|Base model:||On Cloudventure|
|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|
|Heel height:||Men: 26mm | Women: 26mm|
|Forefoot height:||Men: 20mm | Women: 20mm|
|Release date:||Jul 2016|
|Width:||Men: Normal | Women: Normal, Wide|
|Colorways:||Black, Grey, Brown, Blue|
|Special editions:||2 special editions|
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80 / 100 based on 5 expert reviews
On Cloudventure Waterproof - Adventure timeMore photos
I am not a hardcore trail person, but occasionally I will run through the bushes and hit some wild tracks around Sydney national parks.
Never had a proper shoe for that kind of exercise so I was quite excited to test the On Cloundventure Waterproof to see what the difference would be in overall feel, performance, etc. Didn’t know what to expect really as it was my first exposure to “ON” brand.
Inside the box, I found a bunch of uplifting statements from trail athletes, a membership card and a big poster with the promise of adventure. To give them justice I tried to test them on different terrains, distances and weather conditions, even though in Sydney summer is usually very hot and dry. Jumped into some paddles, climbed some rocks and did some tough beach runs.
Overall, I have logged 100km. I was willing to bite the bullet for the sake of science and took the plunge into the wild full of deadly animals to give CLoudventure’s proper baptism of fire.
ON is the running shoe and apparel company based in Switzerland with a quite interesting range of products. Never heard of them, but Swiss are famous for their exceptional precision and attention to detail.
My pair came in “Seal & Kelp” style, basically greenish/greyish upper with black surroundings. It does have that mix of rough manly yet stylish appeal. I like the way they look, but I would appreciate more of a selection in the color department.
The Design mainly due to the specific purpose make that shoe destined for extreme sport and while having nice aesthetics you would not consider wearing it casually. The look is pure and simple, and for me, that is a good thing. After all, it was advertised as a shoe for the mountain missions.
The first thing that immediately strikes is a quite unique design of the midsole. The shoe at first glance looks super solid and supportive. I can only imagine that the development's main emphasis was to achieve the best performance for the trail and less on fashion and glamour.
Went true to size which was 11 US, I am content with that call so far. Padded sock liner (all those soft materials inside) provides snug fit and comfort. Laces very, and I mean very slim yet strong, you don’t need to pull them too hard to have a good lockdown.
Your foot will have good support while taking those risky tracks. I had immediate trust from the very first use. The ride was pleasant, but Cloudventure is way heavier than my average runner (in my size it is approximately a bit over 350g which is 100g more than most of my shoes).
They do feel lighter than they are but still bit clunky. I had some runs on my usual tracks which are not as challenging as those shoes would like them to be.
They felt slightly out of place on a flat surface. It is just a different animal and you just need to get used to it. I need to mention that on my 15km run my feet were suffering.
I had a blister on the top of one of my toes. It is probably to the fact that I am used to more flexible upper. My muscles were working harder than usual from all that extra weight and I am predicting that when I will slip in back into my ultra-light Epic Reacts my speed will go off the charts. Bottom line is that on standard track they perform good enough.
Average pacing below 5 minutes per km on various distances. It is a plus considering those shoes are not cheap. It may be overkill for a road runs unless you are after building those leg muscles.
I still managed to go fast, just didn’t felt that effortless as in my other sneakers. Shoe on first go feels already broken down nicely which is a huge plus as we can skip that awkward face of getting used to the new pair.
They shine in action, as you can see on the shot below. It is almost that the colour changes depending on the lighting. Sometimes they grey, sometimes they green and in the daylight even blue. This would be related to reflective features of the upper because you want to be visible at any time of the day.
Thanks to the advanced physical ON membrane, this runner is 100% waterproof and wind resistant.
The upper still maintain a respectable level of breathability, although in Australian summer when you are facing 30 plus degrees mixed with 100% humidity, your feet will sweat a bit.
The combination of layers which seem to be mesh on the toe area and reinforced rubber feels very solid while still providing some flexibility, so you don’t feel caged as much and it is comfortable.
