On Cloud vs Vessi: Which Is Better?

As an avid shoe enthusiast, I’m always on the lookout for the next big thing in footwear technology and style. Recently, two brands have caught my attention – On Running and Vessi. Both offer innovative shoes but have different strengths and appeals.

In this article, we’ll take a deep dive into On Cloud and Vessi shoes, comparing everything from performance to price so you can decide which brand is best for your needs. Get ready to step into the cloud versus the waterproof knit world!

Comparison Table:

FeaturesOn CloudVessi
Founded In20102018
Comfort and FitCloudTec cushioning system provides exceptional comfort and smooth transitions. Mesh upper is breathable.Waterproof knit upper is comfortable and sock-like. Moderate arch support.
Color OptionsVarious colors and patterns for men and womenVarious color options for men and women
DurabilityAverage to above average durability. Some users report outsoles wear faster than expected.Waterproof knit upper is durable. Rubber outsole has good traction.
PerformanceProvides soft landings and energetic takeoffs. Best for neutral runners doing everyday training or long runs.Better for everyday wear and light activity vs high-impact activities.
Design and StyleSleek and modern athletic design. Looks good both active and casual.Stylish, minimalist sneaker design for everyday wear.
PopularityVery popular among runners and athletes.Quickly growing popularity as an urban lifestyle sneaker.
Best Selling ModelCloud5Vessi Everyday Sneaker

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.

Vessi Overview:

Founded in 2018 by Anthony and David Khachadourian, Vessi Footwear is best known for its waterproof knit shoes. Vessi uses a proprietary knit upper material that is breathable yet keeps water out.

The shoes have a sock-like fit, flexible midsole cushioning, and durable rubber outsoles. Designed for everyday wear, Vessi shoes are also machine washable.

The Vancouver-based brand has grown a cult following for its stylish and functional waterproof sneakers. Top sellers include the Vessi Everyday Sneaker and Vessi Weekend Sneaker.

Major Differences Between the Brands:

Comfort and Fit:

On Cloud shoes are renowned for their pillow-like CloudTec cushioning, providing soft landings for neutral runners. Vessi shoes have a more minimalist, flexible cushioning system aimed at everyday wear rather than high-impact activity. The knit upper hugs the foot comfortably. On Cloud fits best for average to narrow feet, while some find Vessi shoes run small.

Durability and Performance:

The CloudTec cushioning system maintains responsiveness and bounces even over hundreds of miles. However, some users report the traction wears down faster than expected.

Vessi’s waterproof knit upper stays strong through everyday wear, though the lightweight sole is better suited for casual use than hardcore training.


Both brands fall into the premium category, with On Cloud shoes typically priced between $130-$200 and Vessi between $100-$160. On Cloud is an investment for serious runners, while Vessi offers value through everyday versatility.

Design and Style:

On Cloud has an athletic look with its distinctive pods, ideal for runners and gym enthusiasts. Vessi has a minimalist, urban sneaker aesthetic fitting seamlessly into casual outfits. Both brands offer unique styles that stand out from mainstream designs.


On Cloud’s popularity originally grew through word-of-mouth among runners and has expanded into the mainstream. Vessi’s waterproof technology and vibrant colors attracted an initial trendy following that keeps growing. Both have savvy social media marketing that boosts their buzz.

Target Market:

On Cloud targets neutral runners seeking cushioned, comfortable shoes for training and racing. Vessi aims for urban professionals wanting weatherproof shoes to stay stylish across work and play. On Cloud speaks more to athletes, while Vessi has broader casual lifestyle appeal.

Performance Comparison:

For Nurses:

The cushy yet responsive CloudTec system helps nurses stay energized during long shifts of nonstop motion. The knit upper is also breathable and easy to clean. Vessi offers a comfortable feel but lacks the support needed for all-day hospital wear.

For Walking:

On Cloud’s plush cushioning and smooth ride make it a dream for walkers, especially on hard surfaces. While fine for short walks, Vessi’s minimalist sole doesn’t have the same long-haul walking support.

For Running:

With its explosive energy return and seamless transitions, On Cloud is built for running and is ideal for training as well as marathons. Vessi shoes are too flexible and lack both stability and responsiveness to be a good running shoe.

For Flat Feet:

The stability provided by On Cloud’s wide platform caters well to flat feet, along with the cushioning for shock absorption. Vessi’s knit upper, however, can stretch out and lose structure faster over time compared to mesh.

For Back Pain:

The CloudTec system minimizes impact on the back and joints by providing a springy step. Vessi lacks the support and bounce needed to ease back pain, especially for long durations.

For Standing All Day:

The exceptional comfort and energy return of On Cloud helps power through all-day standing. Vessi starts to lose its cushioning much sooner into extended standing and walking.

For High Arches:

Neither brand is ideal for high arches – On Cloud lacks targeted arch support while Vessi has minimal midsole cushioning overall. Consider adding orthotics for arches when using either.

For Hiking:

On Cloud’s grippy outsole provides good traction on varied terrain while the cushioning eases the trail. Vessi’s knit upper is prone to twigs and rocks and lacks stability for uneven hiking.

For Plantar Fasciitis:

The smooth heel-to-toe transition of On Cloud gives gentle yet energized support for plantar fasciitis. Vessi’s minimal cushioning leads to a jarring impact that can aggravate inflammation.

Final Verdict:

Both On Cloud and Vessi offer innovative shoe designs that break the mold – literally for On Cloud. For runners and athletes needing performance-driven shoes, On Cloud is the clear winner for its unparalleled cushioning and energized ride.

Its CloudTec system and mesh uppers also make On Cloud ideal for nurses, walkers, and anyone on their feet all day. However, for those simply wanting a comfortable yet stylish sneaker for everyday adventures, Vessi is a fantastic choice with its waterproof knit material and myriad color options.

Vessi is perfect for urban explorers and travelers not looking to hit the trails or tracks. So whether you need soft landings or weatherproof style, both brands deliver fresh innovation to step ahead of traditional shoes. It just depends on whether your day-to-day life revolves around activity or leisure.

Leave a comment