Shoe Review: On Cloud 5

A side view of the On Cloud 5.

The original On Cloud launched in February 2014 and has been on an upward trajectory ever since. In 2016, they graced the cover of Vanity Fair on the feet of Mexican cinematographer and Oscar winner Emmanuel Lubezki. Fast forward to today and you’d be hard pressed not to spot them at your local gym, grocery store or coffee shop.

Although the On Cloud was originally marketed as a running shoe, it’s now categorized as a lifestyle shoe. This means it’s perfect for casual outings, daily errands and, yes, maybe the occasional magazine cover. It also works well for gym and cross training sessions.

Fleet Feet Reviewers tested the On Cloud 5 to see how it held up during walks, workouts and travel. Here’s what you need to know.

Tech Specs

On Cloud 5

Weight

7.2 oz (W), 8.8 oz (M)

Drop

8 mm

Category

Neutral

Use

Casual wear, cross training

Re-engineered Midsole Adds Comfort to On Cloud 5

A pair of the women's On Cloud 5.

The On Cloud 5 features On’s signature Cloudtec technology, a series of pods underfoot that compress during landings and pop back up during take-offs. This technology, combined with On’s Zero-gravity foam, creates a light and springy ride in the new On Cloud.

On beefed up the midsole with more Zero-gravity foam in the latest version of the Cloud, creating a more comfortable and cushioned feel.

“These shoes aren’t overly soft or plush, but they provide enough cushion to comfortably get you where you need to go,” Caroline says.

The On Cloud 5 features a new Cloudtec configuration, creating a more stable landing experience. It also features On’s signature Speedboard, a rigid plate in the midsole that propels you forward, which is much more flexible in this shoe than in On’s performance running shoes.

“I wore these to the gym and was really pleased with how they performed. These shoes are flat and low to the ground, making it easy to remain stable and grounded during exercises. I performed several balancing exercises with these and appreciated the close ground contact,” Caroline says.

The outsole consists of rubber in the heel and forefoot area, along with exposed foam in the midsole section. Large grooves in between the Cloud pods make this shoe significantly more flexible than On’s performance running shoes. “These shoes are pleasantly comfy to stroll around in. I can foresee grabbing these on days when I’m going to be walking or standing around on pavement a lot,” says Alex.

On Cloud 5’s Sleek Silhouette Improves Fit

The laces of the On Cloud 5.

The latest version of the On Cloud features an updated upper that’s more accommodating for different foot shapes. A thin, breathable engineered mesh upper tops the forefoot of the shoe, while a thicker, more supportive material wraps around the midfoot and heel.

While the On Cloud 5 is meant to be more accommodating for different foot shapes, some reviewers felt the latest version fits looser than previous versions. Since there are plenty of ways to adjust the lacing, including two different lacing styles, it ultimately wasn’t a problem.

“These shoes fit a lot looser than I remember them, which isn’t a huge deal since I can change out the laces. The upper feels nice and breathable with just enough stretch to feel comfortable,” Caroline says.

The shoes come with On’s Speed-lacing system – bungee-type laces that are held over the eyelets with a knot, meaning there’s no need for tying and untying. In order to adjust the fit of the shoes, you can either tie the knot further down the lace and cut off the excess material, or switch the speed laces out for the standard laces, which come in the box. The forefoot features four extra eyelets, two on each side, to slip the standard laces through.

“At first glance, I didn’t think the bungee laces were adjustable at all, but there are additional eyelets at the top of each shoe. I untied the little knot at the end of the bungee, pulled it tighter through the top eyelet and tied a new knot. Voila! Now they feel great!” Kate says.

Reviewers appreciated having two separate lacing options, as well as the opportunity to skip the whole tying and untying process. The speed laces can save you some time when you get back from your errands, when you’re leaving for the gym or when you’re moving through the airport security checkpoint.

On Cloud 5 vs On Cloud 2.0

A side by side of the On Cloud 5 and On Cloud 2.0.


Tech Specs

On Cloud 5

On Cloud 2.0

Weight

7.2 oz (W), 8.8 oz (M)

6.4 oz (W), 8.1 oz (M)

Drop

8 mm

6 mm

Category

Neutral

Neutral

Use

Casual wear, cross training

Casual wear, cross training

The On Cloud 5 is slightly heavier than the previous version, the On Cloud 2.0. It also features a larger heel-to-toe drop, thanks to an increase in midsole cushioning. Since our reviewers didn’t run in these shoes, they didn’t notice the added weight.

A redesigned upper adds a bit of breathing room for those with wider feet, with plenty of adjustability options for narrow-footed runners to lock down the fit.

Overall, the latest version of the On Cloud is an upgrade in our book thanks to more cushion and more comfort.

“The Cloud 5 is a comfy everyday shoe. It’s not super plush, but it has a comfortable fit and it’s great to walk around in,” says Kate.

The On Cloud 5 sits on a brick pathway.

Final Thoughts

While the On Cloud 5 isn’t the best choice for running, it’s a perfect option for casual wear, gym sessions and travel days. Plus, this shoe has more lacing options than any other shoe we’ve tried. Reviewers appreciated the light cushioning, sleek style and easy fit of the On Cloud 5.

“The On Cloud 5 outperforms most other shoes I have worn to the gym. Add to that their sleek and stylish appearance and they’re the perfect companion for a casual outing,” says Caroline.

“This shoe is a great choice for travel, walks, running errands, and general everyday life,” Kate says.

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