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.
NOTE: This On Cloud review has recently been updated to include the additional features of the On Cloud 5 (latest generation, as of February 2022 – I will update again once the Cloud 6 is released) – 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 and one of my top shoe picks if you’re training for a marathon! The Cloudgo is also worth looking at, if you’re a beginner runner looking to increase mileage.
I hope this On Cloud review answers your pre-purchase questions of this best selling shoe but if you want to ask me another question, please leave it in the comments below.
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).
ON shoes should not be confused with ‘QC shoes’ or ‘OC shoes’ like I hear some people call them due to the potentially confusing On logo on the side – I can see how that may happen in all honesty.
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 (On’s best selling lifestyle shoes) 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, and which includes their trail running and hiking shoes, 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
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 Cloudflow, On 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 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 as this tongue brings extra comfort to the top of your foot.
This tongue really adds to the minimal and super lightweight feel of the On Cloud shoes.
On Cloud speed lacing system
On uses a speed lacing 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 secure fit, then the On Cloud 5 comes with classic laces in the box but you should be able to adjust the elastic speed laces by watching my video below.
Being able to quickly get these Swiss running shoes on and wear them without socks (if that’s how you roll) makes it a winner for triathletes of all distances, including Ironman.
I still believe the on Cloud is best used as an all day lifestyle shoe however, as there are definitely better On running shoes for running and triathlon.
If you’d like to learn more about my other highly rated road running shoes, read my guide to choosing the best road running shoes next, it features a couple of On shoes as well as other running brands.
They also make great nursing shoes or for anyone working on their feet all day long due to their comfort, cushioning, lightweight, and the fact that they are easy to slip on and off.
If you’re wondering how to adjust or tighten On Cloud speed laces to create a more secure fit, 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 system is such an awesome feature of this shoe and my video above will help you get a more secure fit by adjusting them.
On Cloud shoes outsole (CloudTec Sole)
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 OnClouds 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].
The CloudTec cushioning comes in part from the cloud pods that provides cushioned, soft landings, 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 from 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
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 shape and just want a nice stable ride.
If you do feel you need extra arch support then I would recommend reading our best insoles for running buyer’s guide next 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 with zero gravity foam
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’s zero gravity foam cushioning last longer.
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 be wearing these shoes every day, to work, at the gym, and even on impromptu runs. A shoe that gets this much use could start to smell if it wasn’t as breathable as it is.
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 incredibly light weight is probably what you’ll notice first if you haven’t held a pair of 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.
The On Cloud shoes come in many different colors for the men’s and for the on cloud 5 womens 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 because it gives such an amazingly responsive ride whether I’m simply moving or jogging with Kepler on our morning walk.
This responsive ride makes me feel free knowing I can break into a run whenever I happen to feel like it or if I’m running late.
On’s running shoes are particularly good when it comes to dedicated road or trail running, the Cloud 5 is definitely more geared towards an everyday lifestyle shoe, so visit my On running shoes buyer’s guide if you’re looking for running shoes.
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.
If you’re looking for On trail running shoes, have a look at my Best On Cloud shoes in ranked order list which has a section dedicated to On’s trail running shoes.
If on the other hand, you’d like to know my favorite trail running shoes including those from other brands, read my best trail running shoes post next.
Where to buy On Cloud Shoes
It’s worth noting that On never holds sales for their newest items (including these On Cloud shoes), and there’s not even an On Running Black Friday event, BUT you can get last season’s styles heavily discounted on the On Classics discount page.
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.
They would make great nursing shoes for nurses working on their feet all day long too because of how comfortable, cushioned, lightweight, and easy to slip on and off they are.
I also find that On running shoes are great if you ever find yourself getting lower back pain when running because their zero gravity foam in the midsole has such a great balance between being cushioned and protective while also being remarkably responsive.
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.
It’s also a very good shoe for running and triathlons due to their easy ‘slip on’ design and comfort while running sock-less.
The new Cloud 5 is less minimal than say the On Cloud X for running, but if you enjoy running in a shoe with good ground feel, 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!
On Cloud VS HOKA
On Cloud and HOKA are two very popular athletic footwear brands that offer a large variety of shoes for different activities, including running, hiking, and lifestyle.
On Running is a brand from Switzerland, while HOKA was founded in 2009 in Annecy, France but now it resides in Goleta, California where we used to live – in fact, we used to regularly go running past the Deckers headquarters which is the brand that owns HOKA.
Here are some key differences between the two brands:
CUSHIONING: Both On Cloud and HOKA offer shoes with very good cushioning, but HOKA shoes like the Clifton series for road running, and the Mafate Speed series for trail running, tend to have more cushioning than On Cloud shoes in general.
That’s not to say however, that On Running doesn’t also make some extremely cushioned On Cloud shoes too, like the On Cloudmonster for example – and HOKA also makes more minimally cushioned running shoes too, like the HOKA MACH 5, and the Carbon X series.
HOKA shoes are known for their maximalist design and it’s what makes their shoe silhouette so recognizable (not to mention their bright colors), which provides extra cushioning and support for runners.
STABILITY: HOKA shoes are designed to provide more stability than On Cloud shoes, making them a better option for runners who need extra support.
