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On Cloud Vs Altra (2023): Evaluating Fashions, Match, Really feel






Evaluating On Cloud vs Altra trainers is without doubt one of the more difficult comparisons I’ve executed as a result of the sneakers really feel, match and performance so otherwise. But, the one factor they’ve in widespread is how distinctive and recognizable each are!

With every model boasting its personal distinctive set of options and philosophies, the discerning runner faces a problem in choosing the best footwear for his or her coaching.

Because the miles pile up and the physique lets us know what’s working (and never), runners are more and more looking for footwear that aligns with their biomechanics, preferences, and objectives. Altra and On Cloud have answered this name with distinct approaches, making it all of the extra important to know their origins, applied sciences, and efficiency attributes.

You’ll see I’ve examined quite a lot of these sneakers and like each manufacturers, however have some bias based mostly on what feels good to me! So I undoubtedly went seeking different opinions to spherical it out.

Altra vs On Cloud Running Shoes

Altra Vs On Cloud Key Variations

On Cloud and Altra supply related options and fashions for all types of runners, from the brand new runner to Ultramarathoner to the flat-footed or high-arched. And naturally followers of every model will inform you why theirs is superior! However we’re going to have a look at the small print and the sneakers so you may select.

Apparently, Altra first grew to become in style with Ultrarunners and has since moved within the to major stream of operating.

It appears like On took maintain within the triathlon market first after which rapidly moved mainstream operating.

I break down the variations in additional element beneath, however right here’s a fast overview:

Altra Operating Footwear

  • Zero drop operating shoe with cushion (no change from heel to toe)
  • Wider toebox than any conventional operating shoe
  • Centered on enhancing key kinds, moderately than including extra kinds
  • Has some clothes, however major focus is operating, path and mountain climbing sneakers

I’ve a examined and written in depth about Altra Operating Shoe fashions, if you would like extra particulars.

On Operating Footwear

  • Extra slim slot in older kinds, some newer kinds have a wider forefoot
  • Recognizable sole with the pods
  • Claims their CloudTec sole reduces muscle fatigue and lowers HR
  • Concentrate on enhancing velocity off floor and lowering affect
  • Largely trainers, however has unimaginable operating jackets, pants, and so on as properly

If you happen to’re in search of only a detailed look a On, checkout this full On Cloud Overview >>

I’ve worn each manufacturers and can add some private ideas, together with hyperlinks to detailed critiques. And keep in mind it’s vital to rotate trainers, so you may want a shoe from a number of totally different manufacturers.

Which is Higher On Cloud or Altra Operating Footwear?

There is no such thing as a “higher” possibility right here. Simply the shoe that’s going to suit your foot the very best and allow you to run with out harm. Primarily based on the final variations above you may see that Altra may be nice for actually spreading out the toes, which supplies you extra floor really feel and energy in your push off.

Whereas On Operating could offer you extra of that spring (and elegance) that you just’d like.

On Operating vs Altra Function Comparability

Each manufacturers are newer to the market in comparison with many, however have rapidly gained avid followers.

The variations in these two strains is critical to me from match, to really feel, to perform.

Whereas each present varied ranges of cushion and path sneakers, On Cloud goes to supply extra conventional variations of issues like a stability or movement management shoe and doesn’t at present supply a zero drop mannequin.

The next breaks down every shoe based mostly on the parts consumers want to contemplate when buying a operating shoe.

It’s gonna get a little bit TECHY…so you may simply skip on all the way down to the precise mannequin comparability if you would like, however personally if I’m shelling out $150 for sneakers, I kinda wish to know why.


The lifespan of sneakers from each firms is pretty comparable.

  • On recommends swapping out for brand spanking new sneakers each 310 to 465 miles, a bit extra particular than most manufacturers.
  • Altra sneakers have a life expectancy starting from 300 to 600 miles. I’ve heard many runners say they really feel like they last more.

Figuring out when to interchange trainers, in fact, all relies on your gait, weight, and whether or not you run totally on path or street.

Shoe Match

Cloud sneakers are a little bit onerous for me to explain as a result of I feel they’ve modified over the previous few years and are totally different with every mannequin that I’ve examined.

Whereas the size runs true to dimension, I’d say some are a slim match and a few have a little bit extra room within the toebox.

I’d not take into account any of the On Cloud’s a large shoe (besides the one’s made in broad width). However taking a look at these images they might seem broad, which I feel is as a result of styling.

Altra vs On Running

Altra stands aside in terms of match.

  • Bigger toebox for a shoe extra formed like your foot.
  • Zero drop shoe means a smaller heel.
  • Plenty of give attention to how gender adjustments match.
  • Some have famous they really feel the scale runs small in size, however that isn’t what I’ve discovered.


