Nobull vs On Cloud: Which Is Better?

With the rise of athletic footwear designed for training and fitness, two brands have emerged as popular options for the active individual – Nobull and On Cloud.

Both offer versatile, high-performance shoes, but have key differences when it comes to comfort, style, and intended use. This article will compare Nobull and On Cloud shoes to help you determine which brand best matches your fitness needs and preferences.

Comparison Table:

FeaturesNobull On Cloud
Founded In20152010
Comfort & FitFirm and supportiveSoft and cushioned
Color OptionsVarious bold colorsMore muted colorways
DurabilityExtremely durableModerate durability
PerformanceExcellent for lifting and HIITOptimized for running and walking
Design & StyleSleek, athletic aestheticModern, stylish look
PopularityPopular among CrossFit communityPopular among runners and walkers
Best Selling ModelTrainer +Cloud5

Nobull Shoes Overview:

Founded in 2015 in Boston, Massachusetts by Marcus Wilson and Michael Schaffer, Nobull has quickly made a name for itself in the performance footwear market.

Nobull Founders

This talented team of entrepreneurs set out to create athletic shoes optimized for high-intensity workouts like CrossFit, weightlifting, and HIIT training.

To achieve this goal, Nobull incorporates several key technologies into their shoe designs.

The Nobull Performance Plate located in the midsole provides firm yet flexible cushioning that keeps your feet supported during lateral movements.

Nobull’s Superfabric upper material is extremely durable while also being lightweight and breathable.

For the outsole, Nobull uses high-grip carbon rubber that grips flooring and pavement without wearing down too quickly.

Overall, Nobull shoes are known for their understated, minimalist look with limited color options and a focus on performance over flash. The shoes break in quickly and offer a snug, secure fit ideal for training.

The combination of technologies like the Performance Plate and Superfabric upper make Nobull one of the most durable and high-performing shoes available for CrossFit and weightlifting.

If your goal is to find a shoe that can stand up to intense workout regimens, Nobull is an excellent brand to consider.

On Cloud Shoes 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 the Brands:

Comfort and Fit:

Nobull shoes have a very snug, performance-driven fit. The thin, dense midsole and close-to-ground feel create a stable platform for lifts and lateral moves. However, some find Nobull shoes require an extended break-in period to loosen up.

On Cloud, shoes have a more generous, cushioned fit right out of the box. The CloudTec system offers plush padding underfoot without compromising the ground feel. The mesh upper is stretchy and accommodating.

For those seeking lightweight comfort for long runs and walks, On Cloud is likely the more comfortable choice. However, Nobull excels at locking the foot in place for CrossFit, HIIT, and heavy-weight training.

Durability and Performance:

When it comes to durability, Nobull is unmatched. The SuperFabric upper withstands even the toughest WODs and hardcore gym sessions. Nobull shoes can log hundreds of miles over varied terrain and intense training compared to competitors.

On Cloud, shoes are moderately durable but probably won’t last as long under heavy use. In terms of performance, Nobull excels at weightlifting, plyometrics, rope climbs, and multi-directional movements.

The close-to-ground, stable feel instills confidence for PRs across functional exercises. However, On Cloud shoes are designed for forward motion activities like running, walking, and hiking.

The CloudTec system provides soft landings and energetic toe-offs ideal for logging miles on the road or trail. For multi-sport training, Nobull has the advantage while On Cloud targets endurance athletes.


Both Nobull and On Cloud shoes fall on the more expensive end of athletic footwear. Nobull trainers typically range from $129-$159 while On Cloud shoes go for $139-$179.

Considering the premium materials and construction, many athletes find these shoes worth the investment for their intended training. It’s important to note the longevity factor too.

Nobulls in particular have been known to last several times longer than cheaper training shoes that break down quickly under heavy use. So the upfront price tag may balance out in the long run.

However, for those on a tight budget looking for an inexpensive gym shoe, Nobull and On Cloud are probably not the best options. But if you have the budget and want high-performing, durable shoes from trusted brands, the price is justified for serious trainers and competitors.

Design and Style:

Nobull and On Cloud both offer modern aesthetics but with differing stylistic approaches. Nobull shoes have an athletic, minimalist vibe with exposed SuperFabric panels and muscular design elements.

