On Cloud vs Adidas Ultraboost [In-Depth Comparison]

Written By Sunny

I have been using shoes for all these years, but never seen such elegant and lightweight shoes like the latest On Cloud and Adidas Ultraboost.

The design and performance truly amazed me. After wearing them both, I have realized a new evolution of shoes is just around the corner.

Lightweight shoes will soon hit the market. And today I will compare the best shoes in this category—On Cloud and Adidas Ultraboost—to help you pick the right one.on-cloud-vs-ultra-boost

So, let’s begin.

Overview of Adidas Ultraboost and On Cloud

Adidas is one of the biggest apparel brands, and On is the new contender in the market.

They make impressive shoes for daily usage, and the Ultraboost and Cloud series are two of them.

Adidas Ultraboost

The first Ultra Boost model was released in January 2015. It was called the Adidas Ultraboost 1.0.

The sole purpose of this series was to give the best running experience to the customer.

Since its first day, the Ultraboost series has performed at its best at every step.

Many top athletes, including Eliud Kipchoge, the current world record holder in the marathon, have worn it.

For its impressive success and popularity, Ultraboost has continued to evolve and has brought many upgrades in recent years.

On Cloud

“On” isn’t the most popular brand, but they make unique shoe series like the Cloud.

The miniature cloud design is their specialty, and the aesthetics look fantastic with any casual outfit.

It has brought a new level of lightness to the market, and people are loving it.overview-of-on-cloud-5

The versatility and construction of On Cloud have created a new competition in the lightweight segment and inspired them to bring new models to this series.

Newer models from Adidas Ultra Boost and On Cloud fall in the same category. And if you are looking for a feather-like feel on your feet, these shoes can be a great option.

But before purchasing a model, you must know about the shoes and their usability to make the right purchase decision.

Key Specification Comparison between On Cloud 5 and Adidas Ultraboost Light (23)

The Adidas Ultraboost series has been in the market for around nine years, and compared to that, On Cloud is very new.

The initial Ultra Boost models were very traditional running shoes. But, Adidas has moved slightly from that category and brought a lighter shoe by keeping the characteristics in the latest model.

On also offers lightweight shoes with their Cloud series.

So, it becomes easier to compare the latest shoes from both series, Adidas Ultraboost Light and On Cloud 5, on the same scale.

Let’s take a look at the key specifications of On Cloud 5 and Adidas Ultraboost Light.

ParameterOn Cloud 5Adidas Ultraboost Light
Release Year20222023
Upper MaterialBreathable meshPrimeknit+
MidsoleCloudTecLight Boost
OutsoleCloudTec Traction rubberContinental Rubber
Stack HeightHeel: 28 mm
Forefoot: 21 mm
Heel: 29.3 mm
Forefoot: 19.3 mm
Heel-to-toe Drop7 mm10 mm
Weight8.81 oz/ 250 g10.4 oz/ 295 g
UsageRegular and casual usageDaily training, long runs, recovery runs

Feature Differences between On Cloud 5 and Adidas Ultraboost Light (23)

The On Cloud 5 and Adidas Ultraboost Light are the latest and lightest models from their respective series.

Adidas Ultraboost Light is also known as Ultraboost 23. It came into the market after the highly popular Ultra Boost 22.

Here are the feature differences between On Cloud 5 and Adidas Ultraboost Light:

1. Upper Material

The On Cloud 5 uses a breathable engineered mesh with taped reinforcement at the forefoot and midfoot area.

It’s very thin and feels comfortable in all weather. The extended tongue on the upper is perforated.

I wore it in the summer for an entire day, and the air circulation was fantastic.

The upper material isn’t very stretchy. So it gives good support during regular usage.

On the other hand, Adidas Ultraboost Light uses Primeknit+ and forged textiles for the upper construction.

The breathability of this shoe is impressive, and it feels very comfortable while running.

The upper has several perforations, but its size is smaller than Cloud 5. However, it gives sufficient air circulation to keep my feet dry.upper-material-of-on-cloud-5

2. Design & Aesthetics

The On Cloud 5 looks very similar to a traditional sneaker. The entire body design is very clean and minimalistic.

It uses a new lacing system called Speed lacing. The shoe contains four eyelets and two webbing on each side of the tongue.

As soon as you wear the shoe, the lacing automatically locks in to give a snug fit.

The tongue design is a bit weird. It’s perforated but extended all the way to the forefoot. However, it doesn’t create any issues in walking or running.

The On Cloud or OC logo is present at the medial, lateral, behind the heel counter, and on the tongue.

