Verdict from 9 hours of research from the internet

89
Great!
219 users: 4.3 / 5
20 experts: 85 / 100

6 reasons to buy

  • The On Cloudventure utilizes a 2-layer upper, which is breathable and water-resistant.
  • This shoe becomes more visible in low-light conditions because of its reflective strips.
  • Runners appreciated the inclusion of a protective toe cap, which is made from rubber and engineered mesh.
  • The CloudTec® is a sole unit that’s made up of 11 individual pods, which deliver impact protection and responsive cushioning.
  • A soft and lightweight foam gives the runner immediate cushioning to the underfoot.
  • The outsole has been designed to full integrate itself responsibly to the outdoor terrain, keeping the runner in control over the surfaces.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Some runners thought that a fully waterproof upper might’ve been better when it comes to delivering sure protection against the elements.
  • The On Cloudventure has an expensive price.

Bottom line

The On Cloudventure is a neutral running shoe that’s great for runners who want to stay comfortable and secure when they’re tackling the trails. The outsole delivers traction, while the mid-sole ensures suitable cushioning for the foot. Breathable coverage that’s also durable is afforded to the runner. It’s a solid choice for those trail adventurers out there.

Tip: see the best running shoes.

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Our reviews

94
/100 by Lars Wichmann, posted on .

This is a review of the Cloudventure, a trail running shoe from the Swiss brand On. A shoe touted as lightweight, grippy and excellent for running up and down mountains.

Unfortunately, there are no mountains where I live. Instead, I have put them to the test in a wide range of other tough trail conditions. Read on to learn how they fared!

 

The Cloudventure is awesome at handling bouldery tracks

Looks

The Cloudventure has a rather classical look with a dark lower part and a brighter upper part. In my opinion, they look very much like a trail shoe, i.e. cool, rugged and with a signature aggressive outsole. This is clearly not a shoe for ballroom dancing.

 

Classical trail shoe look - bright upper, dark bottom, aggressive outsole

 

I got the so-called "Flare & Dawn" or to use the exact words of my kids "orange and brown". They are not exactly inconspicuous, but it seems to be pretty much the norm these days that trail shoes must be bright. If vibrant is not your thing, they do come in other less conspicuous colors.

Fit

The Cloudventure was pretty much "ready-to-go" right out of the box. I felt a bit of niggling "new-show-numbness" and pinky-toe irritation towards the very end of the 13km I did on the first run.

After that, they did 15, 18, 23 and 19km in quick succession before I needed to run in another shoe. No hot spots. No blisters. No pain! No injuries. Just the way a running shoe should be - unobtrusive!

 

The Cloudventure is ready to go right out of the box

 

According to the specifications, the Cloudventure is supposed to have a wide toe-box. Well, coming from shoes with a really wide toe-box (Altra) the Cloudventure does not exactly stand out as wide to me.

They are not as tight as dedicated OCR/fell shoes. However, I still think they are a bit tight in the toe area. So far, I have deliberately bypassed the Cloudventure for runs longer than 2-3 hours because of this.

In due time (after a bit more damage) I expect they will have softened sufficiently in the toe area to be comfortable enough for an ultra. They sure have that pending "ultra quality" about them.

One of my only gripes with the Cloudventure is the short, thin and smooth laces. This setup really requires fine motor skills. For example, say you have been going for many hours on an ultra. Your fingers are numb from the cold and wet, and your hands are shaking from exhaustion.

Now you need to remove the inevitable pebble from inside your shoe. Tiny smooth laces and an unhandy tongue is not exactly on anyone's wish-list! "On" if you read this, in your next iteration please provide the Cloudventure with thick, rough laces.

The ankle collar sits slightly higher than average. I haven't had any issues with it hurting my malleolus, but I have had the occasional "touch".

For me, this is the ideal height. High enough to provide protection and preventing stuff from getting into my shoes. Low enough to not hurt my malleolus. With a pair of gaiters, you can get through pretty much anything without getting stuff inside your Cloudventures.

 

With a pair of gaiters, you can go through pretty much everything and not get alien objects inside your shoes

Upper

The upper consists of three layers. A soft, somewhat thick, breathable and stretchable inner fabric which provides a very comfortable snug lining against your feet.

A middle "shell" of stronger yet stretchable material that provides a bit more protection. Finally, and just on the lower part of the upper, an outer protective, water-proof and stiff layer.

This multi-layer construction provides a sound and solid compromise of features. Protective without being suffocating. Adaptable yet solid.

In particular, that last outer layer safeguards your feet and is surprisingly good at keeping out moisture when running in shallow puddles or mud. Also noteworthy, I have had absolutely no trouble with sand or bits of nature getting inside the shoes despite the rather good ventilation.

