on Cloud vs Mizuno: Which Is Better?

As an avid runner and athlete, I understand the importance of finding the right athletic shoe brand that provides the perfect fit, comfort, and performance to meet my needs. Cloud and Mizuno are two top athletic shoe brands, each with their own unique strengths.

In this article, I’ll compare and contrast key features of Cloud and Mizuno to help you determine which brand may be best for your individual needs and preferences.

Comparison Table

FeaturesCloudMizuno
Founded In20101906
Founded ByRonnie ShieldsRihachi Mizuno
Comfort and FitSofter cushioning provides a plush feelFirm cushioning creates stable and responsive feel
Color OptionsWide range of bold, vibrant colorsMore subdued color palette
DurabilityAverage durabilityHighly durable
PerformanceDesigned for speed and flexibilityEngineered for stability and support
Design and StyleContemporary, athletic aestheticClassic sporty look
PopularityGrowing popularity among newer brandsEstablished brand with loyal following
Best Selling ModelCloud 5Wave Rider

On Running Overview:

Swiss running shoe brand On Running took the market by storm when they debuted their revolutionary CloudTec cushioning system in 2010.

Co-founded by Olivier Bernhard, David Allemann, and Caspar Coppetti, On Running sought to shake up the look and feel of running shoes.

On Running Founders

Unlike the thick foam midsoles of brands like Hoka and Brooks, On shoes feature individual rubber pods strategically placed on the outsole.

This signature CloudTec cushioning provides a firm yet responsive feel. The pods compress and rebound independently to deliver what On calls a “soft landing followed by an explosive take-off.”

Most On Running shoe models also incorporate the company’s Speedboard technology, a curved plastic plate that improves transitions from heel to toe.

Together, the CloudTec sole and Speedboard reduce muscle vibration and create what On describes as a “smooth running sensation.” The outsoles are strategically mapped to match key pressure points during the phases of a runner’s stride. On Running shoes tend to have close-fitting mesh uppers to hold the foot securely.

While On Running’s CloudTec cushioning doesn’t isolate impact as much as maximally cushioned shoes, the pods respond individually to deliver energetic rebound. This makes On shoes ideal for efficient runners who want some feedback from the ground. The technology caters to midfoot and forefoot strikers with an emphasis on propelling runners forward.

Over the past decade, On Running has unveiled innovations like the CloudTec Lite system using hollowed-out pods to shed weight, and the Cloudboom midsole foam for additional underfoot softness. Their unique sole technology combined with clean, minimalist uppers gives On Running shoes an identifiable look.

Mizuno Overview

Founded in 1906 in Japan by Rihachi Mizuno, Mizuno is steeped in a long heritage of innovative sports footwear.

Rihachi Mizuno

While newer to the American running shoe scene than some brands, Mizuno has quietly built a following for its responsive, well-balanced performance.

Mizuno running shoes utilize technologies like Enerzy foam cushioning and Wave Plates engineered into the midsole to provide a springy yet stable platform. The smooth but supportive ride makes Mizuno a great choice for tempo runs and speed workouts.

The breathable mesh uppers hug feet securely but allow adequate airflow on hot runs.

Mizuno shoes run slightly narrow but are tailored to most foot shapes with a curved anatomical last. Sizes accommodate regular and wider width options.

The outsoles use durable carbon rubber in high-wear areas for impressive longevity over hundreds of miles. Traction lugs grip well on varied terrain from tracks to light trails.

While the shoes skew minimalist rather than heavily cushioned, the responsive foam and smooth transitions still offer plenty of comfort for long distances. Testers note the quality of craftsmanship and attention to detail shine through.

For runners seeking a well-balanced shoe for mid to high-mileage training, Mizuno delivers a harmonious blend of comfort, responsiveness, and versatility at a reasonable price point.