It appears in 18 colors, including black, white, light blue, etc. The entire shoe is covered with two tones of color and looks gorgeous and minimalistic.

In contrast, Adidas Ultra Boost Light has more of a running shoe design and structure.

The model has a regular lacing system with four eyelets on each side. The tongue is well-padded but doesn’t have perforations.

The heel counter at the back is extended to make a pull tab for more effortless wear.

Ultraboost Light comes in eight colors, including black, white, red, etc.

The famous three-stripe Adidas logo is present at the medial and lateral sides of the shoe, matching the color contrast of the primary color.

The overall design is pretty clean but not that minimalistic, like the On Cloud 5.design-and-aesthetics-of-on-cloud-5

3. Sole Technology

The insole, midsole, and outsole technology of Cloud 5 and Ultraboost Light are entirely different. These changes affect their performance and use area.


Both On Cloud 5 and Adidas Ultra Boost 23 have removable insoles.

The insole is very thin in the Cloud 5, but the Ultraboost Light/ 23 has a slightly better and thicker insole.

However, you can change it with custom orthotics for better arch support and cushioning.


The On Cloud 5 uses CloudTec® in Zero-Gravity foam for the midsole construction. It’s very lightweight, and the company describes it as the cloud.

It helps with a soft landing and powerful takeoff in every stride.

The foam midsole absorbs the shock, just like the GEL technology, and provides total comfort.

CloudTec reacts according to the feet’ movement and compresses vertically or horizontally to give cushioning where it’s needed.midsole-of-on-cloud-5

On the other hand, the Adidas Ultraboost 23 uses Light Boost foam for the midsole.

It’s very lightweight, but the Ultraboost Light and Ultraboost 22 feels similarly cushioned and responsive.

The midsole is moderately soft, giving versatility for both quick and long runs. It offers a springy feedback in every stride and provides superior energy return.


There is a big difference between the Cloud 5 and Ultraboost Light outsoles.outsole-of-on-cloud-5-and-adidas-ultraboost-light-23

On Cloud uses CloudTec Traction rubber in the forefoot and heel of the outsole. It’s a small layer of rubber on the midsole with a bare minimum outsole pattern.

The midfoot area is exposed, and that part has no outsole.

In contrast, Adidas uses its Continental Rubber for the Ultraboost. It’s highly durable and has wear resistance.

The forefoot has several patterns to help with the stride and traction. The outsole is exposed at the center midfoot area to reduce the shoe’s weight.

4. Size & Weight

Both On Cloud 5 and Adidas Ultraboost Light offer true to size fit. So, if you purchase from the online store, there’s nothing to worry about the sizing.

ParameterOn Cloud 5Adidas Ultraboost Light
Stack HeightHeel: 28 mm
Forefoot: 21 mm
Heel: 29.3 mm
Forefoot: 19.3 mm
Heel-to-toe Drop7 mm10 mm
Weight8.81 oz/ 250 g10.4 oz/ 295 g

For my US Men’s size 9, the weight of Cloud 5 is 250 g, almost 30% lighter than regular shoes.

Similarly, Adidas has shaved the weight of Ultraboost Light by 1.3 oz compared to the previous Ultraboost 22.

The stack height and heel-to-toe drop are pretty similar and perfect for both models.

5. Fit & Comfort

Cloud 5 has an incredible upper material. It’s very breathable and gives good comfort in all weather conditions.

The padding around the heel collar and forefoot is medium. It’s neither too plush nor too hard.

The tongue is gusseted and gives good support while running. However, the cushioning on the tongue is very thin.

The Cloud 5 is very easy to wear, and the speed lacing system gives good tightenings.

The shoe is lightweight, which is definitely a plus point. However, the midsole and outsole comfort isn’t up to the mark.

It’s suitable for walking or running a short distance, but it won’t give the best comfort in heavy workouts or extended usage.

The On Cloud 5 is slightly wider than its predecessor. The toe box and the front of the shoe have ample space for wiggling, and I’m wearing my regular size without any issues.

But, the fitting isn’t the same for the Adidas Ultraboost Light.

The series goes true to size but feels snug and tight at the midfoot and toe box. My finger touches the front of the shoe, and the midfoot is a bit narrow.

Therefore, I went with a half-size larger model for a comfortable fit and wiggle space.

Ultraboost 23 has an excellent upper with excellent all-weather breathability.fit-and-comfort-of-on-adidas-ultraboost-light-23

The tongue is gusseted and has sufficient padding. It feels very good while running and provides fantastic support.