When it comes to waterproofness, it will always be some sort of compromise between keeping out moisture and not retaining moisture for too long. Even though it is not completely waterproof, the Cloudventure is quite good at preventing moisture getting in. It takes quite a lot to get them soaking wet, but once they do get wet, the moisture seems to stick around for long.

I think On have made a sound compromise with the Cloudventure. Most of the time, on most runs, moisture getting into your shoes will not be an issue. There might be the odd shallow puddle or a bit of rain from above, but nothing major, and your feet will remain dry.

On the rare occasion that you have to run through waist-deep mud. Well, in that situation I think water in your shoes is the least of your worries.

Outsole

A lot of thought and clever engineering has obviously gone into the outsole of the Cloudventure. Cloud pods, microgrooves, mission control, and a range of other features. How do all these fancy inventions and marketing lingo actually work?

The outsole operated really well on all sorts of surfaces. Icy, muddy, gravelly, rocky, boardwalks, wet, dry, you name it. Been there, done that! In particularly running downhill was a very positive experience. Apparently, the cloud pods do work their magic.

 

The Cloudventure offers exceptional grip and stability

 

In river-bed-like conditions with a fist- to pineapple-size boulders, they were simply superb. Usually, I hate that sort of terrain because I fear to twist my ankles when the boulders suddenly shift especially in shoes with as much stack-height as the Cloudventure.

However, the Cloudventure offered an exceptional grip and stability. To be completely honest, I have never experienced anything like it. It was like the outsole magically reshaped itself to match the terrain, and absorbed a lot of the unevenness - Awesome!

However, it is not all raisins and pickles. I found that on a mixture of muddy and rocky trails, the grip was compromised. For example, on several occasions, I slipped on otherwise dry rock following sections of mud. I think this is because the mud gets lodged in the outsole.

Another situation where the Cloudventure outsole is not optimal is on sandy beaches/dunes. Due to the overall design of the outsole with large pods and huge empty spaces between lugs, they do not have a lot of buoyancy and thus sink in quite far.

This is particularly bad for the heel area, which sinks far deeper than the forefoot (as illustrated below). Essentially leading to a reverse heel-to-toe drop (toe-to-heel drop).

 

One of the few situations where the Cloudventure is not performing overly well is sand where the heel area is sinking in

 

Finally, the rather deep groove that runs down the middle of the outsole has a strong tendency to lodge hard objects, e.g. pine cones and pebbles. So far, it has happened to me multiple times on every single run.

I have even had bits of branches stuck in there. It is not a complete deal-breaker as you hardly notice it while running on softer ground. However, as soon as you get on to hard surfaces you simply need to stop and pick out the debris.

Perhaps it will be better if the lugs had been angled a bit more or an upside-down wide V-shape rather than the current more U-shaped groove.

 

A typical situation with the Cloudventure - plenty of gravel stuck in the outsole

 

On the other hand, I speculate that a size UK 10 or 11 would be perfect for cheating in golf. Simply step on your own (or your opponents) golf ball and it will mysteriously disappear. Not that I would ever do such a thing myself.

Despite the above somewhat negative notions which in reality are all mild annoyances, the Cloudventure outsole is one of the better and more versatile ones I have come across. On boulders and downhill, it is simply the best shoe I have tried, and in pretty much all other conditions, it performs solidly above average.

Performance

On calls the Cloudventure a lightweight trail shoe. Well, at 280 grams for a size UK 7, they are by quite a margin the heaviest shoe in my current arsenal of 10+ different trail shoes. In my book, the Cloudventure has a lot of good characteristics, but lightweight is not one of them.

The Cloudventure is not a fast shoe either. Based on stats (from the 120+ km), they are slower than average (+5 to +15 seconds per km). Then again, the Cloudventure is not supposed to be fast. They are supposed to be reliable, comfortable and trustworthy on medium to long trail adventures.

Without looking into the actual specs, it is my distinct impression that the stack and cushioning is sizeable. Not only is a lot of the ground feel "silenced" (rather cushioned), the Cloudventure is also a bit prone to ankle-twisting. 

 

 

The Cloudventure sports a 6mm drop. I normally run in zero or low drop shoes. To be honest, I didn't feel that much of a difference switching into the Cloudventure.

They are distinctly not zero-drop, but their 6mm drop is not enough to be a hindrance. I live by the philosophy that it is sound for your body to alternate shoes and also drop. The Cloudventure is a nice intermediate shoe, that will serve either camp.