Major Differences Between These Brands

Comfort and Fit

The most noticeable difference between Cloud and Mizuno lies in the overall fit and feel. Cloud shoes have a softer, more plush cushioning that gives them a “marshmallow-like” feel by compressing easily underfoot. This makes them ideal for wearers who want lightweight, pillowy soft shoes.

In contrast, Mizuno shoes have a firmer ride with more responsive cushioning meant to propel you forward as you run or play sports. This stable, supportive fit stays secure during lateral motions. So while Cloud offers a soft, pillowy feel, Mizuno provides a snugger, more responsive fit.

Durability and Performance

When it comes to durability and performance, Mizuno shoes are the clear winner. With over a century of shoe-making experience, Mizuno has perfected the construction of high-mileage running shoes meant to stand up to intense training. Their shoes feature durable materials in the uppers, along with high-quality midsole foams designed for resilience.

Cloud shoes, while comfortable, tend to have more mixed reviews when it comes to durability. The lightweight FloatFoam cushioning softens and compresses permanently over time, more so than the firmer foam used in Mizuno midsoles. For runners looking for greater longevity in their shoes, Mizuno is likely the better choice over the newer Cloud brand.

In terms of performance, Mizuno excels at stability and support thanks to technologies like their Wave Plate. Cloud provides a flexible, natural feel that suits lighter training rather than hardcore sports. So Mizuno takes the lead for athletic performance, while Cloud offers lifestyle-friendly comfort.

Price

When it comes to price, Cloud shoes are generally more budget-friendly, with an average price of $80-$120 USD. As a newer company, Cloud seems to aim for competitive pricing to appeal to a wide range of consumers. Their use of modern manufacturing techniques also likely keeps costs lower.

Mizuno shoes are considered a premium athletic shoe, with prices ranging from $120-$200 on average. As an established Japanese company, Mizuno does not compromise on materials or construction quality, even if that comes at a higher cost. Their shoes are primarily handmade to ensure the intricate details meet Mizuno’s high standards.

For shoppers on a tighter budget, Cloud will provide similar technologies like foam cushioning for less. But hardcore runners may find the investment in Mizuno shoes worth it for access to the brand’s patented features and commitment to excellence. It comes down to priorities – Cloud for affordability, Mizuno for top-notch quality and performance.

Design and Style

When it comes to aesthetics, Cloud shoes have a sporty yet modern look mixing athletic shapes with bold, colorful accents. Models like the Cloud X use gradient or two-tone designs for a lively, energetic vibe perfect for young athletes.

Mizuno shoes have a more understated, classic sports design. Instead of vivid colors, Mizuno shoes tend to use white with subtle accents in their signature blue shade. The silhouette is more traditional, combining support and comfort rather than energy and flair.

So in terms of style, Cloud is the choice for those who want eye-catching shoes that make a statement, while Mizuno offers simple sophistication. Cloud uses fun colors and patterns you can wear from the gym to the streets, whereas Mizuno offers heritage designs focused purely on sport performance. It comes down to personal preferences in aesthetics – bold vs. classic.

Popularity

As the much younger brand, Cloud has less brand recognition and loyalty compared to the well-established Mizuno name. Founded in 2015, Cloud is still building their reputation in athletic footwear, while Mizuno has been a leader in the category since the early 1900’s.

However, Cloud seems to be rising in popularity especially among younger athletes who appreciate the brand’s combination of style and comfort technologies. Their bold, lively designs and Budget-friendly prices make the brand enticing for new generations of runners.

That said, Mizuno still enjoys a strong following among seasoned athletes who rely on the quality, durability and performance of Mizuno shoes. The brand benefits from decades of trust and loyalty, especially in categories like running. So while Cloud gains traction, Mizuno maintains a strong foothold among traditionalists.

Target Market

The target markets for Cloud and Mizuno differ quite significantly. Cloud shoes are aimed toward casual athletes in their teens, 20s and 30s looking for comfort and style. Their bright colors and sleek silhouettes hold appeal for young runners and gym-goers who want shoes that transition from workouts to everyday wear.

