On Cloud vs Skechers: Which Is Better?

As an avid shoe enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for footwear that balances comfort, performance, and style. Recently, two brands have caught my attention – On Cloud and Skechers. Both offer innovative technologies for cushioning and support, but they each have their own distinct features and specialties.

In this article, we’ll take a close look at On Cloud and Skechers shoes, comparing critical factors like fit, durability, price, and popularity to help you decide which brand might be best for your needs and preferences. Let’s dive in!

Comparison Table

CategoryOn CloudSkechers
ComfortCloudTec® cushioning pods, soft feelMemory foam, cushioning technologies
ColorsWide range, vibrantExtensive options
DurabilityDurable materialsVaries, overall good
PerformanceResponsive cushioning, casual/lifestyleCasual use, lifestyle focus
StyleSleek, modern, minimalistRange from basic to fashion forward
PopularityGrowing, less mainstreamHighly popular, mainstream
Best SellerCloud 5Go Walk

On Cloud 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.

Skechers Overview

Founded in Manhattan Beach, California in 1992 by Robert Greenberg, Skechers has grown into a leading global footwear brand.

Robert Greenberg

Skechers designs comfortable, supportive, and stylish shoes for walking, running, training, and casual wear.

They incorporate innovations like high-rebound cushioning, Memory Foam insoles, Relaxed Fit designs and slip-resistant outsoles to provide versatility across active lifestyles.

Their Pressure Map technology uses real-time testing data to optimize comfort and support.

Skechers offers on-trend athletic and casual looks in various colors to appeal to diverse tastes. With affordably priced options for men and women, Skechers remains popular for their wear-anywhere comfort and style.

Their lightweight GOwalk shoes are a top choice for all-day wear. For athletic performance with mainstream appeal, Skechers delivers.

Major Differences between these Brands

Comfort and Fit

While both On Cloud and Skechers aim to deliver exceptional comfort, they achieve this through different approaches. On Cloud uses hollow CloudTec pods that compress and rebound for soft landings, while Skechers relies more on traditional foam cushioning systems like Memory Foam.

For fit, On Cloud incorporates a minimalist design with a breathable mesh upper, while Skechers offers a wider range of sizes/widths to accommodate narrow or wide feet. Ultimately Skechers may win out for those needing more customizable sizing.

Durability and Performance

In terms of durability, both brands are comparable using rubber outsoles and quality materials in the uppers. For performance, On Cloud shoes excel at providing responsive cushioning optimized for runners whereas Skechers shoes are better suited for casual activities like walking and lifestyle wear.

Serious athletes would likely prefer the bounce and energy return of On Cloud’s CloudTec system compared to Skechers’ Gel Infused Memory Foam which prioritizes plush softness over speed.


On Cloud shoes are positioned as a premium-priced running shoe, generally retailing between $130-$150. In contrast, most Skechers styles are affordable mainstream shoes priced between $50-$100.

So Skechers definitely wins out for shoppers on a tight budget. However, the higher price of On Cloud may be justified for runners wanting high-end performance.

Design and Style

These two brands have very distinct aesthetics. On Cloud shoes have a minimalist, monochrome Swiss design emphasizing simplicity, while Skechers shoes run the gamut from basic to maximalist, often covered in prints and bright colors.

Skechers also offers popular licensed character styles for kids. Those wanting a sleek modern look will prefer On Cloud’s styling, while Skechers has a broader appeal from youthful to retro.


Though On Cloud is growing rapidly in the running world, Skechers remains far more mainstream with wide name recognition globally. With its massive selection and kid-friendly styles, Skechers has secured its place as a popular athletic and casual footwear brand. On Cloud still has a niche loyal following among runners but has not achieved the universal popularity of Skechers.

Target Market

On Cloud shoes target serious runners looking for responsive cushioning and a comfortable fit for training and racing. Their technical innovations cater to neutral runners with medium to high arches.

In contrast, Skechers has an exceptionally wide target demographic from toddlers to older adults of all activity levels. Their shoes suit casual occasions rather than competitive sports.

Performance Comparison

For Nurses

For nurses who are on their feet all day, Skechers is likely the better choice for affordable comfort. Models like the Skechers GOwalk 5 Slip-On have the cushioning nurses need along with slip-resistant soles and easy-on, easy-off convenience.

For Walking

For casual walking, Skechers GOwalk line offers cushioning and support without the higher price tag of On Cloud. The GOwalk models have comfort features tailored specifically for low-impact walking.

For Running

For runners training and racing, On Cloud is the clear winner. The CloudTec cushioning and breathable mesh upper provide the performance qualities needed for logging mile after mile. Skechers has options like the GOrun 7 Hyper which work for casual jogging but aren’t ideal for serious runners.

For Flat Feet

For flat feet that overpronate, some Skechers styles offer better stability control like medial posting while On Cloud shoes are more neutral. Skechers also come in wider sizes to accommodate flatter feet.

For Back Pain

For those with chronic back pain, Skechers Gel Infused Memory Foam styles can provide plush cushioning to alleviate pressure on the back. On Cloud’s firmer pods may not offer enough shock absorption for painful backs.

For Standing All Day

If you’re on your feet all day, Skechers’ maximum cushioning technologies will likely be less fatiguing than the responsive firmness of On Cloud. Cushiony Skechers provide day-long comfort.

For High Arches

With their pods and firm cushioning, On Cloud shoes better accommodate high arches without uncomfortable bending in the sole. Skechers’ softer foam often lacks adequate arch support for high arches.

For Hiking

For moderate hiking, On Cloud’s Cloudventure trail running shoe provides grip and stability on varied terrain. Skechers hiking styles like the Relment Pelmo Boot are more suited to very light trails.

For Plantar Fasciitis

Skechers include some styles designed specifically to alleviate plantar fasciitis pain like the D’Lites with Arch Fit insoles. On Cloud’s minimal arch support is less ideal for this condition.

Final Verdict

In the battle of On Cloud versus Skechers, there’s no universally “better” option. Each brand simply targets different needs. For serious runners and athletes, On Cloud takes the lead with technology optimized for support, responsiveness, and natural running gait biomechanics.

But for budget buyers and those who prioritize plush softness over speed, Skechers is hard to beat. Their vast selection ensures you can find a style for everything from fitness to fashion.

Ultimately you can’t go wrong with either of these comfortable brands – simply decide whether your top priority leans more towards performance or lifestyle wear. Both On Cloud and Skechers will pamper your feet with cushioning, just in their unique way.

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