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Home » On Cloud X 3 Review | Are They Worth the Upgrade?

On Cloud X 3 Review | Are They Worth the Upgrade?

  • Jake Boly 

The On Cloud X 3 is the latest training and running shoe hybrid to debut from On Shoes. This model is designed to serve as the new generation for the On Cloud X so it has a lot of similarities to that model.

As a fan of the On Cloud X training shoes, I was excited to put the On Cloud X 3 to the test. The Cloud X 3 features a reworked upper construction, a slightly higher heel-to-toe drop, and a change in its fit.

For the most part, I’m a fan of the On Cloud X 3’s changes and found this shoe to deliver a pretty strong performance for versatile training and short runs. There were a few cons that I found with this model, though, and I’ll discuss those below.

In this On Cloud X 3 review, I’ll cover all of the essential details that you need to know about these shoes to help you decide if they fit your training needs and wants.

On Cloud X 3 Review

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Who Should Invest In the On Cloud X 3?

The On Cloud X 3 will be a good training shoe for those wanting a model for versatile training, short runs, and daily wear. This model excels in those contexts and delivers a lightweight and responsive construction.

To elaborate, I think if you’re only planning to do lighter strength training in this shoe and you want a trainer that is also comfortable for 1-4ish mile-long runs, then you’ll enjoy the On Cloud X 3’s construction.

On Cloud X 3 Try On Review

The CloudTec midsole that is built with Helion foam is lightweight and offers a nice level of “bounce” and this model delivers a nice level of comfort for walking as well. I also think these could be viable training shoes for traveling and all-day wear.

If you have a narrow or neutral-width foot, then you should resonate with the fit of the On Cloud X 3 and this model has a bit more upper volume than the On Cloud X. It’s also nice that the Cloud X 3’s upper is built with 90-95% recycled materials.

That being said, if you have wide feet or need training shoes for heavier strength training or outdoor workouts, you’ll want to explore other models. In these contexts, the On Cloud X 3’s performance will fall short and its durability can lack.

On Cloud X 3

$149.99

4.3
Stability
3.9
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.2

Best For

  • Light Strength Training
  • Versatile Training
  • Classes/HIIT
  • Short Runs (1-5 miles)
  • Daily Wear

Falls Short

  • For Outdoor Workouts
  • For Heavy Training
  • For Wide Feet

On Cloud X 3 Pros

Over the course of my training and reviewing of the On Cloud X 3, I found multiple pros to like about this training shoe.

  1. Decent Training Shoe for Short Runs and Daily Wear
  2. Reworked and Recycled Upper Feels More Durable
  3. CloudTec Midsole Is Lightweight and Responsive

The first to like about the On Cloud X 3 is that can be a good training shoe for blending versatile training with shorter runs and daily wear. Not every training shoe is suitable for adding in a few miles here and there or wearing comfortably all day.

On Cloud X 3 for Daily Wear

However, the On Cloud X 3, similar to the On Cloud X, does a pretty good job in these contexts. This model was comfortable enough to run relaxed 5ks after my workouts and on recovery run days, and I enjoyed their use for running errands and walking the dogs.

On top of this, I liked the On Cloud X 3’s performance for workouts where I was blending light strength work together with plyometrics and HIIT-focused exercises. For example, when doing kettlebell snatches with around 53 lbs and rear-foot elevated split squats with 45 lbs this shoe offered enough stability.

Working out in the On Cloud X 3

The second aspect to like about the On Cloud X 3 is that its upper construction feels a little more durable than the On Cloud X’s. One issue that I, along with a few others, have had with the On Cloud X was its long-term durability, especially with the toe box’s upper.

The On Cloud X 3 features a 3-layer mesh and it feels a little heavier and more rigid than the On Cloud X’s. I also like the breathability of this upper and the fact that the 3-layer mesh is built with 90-95% of recycled materials. On says the entire shoe is built with a total of 35% recycled content.

On Cloud X 3 Upper Construction

Now, do I think the On Cloud X 3’s upper durability is going to be bulletproof? Definitely not, as it still has that lightweight On Shoes vibe to it, but it does feel stronger than the previous model so I think it’s a positive change overall.

The final thing to like about the On Cloud X 3 is its midsole construction. I think if you’re investing in On Shoes, then a large reason for doing so likely revolves around their CloudTec midsole constructions built with Helion foam.