Thanks to the snug fit, somewhat stiff upper and a wide platform the Cloudventure offers very good support, and excellent control. There is very little in-shoe sliding, provided you have the necessary fine motor skills to tie them properly.

I ended up using the lace-lock-down technique. I especially find their rigidity both upper, midsole and the outsole the key to very long and rough outings.

Discussion

The entire On experience oozes quality, and nothing seems left to chance. Swiss reliability from heel to toe. Solid, delux, exclusive, high-class shoes.

If one should name such a thing as a Rolls Royce of running shoes, On would be a candidate. If you disregard their apparent lack of glorious awe-inspiring history.

This On experience does come with a rather hefty price tag though. If ordered to Denmark from their website the Cloudventure is DKK 1300 or the equivalent of EUR 175 or USD 200. Searching the web I haven't found them for less than EUR 135, and that only if I'm not too picky with colors and sizes.

I have only taken mine for their first 120+ km, i.e. far from their end-of-life. So far, mine have kept up nicely and there is remarkably little wear and tear both upper and outsole. As mentioned above, they do ooze quality and the build seems very solid and dependable. I'm quite certain that I'll get at least 800-1000km from mine.

Are they value for money? To be honest, I'm a bit undecided on that. It is a nice shoe that I'm very happy with. I look forward to run many more miles in mine, and they seem durable enough to last me a good while.

On the other hand, for EUR 175 you can get pretty much any running shoe you want with money to spare for socks and/or gaiters. Especially if you go looking for deals.

Conclusion

The Cloudventure is an exclusive, well-designed, and dependable trail shoe that offers an unobtrusive and positive running experience. They are good for all kinds of trails and are superb for running downhill.

They'll also handle the odd bits of road nicely, which is good for all those runners with a few "transport" miles before and after they get to the real stuff. The Cloudventure is comfortable and true to size.

They are suitable for anything from short to very long runs. They are rather warm and excellent for winter/cold runs. A bit too warm for summer runs in my book. Fit-wise, they feel nice and snug with excellent control and a medium-width somewhat pointy toe-box.

After some 120+ km in my Cloudventures, I must say that I'm very pleased, and they will definitely become a regular in my shoe rotation. If you get the chance I recommend you take a closer look because the Cloudventure is an excellent albeit expensive trail shoe.

Disclaimer

I'm an independent recreational runner. The above review reflects my personal opinion and experience after some 120+ km in the On Cloudventure. The outcome of this review was not influenced by the fact that I got the shoes gratis through RunRepeat.com.

Lars Wichmann | Level 4 expert Verified
Hi, I'm a recreational ultra trail runner doing some 2000+ km per year, almost exclusively on trails. I did my first marathon in 1995 and my first ultra in 2001. I run to exercise my body and relax my mind. I love to reach that blissful state when there is nothing but you and the trail, and once you get to your destination you can't recall how you got there and how much time has passed. I'm a gear-freak and running shoe aficionado and regularly browse the web for inspiration and good deals.

90
/100 by Louise Shirley, posted on .

I had never worn shoes from Cloudventure, intrigued by the unusual ‘pods’ on the sole. At first, I admit I balked at the high price tag. However, the comfortable fit and apparent durability of the Swiss design convinced me to give these a try.

I wanted a neutral, reasonably lightweight, low or medium drop shoe (the Cloudventure has a 6mm drop) that would go the distance on technical trails. These seemed to fit the bill, and have more than lived up to my expectations.

 

Upper

As a forefoot striker, I love to have some space for my toes to splay. The toe box is sufficiently roomy without feeling sloppy.

Once I lace up, I barely notice this shoe—a testament to its fit and breathability. Though, speaking of the laces, they are oddly thin and ridiculously long. For each lace, you have about 17 inches to play with! Every other detail seems so well thought out that this is a surprising oversight. The lacing system also makes it hard to adjust the tension on different parts of the foot.

The Cloudventure requires no break-in period. The heel counter is firm and not too high. Its toe bumper offers reliable protection. In wet conditions, I’m also grateful for the outer layer of the upper, which is water repellent.

This shoe has a classy, no-nonsense style. There are five color choices each for men and women. Mine, pictured, are mulberry and salmon. I appreciate the small but effective reflective details, which can be seen from any angle.

 

Outsole

Different parts of the outsole have different types of grip pattern.

These lend it excellent traction, performing well on dry dirt, volcanic rock, and even a thin layer of snow. The combination of the pods and the midsole achieves a balance of cushioning and responsiveness.

 

 

The pods made me feel more surefooted than usual when running steep, downhill stretches. I wondered if the pods would get clogged with mud, but they flatten quickly enough to squeeze out any debris.

Having covered over 320 miles of sandy and rocky trails, both the outsole and upper are holding up well.