As I pointed out previously laces are very slim and short, which may be a trouble for some. I tend to double knot all my running shoes and I think the design here is to align with the whole water resistance aim.
Make sense as they won’t be gathering any additional weight while wet. Lastly, it is very easy to clean and durable. You would need to try hard to damage that shoe.
The material used by ON here is CloudTec, a cushioning system made from several (strategically placed) hollowed tubes (also known as clouds).
It provides great support and cushioning during running by adopting either horizontally or vertically to surface we are landing our foot on. Tubes react to the angle and shape of contact with terrain and absorb the shock from impact protecting your legs.
As mentioned before, the shoe is heavy, but it will keep you safe from hurting yourself which on the trail run is a must. Great responsiveness and support. Cloudventure got only 6mm heel drop which creates minimal, barefoot type feeling.
It makes sense for me when I think about the main purpose of this shoe is. It helps more evenly distribute impact areas. It took me a moment to get used to as I had a bit bigger drop before and several first strolls, I had a bit of a flat landing, which felt slightly odd.
This outsole is built for the extreme. Designed for any obstacles that you can encounter during a challenging run on the rough trail.
Guys from ON used Micro Engineered Grip Rubber which is strong, durable yet still maintaining decent flex. You will feel safe and secure due to superior traction provided. Grip will literally blow your mind. It also extends to the toe area, guarding the shoe against unnecessary beating.
Even on more casual tracks I couldn’t help myself but jump on rocks and almost look around for the puddles or some unusual spots I could perform a test on. The whole design is quite unusual especially for someone who is not very familiar with that type of gear.
Everything seems to be very well thought out here. It is my assumption, but I reckon the spacing between those tubes on outsole prevent clogging with mud and such. It's like a 4x4 off-roader among the runners.
- This shoe is destined to last.
- With waterproof and wind resistant features, nothing can stop you.
- Superior traction and stability will keep you safe from injuries.
- Comfortable fit.
- No break-in period required.
- CloudTec technology just works.
- Easy to maintain and keep fresh considering how dirty they may get.
- I was surprised by how good they look.
- It is a lot of money for a sneaker that has a very specific purpose.
- I am aware that it is not a speed shoe, but it is heavy.
- Limited colorways.
It may be not entirely fair, but even though it is a trail shoe I am judging in with a wider angle. I tried to test it in their ideal environment on trail runs, but also on the flat road like tracks. Wanted to have an idea of how a wide spectrum of use this shoe can provide.
On heavy tracks, Cloudventure Waterproof is just a miracle worker. Keeps your legs safe by adapting to the shape of whatever you land your stride on. You just don’t concern your head with any feeling of danger as they are fully trustworthy.
No matter how much I tried to give them some solid beating, I couldn’t even get them properly dirty. They do not have as great energy return and bounce so you may need to try a bit harder if you want to get your pace up, but to be fair, they are not meant for speed.
Their goal is to be able to tackle whatever nature will throw at you and keep you dry, comfortable and alive. They are fulfilling those tasks perfectly while looking super cool. I was literally jumping in each puddle I could find on the way and would not even feel the splash of water on my foot.
Rocks, tree roots and other trip hazards didn’t affect my running comfort. For those warmer summer days, I could use some more breathability, but considering the technology that is responsible for water/wind proofing it as good as it can get. Not just the clocks and cheeses in Switzerland.
For traditional running, they feel heavy, yet I still managed to have decent times. It came with a bigger effort, but it is something you can get used to. For someone who is using stability shoes which are typically in a similar weight category, it would not feel much different.
Probably they will be extremely happy with the comfort, drop and overall protection. For me, it was a quite new experience as all the sneakers I use are light, bouncy, breathable and minimalistic in regards to stability features.
I did enjoy running in them, and I think we have a bright future ahead, especially because due to the exceptional durability they will last forever. I will limit them to specific runs only so they can shine in their proper field.
