Are Cloud 5 Good for Running?

If you’re a runner looking for a comfortable, high-performance running shoe, you may have come across the On Cloud 5. With their unique cushioning system and sleek design, Cloud 5 has become a popular choice for runners in recent years. But are they actually good running shoes?

In this complete guide, we’ll explore the key features of the Cloud 5, how they perform for different types of runners, explore alternatives, and answer some frequently asked questions to help you decide if Cloud 5 are the right running shoes for you

Key Features of Cloud 5 for Running

Here are some of the notable features that make Cloud 5 a popular choice for runners:

CloudTec Cushioning System: This unique cushioning system uses rubber Cloud pods on a firm foam sole to provide soft landings and explosive takeoffs. This helps absorb impact, while the firmness gives stability and responsiveness.

Breathable Mesh Upper: The upper uses engineered mesh for a flexible, breathable fit that keeps feet cool. It includes overlays for strategic support.

Speedboard: The firm plastic Speedboard runs from heel to midfoot, providing a spring-like effect during transition and efficient toe-offs.

Durable Continental Rubber Outsole: Made by German company Continental, the rubber outsole provides excellent grip on a variety of surfaces, high abrasion-resistance, and flexibility.

Minimal Shape: With a low heel-to-toe drop of 6mm and lower profile, Cloud 5 encourages a natural stride for many runners.

Performance for Different Types of Runners

So in terms of specs, Cloud 5 checks a lot of boxes for the ideal running shoe. But how does this translate into real-world performance? Here’s a look at how they might work for different types of runners:

Beginners: With ample cushioning and a stable overall ride, Cloud 5 makes a solid shoe for newer runners. The upper provides a comfortable fit even for wider feet. The security of the supportive overlay system is also great for building confidence.

Neutral Runners: From 5K to marathon distances, Cloud 5 offers lightweight responsiveness for neutral runners who don’t overpronate. The breathable upper also makes them suitable for warm days, while the Continental Rubber outsole grips well on both asphalt and trails.

Heavy or Long-Distance Runners: With cushioning that is soft yet responsive, Cloud 5 provides enough shock absorption for heavier runners, long distances, and recovery days while still feeling efficient. The pods last surprisingly long without packing down or feeling unstable beneath your feet, even over hundreds of miles.

Fast Training or Races: While they may not have the plush feel of maximalist shoes, the CloudTec system and Speedboard give Cloud 5 better energy return than their lower profile looks let on. The grippy outsole also allows you to corner confidently on city streets. For 5K to half marathon races, Cloud 5 is lightweight speed that you can count on.

Alternatives to Consider

While the unique cushioning system is what draws many runners to the On Cloud 5 in the first place, it’s not going to be the perfect match for everyone. Here are a few alternatives worth considering:

Brooks Ghost: A neutral cushioned favorite across the board, Ghost may not have the fun factor of the Cloud 5 but offers reliable comfort and performance for high mileage.

Saucony Ride: With a medial post for light stability, the Ride also provides a well-balanced responsive ride in a great looking package.

Hoka Mach 5: For runners craving soft landings above all, these extremely cushioned shoes offer pillowy comfort that makes miles fly by effortlessly.

New Balance FuelCell Rebel V2: A fun, well-cushioned speed shoe with a curved outsole designed to rock you forward. It’s for runners who want an efficient feel for faster paces.

Mizuno Wave Rider 26: An iconic neutral shoe with premium responsiveness, the Rider offers a snugger fit and parallel Wave Plate for smoothing out your ride.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still debating if Cloud 5 are the shoe for you? Here are answers to some common questions runners have about the Cloud 5 to help you lock in your decision:

How’s the sizing and fit?

Cloud 5 generally runs true-to-size for most runners. However, some find the mesh upper fits snugger over the midfoot while being roomy in the toe box area. Trying them on in-store can help nail the fit. But overall they will accommodate medium to slightly wider feet well.

How durable are they?

While serious trail use can wear down the pods quicker, the Continental rubber grips well on roads and hard-packed dirt for 300+ miles generally. As long as you rotate them properly, Cloud 5 holds up reliably even as daily trainers.

Do they work for walking?

With ample cushioning and support features carried over from the running version, Cloud 5 can make comfortable lightweight walking shoes for short strolls or all-day wear.

Can I use them for cross-training?

The CloudTec cushioning absorbs shock effectively during plyometrics or HIIT-style training while the upper provides flexibility. Just be aware the mesh isn’t quite as breathable as training-specific shoes.

Do I need to “break them in”?

Not necessarily. The upper shapes quickly to your feet out of the box. And the CloudTec system offers responsive cushioning from your first strides rather than needing to compress and form to your foot over time.

Is the toe box roomy enough?

While snugger over higher insteps, most runners find the toe box roomy enough for comfortable splay and swelling, especially if you size up a half-size.


On Cloud 5 offers a uniquely responsive, well-cushioned ride for neutral runners thanks to the proprietary CloudTec system. The tuned foam sole and Speedboard provide propulsion for faster paces while absorbing shock over long miles.

And the comfortable woven upper rounds out an adaptable, lightweight package suitable for most training.

While a snugger midfoot or lack of stability elements may make them less suitable for certain foot types, most runners find the innovative technology delivers an efficient, smooth stride for everything from 5Ks to marathons.

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