On makes use of CloudTec know-how which is totally what makes their shoe feel and appear totally different. They’ve little open pockets on the underside of the shoe that compress with every step to soak up affect and of their phrases really feel like a cloud.

I’d say they’re cushioned, however not plush.

Altra focuses on a know-how of Balanced Cushioning with Quantic. Thus offering that even degree of cushion from the heel to toe of the shoe and retaining the zero drop. I’d say they’ve significantly improved on this space through the years and now have some really nice cushioned sneakers.


On goes towards the grain of most stability sneakers and works along with your foots movement moderately than attempting to cease it. I respect this because it’s one of many many causes I steer people away from most stability sneakers.

As an alternative, they modified the form and placement of a few of the items underneath the arch of the foot which permits your whole muscle mass to proceed firing, however slows that inward roll.

Each manufacturers have two totally different classes: Impartial and Assist. From testing I really feel that these two manufacturers don’t overdo the assist as many sneakers used to. As an alternative, they’re actually centered on making certain the shoe gives a little bit steering, however doesn’t overcorrect or result in any muscle weak point.

Whether or not that’s a little bit bit extra assist within the arch or by way of the midline of the foot it helps hips, knees, and joints to maneuver naturally, providing assist when wanted. Impartial runners could solely require them to kick in when their stride is off.

Learn extra on various kinds of trainers to know should you want stability >>


The costs between the 2 manufacturers are pretty comparable.

  • On costs vary between $130 to $170
  • Altra’s begin at a at $120 to $180.

Specialty gadgets with extra options (like carbon plates) will enhance worth.

You’ll discover that each model provides a variety and that is certainly on account of a distinction in know-how and the place they promote the shoe. They know that the large field retailer can promote the shoe with much less in it, whereas the native operating retailer must be greatest for devoted runners.

Altra Vs On Cloud Operating Footwear

Now that you realize extra about every model, let’s have a look at their prime fashions in every of the principle classes. There’s no winner declared right here as a result of all are nice sneakers, it’s nearly which one is greatest to your foot.

With every of those, they’re the highest fashions so numbers are always altering as they make a little bit improve, however On doesn’t preserve including numbers to the shoe identify like most manufacturers doe.

Stability Operating Shoe

👉On Cloudflyer

As famous above each On and Altra do job of not attempting to power the foot in to place, however moderately offering a wider base that instantly gives stability. So it’s a  extra pure really feel that almost all stability trainers.

It additionally has simply that slight rocker impact, to assist transfer you from heel to toe.

Thought-about a luxurious shoe, however as famous, their plush sneakers will not be in the identical ballpark as Hoka plush…it’s nonetheless a firmer journey with the main target being on that spring off the bottom.  I’ll say that is altering with different fashions that you just’ll see me observe beneath, so simply know this a firmer journey as a result of outsole.

  • 7mm drop
  • 8.8oz girls’s, 9.88oz males’s
  • $110

One of many ongoing points I’ve with On sneakers is that this…rocks.on running shoe rocks

👉Altra Provision

I’m NOT somebody who runs in stability sneakers and but I’ve actually loved these. They completely don’t over right and they’re much softer than lots of the stability sneakers I’ve examined up to now.

I’m guessing a part of the explanation I appreciated them was a pleasant quantity of cushion (not overly plush) and so they don’t have that story inform hardness present in quite a lot of stability sneakers.

Ladies’s shoe is 8.2 oz, so additionally lighter than some stability sneakers and as with all of their sneakers a zero drop.

I additionally just like the design of the underside of the shoe. It gives some good drip so I may take it out on some low tech trails or days the place I’m hitting each pavement and path.

  • 0mm drop
  •  8.2 oz girls’s, 9. 6 oz males’s
  •  $140

Altra Provision 6 Review

Impartial Operating Shoe

👉On Cloudsurfer

I’ve run in just a few of the sooner fashions of this shoe, however as their hottest shoe it’s one of many few that continues to get a quantity to notice that it’s new and improved!

We’re at present as much as mannequin 7. And this one is a sport changer. I prefer it a lot greater than all earlier variations.

This lastly gives that comfortable touchdown for street operating that I’ve all the time hoped from the identify “cloud”.

cloudsurfer fit

I’d have a look at this as a velocity coaching and 6-8 mile coaching shoe, for the design centered on actually springing off the bottom. Then once more I like actually low profile, low cushion sneakers just like the Saucony Kinvara for lengthy straightforward runs too…so that you do you.

This one is designed with average cushion for these medium distance runs (5K to half marathon). In different phrases, it doesn’t have the additional padding or construction that we regularly prefer to see in a marathon shoe.

👉Altra Escalante

As their go to day by day shoe, that is one I’m typically pointed to by Altra lovers as a favourite. The Altra Escalante is a well-liked operating shoe that has gained a loyal following amongst runners on account of its light-weight design, snug match, and responsive cushioning.