Overall, if you in search for trail shoes I would recommend ON Cloudventure Waterproof without blinking. They will tick all the boxes and I can only imagine how handy they can be if you live in mountains with snow and all that extreme stuff. They just look adventurous and seem unbreakable.
Just let this picture of a happy man below speak for itself.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
On the trails with Cloudventure WaterproofMore photos
The Cloudventure Waterproof is the latest top of the line trail shoe from On Running. It is somewhat of an anomaly having a stiff and at times unforgiving ride with little of the cloud-like cushioning the brand is known for.
Nonetheless, it is a hardy trail shoe with good rock protection which performs best on softer ground particularly on ascents and downhills.
You know the type of advert where a well-groomed architect steps out of a mid-century modern house into a German engineered car before driving up a twisting road to a grassy mountain pasture for a quick 20k before breakfast?
Well, he’s wearing a pair of On Running Cloudventure Waterproof trail shoes, and you can bet he didn’t pick his matching running gear off the floor and give it a surreptitious sniff before putting it on for a second day.
In short, the Cloudventure Waterproof looks classy. The attention to detail puts other shoe manufacturers to shame and will make the sort of people who post unboxing videos on YouTube get their knickers in a twist. For instance, an asymmetrical gully lacing system comes complete with a metal eyelet which echos the brand logo.
These laces are however very thin, and although I had no breakages, they don’t inspire a lot of confidence. Due to their nature, they are difficult to cinch tight, especially with cold or gloved hands. It is hard to get a good tight fit without the lacing feeling uncomfortable across the top of the foot, something that is exacerbated by the thin tongue.
Nonetheless, the gusseted tongue successfully keeps debris and water out. On Running use a membrane within the shoe’s upper rather than an external coating to ensure a waterproof finish. My highly scientific test of standing in a mountain stream for 3 minutes can attest to its effectiveness.
I am however in two minds about waterproof shoes as once ankle deep, water seeps in over the top and the shoes hold it inside. The Cloudventure does come in a non-waterproof version, so the choice is yours.
The upper is a two-layer mesh which I found to be breathable especially given the excellent waterproofing.
On Running suggest that their shoes don't correct your movement instead the sole reacts to your running motion, I’m not sure I agree but suffice to say the upper is supportive and the arch support is well placed.
The Cloudventure Waterproof is marketed as a “lightweight” trail shoe, however at 385g for my UK 9.5 (US 10, EU44) they are far from it. This is over 10% heavier than the waterproof version of the Brooks Cascadia, a sturdy workhorse of a shoe and 20% more than the high spec, the Innov-8 Roclite 315 GTX.
Good looks count for very little in trail shoes if they don’t fit well. Unfortunately, this is where the problems begin.
First the good news, the toe box is surprising wide with plenty of room to splay out your toes. There is a sturdy toe bumper which affords excellent protection against rocks and roots on even the toughest trails.
On Running have a handy chart on their site to find the right sizing based on other running brands. Despite this, I found the shoes loose around the midfoot and more so the heel. It's difficult to pull the lacing in tight enough to address this. Even with heel lock lacing my foot was moving about especially on uneven terrain.
The heel collar although seemingly moderately padded is very stiff, as is the heel counter and area around the Achilles. This caused considerable discomfort, especially when running on a camber or if the ankle rolls (more on this later).
I had to cut a number of runs short due to ankle and heel pain and blisters on the Achilles. In the end, I admitted defeat and took a few days off to recover. Now, this may just be me, and although I’m usually pretty hardy, I had problems with the similar Salomon Speedcross which was generally well received.
Midsole & outsole
The previous iteration of the Cloudventure Waterproof had issues with the longevity of the Cloud Pods. There are pictures online of them shredded after only a few runs. On Running seem to have taken this feedback on board; the outsole has been completely rethought and beefed up.
