This week we had the chance to try a pair of On Cloud 5 runners and tested some of its features for our review section. On Running is a Swiss footwear company that first introduced their revolutionary Cloudtech midsole in 2012 at the London Olympic Games with the Cloudracer model. Two years later the On Cloud model was released and since then it’s been perfected to what we have today, the On Cloud 5. Based on this model the brand developed numerous other models like the Cloudnova, Cloudtilt or the Cloudvista just to name a few. The On Cloud 5 is primarily a daily runner, an everyday casual athletic shoe that is versatile enough for light running and training. 

First Impressions

The pair we got is a 2023 release in a gray, blue and volt colorway that outlines perfectly the construction of this shoe. As you get these out of the box the first thing you’ll notice is how lightweight they are. Size 12 weighed just under 10 oz which is great, even if that is almost 2 oz heavier than the On Cloud 2, the previous version. Another thing that stands out is how easy it is to take them on and off due to the innovative quick lacing system. They fit like a glove and the more you wear them the less you feel them on your feet. As you put them on they do not feel as cushy as a pair of Brooks or Hoka runners, having also a flatter sole.  

How Do They Fit?

In general the On Cloud 5 fits true to size. However, since this may be the case for most, you have to keep in mind that if you have slightly wider feet you want to go up a half size as they run narrow and they have a quite snug toe box. Those with a high instep or high arch will also have a hard time getting comfortable in these for this reason as well as because they were built to be used almost like a slip on. If unsure about the size you need you can check out the On Running size chart

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The upper of the On Cloud 5 is made of a slightly padded mesh with synthetic overlays. For this reason they are very breathable, at least in the front where the mesh density is not as thick as in the back of the shoe. The materials used are about 44% recycled content. We tested these outdoors in Chicago in November and I can tell that my feet were very cold so I can attest to their breathability. On Running came out with a Waterproof version of these which is better to wear in colder, more wetter weather. They feature a slim tongue which was perfectly engineered to take these on and easily. The quick lacing system is a great feature for those wearing these as a daily runner to run errands. The shoes come with regular laces as well for those looking for more lockdown. The overall construction is pretty simplistic with minimal padding which keeps the shoe very lightweight.  

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Sole Unit 

The sole unit of the On Cloud 5 features the signature Cloudtech technology supported by the Zero-Gravity foam and the Speedboard plate. This setup is what got this shoe so popular as the pods that run across the midsole compress and bounce back and thus providing enhanced energy return. This makes it so the feet don’t feel tired after walking around in these all day, despite their 7mm heel to toe drop. For this reason the shoes have an overall flat feel when you first put them on and they are not as cushy as other runners. After a while wearing them, however you get why they are so popular, how they excel in keeping your feet rested throughout the day. The outsole features exposed foam as well as an enhanced rubber to add some durability. For this reason these are not great for intense activities in the gym or off read, being more of a shoe that you wear casually. The somewhat narrow sole is not providing enough stability for lifting weights in the gym, in that regards the On Cloud X being a better choice. 

Are On Cloud 5 Good for Running?

The On Cloud 5 is advertised by the brand as an all day wear shoe so it was primarily designed for everyday use rather than for running. However,the shoe is versatile enough to be worn for casual, short runs. Also they are better fit for occasional indoors running so they’ll last longer. 

Are On Cloud 5 Waterproof?

The original Cloud 5 like the one we got is not waterproof, however the brand came up with the Waterproof version which features multi layered waterproof mesh in the front area in addition to the denser fabric from the back. While not as breathable as the original they provide excellent protection against occasional moisture from the rain or wet grass. 

Are On Cloud 5 Good for Walking?

The On Cloud 5 is an excellent shoe for walking, whether it is short or long runs. The Cloudtech midsole in sync with the Speedboard plate provides excellent energy return which will keep your feet from getting tired. You have to keep in mind that you’ll get the best of this shoe the more you’ll move around. Standing up in these all day will not give you the best comfort as they are not as plush as other runners.

Bottom Line 

The On Cloud 5 is a popular athletic shoe for a good reason. If you are looking for a daily runner that is very lightweight, easy to slide on and off and it will keep your feet rested throughout the day these are for you. It is a versatile shoe as you’d expect but it’s not one to excel in the gym or running outdoors. In this context you’ll reduce their life as they are not designed to withstand intense athletic activities, something that you may not want to do with a $140 priced shoe.