 

Midsole

For me, the cushioning of this shoe is perfect, keeping me comfortable on the longest runs without sacrificing ground feel.

On does note, though, that heavier runners may experience diminished benefits of the cushioning system.

 

Pros

  • Comfortable
  • Roomy toe box
  • Fantastic grip
  • Water repellent
  • Reflective detailing

Cons

  • Long, skinny laces have to be knotted multiple times
  • High price

Conclusion

On Running is one of the fastest-growing running shoe brands in the USA. Now I understand why.

trail shoe that offers a comfortable fit, good grip and medium cushioning. I am impressed by its performance and durability so far.

I highly recommend this shoe, particularly for long runs on dry trails. More protective and waterproof versions of the Cloudventure are also available.

Louise Shirley | Level 3 expert Verified
I’m passionate runner, ecologist and dog lover from Bend, Oregon. I combine these interests by trail running with my rescue dogs most days. I live for running in the mountains, but I also hit the road or the treadmill sometimes. I enjoy understanding what makes a good shoe for different conditions and runners.

86
/100 by Josie Lloyd, posted on .

The On Cloudventure is a high-end trail shoe, but will it last miles?

 

Upper

The On Cloudventure's upper is very lightweight, resilient technical engineered two-layer mesh upper on this shoe has been very effective at defending my feet from any rogue flying stones.

The rubber extended toe bumper protects the upper, getting rid of any seams preventing the chance of ripping. However, the breathable upper does allow water in also and the shoe does retain water due to the waterproof element of the toe bumper extension.

 

 

The tongue of the shoe has a very nifty piece of elastic that crosses horizontally to allow the user to tuck the laces in. This keeps the shoe tight and prevents tripping over loose laces.

The tongue is laser cut and thin, with light padding to prevent the laces from cutting into the foot. The laces are very thin, which helps to tighten the shoe, locking the foot in place.

At first impressions, I was worried that the thin laces may cut into the eyelets on the shoe as the eyelets are laser cut and don’t look reinforced, but after three months of testing, the eyelets are still intact.

Midsole

The Speedboard and zero gravity cushioning on the Cloudventure allow for a very smooth ride. Protecting the foot from stones and allowing for extra comfort not usually provided to trail runners.

 

 

This shoe is suitable for long distances thanks to the generous cushioning. The extra cushioning does bring bulk to the shoe, making the shoe more suitable for training runs and long runs, rather than a short, fast trail race.

Outsole

On Cloud is renowned for its square elements. Small clouds scattered around the sole of the shoe give for even more cushioning underfoot, creating energy return on every footstrike.

The ‘clouds’ are smaller under the forefoot to aid with traction on the muddier ground. The surface of the underfoot of the shoe has a zig-zagged pattern to help with traction.

 

 

This pattern is very lightly etched onto the underfoot of the shoe, giving minimal traction on the peaty ground but is effective on gravel.

On the harsher trail and fell, this shoe doesn’t perform well on steep climbs and descents. The shoe easily slips down the hill whilst climbing and slips from underfoot when descending, increasing the likelihood of landing on your bum on wet, peaty, or muddy descents.

 

 

The cloud arrangement and channel down the middle of the outsole shed mud very easily. I have previously heard of people complaining of stones getting stuck within the outsole.

But, this has only happened twice within the three months and didn’t affect my run, quickly releasing said stone without the need for intervention.

Design/appearance

On Cloudventure has no seams to prevent blisters and has a laser-cut appearance near the laces and at the tongue. This looks very technical and futuristic.

 

 

The outsole gives the shoe a bulky appearance compared with other trail shoes on the market. Nevertheless, once on- these shoes feel very luxurious and of a medium weight.

Performance

The shoe is very comfortable and resilient, with only a small amount of wear evident on the outsole. The cushioning makes for a very responsive ride and the traction performs well on light trail.

 

Breathability

The two-layer mesh upper allows for efficient airflow through the shoe. Keeping the toes cool.

The toe box is sufficiently roomy to allow for the toes to move, further facilitating airflow throughout the shoe.

Flexibility

The shoe has sufficient flexibility to allow the foot to move throughout foot-strike. The cloud formation on the outsole allows the outsole to move dynamically at all different parts of the foot.

The placement of the clouds gives the shoe the flexibility of a more minimalist trail shoe.

Conclusion

The On Cloudventure feels very high end throughout every mile, shedding mud easily. The traction is of an average standard of a trail shoe and isn’t very effective on the fells.

 

 

The laser-cut appearance is very easy on the eye and high-quality components on the outsole give for high resilience. Innovative features such as the elastic tongue strap holding the laces in place is a great solution to lace issues.

