On Cloud X vs On Cloud 5: Which is the Fluffiest Cloud?

Written By Sunny

As a fitness lover, I have been using a pair of Cloud X as a comfortable trainer for my daily workouts. But I wasn’t entirely satisfied with the overall cushioning of this model.

So you can imagine how excited I was when I heard that the On brand had released the Cloud 5 with a promise of fixing this issue.

I quickly bought a pair and put them against my existing Cloud X to see how they differ.on-cloud-x-vs-on-cloud-5

Let’s dive into this article and discuss those differences to determine whether you should buy the Cloud 5 or X for everyday use.

A Quick Overview of the On Cloud 5 and X

On Cloud X and On Cloud 5 are two popular shoes from the Swiss company On. Both shoes are designed to be versatile and suitable for daily wear and cross-training.

The Cloud X is the first and oldest model in its lineup. It’s also older than the Cloud 5 shoe.

Due to being a newer model, the Cloud 5 boasts the latest and greatest innovations that the On-running has to offer.

Furthermore, both shoes have a strong focus on style, with an aim to offer something unique, something completely different than all the other daily training shoes in the market.

These shoes might have a primary focus on comfort and design, but they also excel in various performance-focused tasks, like running and gym workouts.

Hence, the Swiss company markets both shoes as “all-in-one” fits.

On a side note, check out the differences between On Cloud 5 and Cloudswift.

Feature Comparison Between the On Cloud 5 and Cloud X

Since the Cloud 5 is a newer model compared to the Cloud X, it has a few notable dissimilarities in technical specifications compared to the latter model.

Let’s do a side-by-side technical comparison between Cloud 5 and Cloud X to get a better understanding.

AttributesOn Cloud 5On Cloud X
Best forStanding all day, walking, medium-distance running, light exercisesShort runs, high-impact training, plyometrics, agile movements
Release year20222017
Weight8.81 oz for US men’s Size 108.47 oz for US men’s Size 10
SizingRuns slightly narrowerTrue to size
Upper materialEngineered antimicrobial mesh with taped reinforcementsEngineered mesh with TPU overlays
InsoleThin removable orthoticsThin removable orthotics
MidsoleCloudTec pods made from Zero-Gravity foamCloudTec pods made from Helion super foam
CushioningModerateFirm and responsive
Stack height21-28mm22-28mm
Heel drop7mm6mm
OutsoleCloudTec Traction rubberCloudTec with MissionGrip rubber
LacingSpeed lacingTraditional lace-up system
Break in periodShortShort
CostAround $140Around $150

Key Differences Between the On Cloud X and Cloud 5

The On Cloud X and On Cloud 5 are some of the most popular running shoes known for their comfortable cushioning and stylish design.

That being said, some underlying elements make one model better than others in specific criteria. These variances can help you make a sound purchase decision.

Here are the fundamental differences between the On Cloud X and the On Cloud 5:

1. Upper Construction

Both shoes seem identical at a glance due to having a similar kind of silhouette.

But upon closer inspection, the slight variances in their upper construction become more evident.

Let me explain.

Design Language

Due to its focus on outdoor activities, Cloud X opted for a performance-oriented design with an emphasis on function and technical aspects.

Meanwhile, Cloud 5 goes for a more modern vibe and lifestyle-centric aesthetic.

Both Cloud 5 and X have a sleeker silhouette, but the latter has a bit more pronounced branding and visible lines to boast its sporty aesthetics. It also has more muted color options than the Cloud 5, with most variants having a darker color tone.

To be fair, neither model has any vibrant colorways.

But the Cloud 5 offers more options to choose from compared to the X.design-language-of-on-cloud-5

Upper Material

Both Cloud shoes utilize engineered mesh uppers with reinforced overlays in the midfoot for added support.

There are ventilated areas in the toe box of the Cloud X shoes to enhance its breathability. But it still falls short compared to the lightweight and extremely breathable mesh upper of the Cloud 5 kicks.

Speaking of, Cloud 5’s highly breathable upper can feel too cold during winter seasons. I’d suggest wearing socks for those instances.

Furthermore, both shoes use recycled materials for an eco-friendly build.


There’s not much difference between the tongues of these shoes.

