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The On Cloud 5 is one of On’s most popular shoes for daily wear and travel and was previously known as just the “On Cloud”. In my opinion, it’s one of the more polarizing shoes on the market despite its popularity.
The polarization comes down to this shoe’s fit and long-term durability. Its fit is what I would describe as an acquired taste and the durability of the On Cloud 5 can be highly variable — especially for its loftier price point.
As a fan of the On Cloud X 3 shoes for training, I was excited to see how the On Cloud 5 compared regarding comfort. Is this shoe that much better for traveling and comfort compared to some of my other favorites?
After using the On Cloud 5 for over 300 miles, I’ve learned there’s a lot to like about this shoe and some major red flags to consider for some buyers.
Table of Contents▼
On Cloud 5
- Walking and Light Running
- Standing All Day
- Light Workouts and Cross-Training
- Bodyweight Training
- For Recreational Lifting
- For Serious Cross-Training
My On Cloud 5 Summary
The On Cloud 5 is designed to be a shoe with convenience in mind for casual use. The Speed Lacing System makes this shoe easy to get on and off which is great for popping these on quickly and getting about.
Comfort-wise, this shoe’s CloudTec midsole is its claim to fame. This midsole is built to move well with the feet and give you comfort and responsiveness as you walk and stand for long periods.
If you want to invest in the On Cloud 5 I’d highly recommend making sure you know what you’re getting. For example, this shoe will not be your best pick for casual wear and working out. A lot of reported durability issues come from others not using this model properly.
- Easy lacing. The Speed Lacing System gives this shoe a nice casual slip-on feel which is great for those that don’t want to mess with laces.
- Comfortable and flexible. The CloudTec midsole is comfortable and maneuverable which gives this shoe a nice feel for standing all day and walking long distances.
- Lightweight and breathable. The breathable upper does a good job with ventilation and creating a nice balanced foot climate, especially in hot weather.
- Midsole durability. The midsole at the forefoot can scuff and start to break down over time with high-volume concrete use. I noticed this around mile 80.
- Upper can have issues, too. The upper overlays have also proven to be a durability issue for some in long-term contexts, especially those with a wider forefoot.
- Not great for wide feet. This shoe has a narrower width and if you have wider and flatter feet you may want to steer clear of this shoe as it will feel snug through the forefoot and midfoot.
Cloud 5 Construction Specs to Know
- Price: $139.99
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm
- Stack Height: Heel 28mm/Forefoot 20mm
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Width: Narrow/Medium
- Sizing: True to size. Wide feet, pass on this shoe.
- Comparable To: On Cloud X 3
Author’s Note: I updated this article in January 2024 to reflect updates on this shoe’s performance and durability. I also added community feedback from my YouTube video review!
What My Community Is Saying
As I mentioned above, the On Cloud 5 receives a lot of mixed feedback regarding its performance and durability. Below are some of the most popular commons on my YouTube video about this shoe.
One commenter who enjoys them reported, “Great review. I have the old Cloud (4?) and the X. You’re spot on; the Cloud is incredibly comfortable for everyday wear, walking, and traveling, and fine for breaking into a short run; a superb convenience all-round shoe. But I use the X for exercise; gym work and running.
I’ve done 20K runs in the X without problems, and even trail runs, only picking up stones a couple of times. Both are great shoes for their design purpose. Also worth mentioning ON customer support; it must be the best in the business. There was a (repairable) fault with my first pair of Clouds, and ON sent me a voucher for a new pair.”
Another commenter who wasn’t a fan wrote, “A piece of junk I bought this Cloud 5 last week October 11, 2023 return it right away not good for your feet. I don’t know why the reviews are high this is paid advertising Ps DON’T WASTE YOUR MONEY BUYING THIS SHOES.”
For the most part, the reviews on my YouTube video have been generally positive, but there are a few instances of these shoes breaking down quickly and this is typically due to the midsole construction.
