outdoor gear reviews you can trust slogan one line 450w alt 2
outdoor gear reviews you can trust slogan h72
ADVERTISEMENT

On Cloud Review: On’s Most Popular Lightweight Running Shoes [Cloud 5]

Visit our On Running Shoes Buyer's Guide to find the best On shoes ranked & reviewed.

All opinions are our own and never influenced by brands. If you buy through links on this page, we may earn a small commission. Here's our process.

The On Running Cloud has been built with everyday active people in mind, targeting those who love being on the move while in urban environments. Interested in getting up to 40% OFF On running shoes? Visit On’s Classic range page to see their latest deals.

ADVERTISEMENT

I hope this On Cloud review answers your pre-purchase questions but if you want to ask me another question, please leave it in the comments below.

NOTE: This review has recently been updated to include the additional features of the On Cloud 5 (latest generation, as of February 2022) – the images in this review have all been updated too with the latest On Cloud 5 in the All-Black colorway.

Interested in knowing what my favorite On Running shoe for road running is? Hint hint… it’s a total MONSTER of a shoe! Read all about it HERE.

On Cloud Review Cloud 5 Trail and Kale web wm 16

On Cloud shoes fit and design

The On Clouds, in my opinion, are beautiful shoes that show off some of that design flair that the Swiss are so famous for. They’re also famous for being proud of it too – a reason they include the Swiss flag on every ‘right’ shoe (see pic above). I really like the little details from the reflective decals right down to said tiny Swiss flag towards the rear of the right shoe.

I have been wearing the On Cloud shoes as my ‘go-to’ lifestyle shoe since the very first release. Every year sees a new version with design tweaks and fresh new color options, and every year I’m drawn into buying a new pair for reasons explained below.

This year sees the On Cloud reach its 5th generation of innovation and re-engineering – touted the ‘On Cloud 5’. To the untrained eye, you may think very little has been updated since the last version of the Cloud.

With all my years of testing On Running gear, I’m able to notice these subtle tweaks, and I’m going to share them with you as I talk about each section/feature on the On Cloud running shoes.

On Cloud shoes upper engineered mesh | now more sustainable

On Cloud Review Cloud 5 Trail and Kale web wm 4
Engineered mesh design on the upper

The engineered mesh material used for the On Cloud upper is very breathable, has a little bit of stretch, and offers some protection with a plastic-coated toe cap. The coated toe cap will stop any front-on water splashes from entering the shoe and also prevent any cold wind from hitting your toes.

The Cloud sneakers are made from 44% recycled material overall, which is an awesome move by On Running – we appreciate every move to help improve sustainability in the manufacturing process.

There are areas in the upper that have been protected with strips of ‘no-sew foil’ which will firmly hold fabrics together without the possibility of fraying edges.

The On Cloud 5 upper, sees a few modifications to it including redistributed reflective detailing, a different material above the forefoot, and also a different design in the way it is constructed. All these subtle changes, for me, make minor improvements to an already great shoe – but improvements nonetheless.

On Cloud running shoes Inner Sock

There’s also an inner sock that attaches the tongue to the forefoot area, similar to the On CloudflowOn Cloud X and On Cloudace running shoes. This keeps the forefoot snug and stops the tongue from slipping out of place. The sock should also reduce any chaffing as there are fewer seams inside.

On Cloud Review [Cloud 5] - On Cloud Running shoes
The On Cloud shoes grippy insole strips are just about visible in this photo

On Cloud tongue

On Cloud Review Cloud 5 Trail and Kale web wm 15
The On Cloud running shoes have a slim padded tongue

The tongue is slim, soft, and very comfortable to the touch, so you could even wear these shoes without socks if you like doing that sort of thing. This tongue really adds to the minimal and super lightweight feel of the On Cloud shoes.

On Cloud speed laces

On Cloud shoes review
On Cloud Sneakers elasticated speed lace system. Streamlined and functional with no ‘flap’ of a normal lacing system

On uses a speed lace system for the On Cloud which means you can slip them on and off really quickly if you need to, thanks to the elasticity in the laces.