It’s simply 7.7 oz, which is far lighter than many sneakers and it nonetheless has cushion. Undoubtedly not as comfortable because the Torin or Paradigm, for me it’s barely too agency. And but, that’s precisely what others love in regards to the capacity to really feel extra of the bottom.

People additionally actually love this who’re on their ft all day lengthy. The shoe’s zero-drop platform and broad toe field might help to enhance posture and cut back pressure on the ft, ankles, and knees. Moreover, the cushioning supplied by the midsole foam might help to soak up shock and cut back fatigue, making it simpler to remain centered and productive all through the day.

I’m a fan of kinds like Kinvara which can be a minimal impartial shoe and there are very a lot in step with that.

  • 0mm drop
  •  7.7 oz girls’s, 9.3 oz males’s
  •  $140

*My greatest good friend swears by this shoe, however for me it simply didn’t have sufficient cushion…in the meantime the Torin beneath was a winner.

Cushioned Operating Shoe

👉On Cloudmonster

I actually loved my first run in these sneakers and was excited to take them out once more. It’s now the place close to as agency as the opposite On sneakers, it’s by no means the plush type of a Altra Torrin.

The Torrin is unquestionably that softer cushion. For On the cushion is extra in regards to the absorbing of affect, moderately than what you would possibly consider as conventional cushion. That’s not a nasty factor, simply totally different expectations.

This positively felt just like the most cushioned On operating shoe I’ve examined. Making it every day straightforward run coach. I’ve put in quite a lot of miles on it and gifted my husband a pair as a result of I believed it was that candy spot of cushion and assist for his flat ft.

  • 6mm drop
  •  8.11oz girls’s, 10.76oz males’s
  •  $170

See my full overview of the On Cloudmonster >>

cloudmonster review

👉Altra Torrin 7

Thought-about their most cushioned shoe, I’m going to say it doesn’t really feel wildly totally different than the Paradigm to me. The primary distinction right here is it’s a impartial shoe.

The Torrin can also be one in all their hottest fashions, so that they have continued to create new variations or supply totally different kinds from leather-based to waterproof. After taking the 7 out for some runs, I can see why this mannequin has remained so in style.

It’s that candy spot of cushioning and makes it very easy to transition out of your normal trainers with the padded tongue and heel collar. I may simply see this being a favourite for lengthy runs, as soon as I’ve constructed up my physique to do extra zero drop miles.

  • 0mm drop
  • 8.3 oz girls’s, 9.9 oz males’s
  •  $150
  • See my full overview of the Altra Torin 7

altra torin 7 updates

Carbon Fiber Plate Footwear

Are they cool new know-how, sure.

Do they final so long as your different sneakers, nope.

So if you wish to check these out use them for velocity work after which race day!

👉Altra Vanish Carbon

Altra’s Vanish Carbon is the most recent addition to their line of efficiency trainers and has already generated vital buzz amongst runners and trade specialists alike.

They made 17 variations earlier than truly releasing the shoe!

The Vanish Carbon’s higher is comprised of a breathable mesh materials, which gives air flow and permits the foot to flex and transfer naturally. The shoe additionally incorporates Altra’s FootShape™ toe field, which permits for correct alignment and steadiness, lowering the danger of accidents.

The midsole is constructed from Altra’s Quantic™ foam, which gives a steadiness of cushioning and power return for a snug and responsive journey. Moreover, the outsole contains a sturdy rubber compound that gives glorious traction on a wide range of surfaces.

  • 0 mm heel drop
  • 6.2 oz girls’s, 7.3 oz males’s

Watch my detailed video on how Carbon Fiber Footwear work.

👉On Clouldboom Echo 3

This was one of many earliest carbon fiber sneakers I examined and it’s very totally different from the Vaporfly. As an alternative of excessive cushion, that is extra like the sensation you would possibly get in your every day coach.

The dearth of cushion isn’t a nasty factor, simply totally different. And truthfully, I’m down for this shoe!

It’s even enjoyable which you can see the speedboard between the cushion and mentally know you’re getting that power return.

On Cloudboom Echo 3 Review

That being mentioned, with every iteration of the Echo, they’re including extra cushion to maintain up with different manufacturers, simply not that tremendous bouncy feeling. For a lot of runners, I feel this can be a good factor and would possibly strike that steadiness of velocity and cushion, with out the concern about Achilles accidents which can be popping up.

I used to be really impressed with the updates within the Echo 3 from the unique Cloudboom. BIG win for me isn’t having the pods that lure rocks on the underside! This shoe additionally matches higher than the unique.

Strolling Footwear

I’ve typically talked about the necessity to have totally different strolling sneakers than trainers. Nevertheless, a few of my prime suggestions come from these two manufacturers and are certainly issues you may run in!

