On Cloudventure Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Stylish, comfortable, quality construction
Cons: Rocks can get stuck in between the treads, relatively heavy, expensive
Manufacturer: On Running
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|Price||Check Price at REI|
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$179.95 at Backcountry
$160.00 at Amazon
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|Pros||Stylish, comfortable, quality construction||Unbeatable fit, very comfortable, fantastic underfoot protection, doesn’t absorb much water, ankle collar keeps out debris, very stable||Excellent traction, protective and sensitive, light, comfortable, durable||Stable, low to the ground, great traction||Very light, comfortable, stable, wide in the forefoot, sensitive, affordable|
|Cons||Rocks can get stuck in between the treads, relatively heavy, expensive||Expensive, hard to get on foot, must wear above the ankle height socks, hard to stuff laces into garage||Expensive, tongue comfort affects some||A little heavy for a trail shoe||Little underfoot protection, poor traction|
|Bottom Line||These Swiss-designed shoes provide lots of underfoot protection but aren't very sensitive or stable on uneven terrain||The cream of the crop for trail running shoes delivers fine-tuned long run performance||The perfect definition of a do-everything trail running shoe, which also happens to be zero-drop||This is a very stable shoe with a sticky outsole that's perfect for putting in miles over varied terrain||A very comfortable and affordable zero drop shoe that is one of our favorites for short trail runs|
|Rating Categories||On Cloudventure||Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3||Inov-8 Terraultra G...||Saucony Peregrine 11||Altra Superior 5|
|Foot Protection (25%)|
|Specs||On Cloudventure||Salomon S/Lab Ultra 3||Inov-8 Terraultra G...||Saucony Peregrine 11||Altra Superior 5|
|Measured Weight (per pair)||21.86 oz (size 9.5)||22.4 oz (size 11)||20.9 oz (size 11)||22.5 oz (size 9.5)||17.4 oz (size 9.5)|
|Heel-to-Toe Drop||6 mm||8 mm||0 mm||4 mm||0 mm|
|Stack Height (Heel, Forefoot)||Not disclosed||26 mm, 18 mm||22 mm, 22 mm||27 mm, 23 mm||21 mm, 21 mm|
|Upper||Synthetic mesh||Anti-Debris Mesh with sockliner||Breathable Mesh||Reinforced mesh||Sandwich mesh|
|Midsole||EVA||Energy Save PU foam with Profeel Film rock protection||Powerflow Max||PWRRUN||Quantic, InnerFlex|
|Outsole||Missiongrip||Contagrip MA Rubber||Graphene Grip||PWRTRAC||Maxtrac rubber, TrailClaw lugs|
|Lacing Style||Traditional||Quicklace with garage||Traditional||Traditional||Traditional|
|Wide Version Available?||No||No||No||Yes||No|
|Sizes Available||7 - 14||4 - 13||7 - 15||7 - 14||7 - 15|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The On Cloudventure brings a unique outsole to the table, opting for springy, open plastic pods over traditional EVA foam. The results are mixed, but overall, our testers aren't won over by the novel Swiss engineering, as it makes for a less sensitive, stiff, and heavy shoe more suited to mellow hikes and walking around town than racking up miles in the backcountry.
The Cloudventure is a protective shoe. The stiff midsole, rock plate, and CloudTec pods combine to make a formidable protective barrier between your foot and the ground. The pods in the front of the shoe are solid and very protective, while the midfoot and rear of the shoe are hollow, so they can compress to absorb the shock of heel strikes that often occur when charging downhill. Up top, the upper is a very tightly woven mesh, and while it's not remarkably breathable, it's tear-resistant, and the thick rubber toe bumper is very effective at keeping you from stubbing your toes. The seams on the upper are welded, making them very durable as well.
On some surfaces — like sand, gravel, and mud — the Cloudventure provides decent traction. Here the shoe's big lugs can dig in and propel you forward. On more compact surfaces, we noticed that the Missiongrip rubber didn't stick as well as Vibram rubbers found on models from La Sportiva. If your trail running takes you through rolling single track in the forest, the traction will be adequate, but these are not the shoes you want for mountain scrambling or ridge traverses. Finally, when we ran in gravel, marble-sized rocks often got stuck in between the lugs, which is pretty annoying.
With the EVA foam midsole and the CloudtTec pods protecting the foot, this shoe isn't very sensitive. It honestly feels clunky compared to lighter-weight, lower-riding shoes, especially the zero-drop designs from Altra.
Since some of the CloudTec pods are solid while others are hollow, they don't compress uniformly. This is part of a design strategy to produce a "spring forward" effect, but it also makes the shoe feel less stable, especially when running over uneven, cobbled terrain. After a few runs, we started to get used to the lack of uniformity, but we still much prefer a shoe with more predictable compression.
Comfort is very much tied to how a shoe fits. The Cloudventure is a high-volume shoe that's narrower than several models we tested from Salomon and Altra and a little wider than the La Sportiva Bushido. It feels very secure in the midfoot and a touch snug up front to our wider footed testers. These shoes are very well-constructed, and we didn't experience any uncomfortable rubbing or hot spots, though we ended up with some small gravel coming in around the ankle on more than one occasion.
These shoes may be advertised as "lightweight," but our scoring is relative to other shoes in our testing lineup, so comparatively, they aren't especially light. Our size 9.5 test pair weighs 21.8 ounces, where the lightest shoes we tested are around 17 ounces, and the heaviest are almost 25 ounces. Our testers didn't find the Cloudventure noticeably heavy, and unless weight savings is a top priority for your running shoe selection, their weight shouldn't steer you away.
Welded seams and compression pods come at a price, and these shoes are on the upper end of the spectrum. They look great, and we see them on plenty of folks around town, but as a running shoe, their lackluster performance isn't earning them any accolades when it comes to value.
These shoes may really appeal to folks who spend most of their time running on pavement or other hard-packed, even surfaces. For those of us who take our runs into the mountains, there are plenty of other options with better traction and more sensitivity.
— Matt Bento
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