This is one of the reasons that in its early days, the On Cloud was marketed as a triathlon shoe. If you prefer classic laces for a more snug fit, then the On Cloud comes with classic laces in the box.

Being able to quickly get these Swiss running shoes on, and to wear them without socks (if that’s how you roll), makes it a winner for triathletes of all distances, including Ironman too.

If you’re wondering how to adjust or tighten On Cloud speed laces, I put together this helpful 2-minute video demonstrating how I personally tighten the laces for when I wear the On Cloud for gym workouts or HIIT training where I need the Cloud to be securely on my feet when moving fast.

The On Cloud speed lacing is such an awesome feature of this shoe.

On Cloud shoes outsole (CloudTec Sole)

On Cloud Men's shoes - On Cloud review

The outsole used for the On Cloud shoes is very similar to that of the On Cloud X; one of my current favorite shoes for speed training on the roads! If you haven’t tried to “Run On Clouds” before, I recommend you give it a try! The CloudTec sole is an innovation that always helps me to run faster, especially when putting on a new pair.

The outsole is another area that On has re-engineered this year – more specifically the forefoot has a reduced gulley underfoot. This means more cushioning and a better distribution of weight, making moving much more comfortable [see image below].

On Cloud sneakers outsole tread
A closer look at the updated CloudTec sole

The CloudTec cushioning comes in part from the cloud pods that provide a cushioned/soft landing, as they compress under your weight and then provide a barefoot take off as your foot leaves the ground and the pods spring back.

Taking a closer look at the CloudTec outsole reveals that the ‘clouds’ have had their inside edges sliced off, angling outward. This much-needed design tweak stops any small stones or debris getting caught in the pods, which used to be a problem shared amongst many.

The Cloud 5 goes one step further and has closed off the gulley at the front of the shoe, and also the rear – two areas that take the most downward force when walking and running. This extra support provides longer-lasting cushioning, and durability of the outsole.

On Cloud shoes drop and support type

On Cloud Review Cloud 5 Trail and Kale web wm 9
On Cloud running shoes outsole has been thickened to improve all day comfort.

The On Cloud has a heel-to-toe drop of 8mm – this is great for all-day comfort if you spend much of your day on foot. This drop is another modification from the previous version which used to be 6mm. The Cloud 5 has a neutral support type which means there’s not much additional arch support in the removable insole insert – this will suit most people who have average feet.

If you do feel you need extra arch support then I would recommend getting yourself a pair of Superfeet insoles to help improve comfort and running form for those who need the extra support underfoot.

Another update to the Cloud 5 is the increased midsole which makes the entire show sit slightly higher off the ground, this al provides the shoe with more cushioning and comfort for even longer days on your feet. This, in my opinion, is a great move by On as this will also make the responsiveness of the midsole cushioning last longer.

On Cloud Review Cloud 5 Trail and Kale web wm 7

On Cloud sneakers toe box

The toe box is medium width and feels very airy which is important if you lead an active everyday lifestyle. You’ll likely to be wearing these shoes every day, to work, the gym and even impromptu runs. A shoe that gets this much use could start to smell if it wasn’t as breathable as it is.

On Cloud Review Cloud 5 Trail and Kale web wm 5

On Cloud running shoes weight

The On Cloud 5 weighs in at 8.82oz (250g) which is super lightweight BUT a touch heavier than the previous version which weighed 8.1oz (230g). This incredible light weight is probably what you’ll notice first if you haven’t held a pair on Cloud shoes before. I think the move to sacrifice a tiny bit of weight in exchange for more cushioning is the right move for On.

On Cloud Review Cloud 5 Trail and Kale web wm 2
On Cloud sneakers re a thing of beauty – the Cloud 5 improves on the aesthetic

The On Cloud shoes come in many different colors for the men’s and for the women’s too, which is fantastic so be sure to check them all out.. On is constantly updating the colorways so I won’t list them all here in case they change next week.