I now refer to these high-quality shoes as my luxury trail shoes, and I recommend anyone to fork out for these if money is no object for a shoe that will last many miles.

Josie Lloyd | Level 2 expert Verified
I’m a fitness instructor, yoga teacher, and physical therapist—running for over ten years, fell running four years. I have participated in loads of local fell races, and five British/English champs fell races. I have also run three half marathons, a 13k, and two Scott Sports Dirty Dozen Trail Runs. Worked abroad as a fitness instructor, leading runs multiple times a week on Greek islands, Sardinia, and Italy. Also worked in Finland and the Alps, so I have done my fair share of arctic/snow running! Currently, I have a 5k PB of 20:16.

99
/100 by Cessy Smith, posted on .

The NC Trail Sisters asked me to go on a three-day/two-night hiking trip. The trip is a bi-yearly trip in several different locations across NC.

I was so excited to go out in the wilderness with other ladies—most of which were in better shape than me!

 

 

There were several ironman competitors, a full scholarship awardee and recently graduated cross country skier, a competitive distance trail runner, and several Boston marathon qualifiers.

I definitely had my work cut out for me. I am just a runner that loves a 5k/10k and not much for all the long miles associated with the sports they all had a passion for on the weekends.

NC Mountains and Hiking Trail

In preparation for the trip, I bought a lightweight tent, a hiking backpack, food, beverage, and everything I thought I needed to pack in a backpack.

I did what I can to pack only the lightest weight possible as I would carry all these up the 3930ft peak. Then I remembered, I needed a great pair of hiking/trail shoes.

 

 

I did some research and tried on a variety of trail shoes, including Salomon shoes. I finally bought the On Cloudventure.

I have to be honest: the look of the shoe certainly played a part in my purchase. It is because I have noticed many trail shoes are super bulky and don’t look good on my smaller frame.

 

 

The specifics for this shoe online says:

  • Synthetic
  • Combination of two-layer mesh and nylon upper with synthetic overlay
  • Breathable textile lining for healthy in-shoe climate
  • Non-removable insole for cushioning and support
  • CloudTec cushioning technology active only during the foot strike
  • Micro-engineered Grip-Rubber sole with four levels of grip for varied terrain

 

I have narrow feet with a large footbed, and these were the best fitting shoes I could find. Now, after trying them out in a tough terrain over three days in the NC mountains, they did awesomely!

They gripped the trail even in the slippery area. I read much about the grip patterns on the shoes, which is a sticky rubber enhanced by traction pattern.

The pattern in the bottom of the shoes combines a zig-zag pattern and are super cute as well!

 

 

There is zero gravity foam in the shoes that give a lighter cushioning. This came in handy while coming down the mountain.

Keep in mind these shoes stayed on most of the trip and were so comfortable. This is a phenomenal feat since every shoe hurts my feet after 4-5 hours!

Another more time I wore these shoes was my routine Thursday night run on the trails at Davidson College in NC. These trails are a bit tricky in spots and running.

At night, it is sometimes harder, but this run was no match for these On trail shoes (even the wolf spiders were no match; go Google that one!).

The Davidson Running Club calls this run the Wolf Spider run, which is quite scary, to say the least. Not sure I want to see a spider, especially on a night run.

We usually conclude this run at the nearby pub for some tacos and brews, which makes it especially fun. So, the shoes have to be somewhat cute.

I would recommend this shoe for trail running, hiking, and since they hardly wear at all, probably in the snow, too.

They do have a waterproof version of this shoe that I hope to buy in the winter. But, my pair was strictly the non-waterproof version.

Positives

  • Breathable
  • Comfortable
  • Soft
  • Responsive
  • Lightweight

Negatives

  • A bit pricey

 

Rating A+++ for comfortable trail shoes great for hiking and running. Will be buying more!

Cessy Smith | Level 2 expert Verified
My name is Cessy Smith. I competed on the NCAA Track/XC Teams for the Clemson University back in college. My biggest passion besides running is football, so the past years have been pretty awesome! Currently, I am training for some faster 5Ks and an occasional half marathon. I am a member of Oiselle Volee and also a local running company, DART. I never shy away from pub runs!

93
/100 by Richard Akol Trailxph, posted on .

On running shoes came from a Swiss shoe company that has made a name in triathlon and road running. This Cloudventure is their flagship trail running shoes and also the first shoe I've tried with On running.

 

Transition

I am using Altra shoes for several years now, and it's my first time to try On running shoes. I can feel the difference in my foot stride and landing. I also felt that my foot is more secured compared to Altra, which has a wider toe box. 

