On Running VS Salomon: Which Is Better?

As an avid runner and outdoor enthusiast, I understand the importance of having the right footwear. When it comes to top athletic brands, two names always come to mind – On Cloud and Salomon.

Both offer high-quality shoes with advanced technologies, but they differ in their strengths and ideal uses. This article will compare the key features of On Cloud and Salomon to help you decide which brand best fits your needs.

Comparison Table

FeaturesOn Cloud Salomon
Founded In20101947
Comfort and FitCloudTec® technology provides exceptional cushioning. Stretch mesh uppers adapt to feet.SensiFit technology creates secure and precise fit. Some models can feel stiff initially.
Color OptionsWide range of colors for men and women.More muted, outdoorsy color palettes.
DurabilityRubber outsoles are long-lasting. Some users report upper mesh wears over time.Contagrip outsoles perform well over rugged terrain. Synthetic overlays add durability.
PerformanceLightweight and responsive. Excellent energy return.Traction and grip excel on trails. Cushioning provides comfort over long distances.
Design and StyleSleek, modern athletic aesthetic.Technical, performance-driven look.
PopularityGrowing popularity among runners and casual wearers.Popular among trail runners, hikers and outdoor enthusiasts.
Best Selling ModelCloud5X Ultra 3 hiking shoes.

On Cloud Brand 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.

Salomon Brand Overview

Salomon was founded in 1947 in Annecy, France by François Salomon and his son Georges. The company started by producing steel edges for skis, eventually evolving into a leading manufacturer of ski and winter sports equipment. In the 1990s, Salomon expanded into trail running and hiking footwear.

The brand focuses on innovative technologies to enhance performance in mountain sports. Key features include:

  • SensiFit upper system creates precise, secure foot wrapping
  • Quicklace system for one-pull tightening
  • Contagrip outsoles with multi-terrain traction
  • EVA midsoles and EnergyCell foam for responsive cushioning
  • EndoFit inner sleeves for comfort and support

Salomon shoes are optimized for activities like trail running, hiking, and mountaineering where grip, control and stability are essential. The SensiFit upper uses a secure lace pocket design to prevent sliding. Contagrip outsoles adapt to different surfaces, providing traction on wet or dry terrain.

While known for performance, Salomon shoes also focus on comfort over long distances. Technologies like EnergyCell foam maintain energy return to keep your feet feeling fresh. Salomon offers a large selection of shoes tailored for neutral, overpronation or underpronation needs.

In recent years, the brand has expanded into road and urban styles while retaining its outdoor heritage. But the core focus remains trail running, hiking and mountain sports where Salomon shines. Their technical proficiency and product innovation make the shoes popular with athletes and hardcore outdoor enthusiasts.

Major Differences Between the Brands

Comfort and Fit

On Cloud, shoes are renowned for their comfort straight out of the box. Technologies like CloudTec and Zero-Gravity foam provide plush, responsive cushioning.

The stretch mesh upper creates a flexible, sock-like fit that adapts to your foot’s shape. Wider toe boxes allow toes to splay naturally. Overall, On Cloud shoes offer a cushy, cloud-like feel during runs and all-day wear.

Salomon shoes have a more precise, snug fit geared for performance. The SensiFit system wraps the midfoot and heel securely to prevent sliding within the shoe.

Quicklace allows quick tightening for a locked-in fit. Cushioning tends to be firmer than On Cloud, built for stability and support over varied terrain. Salomon shoes may feel stiff and require some break-in time.

Durability and Performance

The CloudTec soles of On Cloud shoes absorb impact efficiently, retaining their cushioning for 300-500 miles. However, the lightweight mesh upper is prone to tears over time.

Salomon uses more robust Contagrip rubber outsoles and synthetic leather/textile uppers to withstand abrasive conditions for 500+ miles. Their reinforced toes and heels enhance durability. Overall, Salomon edges out On Cloud for rugged terrain and prolonged use.

For road running and gym use, both deliver a responsive ride. On Cloud excels at energy return from the flexible Cloud pods, while Salomon offers superior grip on wet or uneven surfaces thanks to Contagrip. For athletic performance across various conditions, Salomon is the better choice.

Price

On Cloud, shoes range from $130-180 for most running/training styles, but some lifestyle designs run over $200. Salomon trail running and hiking shoes start around $115-150 with options going up to $250. Although both brands sit at the higher end for athletic footwear, Salomon tends to be more expensive on average.

For the quality and technology offered, On Cloud shoes are generally a better value for road running and casual wear. But Salomon’s specialization in mountain sports commands a premium price from hardcore outdoor athletes who rely on its performance-driven features.

Design and Style

On Cloud shoes have an athletic, modern aesthetic with their technical sole pods and bright color combinations. They resemble a running shoe but with some streetwear flair. Many styles work well for both active and casual use.

Salomon shoes have a more outdoorsy, rugged look geared for the trails. Multicolor schemes are designed to resemble nature. While their athletic roots are obvious, Salomon has released hiking-inspired lifestyle shoes that blend outdoor sensibilities with everyday wearability.

Popularity

On Cloud has seen rising popularity over the past decade among runners and sneakerheads. The unique cushioning system, vibrant colors and athletic/casual versatility attract fans globally. Salomon continues to thrive among its core outdoor community, who rely on its trusted traction and durability for hiking, climbing and extreme sports.

Both brands enjoy loyal followings, but On Cloud’s broader appeal and wearability make it the more popular choice for everyday users. Salomon remains dominant in the trail running and climbing world.

Target Market

On Cloud targets casual runners and urban commuters who want comfortable, stylish shoes. Their models work well as fitness shoes or light trail shoes for new runners. The brand also attracts sneakerheads with its unique cushioning tech and sleek looks.