Mizuno shoes skew toward more experienced veteran athletes who need high-performance footwear. Their technical features and stability focus on serious runners training for marathons or competitions. Mizuno customers also appreciate the brand’s heritage and reputation for quality within the athletic community.

In summary, Cloud targets trendy up-and-coming athletes looking for fashion-forward comfort at affordable price points. Mizuno appeals more to seasoned athletes who rely on state-of-the-art technologies and premium materials to enhance their performance. The brands cater to different demographics, with some overlap among young runners drawn to Cloud’s stylish look.

Performance Comparison

For Nurses

For nurses constantly on their feet, Cloud shoes provide plush cushioning and shock absorption that helps reduce foot fatigue. The soft, pillow-like feel eases the strain of long hours standing and rushing between patients.

However, some nurses may prefer Mizuno for the greater stability and arch support. The more responsive cushioning provides a secure feel during fast-paced movements in intense hospital settings. Those susceptible to foot pain may also appreciate Mizuno’s smoother transition from heel to toe during gait.

For Walking

For casual walking, Cloud shoes are an excellent choice thanks to their soft, flexible cushioning that allows natural foot movement. The pillowy feel absorbs impact to reduce joint strain during long walks, making them ideal for light exercisers or those managing arthritis.

However, some walkers may prefer Mizuno for the extra stability and propulsion during faster-paced power walking. The firmer cushioning provides a responsive feel with each step to keep you moving efficiently. Mizuno’s smooth heel-to-toe transition also makes their walking shoes suitable for those with sensitive joints.

In the end, opt for Cloud if you want supreme cushioned comfort at an easy pace, or go with Mizuno if you need more support for brisk walking over long distances. Both provide excellent shock absorption, just with different feels.

For Running

For running, Mizuno is likely the better choice with their durable foams and support technologies engineered to log high mileage. The Wave Plate in their soles provides responsive propulsion and stability mile after mile.

Cloud shoes would work well for short, casual runs where cushioning is more important than longevity. Their soft, bouncy feel provides comfort for a couple of miles. But the lightweight foams are likely to compress and degrade sooner than Mizuno’s premium midsoles under the repetitive impact of running.

In summary, opt for Mizuno if you’re training for races, running long distances regularly, or need stability for overpronation issues. Cloud is better suited for occasional light jogging when cushioning matters most. Serious runners will appreciate Mizuno’s durability and technologies to enhance performance.

For Flat Feet

Those with flat feet or overpronation tendencies may find Cloud shoes lack the arch support and stability needed. Without reinforcement, their soft cushioning allows the foot to roll inward excessively.

Instead, Mizuno running shoes are an excellent choice with features that prevent overpronation. Technologies like their Wave Plate improve stability by guiding the foot through an efficient gait cycle. Other options have medial posts or Torsion shafts for added reinforcement.

So runners with flat feet or stability issues are better off choosing Mizuno, whose technologies and firmer cushioning prevent excessive inward rolling. Cloud shoes will likely feel too unstable and flexible, making them a poor match for those needing pronation control. Mizuno’s structure and support make them the clear choice.

For Back Pain

For those with chronic back pain, Cloud shoes may provide welcome relief with their plush, pillow-like cushioning that minimizes impact up the body. The soft FloatFoam and flexible CloudTec sole absorb shock rather than transmitting jarring forces to the spine.

However, some may find Mizuno’s firmer fit keeps the back in better alignment through each stride. The snugger midsole holds the foot in a neutral position instead of flattening arches with overly soft foam. Those prone to misalignment issues may prefer this secure fit.

So in summary, Cloud cushioning helps alleviate pain from impact, while Mizuno stability prevents pain from poor mechanics when walking or running. Depending on the cause of your back pain, one brand may be better suited than the other.