On Cloud X 3 Midsole Construction

The CloudTec midsole on the On Cloud X 3 is lightweight and has a nice level of responsiveness to it and I like that it’s paired with On’s Speedboard technology you get a nice “athletic” fit and feel with this shoe. This is all similar to the On Cloud X’s midsole construction.

On Cloud X 3 Cons

While I think the On Cloud X 3 is a step in the right direction for this training shoe line, there are still a few cons to note about this model.

  1. This Shoe Can Be Limited With Its Workout Use
  2. Runs Pretty Narrow and Can Take a Bit to Break In
  3. Long-Term Durability Is Still a Concerning Factor

The first drawback with the On Cloud X 3 is that it’s not going to be your best training shoe for every single workout context. More specifically, there are three areas of performance where I think this shoe falls short.

Using On Cloud X 3 for weight training

First, when it comes to strength training, you’ll definitely want to keep your workouts on the lighter side with the On Cloud X 3. For example, I started to notice this shoe’s stability take a hit when working up to 315 lbs deadlift in this shoe.

I capped my loading there and for squats, I think staying around 275 lbs and below would be a good parameter to implement with this shoe. Second, this shoe still lacks when doing explosive lateral training just like the On Cloud X due to its midsole support.

Using On Cloud X 3 for explosive training

For example, when landing and exploding through the forefoot doing skater strides, I found that the midsole would give way and I’d lose out on my ability to create balance in these shoes.

Third and lastly, you’ll want to limit how much you’re using this shoe for outdoor workouts, especially athletic-style sessions on concrete. For running outdoors, they’re okay, but the exposed foam around this shoe’s midfoot can be an issue for durability if you’re doing multi-directional work in these on concrete.

On Cloud X 3 Outsole Construction

The second drawback that I have with the On Cloud X 3 is that it still runs pretty narrow, so if you have wide feet I’d steer clear of this shoe. This model feels like it has a little more toe box width and upper volume than the On Cloud X, but that’s relatively speaking.

In addition to this model running narrow in the typical On Shoes fashion, I found that this model took a little bit to break in. The collar on the Cloud X 3 is pretty rigid and I found that it dug into my upper forefoot when breaking this shoe.

On Cloud X 3 Break In Process

For my first couple of workouts in this shoe, I had to opt for longer socks due to this because it was pretty uncomfortable in my no-show socks. This has since subsided, but I still do notice it here and there when going into ankle eversion.

I’m curious how other foot anatomies will interpret this collar change. On top of this and to add to my sizing complaints, the upper still suffers from overlap when tightening the bottom laces — despite being reworked — and the laces run pretty long in this shoe.

On Cloud X 3 Upper Materials

The final drawback to note with the On Cloud X 3 is that I could see this model’s long-term durability being an issue for some. An issue that On Shoes can be prone to is the breakdown of the midsole and upper due to their lightweight construction.

The On Cloud X 3’s midsole can have issues with fraying and breaking down due to friction similar to the On Cloud X’s because this is a feature that remains unchanged and the lightweight upper isn’t always the best for abrasion resistance.

On Cloud X 3 Lacing

For the most part, the changes to the On Cloud X 3 seem positive. However, with an increased price point from $139.99 USD to $149.99 USD, I’m stuck wondering, “Is this model really worth an extra $10 USD since its performance is so similar to the X?”

Performance

To break down the performance of the On Cloud X 3, I’ll cover how this shoe performs in various workout contexts. I’ll discuss this shoe’s performance for lifting, versatile training, short runs, and daily wear.

Since this shoe’s price point has seen an increase, I want to make sure this model’s performance aligns with your training wants and needs before you invest in them.

On Cloud X 3 Performance Breakdown

Testing the On Cloud X 3 for Lifting

For lifting and strength training, the On Cloud X 3 will work, but it will definitely have its limitations in the gym. There are not my favorite gym shoes for training heavy and I’d look into other models if that’s one of your main training goals.

As mentioned above, you’ll want to limit how heavy you’re lifting in these shoes due to stability issues and I’d cap your deadlifts to about 315 lbs and squats to around 275 lbs and lower.

Testing the On Cloud X 3 for lifting

For bodyweight exercises and light to moderately loaded accessories, the On Cloud X 3 works pretty well. The CloudTec midsole is stable enough for most of these training contexts and I enjoyed them in these settings.

Another thing that I noticed with this shoe when lifting was that there was a bit of toe spring when doing certain exercises. This shoe almost feels like it has a “rocking-esque” feel to it and when doing lighter power cleans I kept feeling forward to this.