On Cloud shoes, on the other hand, have the benefit of being designed to be more lightweight and flexible, which can be beneficial for runners who prefer a more natural feel.
RUNNING: Both On Cloud and HOKA offer shoes specifically designed for running (and trail running), but HOKA has a wider range of options for runners in general and shoes for long-distance running.
On Cloud’s running shoes are known for their lightweight design and responsive cushioning with Cloudtech Midsole.
HIKING: HOKA offers a range of hiking shoes, and so does On Cloud with lightweight shoe/boot crossover shoes like the Cloudtrax, and Cloudrock Waterproof, for two examples. Both On Cloud and HOKA’s hiking shoes/boots are designed to provide extra support and protection for hikers on rough terrain.
LIFESTYLE: Both brands offer lifestyle shoes that are suitable for everyday wear. On Cloud’s lifestyle shoes are known for their minimalist design and lightweight feel, while HOKA’s lifestyle shoes offer a more traditional look with added cushioning for comfort.
The On Cloud 5 are by far the most popular On Cloud shoes.
SUSTAINABILITY PRACTICES: Both On Cloud and HOKA are committed to sustainable practices. On Cloud uses sustainable materials in its shoe designs, such as recycled polyester and eco-friendly dyes. Both brands are focused on reducing their carbon footprint through sustainable packaging and materials used on their shoes.
COST: HOKA shoes tend to be more expensive than On Cloud shoes although recently I’m finding that some of their running shoes are very affordable considering how durable and cushioned they are.
On Cloud Review Image Gallery
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.
On’s running shoes lineup is growing quickly so I understand how it can be overwhelming trying to find the best ones for your needs, and that’s exactly why I designed it in a way to make your buying decisions easier.
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
Thanks for the comment, I’m glad the review helped and that you’re enjoying your new On’s, they are great shoes 🙂
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.
I agree, the Cloudrush is an excellent minimal running shoe!
Does the Cloud 2.0 run true to size?
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!
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/
Both of my soles were worn out super fast. Anyone who had this problem and had them re treaded?
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?
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?
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.
They really are a great all round lifestyle shoe!
do the everyday models run true to size? I have read that they are a bit tight and to go up a half size or more?
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
You will definitely enjoy wearing the On Cloud 5! Check out our buyer’s guide here: https://www.trailandkale.com/gear/best-on-running-shoes-reviewed/ for other On recommendations. The lifestyle section is nearer the bottom of the post.
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
In March I bought my first pair of on clouds, by April they already had a hole in the toe part, but they wear so good so I bought another pair, I bought 1/2 size bigger even though the others fit fine, I have had them less than 2 months and they are doing the same thing, can’t get them replaced, I am out about 300.00 dollars now and will now have to find me another brand to wear, it’s right where my toe hits when I walk, never had a pair of shoes do this before, but I love the way they fit and the way they look, I am very sad, because they did not last very long 😥
That’s so strange, I’ve never had a pair of Clouds wear like this and I wear them all the time. Do you definitely have the correct sizing, or does one of your toes stick up a bit higher than the rest in the area of the rubbing?
Hi, Considering to buy a pair of cloud 5, but don’t know why some of them the right shoe back has a flag and some don’t? I like it with the Swiss flag. Looking for on cloud 5 all white.
Every pair of On shoes will have the Swiss flag on the ‘right’ shoe.
This isn’t true. Through the ON website, their images of the Cloud 5’s and Cloud X 3 do not show a red flag on any of the images. I’ve also gone to local stores and they do not have a red flag. How do the images in this article show a red flag?
I’ve just checked the On website for the Cloud X 3 and Cloud 5 and you’re right.. for whatever reason the Swiss flag is not in their imagery! That said, every On shoe I have owned has ALWAYS had the Swiss flag on the rear of the right shoe. I also own a few pairs of Cloud 5 and the Cloud X 3 – they DO carry the Swiss flag on the right shoe. Mine were ordered from the On store. Where are you located?
I’m in Ft. Worth, TX. I really want to get a pair of the Cloud X 3, but I prefer them to have the red swiss flag. I’ve been to several local running shoe stores and none of them have the flag. I’ve done searches online and do see online retailers with the exact same shoe and it does have the red flag.
I think this may be an IP thing where companies may no longer be allowed to display the Swiss cross on products! I could be wrong but it seems to me that this is what’s going one, which means that I managed to get one of the last few pairs that still have the Swiss emblem on them.
I’m in Ft. Worth, TX. I’ve been to several local running shoe stores and none of them have the red flag on them. I’ve also searched online and do see several online retailers with the exact same shoe and it does show the red flag. I’d really like to get a pair of Cloud X 3’s, but I prefer the red flag. Just confusing on how to actually get a pair
Thank You for sharing this blog, very informative and useful.
Hi I bought my first pair of on OQ and loved they just for walking around the house. My lower back pain is better and I have decided to go live on social media, we will be giving away 1 pair of OQ to veterans live once a Mo. thanks for this great shoe!!!
THat’s so great! We’re glad you love On Running shoes as much as we do!
I like the fit and look, I bought a pair and the only negative is that rocks get trapped in the treads. so annoying i stopped wearing them. I’ll switch back if they can make them so they don’t trap rocks.