On Cloud, shoes employ a more overtly stylish approach with unique outsole designs and attention to color schemes. For example, the Cloud X mixes performance and lifestyle appeal with its running shoe cushioning system and casual knit upper.

In terms of colors, Nobull uses bold, vibrant hues and color blocking that stands out. On Cloud utilizes more subtle earth tones and muted color combinations. So for buyers wanting fashion-forward, eye-catching shoes, On Cloud has the advantage.

But Nobull excels at brasher aesthetics and an unapologetically hardcore look. Ultimately personal style preferences will determine which brand has the more appealing design.


Within the broader athletic shoe industry, both Nobull and On Cloud have carved out solid niches. However, Nobull has greater popularity within the functional fitness and CrossFit world.

The brand is ubiquitous at competitions like the CrossFit Games with a strong ambassador program. On Cloud’s following skews more towards runners, hikers, and casual wearers. In specialty running stores, On Cloud is a go-to brand for cushy, stylish kicks.

Nobull has gained traction outside the gym but still has work to do to break through with the mainstream. When you see someone on the street wearing On Cloud shoes, they’re likely a runner.

Spotting Nobulls indicates that the person probably does CrossFit or HIIT training. So while the brands overlap in versatility, Nobull edges out On Cloud in popularity among hardcore gym-goers. But the cloud has broader appeal for athletic and lifestyle use.

Target Market:

Although versatile shoes, Nobull and On Cloud target slightly different markets. Nobull positions its shoes for CrossFit and HIIT-focused athletes who need footwear to keep up with dynamic, high-intensity workouts.

The brand markets directly to CrossFit box owners and competitive athletes who place priority on durability and stability. While versatile for multi-sport training, most Nobull customers are serious about strength and conditioning.

On Cloud targets a broader range of athletes and active individuals seeking comfortable lifestyle shoes suitable for long runs, walking, travel, and everyday wear.

The Swiss brand markets its unique cushioning technology for impact protection mile after mile. Although On Cloud has crossover appeal, the prime target remains endurance athletes logging daily miles rather than hitting PRs in the weight room.

Performance Comparison:

For Nurses:

For nurses constantly on their feet, both Nobull and On Cloud offer benefits. The plush CloudTec cushioning system makes On Cloud a smart pick for nurses needing support and relief from hard hospital floors.

However, Nobull’s firm stability excels at lateral movements and quick changes of direction when urgently responding to patients. The SuperFabric upper also withstands spills and messes frequently encountered on nursing shifts.

Ultimately for all-day comfort, On Cloud may get the nod for nurses. But Nobull provides the agility and durability important for keeping nurses on the move.

For Walking:

As a lifestyle shoe designed for comfort, On Cloud is better equipped for walking than Nobull. The signature CloudTec midsole provides soft cushioning mile after mile without packing out or losing bounce.

The stretchy mesh upper forms comfortably around the foot during lengthy strolls, allowing for natural foot splaying. And the grippy outsole ensures good traction

For Running:

For running, On Cloud shoes have a clear advantage over Nobull. On Cloud was specifically engineered for the biomechanics of the running gait. The smooth, rockered sole encourages foot rollover, while the CloudTec system provides soft landings.

This cushioning protects joints and muscles on grueling marathon training runs. Nobull shoes lack the plush shock absorption needed for high-impact running. The thin sole and minimal cushioning do not provide enough protection from the repeated pounding.

While Nobull shoes can work for short sprints and agility drills, long-distance runners are better off with On Cloud’s patented cushioning system designed for marathons and beyond.

For Flat Feet:

For flat-footed runners, the stability from Nobull shoes can provide relief. The medial support counters overpronation, while the wide platform gives a stable base.

This minimizes inward foot collapse associated with flat feet. However, some flat-footed runners may find On Cloud shoes more comfortable, especially for walking and standing.

The CloudTec pods offer soft cushioning and conform around the foot for customized support. Adding aftermarket orthotic insoles can further improve arch support in On Cloud shoes for flat feet.

Ultimately, the choice comes down to weighing comfort versus stability. On Cloud gives plush comfort with add-on orthotic options, while Nobull directly controls overpronation.

