QC Shoes Review [2024]: Are they worth it? | Elisabeth McKnight (2024)

Today we’re talking all about QC Shoes in this review. All opinions are my own. This post does contain affiliate links.

QC Shoes Review [2024]: Are they worth it? | Elisabeth McKnight (1)

What are QC Shoes?

Have you seen QC shoe around? These trendy sneakers have two letters on them that look like a Q and a C. Actually, what you’re looking at is a stylized O and an N. The brand is ON Running and you can find all their shoe options at their website https://www.on-running.com/

I ordered a pair a few months ago and am sharing a full review of my experience walking, running, wearing, and cleaning my ON Cloud/ QC shoes.

QC Shoe Review

Maybe you saw someone on TikTok sporting them or you’ve just noticed them on the person in front of you at the grocery store.

The last time I bought myself new workout sneakers was three years ago, a few months after my baby was born, I was trying to find the motivation to get back into exercise and cute new workout gear seems to do the trick (I ordered another pair of APLs that I really like). Here we are six months after my next baby and, sure enough, I started hunting for a new shoe to kickstart my exercise.

The Hunt for the Perfect Workout Sneaker:

My (desired) workouts each week consist of a mix of running, weights, and classes. I was hoping to find a shoe that worked for everything.

I’d tried on the ON Cloud sneakers months ago at my parents house (how do my mom AND my 80 year old grandma have a pair of these before I do?). I knew they were comfortable but I wasn’t looking to get back into exercising at the time (4 weeks post partum and still sleeping in 3 hour increments).

About a month ago I put a poll out on instagram asking for people’s favorite running and workout sneakers. There were lots of one off recommendations but the two most popular answers were Hokas and ON Clouds.

I was leaning toward the ON Clouds just because they look cuter but didn’t want to sacrifice function for style when shopping for an exercise shoe.

When my high school’s Boston-marathon-running track star responded that she loved her ON Clouds and runs in them, I was sold.

QC Shoes Review [2024]: Are they worth it? | Elisabeth McKnight (2)

Picking which QC Cloud shoe to buy:

There are a million different ON Cloud options and purchasing can be a bit tricky. I chose specifically based on style and price (knowing I was using them mostly for running short distances, long walks, and the occasional workout class). I wish I would have used the shoe selector on the ON website which lets you filter by activities. It makes choosing a shoe much more straight forward.

What I ordered:

  • On Cloud 5: ideal of light running – less than 5 miles, lifestyle, gym workouts (price $140)

other ones to consider:

QC Shoes Review [2024]: Are they worth it? | Elisabeth McKnight (3)

Are QC Sneakers Worth it?

They are beautiful. They are very comfortable. They are supportive.

The particular style I have also doesn’t require you to tie them and I can slip them on while holding a baby. I am sold.

If you are only trying to find a pair of supportive running shoes, you can find cheaper options. If these are in your budget through, you cannot go wrong with the ON Clouds.

two month update: I love these shoes more and more! It really does feel like slipping into a cloud, especially in comparison to other shoes. My only complaint is sometimes if I’m walking on loose gravel, a small stone will get stuck in the bottom of my shoes.

Pros and Consof QC Shoes


  • Beautiful These stylish shoes can work with a ton of different outfits.
  • Tons of Styles/colorways: There are lots of different styles and colorways.
  • Comfortable:
  • Slip-on/ no tying necessary in some styles


  • Sizing: Some of the sizing is a bit off in the QC Shoes/ ON Clouds. The first pair I ordered in my regular size was too small. I sized up half a size and they are perfect. From other reviews I’ve read, some of the styles run half a size small. Additionally, some sizes have a slightly wider toe box and others run a bit more narrow.
  • Price
QC Shoes Review [2024]: Are they worth it? | Elisabeth McKnight (4)

QC Sneakers FAQ

Are QC and ON shoes the same?

Yes, these are the same brand of shoes. The correct name is On (short for ON Running which is the full name of the brand).

Where to buy QC Shoes/ ON Cloud shoes:

You can find the widest selection of ON Clouds at onrunning.com

I ordered mine from Amazon (leaving the house with little kids is still hard! and bringing them to a running store? not quite up for that yet).

Your best bit would be to go to a running store and get fitted in person but, if you’re looking for an online option, here are a few places to try:

QC Shoes Review [2024]: Are they worth it? | Elisabeth McKnight (5)

Do I have you use ON Cloud shoes for running?

No. I initially purchased these as new running shoes and while, yes, I still wear them for my runs, I have also found myself wearing them regularly for day to day because they feel like walking on a cloud. At school pickup these days I can always spot at least one mom wearing them, too.

Can you wash ON Cloud shoes?

You can wash them but preferably by hand. For the sake of the longevity of your shoes, don’t throw them in the washing machine.

What types of ON Cloud sneaker should I get?

There are SO many different types of ON Cloud running shoes that it can get a bit overwhelming when trying to decide which ones to order.

If you’re looking for a specific activity, my top recommendation is to head to the On Running website and filter by activity. You can select from active life, travel, road running, hiking, trail running, competition, tennis, and workouts.