The cushioning around the heel collar and forefoot is ample for maintaining its versatility.

The Adidas Light Boost midsole is impressive for running long distances and easily copes with sudden pace shifts and tempos.

6. Stability & Support

The midsole of On Cloud 5 is very thick and gives a lot of cushioning. It feels comfortable while running or using it for a longer duration.

It has sufficient foam around the heel collar to provide good ankle support.

On Cloud 5 is a neutral shoe, which leaves no arch support at the midfoot. So, if you are an overpronator or have high arch feet, it will not suit you very well.

However, the wide platform and outsole are surprisingly good for flat and wide feet people.

It helps to maintain the stability and provide necessary medial and lateral support.

On the other hand, the Ultraboost 23 is far ahead in the stability and support category.stability-and-support-of-on-adidas-ultraboost-light-23

The heel is very plush and has lots of cushioning underneath. It’s fantastic for heel strikers and allows them to land softly.

Adidas Ultraboost Light has good lateral support. So, if you are an overpronator, it will give sufficient support on your feet.

As always, the cushioning is fantastic in Ultraboost. The moderate foam around the heel collar gives outstanding ankle support while running.

It’s a neutral shoe, so it doesn’t have a well-built arch support. But, it doesn’t create any issues in running or in long usage.

7. Durability & Performance

The On Cloud 5 is a good daily shoe, but I’m not fully sold out on its durability and performance.

According to the official information, they claim it usually lasts for around 300 miles.

However, in my usage, I’ve found it less than I expected. After using it for around 50 miles, I’ve seen worn-outs around the lateral side of the front part.

Cloud 5 is excellent on a smooth surface. But on the rough surface, the exposed midsole is significantly damaged.

With the Ultraboost Light, the scenario is completely different.

It uses the highly durable Continental Rubber. Adidas says it’s almost impossible to destroy the outsole.

I have run over 300 miles with it, and the outsole is still in fine condition.

The performance is superb, and the Ultraboost is very good for running. The upper and midsoles give good cushioning and are still in good condition.

8. Price Comparison

The price differs significantly between the On Cloud 5 and the Adidas Ultraboost Light/23.

On Cloud 5
  • »Around $139.99
Adidas Ultraboost Light
  • »Around $190

Both models have around a $50 difference in the retail shop or online.

The price gap is massive, and many would consider purchasing the cheaper alternatives. But, the Adidas Ultraboost Light is an extremely versatile and durable shoe.

It performs very well and would be a better value-for-money choice.

Pros & Cons: On Cloud 5 Vs. Adidas Ultraboost Light

The On Cloud 5 and Ultraboost Light are good shoes but aren’t free from advantages and disadvantages.

On Cloud 5

  • »Suitable all day wear shoes.
  • »Extremely lightweight.
  • »Very breathable and flexible.
  • »Offers various color options.
  • »The outsole isn’t very durable.
  • »Not suitable for running or working out.

On Cloud 5

  • »Very cushiony and provides a responsive ride.
  • »Weighs a lot less than the previous generation.
  • »The upper is very breathable.
  • »Suitable for walking and running.
  • »The Price is high.
  • »The regular size feels snug and tight.

On Cloud 5 Vs. Adidas Ultraboost Light: Which Should You Buy?

The On Cloud 5 is a unique shoe, whereas the Adidas Ultraboost Light is a high-performance shoe.

The usability, performance, and price are a lot different in these models. So, you must be sure about the purpose and your daily usage.

The On Cloud 5 is made to serve a very specific objective.

If you want to use it for casual usage and don’t plan to run or workouts with it, the On Cloud 5 will be an extraordinary choice.

However, if you are looking for a versatile shoe for walking, running, and regular usage, the Adidas Ultraboost Light is the obvious winner.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the difference between On Cloud 5 and Cloud X?

The shoe construction is the main difference between the On Cloud 5 and X. The Cloud X has a wider forefoot than 5. Also, the outsole has a thick layer of rubber with a deep pattern. It helps with offroad walking and light workouts.

Is On Cloud 5 waterproof?

No, the On Cloud 5 isn’t waterproof. The shoe has a waterproof version but has different upper materials for water resistance.

Why are Adidas Ultraboost so popular?

The Adidas Ultraboost is famous for its design and performance. It’s a versatile shoe that looks like a lifestyle shoe but excels in running and walking. It’s well cushioned and provides responsiveness to match every demand of a runner.

What is the lifespan of Ultraboosts?

Adidas Ultra Boost shoes are made with very durable material. With good care and maintenance, the shoe easily lasts for 300 to 500 miles.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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