Both have a standard profile tongue with a gusseted construction. As a result, neither shoe suffers from tongue slippage or lack of midfoot support.

The Cloud 5 also has slightly less padding in its tongue than the Cloud X.tongue-of-on-cloud-x

That being said, I didn’t notice any difference in midfoot comfort for either shoe during my daily training sessions.

Both shoes provide a comfortable and breathable tongue for runners who prefer a secure fit.

2. Midsole and Comfort

The midsole design might look identical between these shoes, but each one utilizes different foam technology for its cushioning.

Hence, these shoes end up providing noticeably different user experiences.

The midsole of the Cloud X is constructed with Helion™ super foam, which is well-known for its lightweight, stable, and somewhat responsive feel.

Such a material makes these shoes ideal for activities that require stability and responsiveness, like HIIT workouts.

However, some people may find it too firm for all-day wear as the cushioning of Cloud X isn’t as comfortable as the Cloud 5.

The latter is built with ON’s newest midsole innovation, the Zero Gravity® foam.

This midsole design offers a softer and pillowy feel, making the Cloud 5 shoe suitable for walking, light activities, and everyday wear.

Not to mention, the bouncy nature and the plush feel of these shoes also allow an easy long-distance run without causing any foot fatigue.

FeatureOn Cloud XOn Cloud 5
Midsole foamHelionZero-Gravity
FeelMore supportive and responsiveSofter and more plush
Best forCross-training, light runningEveryday wear, walking

Regardless, both shoes embody the brand’s signature cloud-like feel with their CloudTec® design. These hollow pods provide excellent shock absorption and a propulsive ride for fast-paced running.

3. Outsole and Durability

The On Cloud X and 5 both feature exposed midsoles in the midfoot with strategically placed rubber treads in the forefoot and heel areas.outsole-of-on-cloud-5-and-cloud-x

The Cloud 5 opts for a traction rubber outsole, while the X has a MissionGrip rubber build.

Apart from different technology, the main difference between the outsoles of these Cloud shoes is that the Cloud X has slightly thicker rubber treads than the 5.

This change doesn’t impact the overall grip and traction of these shoes.

However, the On-Cloud X has higher durability than the Cloud 5 due to having a thicker outsole.

4. Fit and Sizing

Both shoes generally run true to size with standard profile build, and both have half-size options for larger or smaller foot shapes.

The Cloud X is slightly narrower in the midfoot and heel than the Cloud 5. So you can expect a snugger fit in the Cloud X, especially if you have a regular foot shape.

That being said, it can feel constricting to some people with wide feet due to the less flexible upper.

However, neither of these shoes caused any case of bunions or blistering during my gym training and running sessions.

And that’s not all!

Toe Box

The X has a slightly wider toe box than the Cloud 5, which is good for people with wider feet.cloud-x-toe-box

But the latter has a higher profile toe cap. Also, its flexible upper material makes it less constrictive for toe wiggling than the Cloud X.


The On Cloud has opted for a traditional lace-up system in their Cloud X shoes. It’s a simple and familiar feel with extra eyelets for a complete heel lockdown fit.

But the upper of this model bunches up due to this traditional lacing.

Such an issue isn’t present in Cloud 5 due to its unconventional lace-up system, the Speed lacing.

This unique lacing system also offers a quick and secure fit on the go.

Collar and Heel Cup

Both shoes have an identical collar profile with a similar level of padding. Hence, there’s not much difference in softness and comfort between the collars of these On-Clouds.

However, the Cloud 5 has a slightly larger heel cup than the Cloud X, which can be a deal breaker for athletes who prefer a supportive and snug heel fit.collar-and-heel-cup-of-on-cloud-5

Furthermore, neither of these Clouds has any heel counter that can be found on dedicated runners from other brands, like ASICS or HOKA.

5. Weight Distribution

The Cloud X distributes its weight evenly throughout its build as it’s a stability and performance-focused shoe.

As a result, this model is suitable for any running style or workout.

The Cloud 5, on the other hand, focuses its weight on the midfoot and rearfoot area to increase the overall comfort and plushness for daily wear.