Here are three great options:

How do you lace ON Cloud sneakers?

ON has six different options for lacing their sneakers. You can get all the details on their lacing page, here.

What stores carry ON cloud shoes?

You can buy ON Clouds at just about any running store and most places where sneakers are sold. You can pick up a pair at Nordstrom, order a pair on Amazon, or find some limited options at Madewell or Anthropology. REI even has a selection of used ON shoes you can purchase at a steep discount. Here’s a currently list:

Are Hokas or On Clouds better?

After lots of research (reading articles and talking to friends and family who use on or the other), it comes down to personal preference and your foot shape/ running style. Head to a running store if you want to take into consideration your foot, your gait, and your particular running needs.

But really, you can’t go wrong with either.

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QC Shoes Review [2024]: Are they worth it? | Elisabeth McKnight (2024)


Why is everyone wearing cloud shoes? ›

On Shoes & Apparel in Pop Culture

People just can't get enough of the superior support. And the focus on sustainability is just another selling point. Put all these features together, and it's a no-brainer why On has become so popular with everyone, from athletes to your favorite influencer.

Are OC sneakers good? ›

The On Clouds will perform better as racing flats while not giving up too much on comfort, but the PureFlow will be the better choice for runners who absolutely demand more comfort out of a shoe. These kicks hit a sweet spot with their unique design, allowing for a cushioned landing no matter the foot strike or motion.

What makes cloud shoes so special? ›

A defining characteristic of what makes On shoes so unique is their CloudTec® technology. This is the squishy foundation of the shoe that contains large holes designed to “absorb impact, reduce strain and adapt to your running style”, according to their website.

Do cloud shoes run small or large? ›

On's high performance running footwear generally fits true to your usual size. On themselves, however, recommend that with their acclaimed waterproof range that you go up one on your usual size.

Are On Cloud shoes good for walking? ›

Can They Be Worn for Walking? Yes! On Cloud, shoes are also great for walking. Much like running, when you're walking, you want a pair of shoes that are breathable and comfortable, and this brand delivers on all fronts.

Why are OC shoes so popular? ›

Thanks to its gentle color palette and innovative-yet-unobtrusive cirrocumulus silhouette, the On has effectively displaced the last lifestyle sneaker to become so ubiquitous it felt like the default: the eco-friendly New Zealand brand Allbirds' Wool Runner.

Are OC shoes good for standing all day? ›

Worn by Brooke Shields, the On Cloud 5 walking shoes are a solid choice for people who stand all day.

Why are Onclouds so comfortable? ›

Comfort-wise, they're lightweight with a cushiony footbed similar to the Hikers with a nice springy feel. The tread feels a little more grippy on hard surfaces than the Hikers. They, like the Hikers, have an attached tongue which makes them super easy for me to put on, but some folks don't like this feature.

How long should cloud shoes last? ›

But generally, shoes (not just On shoes) last up to 300 miles (approx. 482 km) depending on the model and materials used. For example, some of our styles, such as the Cloudboom Echo, are designed for high-performance racing, so naturally, they won't have the same durability as an all-day shoe like the Cloud 5.

Are cloud shoes good for knees? ›

While some running shoes for knee pain don't provide enough cushioning, that's not the case with On Running's Cloud Monster. These shoes definitely mitigated our knee discomfort during regular 5-kilometer runs.

How popular are cloud shoes? ›

In fact, in the last few months, the brand has hit peak popularity. Search interest in "On Cloud" reached an all-time high in March 2024, according to Google Trends. And in its recent Spring Try Guide, Google revealed that the On Cloud X 3 is one of the most sought-after styles of the moment.

Are cloud shoes good for plantar fasciitis? ›

During testing, these On Cloudflyer shoes put a spring in our step. The extra grippy sole serves a dual purpose of providing stability and cushion. Wearing these springy yet supportive shoes left us feeling energized and ready to go. Not once did we feel hindered by our plantar fasciitis.

Do you have to break in cloud shoes? ›

All Cloud shoes are made for everyday comfort with super soft cashmere leather. You will feel the comfort during your first wear. If your pair needs some breaking in, wear super thick socks with the shoes for a few hours at home everyday. This will help them to stretch and soften.

Are cloud shoes trending? ›

Cloud X 3 Shoes

"It provides good support and stability for activities such as gym workouts, cross-training, and light running." The Cloud X 3 Shoes are one of the brand's most sought-after styles right now — searches for the sneakers reached an all-time high in April 2024, according to Google.

Who made On Cloud shoes popular? ›

The first shoe released by On was the Cloudracer. This shoe became the favored footwear for the London 2012 Olympic gold medal winner and Swiss professional triathlete Nicola Spirig.

What do runners think of On Cloud shoes? ›

The Cloudmonster 2 model is excellent for city runners who need a little less impact from the harsh concrete sidewalks. My knees were noticeably less sore the next day than if I had worn less supportive shoes. The shoes are true-to-size and are comfortable enough that I forget I'm wearing them in the house sometimes.

Why are allbirds so popular? ›

SIMPLICITY IN DESIGN. No flashy logos. No senseless details. Just the world's most comfortable shoes, made naturally and designed practically.

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