abrasion rubber outsolesRubber CloudTec pods are durable, upper materials vary
PerformanceSmooth, cushioned ride good for recovery and long distancesVery responsive cushioning, better for faster paces
Design and StyleMaximalist, thick platform styleUnique look from CloudTec sole, clean upper designs
PopularityPopular with injury-prone runnersGaining popularity among recreational runners
Best Selling ModelBondi 8Cloud 5

Hoka Overview:

Founded in 2009 by Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard, Hoka One One burst onto the scene with their super thick midsoles, aiming to provide maximum cushioning for runners.

Nicolas Mermoud and Jean-Luc Diard

Initially, their oversized design was polarizing. But as more runners experienced the plush ride, Hoka gained a cult following among ultramarathoners and trail runners.

Hoka remains focused on cushioning and stability to create a smooth, comfortable run. Signature technologies like the Meta-Rocker outsole encourage a natural gait cycle and transition. The roomy toe box allows your feet to splay and relax over long miles.

For runners who struggle with joint pain and hard impact, Hoka’s pillow-like foam brings sweet relief. The soft landings and energetic rebound make each stride feel effortless. It’s easy to see why Hokas have a reputation for comfort.

Hokas aren’t the most flexible shoe due to the higher platform. And the bulky silhouette isn’t for everyone. But for runners craving a cushy feel, Hoka delivers plush shoes that can go the distance in blissful comfort.

On Running Overview:

Swiss running shoe brand On Running took the market by storm when they debuted their revolutionary CloudTec cushioning system in 2010.

Co-founded by Olivier Bernhard, David Allemann, and Caspar Coppetti, On Running sought to shake up the look and feel of running shoes.

On Running Founders

Unlike the thick foam midsoles of brands like Hoka and Brooks, On shoes feature individual rubber pods strategically placed on the outsole.

This signature CloudTec cushioning provides a firm yet responsive feel. The pods compress and rebound independently to deliver what On calls a “soft landing followed by an explosive take-off.”

Most On Running shoe models also incorporate the company’s Speedboard technology, a curved plastic plate that improves transitions from heel to toe.

Together, the CloudTec sole and Speedboard reduce muscle vibration and create what On describes as a “smooth running sensation.” The outsoles are strategically mapped to match key pressure points during the phases of a runner’s stride. On Running shoes tend to have close-fitting mesh uppers to hold the foot securely.

While On Running’s CloudTec cushioning doesn’t isolate impact as much as maximally cushioned shoes, the pods respond individually to deliver energetic rebound. This makes On shoes ideal for efficient runners who want some feedback from the ground. The technology caters to midfoot and forefoot strikers with an emphasis on propelling runners forward.

Over the past decade, On Running has unveiled innovations like the CloudTec Lite system using hollowed-out pods to shed weight, and the Cloudboom midsole foam for additional underfoot softness. Their unique sole technology combined with clean, minimalist uppers gives On Running shoes an identifiable look.

Major Differences Between Hoka And On Cloud:

By far we have covered the history of both brands. Let’s now see some major differences between both brands.

1) Comfort and Fit

The thick cushioning of Hoka shoes provides a very plush, comfortable ride. They have more room in the toe box, suiting runners with wider feet.

On Running shoes have a closer, performance-oriented fit. Their firm CloudTec pods don’t compress as much underfoot, so some find them less cushy. However, they provide stability and ground feedback.

For pure comfort, Hokas win—but On Running offers a locked-in, responsive feel.

Also Check Out: Hoka VS New Balance: Which Is Better For You?

2) Durability and Performance

The rubber outsoles and EVA foam midsoles of Hoka shoes are quite durable, lasting 500-600 miles on average. The generous cushioning helps soften impact for injury prevention.

On Running outsoles withstand abrasion well too thanks to the CloudTec rubber pods. The firm cushioning system makes them highly responsive at faster paces. For durability, it’s a tie—but On excels in energetic speedwork.

Also Check Out: Hoka VS Nike: Which Is Better For You?

3) Price

Hoka and On Running shoes cost about the same on average, between $140-170 USD. However, Hokas tend to have more models at lower price points around $100-$130.

Most On Running shoes are $130 and up. For runners on a tight budget, Hoka offers better value. But for serious runners, both brands are affordable compared to the most premium options.