For Standing All Day

For people on their feet all day – whether for work, travel or play – Cloud shoes provide plush, pillow-like cushioning that helps reduce fatigue. Their lightweight yet shock-absorbing soles soften the constant impact of standing and walking on hard surfaces.

However, some may find that Mizuno shoes provide greater support for all-day wear. The firm Wave Plate and smooth heel-to-toe transition keep feet properly aligned and stabilized during long hours upright. This helps prevent pain that can come from poor foot mechanics when tired.

In the end, Cloud excels at comfort and shock absorption for extended wear. But Mizuno offers the structure and stability some may need for long bouts of standing or walking. Assess your individual needs to choose which best matches your all-day priorities and comfort preferences.

For High Arches

Runners with high arches may find the plush cushioning of Cloud shoes helps provide shock absorption, rather than relying on their stiffer arches alone for impact protection. The soft, pillowy foam reduces some pressure.

However, the flexibility of Cloud foam often lacks the arch support truly needed by those with high insteps. In this case, Mizuno is the better choice, as many models have heel wedges or medial posts to properly support high arches and prevent strain.

Additionally, the Wave Plate technology provides responsive propulsion right where needed under a high arch. So for those needing arch reinforcement, Mizuno can both cushion shock and provide the right structure underfoot. Cloud would likely prove too unstable and flexing.

In summary, Cloud cushions high arches, but Mizuno goes further by truly supporting and stabilizing. Opt for Mizuno if you need to control excessive motion in your high arched feet when running.

For Hiking

For hiking’s rugged terrain, Mizuno trail running shoes are the optimal choice with durable materials and aggressive traction suitable for varied conditions. The sturdy foam midsoles withstand impacts from rocks and roots while providing cushioned comfort mile after mile.

While Cloud shoes absorb shock well, their lightweight treads and foam would wear down more quickly with the abrasion and uneven surfaces encountered hiking. Serious hikers need the stability and durability built into Mizuno trail shoes.

However, very casual day hikers ambling along flat, groomed trails may find Cloud shoes provide pleasant cushioning. But for confidence maneuvering up and down steep, technical trails, opt for Mizuno’s trail-ready features. The right shoes can make your hikes more comfortable and enjoyable.

For Plantar Fasciitis

Plantar fasciitis sufferers need strong arch support and cushioning to reduce heel and arch pain. While Cloud’s soft foam helps absorb shock, it often lacks the structure needed to properly support the plantar fascia tissue.

Instead, Mizuno running shoes are an excellent choice with well-cushioned yet supportive footbeds made to gently stretch the plantar fascia with each step. Technologies like the Wave Plate or medial posts offer stability to ease strain on painful feet.

Additionally, Mizuno’s smooth heel-to-toe transition optimizes foot mechanics, whereas Cloud’s marshmallow-like feel can allow poor rolling of the feet that aggravates this condition. By combining cushioning and support, Mizuno eases discomfort while helping improve foot function.

In summary, Mizuno’s support, stability, and directed propulsion make them an ideal choice for protecting sensitive, painful feet from further damage. Cloud’s plush feel simply cannot provide enough structure to truly aid this condition.

Final Verdict

In the match-up between Cloud and Mizuno, there is no single winner – the right brand depends on your personal needs and preferences as an athlete, walker or runner.

For those wanting soft, pillowy cushioning with lively style, Cloud is a solid choice. Their shoes provide a cushy feel and eye-catching designs perfect for casual training or all-day wear. However, serious runners and athletes needing a supportive, stable fit for intense training would do better in Mizuno.


Mizuno excels at performance and durability thanks to decades perfecting shoe technologies and construction. Their premium shoes offer a snugger, responsive feel that keeps feet protected mile after mile.

So weigh your priorities – if cushion and flexibility are most important, go with Cloud. If you need a performance-ready shoe built for your sport, choose trusted Mizuno. Assess your needs to pick the athletic footwear brand that fits and feels best!

Leave a comment