My On Cloud 5 Review Video
To discuss the performance in On Cloud 5, I’m going to talk about how this shoe performs in different contexts because that’s how I and many others use this shoe.
Note, that this is not a shoe designed for training specifically, but I did test them in a few light training settings to see if they could be a feasible option for anyone who wants to use this model in multiple settings.
On Cloud 5 for Light Workouts and Bodyweight Training
For light workouts and bodyweight training, the On Cloud 5 can be a feasible shoe option. For example, if you’re tackling home workouts where you’re using lighter weights and your bodyweight, then you should be okay using this model casually.
It will not be your best bet for heavier and more serious sessions, so I’d suggest keeping it casual in this shoe. The CloudTec midsole compresses pretty easily which could impact your balance and ability to root the foot with the ground.
This is why I also suggest limiting the use of the On Cloud 5 to more casual and light training. The On Cloud X would be a better option if you like On Shoes and want a pair for a bit more serious training.
On Cloud 5 for Classes, HIIT, and Versatile Training
In the context of classes, HIIT workouts, and more versatile training, the On Cloud 5 is okay, but once again, it’s not designed for these activities so there will always be a cap on their performance and potential.
The CloudTec midsole provides a nice level of support for more plyometrics, but I think you’ll find them limiting regarding their ground feedback when performing power-focused exercises.
I’m also not the biggest fan of this shoe’s outsole for this style of training. In most of these settings, you’ll be tackling multi-directional work, which could be problematic for two reasons.
First, the shoe’s midfoot outsole construction may break down pretty quickly on certain surfaces. Second, the midsole compresses a good amount so you may find that it’s tough to stabilize and find your balance in these shoes when tackling unilateral work or multi-directional exercises.
On Cloud 5 for Walking, Standing, Traveling, and Running
As mentioned above, the On Cloud 5 excels for daily wear and casual contexts. This shoe is a really good option for longer walks and being on your feet all day.
They never feel heavy on the feet and they breathe well. Additionally, their midsole construction is comfortable and maneuverable which makes them a pleasure to wear.
For traveling, I like how easy it is to take this shoe on and off. The speed lacing system is a nice touch for giving this model an almost “slipper-like” feel on travel days. You can take these off easily to stretch your feet, then slip them back on with ease.
For running, the On Cloud 5 can technically work, but I’d suggest keeping your mileage on the lower end with this shoe and limiting them to indoor runs only.
I’m not the biggest of the outsole on this model for running outdoors due to the exposed midsole. If you’re looking for an On shoe for running, then I’d suggest checking out something like the On Cloudswift.
On Cloud 5 Vs On Cloud X 3
The core differences between the On Cloud 5 versus the On Cloud X 3 revolve around how each shoe is intended to be used. There are three major differences between the On Cloud X and On Cloud 5 that I think are worth mentioning.
The first major difference is the base of the shoe and the CloudTec midsole construction. Both shoes have a low-profile CloudTec midsole, but the On Cloud X 3’s midsole is slightly wider and more stable. This is to help the On Cloud X 3 perform better in cross-training settings.
More specifically, the On Cloud X 3 has a built-in Speedboard with raised sidewalls to assist with balance and stability. It’s a subtle detail that isn’t inherently noticeable, but you can feel the difference when training.
The second major difference is the upper construction and lacing system used. The On Cloud 5’s eyelets are built to accommodate On’s speed lacing system and traditional laces. This feature changes the midfoot construction slightly and makes the boot a bit longer.
The On Cloud X 3 utilizes a traditional lacing system and its upper construction is a bit more durable for training purposes. On the forefoot and midfoot, the upper is more abrasion-resistant and delivers a slightly thicker material compared to the On Cloud 5.
The final difference is how each shoe is designed to be used. If you’re looking for an On Shoe for cross-training, then go with the On Cloud X. The On Cloud X 3 can also work well as a daily wear shoe so it does have a slight edge for versatility compared to the On Cloud 5.
If you already have a pair of training shoes and don’t plan to lift and work out in your shoes and just want something casual for day-to-day use, then you’d be best suited to opt for the On Cloud 5.