Salomon positions itself for trail runners, hikers, mountaineers and extreme athletes who tackle tough terrain. Their technical design prioritizes grip, control and protection above all else. Hardcore outdoor enthusiasts who demand high-mileage durability also gravitate towards Salomon.

While both brands can work for casual use, On Cloud excels as a comfortable active shoe for everyday city life. Salomon dominates in the rugged mountain sports realm.

Performance Comparison

For Nurses

The cushioned comfort of On Cloud shoes makes them a popular choice for nurses who are on their feet all day. The CloudTec cushioning absorbs shock and provides plush padding underfoot, while the mesh uppers allow airflow to keep feet cool and dry. Their lightweight feel and flexibility help fight fatigue over long shifts.

Salomon shoes may feel stiff and restrictive for extended wear. And the snug fit could potentially irritate wider feet. However, the Quicklace system allows fast on/off, and some models like the X Ultra 3 offer decent cushioning. Overall, On Cloud is the better pick for all-day comfort.

For Walking

On Cloud shoes provide responsive cushioning and bounce with every step, making them a great choice for walking. Their lightweight feel prevents leg fatigue over long distances.

The stretch mesh upper moves naturally with the foot during strides. While Salomon shoes offer good stability for walking, some may feel overly stiff in the sole.

Their snug fit helps control over uneven terrain but lacks the plush comfort of On Cloud. For versatile walking shoes suitable for both pavement and trails, On Cloud is the recommended pick.

For Running

For road running and treadmill sessions, the CloudTec cushioning of On Cloud excels at providing energy return and comfort over miles. The flexible sole allows a natural foot strike and movement.

However, Salomon shoes edge out On Cloud for tricky trail terrain, where grip and control are paramount. Features like Contagrip outsoles and EndoFit sleeves stabilize better on uneven or slippery surfaces. For pavement, On Cloud is the clear winner, but Salomon dominates technical trails.

For Flat Feet

On Cloud, shoes offer moderate arch support that works well for flat feet. Some specific models have medical arch supports to prevent overpronation. The plush CloudTec cushioning softens impact for high arches.

While Salomon provides firmer arch support, their narrower fit and snug midfoot wrappings can irritate flat feet. In most cases, On Cloud is the ideal pick for flat-footed runners or walkers. But some well-cushioned Salomon styles could also work.

For Back Pain

The exceptional shock absorption of On Cloud shoes makes them a great choice for people with chronic back pain. High-cushioning options like the Cloud X provide plush padding underfoot without being overly soft and unstable.

Salomon shoes focus more on support and stability, which could benefit certain back conditions. But their firmer ride may aggravate pain for some wearers. For reducing the impact on sore backs, On Cloud is the top recommendation.

For Standing All Day

Cushy On Cloud shoes are excellent for professions that require standing all day, like retail or healthcare. Technologies like CloudTec and Zero-Gravity foam maintain comfort even after hours on your feet.

Breathable mesh uppers prevent sweat buildup. Salomon shoes tend to be heavier and stiffer for extended standing. While their stability can help mitigate foot pain, the hard midsoles get tiring. For standing comfort, On Cloud is the clear choice.

For High Arches

On Cloud’s generous cushioning and flexible low-drop platform make it a great match for high arches. The soft CloudTec pods cushion high arches to absorb shock upon landing.

Wider toe boxes let feet splay naturally. Salomon’s contoured midsoles and integrated tongues provide some arch support, but the snug SensiFit design could constrict high arches. Overall, On Cloud is preferred for high-arched runners.

For Hiking

Salomon’s hiking shoes and boots dominate over On Cloud for hitting the trails. Their superior grip, protection, waterproofing, and durability make them ideal for uneven terrain, obstacles, and prolonged use.

Technologies like SensiFit, Contagrip, and EnergyCell cushioning give an edge in performance and stability over unpredictable surfaces. While select On Cloud models can work for light hikes, Salomon is by far the preferable brand for serious hiking.

For Plantar Fasciitis

The plush cushioning of On Cloud shoes helps absorb heel strike shock, alleviating pain from plantar fasciitis. Especially high-cushioning styles like the Cloud X provide soft landings without losing responsiveness.

Salomon shoes focus more on stability and can feel overly firm, potentially aggravating PF pain. A few well-padded Salomon styles may work, but overall, On Cloud is the best choice for plantar fasciitis.

Final Verdict

In closing, On Cloud and Salomon both make excellent athletic shoes, but they excel in different areas. On Cloud dominates on comfort, cushioning, and casual versatility.

The innovative CloudTec soles absorb shock and energize your stride, making On Cloud ideal for road running or all-day wear. Their stylish, modern designs work well for fitness and lifestyle needs.


For technical performance, Salomon leads the pack. Their trail-optimized shoes provide unrivaled grip, control, and protection for conquering rocky, uneven terrain.

Technologies like SensiFit and Contagrip give Salomon a clear edge in mountain sports and hardcore hiking. But their snug fit and firm ride may not suit all users.

Casual runners and gym-goers are better off with the responsive cushioning and lively feel of On Cloud shoes. The Cloud pod construction encourages a smooth, natural gait. And their athletic styling transitions seamlessly from running to everyday wear.

Hardcore trailblazers need to turn to Salomon for durable, stabilizing shoes that power over roots, rocks, and rivers confidently. Salomon’s dialed-in fit and rugged build stand up to the elements over miles of unpredictable terrain.

While specialized, both brands deliver excellent performance for athletes and active users. See if you gravitate towards the cushy comfort of On Cloud or the rugged resilience of Salomon based on your priorities. And happy running or hiking ahead!

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