For Back Pain:

Both On Cloud and Nobull can potentially alleviate back pain for active people but through different mechanisms. On Cloud’s soft cushioning absorbs impact that can radiate up the body and provoke lower back pain. The CloudTec system also encourages proper running form to minimize jarring.

However, Nobull’s stability excels at weight training and functional exercises that help strengthen core and back muscles when performed properly. Building core strength with Nobull shoes can improve back pain over time by correcting muscle imbalances.

Those recovering from back injuries may favor On Cloud initially for low-impact activities. But gradually transitioning to Nobull shoes allows for strengthening as the back heals. Overall, On Cloud promotes recovery while Nobull facilitates strength gains to actively combat back pain.

For Standing All Day:

For those on their feet all day – whether nurses, retail workers or servers – On Cloud shoes can provide relief. The plush CloudTec cushioning and responsive midsole offer continuous comfort and energy return to fight fatigue.

However, some may find Nobull shoes provide better support for all-day standing. The stable platform strengthens muscles to maintain good posture and alignment. And the SuperFabric upper resists collapsing, even after hours of standing and moving.

Cushioning is important, but proper foot control and positioning also helps when spending long shifts on the feet. So depending on individual needs for comfort or posture support, either On Cloud or Nobull can suit long periods of standing. Those with existing foot, knee or back pain may benefit most from On Cloud’s forgiving foam.

For High Arches:

Runners with high arches often need adequate arch support from athletic shoes. In this category, Nobull shoes may have a slight advantage over On Cloud. Nobull offers medially-posted support which acts as a mild stability feature to prevent arch collapse.

Some On Cloud models like the Cloud X do provide arch support. However, most On Cloud shoes have relatively flat, non-contoured footbeds. The brand recommends using additional insoles for arch support, which adds cost.

For quick comfort, On Cloud’s soft cushioning can work well for high arches. But over time, that plushness may allow the arch to sink and flatten further.

Nobull’s firmer construction gives high arches a more structurally supportive platform. So while On Cloud offers cushioning, Nobull better supports high arch integrity for long-term foot health.

For Hiking:

Hitting the trails calls for versatile shoes that transition from uphills to downhills with ease. Here, On Cloud shoes tend to outperform Nobull. The grippy CloudTec outsole provides reliable traction across varied terrain from dirt to rocks.

The closed mesh upper keeps out trail debris, while still allowing ventilation to keep feet cool and dry. And the cushioning smooths out impacts from jagged or uneven surfaces.

Nobull lacks the multi-directional lugs that grab onto unpredictable terrain. The flat, minimal outsole works better indoors for lateral moves, not gravelly inclines.

While Nobull shoes won’t completely hold you back on short nature hikes, On Cloud is better equipped for comfort, protection and traction during serious trail adventures.

For Plantar Fasciitis:

The cushioning technology in On Cloud shoes make them a great option for plantar fasciitis. The soft, energy-returning pods reduce pressure on the inflamed plantar fascia tissue. This allows the feet to move fluidly and pain-free throughout each step.

Nobull’s minimal cushioning is less forgiving and may aggravate the stabbing heel pain associated with plantar fasciitis. However, some may find that Nobull shoes help strengthen the feet and lower leg muscles to provide stability and support.

This can relieve plantar fasciitis over time. But for immediate arch and heel cushioning, On Cloud is likely the safer bet for those recovering from plantar fasciitis or trying to prevent flare-ups.

Final Verdict :

In the end, choosing between Nobull and On Cloud comes down to weighing your priorities for comfort, versatility, and style. For hardcore CrossFitters and gym enthusiasts who value durable, stable shoes, Nobull is hard to beat. The SuperFabric construction withstands even the most grueling WODs.

But for those who want cushioned running shoes suitable for road miles or casual wear, the technology behind On Cloud’s soft, responsive ride makes it an excellent choice. On Cloud also appeals to those wanting modern styling from their athletic kicks.

Ultimately Nobull targets dedicated strength athletes, while On Cloud provides options for endurance activities and all-day wear. Assessing your training needs and personal preferences helps determine whether the hardcore performance of Nobull or the cushy athletic lifestyle of On Cloud is the best match.

Leave a comment