Winner: Go On Cloud X 3 for training and casual use. If you just want a shoe for casual use that has a slightly plusher ride and midsole, go for the On Cloud 5.
On Cloud 5 Sizing
For the On Cloud 5, most should be safe going true-to-size. Compared to prior On Cloud models, this shoe’s length fits more truly, so you shouldn’t have to size up to make them work.
The only issue I have with this shoe’s sizing is how narrow they feel through the forefoot and midfoot. On is not a shoe company known for its wide-fitting shoes, so if you have wider or flatter feet, then you may want to look into other shoes for daily wear purposes.
- On Cloud 5 Sizing Thoughts: True-to-size for most. Narrow fit with limited volume through the midfoot and forefoot.
If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the On Cloud 5, drop a comment below and I can try to help you out accordingly.
For the On Cloud 5, you can expect to pay $139.99. This price point is similar to prior models and compares to most On Shoes, which do have slightly higher price points.
I think this price makes sense for anyone wanting to buy this shoe for daily wear, walking, standing, and traveling. This will not be the best shoe for training and running, so I think it’s important to recognize the context of this shoe’s best uses and where it will falls short in order to make sure the price point makes sense for you.
Who Should Buy the On Cloud 5?
The On Cloud 5 is a really good shoe for daily wear, traveling, walking, and standing all day. There are a few contexts where I think they make a lot of sense.
1. You Want a Breathable Shoe for Daily Wear
This shoe is lightweight and breathable so they feel easy to wear for longer durations. I rock this model most often when I’m running errands and I’m on my feet all day or when I have long travel days ahead of me.
The CloudTec midsole provides a nice amount of cushion and this shoe has a good level of maneuverability. Plus, this shoe comes suited with On’s “speed lacing” system and a separate pair of laces if you like a more traditional lace.
2. You Like a Convenient Shoe for Walking and Standing
The speed lacing is nice for easily slipping this model on and off, which is also why I like them for travel. You can easily slip these off in the car or airplane once you’re seated.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the On Cloud 5?
Throughout my testing and wearing of the On Cloud 5, I have a few contexts where you may want to pass on this shoe.
1. You Want a Shoe That Will Last a Long Time
One major knock I have with the On Cloud 5 is that the outsole lacks long-term durability for outdoor wear. The foam midsole can fray and start to break down if you’re wearing this model outdoors a lot and on concrete. Plus, these pick up rocks often.
I think the big thing with this shoe is understanding the context in which it will excel and perform its best. It’s a good daily driver, but not a super durable serious training shoe or a shoe that will fare well with a lot of concrete walking, in my opinion.
On top of this, if you have wider feet that can cause issues with this shoe’s forefoot upper construction. For example, my mom (yes, my mom gives me shoe feedback sometimes!) had two On Cloud 5s rip on her because of her pinky toe creating friction and breaking through the upper.
2. You Have a Wider Foot
If you have wide or flat feet then you’ll also want to pass on this model. This shoe’s toe box runs on the narrower side and this shoe has a fairly tapered midfoot.
For flat and wide feet, I think you’ll find yourself spilling over in this shoe. I have a medium to slightly wider foot and I find them to feel snug if I’m wearing thicker socks so I’ll typically go barefoot or wear thin socks in them.
What I Like About the Cloud 5 (Expanded)
Throughout my testing and review process, I’ve found multiple things to like about the On Cloud 5.
1. Great Shoe for Slipping On and Off
The first pro with the On Cloud 5 that I enjoy is that it’s a good shoe for easily slipping on and off. If you like rocking shoes that somewhat look like training shoes on a casual, then this is a good shoe to look into.
Not every training shoe looks good on a daily wear basis and they’re not always the easiest to get on and off.
The On Cloud 5 has a sporty and clean look to it and it comes with On’s speed lacing system. This lacing system is great because you don’t have to worry about lacing and unlacing your shoes and it provides enough security to where you never run into heel slip issues. This shoe also comes with traditional laces if you prefer those.