FeatureOn Cloud XOn Cloud 5
Weight distributionEvenly distributedHigher density in the heel and midfoot
FocusCross-training, gym workoutsLifestyle, walking, light exercise

6. Walking and Standing All Day

For non-intensive activities, like jogging or all-day wear, the Cloud 5 fares better than the Cloud X due to having a pillowy cushioning and more breathable upper.

I wouldn’t recommend Cloud X for any profession where you need to stand for a prolonged session, like nursing.

However, you can definitely wear the X for casual or everyday purposes as it is still decently soft and comfortable.

7. High Performance Activities

To be blunt, the cross-training performance of the Cloud 5 footwear isn’t as good as the Cloud X.

Let’s start with where they both have similar performance.

These Cloud shoes are excellent for high-performance runs regardless of the distance. A plastic plate called Speedboard® is infused within the midsole of both Cloud shoes, which enhances every running session by adding an extra layer of springy feel.

But the X starts to gain an upper hand in indoor or outdoor workouts requiring stability.

The On Cloud X is designed for cross-training and light lifting. It has a wider platform, firmer cushioning, and raised sidewalls, which offer better support and stability. It’s also good for mild overpronators.

The Cloud 5 is better for easy & recovery runs, while the Cloud X is more suitable for technical strides, tempo runs, or lateral movements.

Furthermore, the wider platform makes the X an ideal weight-lifting choice.

However, the Cloud 5 serves better in long runs due to its plush midsole.high-performance-activities-of-on-cloud-5

8. Pricing and Value Proposition

The On Cloud X has an around $10 higher price tag than the Cloud 5. Whether this extra cost is worth it or not depends entirely on your preference.

The Cloud 5 is less performance-focused and is not as good as the X in cross-training sessions. So it costs less than the X.

However, the latter sacrifices comfort to gain an upper hand in training activities.

Overall, both Clouds offer a similar kind of value proposition as well.

Benefits and Drawbacks of the On Cloud X and Cloud 5

The above-mentioned differences between the two models might not make it apparent, but each shoe has unique advantages and disadvantages that every potential buyer should be aware of.

The following pros and cons of the On Cloud X and the Cloud 5 should cover those aspects.

On Cloud X

  • »More supportive.
  • »Traditional lacing for a familiar feel.
  • »Wider CloudTec midsole with raised sidewalls promotes stability in various training settings.
  • »Thicker rubber tread on the forefoot and heel provides more traction on various surfaces.
  • »Lightweight feel.
  • »Less cushioning than the competitor.

On Cloud 5

  • »Well cushioned without sacrificing responsiveness.
  • »Speed lacing for easy put on and take off.
  • »Ideal construction for daily wear and cross-training.
  • »Suitable stack height for medium-distance runs.
  • »Less supportive for overpronators.
  • »Heavier than the competitor.
  • »Less versatile use.

On Cloud X Vs On Cloud 5: Which Cloud is Perfect for You?

Picking the better shoe between the On Cloud X and On Cloud 5 is a bit tricky as each shoe excels has its distinct purpose and is priced accordingly.

If you want the most comfortable fit for all-day wear and occasional running, the Cloud 5 is the ideal option. Not to mention, its highly breathable upper and roomier toe box will keep your feet happy throughout the day.

That being said, if you’re looking for a comfortable and durable fit that can deliver a decent cross-training performance, then look no further than the On Cloud X.

Since it is an older model compared to the Cloud 5, there’s a good chance you can find this model at a discounted price, which would make it a better-valued runner than the 5 as well.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is On-Cloud X used for?

People gravitate toward the On-Cloud X as these are versatile and comfortable shoes that can be worn for both indoor and outdoor use, such as short runs or HIIT training.

Can you wear Cloud 5 all day?

Yes. Cloud 5 has a comfortable upper with excellent breathability and lightweight construction, making it suitable for all-day wear.

What is so special about the On Cloud shoes?

The On-Cloud shoes are quite famous for their unique sole design that looks like cloud pods. The special things about these shoes are their comfort for everyday use and their hollow pod midsole’s responsiveness, which provides a bouncy and propulsive feel.

Which On Clouds is best for the gym, 5 or X?

The On-Cloud X is more suitable than the Cloud 5 for gym training purposes, as these shoes are more stable and responsive than the latter.

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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