Who should buy the On Cloud 5
This is a fine shoe if you want a fusion of classy and sporty for daily use. This On Cloud is ready for walks of any distance, long hours of standing at work, traveling, or simply enjoying your weekend leisure. What makes the shoe really stand out though is its extreme lightness. It is perfect for the fans of lightweight walking shoes.
As a nice bonus, it can also be used for light home workouts, body weight, or with lighter dumbells and kettlebells. You can wear it for warm-up treadmill runs too as long as you keep your runs short and casual.
Who should not buy the shoe
Because of its close resemblance to many other On Cloud shoes, the Cloud 5 is easy to confuse for a running shoe or a gym shoe. But according to professional Crossfitters, this trainer “should be limited to daily wear." So, if you were hoping to get a performance shoe, consider the following alternatives:
- a shoe to walk in AND do your runs and workouts, a much better (and cheaper) option would be the Reebok Nano X1;
- a proper running shoe from On is the Cloudflow 3.0.
Some testers also find the shoe’s exposed foam concerning for long-term durability. So, if you know that you’ll be dragging your feet or kicking stones here and there, try the On Cloud X. It is very similar in design but is far superior in durability with its beefier outsole and more rubber.
Game-changing comfort of the Cloud 5
“I may have to sleep with them on,” says one of the many satisfied wearers of the Cloud 5. The comfort of this walking shoe astonished many different categories of people. Those who spend 10-12 hours on their feet at work said it was “the only shoe [they] can wear” at work. Someone with peripheral neuropathy is amazed at how the Cloud 5 improved her condition.
A person who wore it with no socks reports having no blisters. Another happy reviewer says it’s “the only shoe that doesn’t hurt in Disney World.” Finally, for some reviewers, Cloud 5 has become a saving grace for daily walks: “they make me go out and move again.”
Contributing to the comfort is the high amount of breathability offered by the shoe’s mesh upper, especially in the toebox. A reviewer reports that she can still feel the air coming through with her socks on. Another tester who wore the shoe at 10 degrees Celcius says that his feet got cold.
In the video below, you can see the most transparent (breathable) parts of the upper.
This is definitely a breathable walking shoe for warmer months. And if you need one for rainy days, check out the Cloud 5 Waterproof.
The midsole is a bit firm, don't expect a marshmallow
The only potential issue we see people having with this On Cloud is that its midsole is slightly on the firm side. Those who are used to the marshmallowy plush Skechers GOwalk found the Cloud 5 a bit stiff.
The On Cloud 5 sits right at the average across our lab-tested shoes in terms of cushioning softness. It is moderately firm, only 4% firmer than the average.
Disclaimer: To ensure accuracy, we take the durometer measurement 5 times before noting down the result. The photo shows 1 out of 5 takes.
However, it is good to know that the foam on Cloud 5 stiffens up in cold temperatures. In our test, it got 48% firmer after spending 20 minutes in the freezer. Keep this in mind when taking the shoe out on a chilly day.
Enough cushioning to keep you supported all day
It may not the the most generously cushioned walking shoe in the market but the Cloud 5 employs a good amount of foam to help you feel comfortable for extended periods of wear.
We measured the heel stack at 27.6 mm, while the forefoot is 20.7 mm.
Disclaimer: Our midsole stack measurements include the insole as well. It is 4.4 mm thick on the Cloud 5.
Based on the brand's statement, the heel-to-toe drop on the Cloud 5 is 8 mm. However, we measured it to be 6.9 mm. Not too big of a difference though.
Quite stable for a neutral shoe
The On Cloud 5 is a neutral walking shoe, which means that it doesn't have any arch support. However, its moderately firm midsole and wide platform help to create a rather stable platform.
The shoe's footprint is 80 mm wide in the heel and 101.4 mm in the forefoot. While this is not above-average wide, it is enough to create a rather surefooted base.