2. Comfortable, Lightweight, and Breathable for Daily Wear
The second aspect to like about the On Cloud 5 is they’re comfortable, lightweight, and breathable. All of these characteristics help this shoe to excel for daily wear and they make this model a pleasure to wear for longer periods. My size 10 model weighs 8.40 oz, which is comparatively light compared to the other daily wear shoes I have.
The mesh upper on this model breathes well through the forefoot and midfoot. I noticed this most when rocking these on a windy cold winter day as my feet were starting to get cold.
This is why I think On also recommends this model for warmer settings. For the summer months, I could easily see the On Cloud 5 becoming one of my daily go-to shoes.
3. Good for Walking, Standing, and Traveling
The final aspect to like about the On Cloud 5 is that they’re a good shoe for walking, standing, and traveling. This model is designed specifically to be a model for daily wear and travel, and I think they hit the mark pretty well at delivering a strong performance for these contexts.
For walking, the sole construction of this model feels natural and the 8mm heel-to-toe drop and toe spring help feed into this activity.
Additionally, the CloudTec midsole provides a nice cushioned, yet somewhat supportive feel for standing for long durations. It’s easy to shift your weight in these shoes so they’re a good dynamic model for being on your feet all day.
What I Don’t Like About the Cloud 5 (Expanded)
There is a lot to like about the On Cloud 5, but there are also a couple of cons that come along with this shoe. Below are two of the bigger cons that I could see bothering others.
1. Outsole Lacks Long-Term Durability
The first drawback to the On Cloud 5 is that the outsole lacks long-term durability, especially if you plan to use these outdoors a lot on concrete and asphalt. The CloudTec midsole does have rubber that covers the forefoot and heel, however, the midfoot CloudTec does not.
The CloudTec throughout the midfoot on the On Cloud 5 has exposed foam which can be problematic on certain surfaces. This is why I recommend not regularly wearing these shoes for outdoor running and training.
The friction produced in these contexts could make this shoe’s midsole and outsole break down pretty fast. Since these shoes also have a higher price point, I think recognizing the context in which these shoes will perform the best will help your investment go the distance.
If you want a pair of On shoes for cross-training and doing outdoor workouts, then I’d suggest looking into the On Cloud X.
2. Fit In Toe Box Is Pretty Narrow
The second drawback to the On Cloud 5 is that it is fairly narrow through the box and midfoot. This is not surprising since a lot of On shoes typically run a bit more narrow with their midfoot and toe box fit.
If you have wide feet and want more width in your shoe’s toe box, then you’re going to want to look into other shoes. Also, as mentioned above, I think wider feet can expedite breakdown issues in this model.
I think for both flat and wide feet, the On Cloud 5’s last will not align the best with your foot’s anatomy. On updated the sizing in this model so their length fits more truly, however, unfortunately, this did not change their narrower width.
The On Cloud 5’s construction is fairly simplistic and compared to other On Shoes, I’d categorize this model as having a more “no-frills” build to it.
Below are some of the biggest construction callouts that influence this shoe’s comfort, durability, and performance in different settings.
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 8mm
- Weight: 8.40 oz (for my size 10 model)
- Removable Insole: Yes
- CloudTec Midsole
- Mesh Upper Construction
- Speed Lacing System (Traditional Laces Included)
- 44% Recycled Content/Materials Used
If you have additional questions or thoughts on the On Cloud 5’s construction, drop a comment below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:Can you run in the On Cloud 5?
Q:Can you lift weights in the On Cloud 5?
Q:Are the On Cloud 5 good for walking?
The On Cloud 5 delivers consistent and strong performance for daily wear, walking, standing, and traveling. This shoe is comfortable and easy to slip on and off and it looks sporty with a clean aesthetic.
The On Cloud 5 will not be your best shoe for tackling different forms of exercise and training, so I think it’s important to recognize the context of this model before investing.
If you have additional questions on the On Cloud 5, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).