On Sneakers Are Having a Moment. Here Are Our Favorite Pairs to Try

Here at SELF, we love a wide range of walking shoes, but ones from On stand out, thanks to their unique responsiveness and cushioning. Here, we’ll take a look at what makes the Swiss brand such a reliable option for running errands, daily walks, and long days on your feet, and which pairs are the best ones to try.

Our top picks

  1. Best All-Around: On Cloud 5
  2. Best Cushioning: On Cloudmonster
  3. Best for Hiking: On Cloudrock 2 Waterproof
  4. Best for Travel: On Cloudnova
  5. Best Added Support: On Cloudrunner

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What should you look for when shopping for walking shoes?

Aside from proper fit and, ideally, cute colors, your new pair of walking shoes should check the following podiatrist-recommended boxes in order to keep your feet comfy day after day.


Walking, running, and jumping require your feet to absorb a lot of impact. A well-padded shoe can reduce some of that force and help your feet feel better for longer, Jossie Abraham, MD, a podiatric surgeon at Hartford HealthCare Connecticut Orthopedic Institute at St. Vincent’s Medical Center in Connecticut, tells SELF.


Also known as “energy return,” a shoe’s springiness determines its ability to encourage forward movement, Dr. Abraham says. She adds that shoes with rocker-shaped bottoms or stiffer soles around the toes can help enhance this feature.


When a walking shoe is adequately supportive, it helps keep your foot stable and in place, without rolling or slipping. A deep heel cup that hugs the back of your foot is a good feature to look for, Dr. Abraham says, adding that heavier, stiffer shoes will provide more support than thin-soled, lightweight ones. If you struggle with overpronation (when feet roll inward) or supination (when feet roll outward)—a podiatrist or running shoe store specialist can help you determine if you do—look for shoes that are designed for those specific tendencies or are marketed as “stability shoes,” for added support in maintaining proper walking form and posture.


Dr. Abraham recommends looking for shoes that have breathable mesh toe boxes for the sake of flexibility and airflow (something to definitely keep in mind if your feet tend to sweat). Other materials to consider are waterproof membranes like Gore-Tex, which are useful if you’re often out in the rain.

Who should try On shoes for walking?

If you prioritize cushioning, breathability, and responsiveness in your footwear, On Running is a great brand to try (you could also consider Hoka or Nike). The CloudTec cushioning system, present in every On shoe, is made to feel plush yet springy. That’s an excellent balance to strike if you find yourself dragging your feet by the end of the day. Many On Cloud running shoes also feature the brand’s Speedboard, a flexible midlayer between the outsole and the insole that’s designed to increase the shoe’s energy return and, as a result, how fast the wearer can move. (If you’re a bit of a power walker, this is an especially helpful element to look for.)

Finally, On offers a circular subscription service for its Cyclon line of gear: You buy the shoes, wear them out, then send them back, and the brand will ship you a new pair and recycle the old one. Whether you’re shopping with sustainability in mind or just want your feet to feel good at the end of the day, give On a look, starting with our top picks from the brand below.

The best On Cloud shoes for walking

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. However, when you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.

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