Although there are some instances that my feet feels squeezed during running, I may be feeling this because I  was used to a wider toe box. Well,  let's discuss in detail my experience with ON cloud venture.

 

Looks & upper materials

The upper mesh is very different from my previous running shoes. It is comparable to Salomon S-lab, but the look and materials feel more stable and appear to last longer. The mesh is very comfortable and breathable on my feet.

I also feel that my feet are secured with Cloudventure. When it comes to looks, it is also one of the best looking shoes I've used so far. The shoelace is a bit short but just enough to tie a double knot to make sure it is secured. 

 

The outsole

When it comes to its grip and outsole, On is best known for their cloud technology. Those ringlets or pods on their soles that provide a great cushion and push off when you are running.

During the uphill l, I felt a little difficulty because it is a little elevated, but once you get the rhythm, it becomes easier to jog the uphill. 

 

 

On downhills, this is where I can say that the CloudTec® is perfect because of the superb cushion and energy return. I can bomb the downhills with ease.

The Weight & midsole

It is lighter than it looks. The shoe weighs 295 grams for men’s in size 9 US, same with Altra Lone Peak 3.5. The shoes appear to me as a medium to high cushion shoe, so we can expect that this is heavier compared to other shoes.

 

 

With its 26mm heel and 20 forefoot stack height, you can expect a very comfortable ride. The mid cushion provides additional shocks absorption, and it has a soft insole adding comfort every time your feet landed. This shoe is perfect for racing ultramarathon or training for longer mileage.

Performance

To fully test the performance of On cloud venture, I used it for around a total of 100km mileage. I tried using it on different terrains. I used it for runnable routes and hilly trails. Also used it on rocky paths and even pavements and the shoe responded well.

 

 

During my visit to Sagada, I tried to do a 16km run on mixed terrain. The traction and comfort are very evident even though there was a time that I felt my feet were restricted, but a little adjustment with the laces made it comfortable. I have medium foot size though, and I wouldn't recommend this to wide toe size runner.

Cons

I think the shoe is a bit heavy for a racing shoe. The shoelace is a bit short. The shoe is not recommended for a wide foot runner. Not good for a technical course or rocky trails as there is a chance that the stones get into space in the outsole.

Note

I have a total mileage of more than 90 km in On Cloudventure before I wrote this review. I haven't tried it on wet trails though because it is summer in my country.

Richard Akol Trailxph | Level 2 expert Verified
Hi, my name is Richard. I love running, especially trail running and I'm very passionate about it. I wanted to share my experiences when it comes to the shoes that I have used. I also want to help other runners choose the right shoes for them so that they can enjoy running more.

63
/100 by Gracie Bernard, posted on .

I’ve never run in ON running shoes before; the expensive price of their trainers has previously put me off. The main features of the shoe are the technical mesh upper, and of course the iconic ON ‘pods’ on the sole of the shoe.

These shoes are neutral, lightweight (225g), and have a fairly low heel drop of 6mm. So far, I’ve worn them for easy long trail runs and 1km+ reps on forest paths, and I’m going to give a slightly controversial opinion when I say I was disappointed with them.

 

The good

Durability

Everything about these shoes, from the packaging (see below) to the material, says quality. The durability of these shoes (thus far) is amazing!

The mesh upper is breathable, yet not too thin, and I felt like my feet were well protected, and the sole has hardly worn down after multiple high impact runs.

 

Grip 

The grip of this shoe was probably my favourite part of them. While running in extremely slippy and muddy conditions, and down steep hills, I didn’t have an issue what so ever with losing my footing or sliding, etc.

This is down to the Missiongrip outsole combined with the zig-zag traction pattern. The ‘pods’ also acted as a good shock absorber when jumping down short drops, and I felt little impact on my knees.

Colour 

Although more of a personal preference, I really like the coral colour of these trail shoes, and also the reflective detailing.

 

The not so good

As mentioned at the start, I was disappointed in these shoes, and would not get them again. I’m not sure whether this is because of the high expectations I had of them, but to put it simply, I didn’t find them anywhere near as nice to run in in comparison to my usual shoes.

Comfort & Fit 

If I’m being honest, the main issue I had with these shoes was that I didn’t find them comfy. At first, I put this down to the fact they needed breaking in, however even after many runs, I kept finding my ankles and calves becoming very stiff and sore about halfway through my runs.

The heel support seems adequate when not wearing them, so I’m not sure which aspect of the shoe it is that is causing this. I also found these particularly narrow in the arch area and ended with blisters on the arches of both feet after a recent run, however, the toe box is plentily wide.

Ride

I found that my running felt much less ‘fluid’. This was caused by the ‘pods’ on the bottom of the shoe.