Testing the On Cloud X 3 for weight training

All that being said, I think if your weekly training is primarily classes, short runs, and versatile workouts, and strength is only a small subset of your weekly workouts, then the On Cloud X 3 will likely be fine for your training needs.

Testing the On Cloud X 3 for Versatile Training

For versatile training where you’re blending HIIT exercises, agility work, and class-style training, the On Cloud X 3 does a pretty good job. This will definitely be the training vertical where this shoe excels the most.

Testing the On Cloud X 3 for Versatile Training

I like the On Cloud X 3 for versatile training for three key reasons. First, the 3-layer mesh upper in this model is breathable and in hotter settings, your feet should remain relatively cool in this model.

Second, the CloudTec midsole does a good job with things like box jumps and sagittal plane work where you’re moving forwards and backward. The rubber tread on the forefoot and heel add to this shoe’s capabilities in these exercise contexts.

Testing the On Cloud X 3 for HIIT Workouts

Third and lastly, the Speedboard tech in this shoe helps give this model an athletic fit and performance, which I like. If you like shoes that feel lighter on the feet, then I think you’ll also enjoy how the On Cloud X 3 performs for versatile training.

My main drawback with the On Cloud X 3 for versatile training is its performance for lateral training and I wish this shoe’s long-term durability was a little better.

Testing the On Cloud X 3 for Plyometrics and Classes

Testing the On Cloud X 3 for Short Runs and Daily Wear

For short runs, the On Cloud X 3 works pretty well, especially if you want to use them for 1-5ish miles pre/post-workout or for recovery runs. Compared to other training shoes, the Cloud X 3 is definitely one of the better options for tackling regular short runs.

If you want these shoes to last longer, then I’d try to use them primarily for treadmill running. They work for outdoor runs as well, however, they can pick up rocks here and there so I’d suggest running on smoother outdoor terrains if possible.

Testing the On Cloud X 3 Running and Walking

In the context of daily wear, I also like the On Cloud X 3’s performance and overall comfort. One area of performance that I consistently like with On Shoes is their comfort for all-day wear and walking.

If you’re looking into this shoe for day-to-day wear, then I think you’ll enjoy this shoe. For my 2+ mile long dog walks, this shoe has been comfortable and I’ve enjoyed how breathable their upper construction is.

On Cloud X 3 Vs On Cloud X

If you’re on the fence between the On Cloud X 3 versus the On Cloud X, I wanted to compare these models’ constructions because there are a few subtle differences between them that could help you choose the best model for your needs.

On Cloud X 3 versus On Cloud X

In this article, I’ll cover three key differences in these shoes’ construction and discuss a few similarities. The first major difference is the upper constructions in both models. The Cloud X 3 features a 3-layer mesh which feels heavier than the On Cloud X’s mesh upper.

The On Cloud X’s upper has a lighter weight feel to it, especially through the toe box. I think the Cloud X 3’s upper will be a little more durable simply due to its heavier construction. Both of the uppers breathe well in these shoes and they both have the upper overlap issue.

On Cloud X 3 versus On Cloud X Upper

Another difference is the lacing system and tongue used in each shoe. The On Cloud X features a traditional lacing system while the On Cloud X 3 utilized an X-lacing system. To be honest, both shoes have similar levels of security and I could take or leave the Cloud X 3’s new lacing.

The tongue in the On Cloud X is a lighter-weight mesh while the tongue in the On Cloud X 3 is built with thicker material and has a finished edging which gives it a heavier feel.

On Cloud X 3 versus On Cloud X Lacing

The final difference to note between the On Cloud X and On Cloud X 3 is their sizing and fit. While both shoes run a little more on the narrow side, the On Cloud X 3 does feel a little more spacious through the toe box, especially with its upper volume.

Outside of these differences, both shoes feature similar midsole and outsole constructions and this construction element has remained relatively unchanged. In addition, both shoes feature On’s Speedboard technology.

On Cloud X 3 versus On Cloud X Midsole and Outsole

One last thing to note between the On Cloud X and On Cloud X 3 is that the price has increased by $10 USD for Cloud X 3. This seems like a consistent trend with most of the On shoes coming out with new generations.

Winner: Tie. While I like the On Cloud X 3’s construction updates and think it may have a slight edge for durability, it’s not necessarily a mind-blowingly different shoe to warrant an additional $10 USD. If you’re using these primarily for indoor versatile workouts, both shoes work well.

