|Weight:||Men: 10.4oz | Women: 8.5oz|
|Heel to toe drop:||Men: 6mm | Women: 6mm|
|Arch type:||High arch|
|Strike Pattern:||Midfoot strike|
|Distance:||Daily running | Long distance | Marathon|
|Width:||Men: Normal | Women: Normal|
|Colorways:||Grey, Green, Blue, Purple, Orange, Pink, Beige|
|Special editions:||3 special editions|
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87 / 100 based on 9 expert reviews
On adventure in Cloudventure!More photos
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
On Cloudventure: A Trail Shoe That Means BusinessMore photos
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.
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.
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.
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.
- Roomy toe box
- Fantastic grip
- Water repellent
- Reflective detailing
- Long, skinny laces have to be knotted multiple times
- High price
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.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
This is for the runner who loves more aggressive On shoes to take out to the trail.
On may have taken a bit of time to adapt their technology to the trail, but the result seems to have been worth the wait.
- 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.