Although very lightweight, I found these incredibly chunky and my heel lift at the back of my stride and knee lift at the front significantly decreased, making my stride length a lot shorter; it almost felt like I was having to put extra effort in just to run with the same stride as usual.

Laces 

This was more of a minor and easily fixable detail, but I found the laces very thin and ended up knotting them multiple times to ensure they didn’t come undone.

 

Conclusion

After all the hype around the Swiss engineering of ON running shoes, I really think these shoes are nothing special.

I’m not sure if I just set my expectations too high, or if these are just not the right shoes for my feet, but I would certainly not pay the high price tag for these shoes in the future. Although the grip is exceptional, I ultimately didn’t find these trainers comfy.

Gracie Bernard | Level 2 expert Verified
Hi, I’m a competitive runner and triathlete and like to race between 800m to 5km, as well as swim and cycle. I have always loved to run but only started doing it competitively about three years ago. I like to train on the roads, but I also like to race cross country, with my favorite event being the nationals each year. My favorite brands are definitely Nike and Mizuno, but I also always like to try out new kit when I have the chance and the right shoes that work for you.

80
/100 by Giovanbattista Fichera, posted on .

This is the first time I tried a shoe from On running, and I think that this is a guarantee of impartiality in itself. I had not heard about it before I was given a chance to test them.

Let’s break it down.

 

Fit

The On Cloudventure fits half a size up. I’m US size 9, but I needed 9.5 for this model (42,5 to 43 in EU).

The shoe has enough space in the forefoot area although you shouldn’t expect natural toe splay except if you have a slim foot.

 

 

In the midfoot area, the shoe felt a bit too constrictive. I have a normal foot arch but a wide midfoot, so I had to make the shoe roomier by skipping one hole.

While this might depend on your foot shape, there’s an issue that might be a deal breaker, also reported by other runners: the heel padding wears off quite quickly.

Here are the shoes after about 100km.

 

Upper

The shoe has two independent layers, with the thicker one on the inside of the foot. Together, they feel quite comfortable, and I have appreciated the solution.

The only drawback, in my opinion, is that it requires some energetic brushing to really clean it, and if you dare enough to get the bright orange model, you might want to keep it that way, right?

What is really interesting about the Cloudventure is that it has a very noticeable thick plastic overlay running all around, which is designed to protect the toe tip and the heel area in particular.

I must say that this has proven to be a very good addition to the shoe because it really works to protect against scratches.

Laces

A section apart should be devoted to the laces. I have no idea why On decided to go with these slim, short laces for their shoe. As I said before, I had to modify my lacing and go for the last hole.

That left me with very little to work with, and I can barely tie the shoe. Additionally, because of the minimal shoe tongue, I have to be extra careful, because these laces are so thin they will dig into the ankle.

Outsole

The shoes feature two types of lugs in the outsole, big and micro ones. The combination of the two has been labeled Missiongrip™.

According to the manufacturer’s website, "combines multiple grip patterns, so you keep control in changeable conditions." I set out to test this daring statement myself, so I took my Cloudventures on the trails up Vitosha mountain in Sofia (Bulgaria) at the beginning of March, which is snow melting season.

This gave me a chance to actually test the shoe in dry, wet and snowy conditions, on damp rocks, snow, dry and muddy terrain right from the first run.

I must admit that the outsole does its job egregiously and I am particularly impressed at how "grippy" the shoe feels on steep, wet and slippery terrain like you’d find going up a mountain when the snow melts.

Going downhill also feels quite easy and secure because the shock from the Cloudtec™ elements in the heel absorbs the shock from pounding by collapsing on themselves, thus cushioning the blow.

The only dislike I have is that the outsole picks up quite a lot of mud and the occasional stone gets lodged in between the lugs.

 

Price

The price is a little steep, coming at €150 ($170) for the basic version of the Cloudventure, to which you might want to throw an extra €20 ($22) for the waterproof version.

In my opinion, they are worth it, especially because the shoe seems very sturdy and durable. I’ve ran over 50 miles in them, and the shoe is still practically intact.

Overall impression

Would I recommend buying the shoe? Depends.

It performs very well in dryish conditions. If you run on muddy surfaces, then you might want to opt for a lighter shoe. This one is great on protection and cushioning but not so much on running efficiency.