Footwear that are perfect for standing round all day or strolling have a little bit extra stability and arch assist.

👉Greatest for Standing at Work – On Cloud X 3 Shift

If you happen to’re standing all day lengthy you would possibly wish to take into account sporting compression socks, together with discovering nice sneakers.

The thought is one thing that can allow you to preserve good alignment so that you don’t have hip, knee or again points together with drained ft.

Avenue worthy type is a part of their draw for a lot of. However the true profit comes from additionally feeling snug to put on all day lengthy. The thought is that you may put on these to work or to exercise, which implies they’re designed to soak up affect and preserve your ft feeling good.

I’ve not worn this mannequin personally! It’s one of many few not examined. However have requested quite a few people who tried it out for ideas and lots of mentioned it was the damage it in every single place shoe!

best on cloud walking shoes

  • Impartial shoe (not heavy on cushion)
  • 6.7 mm heel drop
  • 8.90 oz for ladies

👉Altra Paradigm

They prefer to say this shoe is “all the assist and not one of the ugly”, which cracks me up however is usually true of strolling sneakers. You need one thing that has a bit extra assist than operating. (see why strolling vs trainers are totally different).

Whereas the Altra Paradigm strolling sneakers share many traits with their operating counterparts, they’ve been tailored to cater particularly to the wants of walkers. These sneakers supply a mix of consolation, pure design components, and cushioning that make them well-suited for varied strolling actions.

The outsole of the Altra Paradigm strolling sneakers is crafted to supply good traction and sturdiness, together with nice padding across the heel collar and tongue.

  • One other plush cushioned shoe, however with extra additional arch assist
  • Wider toebox might help stop bunions
  • 0mm drop

Path Operating Footwear

I admit that my expertise operating in On sneakers for the paths is restricted as a result of I had sufficient points with rocks within the street sneakers. Nevertheless, I feel the Cloudultra fixes this problem based mostly on all of the suggestions I’ve acquired!

👉Altra Lone Peak

One of many fashions they began with 10 years in the past that has continued to be up to date and a fan favourite. StoneGuard gives nice rock safety, whereas the multi-directional lugs present glorious traction on a wide range of surfaces.

They really thought in regards to the path runner with issues like holes within the higher to empty water or a spot to attach gaiters.

Once more they’re an analogous degree of cushion to different Altra sneakers.

👉On Cloudultra

Welcome to their path shoe with the very best quantity of cushioning. The flip launch on the shoe laces, additionally makes it straightforward to regulate the tigthness of the sneakers. Which as we all know is usually wanted throughout ultras when ft swell.

The On Cloudultra is one in all On Operating’s latest path trainers and a very good addition to the ultramarathon and endurance path operating market.

Partially as a result of they shifted the pod arrange, so you’ll catch much less rocks than with the street sneakers!! They add lugs for extra grip and took the pods means, means down.

On has glad the request of 1000’s of path runners with this shoe, because of its capacity to sort out difficult terrain successfully and stay snug over lengthy distances on trails and highways with its Helion midsole foam.

These are glorious path operating footwear for all distances as much as and together with the marathon.

Extra About On Cloud Operating

On began in 2010 in Switzerland, when but once more one other runner thought “I may do that higher.”

This time it was three retired skilled athletes, who determined there wanted to be a shoe that had extra firmness to create that bounce off the bottom, together with cushion.

on running shoe review

They went from their first prototype in January 2010, to having it bought in tales by June 2010! How insane is that timeline?!

By 2014 and 2015 skilled athletes have been sporting the sneakers and successful races, creating much more buzz about these distinctive wanting sneakers. They’ve executed a fantastic job of retaining that Swiss engineering whereas additionally offering some a lot wanted type to trainers.

Extra About Altra

ALTER + ULTRArunning = Altra.

The identify got here to be from a loopy path of a younger marathon runner named Golden. He began altering common sneakers to create a zero drop with cushion…it slowly grew to become a little bit of a black market factor.

Individuals would actually purchase a shoe from the operating retailer owned by his household after which ask him to tear it up and remake it as  zero drop footwear!

Out of the blue, he realized they have been doing this for almost a 1,000 individuals. Perhaps making a shoe would simply be simpler.

Thus, in 2009 the model was born.

altra history

Your gait and ft will possible change over time and you could want to vary sneakers.

That is additionally why I like to recommend rotating by way of a number of pairs of sneakers directly.

And keep in mind, simply because these are two of probably the most well-known manufacturers available on the market, there are nonetheless loads of different shoe manufacturers to pick from if neither an On shoe nor Altra has the correct sneakers for you.

Remember the fact that shoe design can change, even with the identical mannequin, so all the time assess how the shoe matches each time you exchange a pair.

For extra assist choosing the correct shoe for you, don’t fear, I’ve received you:

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