The color scheme of the shoes in my review is…you guessed it “All Black” and there are tons of colors for both men’s and Cloud Womens shoes, you’ll just have to visit the product page to see all the wonderful colors available – On Running changes them up fairly often.

Moving in the On Cloud

The On Cloud is a very comfortable shoe that I wear all day long. I feel free knowing I can break into a run whenever I happen to feel like it or if I’m running late. And the stylish design keeps me looking fashionable, important for me as a creative.

It’s incredible how many people comment on them when I’m out. Some even come up to me asking what brand they are and where they can buy them.

Where to buy On Cloud Shoes


On Cloud Review Summary

The On Cloud is my ‘go-to’ lifestyle shoe. Many other training shoes just don’t look stylish enough for me to want to wear them all day long, while I’m at work or heading to the city. I love being able to break into a run, have the comfort of a running shoe without sacrificing style. This is why I keep choosing On Cloud shoes for my everyday lifestyle. For those look ing for the best On running shoes for running, head over to my On Running Shoes Buyer’s Guide next.

on cloud 2018 review
On Cloud 5
Comfort
9
Design & Function
9.5
Durability
8.5
Flexibility
9
Performance
8.5
Style
9.5
Pros
Very Lightweight
Beautiful design
7 color options for men and women
Mixed use shoe for lifestyle, running, gym...
They slip on and off - great if you're a triathlete or just getting ready in a rush
Breathable
Reasonably priced
Cons
Midsole is still a touch too minimal for running long distances [but the Cloud 5 has greatly improved cushioning]
9
Overall Score

It’s also a very good shoe for running and triathlons due to their easy ‘slip on’ design and comfort while running sock-less.

They are a bit more minimal than say the On Cloud X for running, but if you enjoy running in a minimal shoe and only plan on running short distance runs every now and then, and want to look great while doing so, then these shoes are for you!


Still not sure which On Running Shoes to buy?

I hope you enjoyed this On Shoes review, if you’re still not sure which On Running shoes to buy, visit our Best On Running Shoes Buyer’s Guide for an ordered list of the top ON Clouds for road and trail running. It has been designed to make your buying decisions easier.

RELATED POSTS

The Best Running Headphones & Wireless Earbuds

The best running headphones, including wireless earbuds, over-ear, and outside-ear bone conduction headphones for running and gym workouts.

Best Energy Gels and Chews For Running and Cycling

The best energy gels and chews for running and cycling, including ultramarathons, endurance cycling events, triathlons, and Ironman racing.

5 Best Trail Running Towns To Live In The USA: Western States

Here's what you need to know about the best trail running towns to live in the USA and why these western cities made the list of top places to live for runners.

24 COMMENTS

  1. Just got my first pair of On Running and your review is spot on! I find the Cloud 50/50 extremely comfy for walking in but I’m not 100% sure they are the right running shoes for me. Perhaps I just need to get used to them, but if they don’t work out, fine, I’ve got myself a very nice looking pair of casual trainers for all day urban adventures. I might wear them for the walk to Park Run or local races then change into my familiar pair

  2. I just bought my 4th pair of the CloudRush (50/50). It’s an awesome workout/treadmill shoe. Great support with just the right amount of cushion. I’m hearing that this model may be discontinued, if not already. Please reconsider. The CloudRush IMO is the best looking, performance running shoe I’ve owned. It’s not overdone or looks like someone threw-up a bag of Skittles. I’ve been running since the late 70’s.

  3. I just purchased my first On Cloud. Very comfortable but not sure if it’ll hold long runs. I’ve been using Brooks for years and so used to a heavier more bulky running shoes. What do u think will be great On shoes for long runs? Thank you!