Also Check Out: Allbirds VS Hoka: Which Is Better For You?

4) Design and Style

If you like a thick, high-profile midsole, Hokas have a very distinctive maximalist look. Their bold colors and neon accents attract attention. On Running has a lower profile but still looks unique thanks to the prominent CloudTec pods on the outsole.

For runners who want something sleeker, On Running has more styles like the Cloud X with a clean, modern design. It comes down to personal preference!

Also Check Out: Fitville VS Hoka: Which Is Better?

5) Popularity

As the brand that pioneered the maximalist movement, Hoka has earned a huge following among trail runners, ultramarathoners, and runners recovering from injury. Their popularity continues to grow worldwide.

On Running is less mainstream but has cultivated a loyal fanbase thanks to their unique cushioning technology. Hoka likely has the edge in popularity due to their longer history and broader appeal.

Also Check Out: Gravity Defyer VS Hoka: Which Is Better?

6) Target Market

The plush cushioning and wide toe box of Hoka shoes caters to runners with wider feet or who want a comfortable cruising shoe. They also appeal to runners recovering from injury.

On Running targets efficient runners who want a responsive, energetic ride—but may be too narrow and firm for some. Basic recreational runners are better served by Hokas, while On suits focused performance runners.

Performance Comparison: Hoka VS On Cloud

In this section, we will see how both On Cloud And Hoka perform in different activities to determine the ultimate winner.

1) For Nurses

For nurses who are on their feet all day, the cushioning and shock absorption of Hoka shoes make them a dream. Models like the Gaviota have thick foam and support features to fight fatigue.

On Running shoes don’t provide the same plush comfort, though some find the CloudTec pods provide energy return during long shifts. For overall comfort, Hokas are the top choice for nurses.

2) For Walking

The flexible cushioning and rockered sole of Hoka walking shoes like the Bondi or Clifton provide a smooth ride for lower-impact walking.

On Running also offers responsive cushioning, but its snug performance fit isn’t ideal for leisurely walking.

For walkers prioritizing comfort over speed, Hokas offers the best cushioning and shock absorption with each step.

3) For Flat Feet

Runners with flat feet need stability and arch support. Stability shoes from Hoka like the Arahi and Gaviota have features to reduce inward rolling caused by flat feet.

On Running lacks motion control models currently, so they won’t correct overpronation as well. For flat-footed runners, Hokas are the better option.

4) For Back Pain

Hoka’s soft, cushioned midsoles excel at absorbing shock that can worsen back pain. They provide ample cushioning while still offering stability.

On Running’s thinner soles don’t dampen impact as much. However, the CloudTec pods can provide cushy comfort when walking. For running with back pain, Hokas win. But On Running can work for lower impact walking.

5) For Standing All Day

The plush cushioning of Hokas absorbs shock better to reduce pain and fatigue from standing all day. Their wider fit and models designed for comfort and support also get an edge.

While On Running offers some bounce, their tighter performance fit isn’t ideal for long periods of standing still. Hokas provide superior comfort and relief.

6) For High Arches

Runners with high arches need ample cushioning and flexibility to absorb shock rather than overpronating. Hoka offers high-cushioning neutral shoes that suit rigid high arches while allowing natural foot motion.

On Running can work for high arches seeking ground feedback, but their snug midfoot fit could irritate some. Overall, Hokas accommodate high arches better.

7) For Hiking

With beefy outsoles and cushioning to spare, Hoka trail running and hiking shoes are built for off-road adventures. Models like the Speedgoat provide traction, protection, and shock absorption on uneven terrain.

On Running also makes hiking shoes but can’t match Hoka’s pedigree and specialty trail features. For hardcore hikers, Hokas are the top choice.

Final Verdict:

In the battle of maximalist cushy Hokas versus responsive On Running shoes, there’s no single winner for all runners.

Hokas edge out On in critical categories like comfort, overall versatility, and popularity. Their plush cushioning and wide fit better accommodate injury-prone runners and those seeking a comfortable cruiser.

However, On Running surpasses Hoka for speedwork thanks to their energetic return and performance fit—for some runners, the firm CloudTec pods feel more responsive than Hokas’ pillowy foam.

So consider your needs: If you prioritize comfort and softness, go with Hoka. If you want a ground feel for faster runs, choose On. You can’t go wrong with either of these innovative brands!

Leave a comment