On Cloud X 3

Pros: Breathable, Versatile
Cons: Limited Performance
Weight: 9 oz (size 10)
Size/Fit: True to Size/Neutral Width
Offset: 8mm
Lifting Threshold: <315 lbs
Mileage Threshold: 1-5 miles
Price: $149.99
TF2 Rating: 4.3
On Cloud X Training Shoes

On Cloud X

Pros: Versatile, Lightweight
Cons: Durability
Weight: 8.95 oz (size 10)
Size/Fit: True to Size/Neutral Width
Offset: 6mm
Lifting Threshold: <315 lbs
Mileage Threshold: 1-5 Miles
Price: $139.99
TF2 Rating: 4.3

On Cloud X 3 Sizing

When it comes to sizing, most athletes and lifters should be safe going true to size in the On Cloud X 3. This shoe has a narrow-to-neutral width and their length runs fairly true.

Compared to the On Cloud X, the On Cloud X 3 feels a tiny bit more spacious and there seems to be more upper volume through the toe box in this model.

On Cloud X 3 Try On and Sizing

If you have wide feet, I’d suggest passing on this model because even if you size up, I don’t think you’ll have enough width. Plus, I could see heel slip being an issue in this model if they run too long for your feet.

  • On Cloud X 3 Sizing Thoughts: Go true to size.

On Cloud X 3 Sizing and Fit

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the On Cloud X 3, drop a comment below and I can try to help accordingly.

Price Breakdown

For the On Cloud X 3, you can expect to pay $149.99 USD. This model is the new generation for the On Cloud training shoe line and it’s received a $10 USD price increase from the On Cloud X.

Honestly, I’m a little hit or miss on this shoe’s price point. I think if you like On Shoes and you wore the On Cloud X or want to add the Cloud X 3 to your On line-up then you will enjoy this shoe’s performance.

On Cloud X 3 Insole Construction

I also think this is a good training shoe pick for anyone who primarily wants a model for short runs, light strength exercises, and all-day wear as their comfort is really solid compared to other training shoes.

Conversely, I don’t think the On Cloud X 3 will be the best training shoe for those interested in more serious training. This shoe will fall short for heavy lifting, and outdoor workouts, and it’s limited with its width.

On Cloud X 3

$149.99

4.3
Stability
3.9
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.2

Best For

  • Light Strength Training
  • Versatile Training
  • Classes/HIIT
  • Short Runs (1-5 miles)
  • Daily Wear

Falls Short

  • For Outdoor Workouts
  • For Heavy Training
  • For Wide Feet

Construction Details

This shoe has received a few key construction updates to know. Below are some of the construction details to note that can influence this shoe’s durability and performance.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm
  • Weight:
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • CloudTec Midsole Built With Helion Foam
  • Rubber Outsole Tread On Forefoot and Heel
  • 3-Layer Mesh Upper
  • X-Lacing System
  • Speedboard Technology
  • 5 Core Eyelets With a Sixth for Lace-Lock

If you have additional construction-related questions about the On Cloud X 3, drop a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Is the On Cloud X 3 good for running?

A:
The On Cloud X 3 does a good job for short runs, especially indoor runs that range from 1-5 miles. For long-distance runs, you'll want to find a more running-specific shoe and for outdoor runs, the Cloud X 3 can be hit or miss due to durability.

Q:
Do the On Cloud X 3 fit true to size?

A:
For narrow and neutral-width feet, you should be safe going true to size in the On Cloud X 3. If you have wide feet, you'll likely want to pass on the On Cloud X 3 as it runs a little more narrow through the forefoot and midfoot.

Q:
Is the On Cloud X 3 good for lifting?

A:
The On Cloud X 3 can be okay for lifting to an extent. This shoe will work best for light workouts and bodyweight exercises. I had stability issues in this shoe once I passed 315 lbs on deadlifts and 275 lbs on squats.

Takeaway Thoughts

For the most part, I think the On Cloud X 3 is a step in the right direction for the On Cloud X training shoe line. The upper in this shoe feels a little more durable and it’s still lightweight and breathable.

I also like the CloudTec midsole in this model and how it can double as a hybrid training shoe for short runs, light strength workouts, and versatile training sessions.

That being said, I’m not blown away by this shoe’s updates when you consider that its price point has been increased by $10 USD. For $149.99 USD, this shoe is just okay, especially compared to its predecessor.

If you have additional questions about the On Cloud X 3, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

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Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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