    • Hey Carina,

      Agreed, the Cloud is more of a lifestyle shoe than one I’d choose to run with. For longer distance running on the roads I’d look towards either the Cloudsurfer (medium cushion with good bounce), Cloudswift (a great all-round runner), Cloudflow (a bit of a harder ride but great for anything up to a half marathon), or cloudstratus (very cushioned but heavier)- Here’s my run-down complete with reviews of each of them for more details: https://www.trailandkale.com/gear/best-on-running-shoes-reviewed/

    • Hey Khara,

      I have never had this problem before. I’ve literally worn On Clouds for over 6 years as my daily lifestyle shoe (every day) and the tread has always held up well on each pair I have owned. In what ways are you using them? and what types of surfaces? Also, define ‘super fast’ – do you have a mileage count, or months used?

      -Alastair

  4. I bought a pair of Cloudstratus ON running shoes on September 2020 but started using from December. Just after 4 months for 3-4 days per week and 35-40 minutes/day I can see that the material close to the eyelet part of all sides worn out. the shoes checked by store and they just commented that it’s normal because of rubbing. how comes that the 260 CAD running shoes only after 4 month use worn out?

  5. Most comfortable everyday workout shoe I’ve ever owned. I’m on my 4th pair. However expect the white fabric of the edge of your shoe to ear out within 4-6 months.

    • Hi Maggie,

      I personally wear the same size through all of the On range but I do know some people have to follow the advice set out on the On Running website to size up half a size.

  6. It recommends getting half a size up for the terry’s and originals did you find this is the case? I brought Terry’s and they felt tight.

  7. I’ve been looking for a more stylish running shoe to wear while travelling but something I could also wear if I decide to go for a run. I’ve been running in the Cloudflow and Cloudflyer over the past few years.

    I think the Cloud would be suitable for what I’m looking for to travel, but I’m a little concerned if they’ll hold up for running. I would typically go on 5-10km runs when travelling. Would love to hear more about how you find the Cloud for running!

    • Hi Jocelyne,

      The Cloud is a really awesome shoe for all day lifestyle wear, and that includes traveling with. I love how lightweight and airy they are for long travel days, and the fact that you can easily slip the on and off – that’s very handy at airport security and when you want to free your feet during a flight etc. The Cloud isn’t the best On shoe for running, in my opinion, as it doesn’t have the supportive snug fit due to the benefits of them being airy slip on shoes. For 5k runs, I’d say yes go for it, but if you plan to run longer in them as well as wear them all day, then I’d wear the Clouds all day, but have a separate pair of running shoes for running with.

      -Alastair

  8. Great review Alastair! I’ve checked out a few of yours around On shoes. Question; have you reviewed/tried the On Cloud 5 Push yet? The appear to be the ‘newest’ On shoe (similar to the Cloudmonster) but there is barely any information or reviews on this shoe. And I’m looking to how they compare to the On Cloud 5 for all-day walking activity. Thank you!

    • Hey Chad! I believe the On Cloud 5 Push is the Cloud 5 colorway variant. On Running likes to always have a more edgy variation of the cloud – The previous Cloud version had a jazzy alternative called the Cloud 70/30. And before that, they used to call this jazzy alternative the Cloud ‘Edge’.

      So in a nutshell, The Cloud 5 Push is essentially the same shoe as the Cloud 5 but with more jazzy colorways in the upper.

      -A

  9. I heard amazing things about this shoe. Currently I wear New Balance. Great shoes but way too heavy. I am looking for a good, supportive shoes for someone with flat feet (I wear orthotics). I get knee and back pain when walking for too long. I love the idea of the cushioning, support and lightweight feel of these shoes. Which ones would you recommend?

  10. I’m going to Thailand later this year and have been considering a pair of On shoes but the climate being both warm and wet I’m not sure whether to go for a waterproof pair and sacrifice breathability or go for one of their more lightweight options and live with possibly getting wet feet.

    Note: we will be kayaking as well while we’re there and I’d love a pair I can wear year round in Scotland

    What would you recommend

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

LATEST ON T&K

ADVERTISEMENT

TRENDING ON T&K

LATEST ON RUNNING REVIEWS

Get our weekly Newsletter

To round out your week, we'll send you our top-tier gear reviews, buyer's guides, deals & tips every Sunday.

You have Successfully Subscribed!