But if you are someone with flat feet or overpronation and looking for more arch support in your footwear, do consider the Cloud 5 Push. It is a more supportive edition of the shoe. Alternatively, you can replace its removable insole with the one that suits you better.
It’s a slip-on but keeps the foot locked in
A great number of people praise the quick lacing of the Cloud 5: “you can slip right into them,” “no need to readjust the tongue or mess with the lacing system."
The hands-free, no-tie convenience is especially appreciated by seniors and people who find it challenging to bend over.
Despite being a slip-on shoe, testers say that it keeps your foot secure. Even with its longer-than-average boot, or shoe opening, they never had heel slip issues with the Cloud 5.
A fully-gusseted tongue definitely contributes to the locked-in fit.
But if you do need a more conventional fit, the shoe comes with an extra pair of traditional laces. You can use the extra eyelets to lace them up and get a more locked fit for running or hitting the gym.
So light you forget about having shoes on
The shoe’s barely-there feel is one of the first things people notice when taking the Cloud 5 on a walk for the first time. Even when they wear it for longer periods, it still remains unbelievably light. For reference, the average weight of men’s walking shoes is 11.3 oz (321 g), while the On Cloud 5 is 26%(!) lighter.
One more thing that makes the shoe feel easy on the foot is the large grooves throughout the bottom. Even people who prefer walking barefoot or wearing sandals say it’s one of the few shoes that keep them “totally comfortable.” One tester says “It just felt like it worked with my foot instead of forcing it to go a certain way.”
The only caveat here (which is the same with all On shoes) is that pebbles do get stuck in these flex grooves.
The Cloud 5 in not only the most flexible among On shoes but also among all of our lab-tested shoes. It is incredibly bendy which helps you transition from heel to toe seamlessly.
Based on our measurements, it is 35(!)% more flexible than the average.
Twisting the shoe, we were also amazed with its pliability. In our subjective assessment, we gave the shoe 1/5 for longtitudal flexibility and 2/5 for the torsional one. For reference, 5 is the stiffest.
Reflective logo shines in dark
As a nice and handy touch, the brand made the logo and a few other elements throughout the upper reflective.
On Cloud 5 is not the shoe for wear and tear
Quite a few wearers have a knock on the shoe's long-term durability. There are two problematic areas in the shoe: the forefoot foam and the mesh over the toes.
The foam tends to scuff near the toes because there is too little rubber coverage. One athlete faced this issue even though he hasn’t even worn the shoe for that long and ”not for that crazy of activities.”
Another potentially frail area is the toebox mesh. A few people complained that after a few months of moderate use, the toes have worn a hole through the material.
A step closer to sustainability
If you care about making less of an environmental impact even through shoe shopping, this On Cloud is the way to go. Made of 44% of recycled materials, it is one of the most sustainable walking shoes on the market.
Complete lab-specs overview
|On Cloud 5||Average|
|Flexibility of the shoe (N)||19.8||30.7|
|Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N)||44.6||43.0|
|Flexibility of the shoe (% of change)||125.3||43.4|
|Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)||1||3.1|
|Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)||2||3.2|
|Thickness - Tongue (mm)||2.9||5.8|
|Width Upper - Forefoot (mm)||89.5||98.2|
|Width Upper - Heel (mm)||62.7||75.3|
|Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)||2||2.8|
|Tongue: gusset type||both sides (fully gusseted)||-|
|Heel: pull tab||none||-|
|Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm)||101.4||111.8|
|Width Midsole - Heel (mm)||80.0||88.8|
|Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm)||20.7||24.3|
|Stack - Heel with insole (mm)||27.6||32.6|
|Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA)||28.5||27.4|
|Durometer Midsole - Heel (Freezer 20 minutes)||42.2||34.5|
|Durometer Midsole - Heel (% of change) (TEST)||48.1||24.9|
|Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm)||3.0||3.5|
|Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC)||80.8||80.8|
|Insole Heel Thickness (mm)||4.4||4.5|