 

Good

  • The shoe feels snug around the foot and makes you feel protected
  • The mesh upper has two layers, but it doesn’t feel too thick, with a high-quality plastic overlay in the lower part
  • Grippy outsole, though the "mission grip" tends to flatten a bit too quickly
  • Good cushioning

Bad

  • The laces are quite thin and too short
  • The fit could be a little roomier in the midfoot
  • Tends to pick up a lot of mud in between the lugs
Giovanbattista Fichera | Level 2 expert Verified
Hi! My name's Giovanbattista and I've been running consistently for little over a year now. I cover an average of 30 km a week, peeking around 50 km or little more in autumn and spring. I mostly do road running but also enjoy taking part in trail competitions, which I love. I enjoy competing and despite the fact I'm a beginner runner, I have run more than thirty 5k races, several 10k races (both road and trail) and three half-marathons. I'm currently training for my fourth half-marathon and the Athens marathon this autumn. I currently run in the Saucony Kinvara because I love how lightweight and fast they are.

  • Flexible, breathable and comfortable performance on the trails; that’s what makes the On Cloudventure very formidable and yet very responsive as a running companion. Made from quality components & materials, and featuring technologies that enable the wearer to be more efficient with every step, this shoe keeps the runner performing at their best.
  • The upper unit of this running shoe makes use of a two-layer upper unit that’s made to keep the foot comfortable, secure and well-ventilated. It doesn’t feel stiff and it certainly won’t make the runner feel restricted when it comes to their movements. Water is also staved off because of its water-repellent nature.
  • The immediate underfoot platform of the On Cloudventure is a foam unit that’s comfortable and soft. It effectively cushions the foot throughout the stride. It works with the CloudTec®, a technology that utilizes 11 individual pods that stretch back when weight is put on them, and then spring back into shape during the toe-off.
  • The pods are actually the ones that are exposed to the ground, but they’re durable and they won’t tear off easily. Layered in these pods is the Micro-Engineered Grip Rubber, which is able to deliver sure traction and surface control to the runner. Roads and trails won’t be obstacles for this external layer of the On Cloudventure.

The On Cloudventure fits a bit large, so it is recommended for runners to purchase ½ size smaller than what they’re used to in order to get the right fit for them. The heel, mid-foot and forefoot sections of this shoe have medium widths, so it is able to accommodate those who have medium sized feet. Its semi-curved shape follows the natural curvature of the human foot.


The Micro-Engineered Grip Rubber is an outsole design that allows it to move around various surfaces with ease. Distinct nodes that have different shapes provide grip on the roads and on the trails, making it very agreeable when it comes to tackling flat and uneven surfaces. It doesn’t break down easily, so it stays efficient even after many uses.


The mid-sole of the On Cloudventure makes use of the CloudTec®, which are 11 pods that are meant to deliver responsive cushioning, impact protection and springiness to each step. They stretch back upon impact, essentially carrying the weight of the runner. Then they go back into their original shape during toe-off, making the stride bouncier and more efficient.

A full-length mid-sole foam is placed right above the clearly-seen pods. Its purpose is to carry the foot well, making it feel very comfortable and well-supported throughout the running sessions. It has a plush nature, yet it’s not stiff, so natural movement is still afforded to the runner.


The two-layer upper of this running shoe delivers comfortable and secure coverage to the foot. The inner layer is more supportive and all-encompassing, hugging the foot in a snug manner. The outer layer is more lightweight and breathable, allowing air to keep the foot well-ventilated.

A water-repellant coating has been added to the upper unit in order to keep the foot free from mild water-infiltration. It’s also a helpful means to maintain the lightweight nature of the shoe as it prevents water from being retained inside the fabrics.

Reflective Strips allow the runner to be seen in low-light conditions. They’re particularly helpful when it comes to night-time runs.

The toe cap is made from rubber and mesh that’s fused with the upper unit of the On Cloudventure. It keeps the toes safe from unintended surface impact and contact with debris.

The sock liner adds a bit more cushioning to the underfoot. An anti-microbial treatment keeps the interior environment clean and healthy.

Size and fit

True to size based on 82 user votes
Small (37%)
True to size (62%)
Large (0%)
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Size comments

The Cloudventure is comfortable and true to size. - Lars Wichmann, Level 4 expert

How Cloudventure compares

This shoe: 89
All shoes average: 85
59 99
This shoe: $160
All shoes average: $130
$60 $250
This shoe: 10.4oz
All shoes average: 10.4oz
5oz 24oz
Author
Jens Jakob Andersen
Jens Jakob Andersen

Jens Jakob is a fan of short distances with a 5K PR at 15:58 minutes. Based on 35 million race results, he's among the fastest 0.2% runners. Jens Jakob previously owned a running store, when he was also a competitive runner. His work is regularly featured in The New York Times, Washington Post, BBC and the likes as well as peer-reviewed journals. Finally, he has been a guest on +30 podcasts on running.

jens@runrepeat.com