The pods are much more substantial; I would be very surprised if you could destroy them. This seems a departure from the original ‘Cloud-Tec’ system whereby the pods compress then lock into the midsole with each foot strike. Instead, the Cloudventure employs Zero Gravity Clouds with the midsole extending into the pods making them much less compressible.
The midsole lies over a "liquid-injected plate of thermoplastic polymer" something On-Running call a speedboard, essentially this adds stiffness, providing a propulsive springboard effect as well as good protection against rocks.
Even allowing for the central cut out channel, the sum product of all this 'engineering' is a heavy inflexible shoe which lacks any of On-Runnings trademark cloudlike cushioning. The Cloudventure seems at odds with their whole philosophy of adaptive, responsive shoes.
A trip to my local running shop to acquaint myself with the rest of On-Runnings range confirmed this anomaly. All their other shoes are light, flexible yet springy.
The surface of the outsole is covered in "Mission Grip." A tiny triangular ‘micro-engineered protrusions made of sticky rubber. This provides good grip on smooth and loose surfaces although was somewhat lacking on a wet stone.
By 20km, I was already seeing some wear with the surface flattening off. This seems a common occurrence in softer stickier rubbers.
On a positive note, the stiffness and torsion of the midsole excel when ascending or descending especially in soft mud where it provides a firm platform to push off against. This lends itself to faster running on soft, even terrain.
On harder surfaces, however, I found them to be very unforgiving. This is bad news for those of us that combine a stretch of road running to get to the trails.
The arrangements of the pods provides a deep, stud-like grip. Again, this is good in the mud; however, the zigzag central channel and pods quickly clog up with muck and debris which doesn’t disperse easily.
The heavily structured mid and outsole distinctly lacks ground feel. Consequently, a misstep can cause the ankle to roll. In a more flexible shoe, I would have been able to correct this, instead of the stiff heel collar of the Cloudventure jams into the malleoli or achilles.
Obviously, On-Running aren’t going to dispense with the USP of their novel mid and outsole but if anything the modifications made to improve durability render the Cloud Tec more hindrance than a help.
You’re left wondering whether this shoe would perform better with a traditional mid and outsole, why reinvent the wheel? All this engineering will set you back £150 which puts the Cloudventure firmly at the top end of the market.
There’s no denying, the On Running Cloudventure Waterproof is a ruggedly handsome shoe with an array of innovative technology. Although prone to hyperbole, creativity and enthusiasm for the design process clearly abound at On Running.
Unfortunately, the result is an over-engineered shoe which ultimately is less than the sum of its parts. Too heavy for faster outings and lacking the comfort for longer runs it's hard to say where the Cloudventure might find its place.
Whilst not for me, the Cloudventure Waterproof may suit those looking for a sturdy, stiff shoe for muddy obstacle races or fell running over shorter distances. Or perhaps they simply belong on the feet of a more refined runner in alpine Switzerland rather than the stark beauty of a Snowdonian mountainside?
I tested the On Running Cloudventure Waterproof over 50+ miles in the Snowdonia National Park including some night running on the wonderful trails shown above.
This expert has been verified by RunRepeat. Reviews are neutral, unbiased and based on extensive testing.
It's a little bit loose, it's a little bit clunky. It's heavy, too. I wouldn't be taking this shoe on a 20-mile run and that's a problem for me.
- The On Cloudventure Waterproof is a running shoe that’s meant for those who have neutral running gaits. It’s created using quality materials in order to provide long-lasting and efficient performance. As specified in its name, it’s the waterproof version of this model. It utilizes a special membrane to completely shield the shoe’s interior from water.
- The bottom part of the upper has rubber reinforcements, which shield the foot from debris and other hazards on the outdoor terrains. Stitching is only present as a means to reinforce the materials. Otherwise, the façade of this product has a clean and consistent look that’s seldom present in trail shoes.
- Like all the shoes in the On Running product roster, the Cloudventure Waterproof has a set of pods that act as the cushioning system. Coined as ‘clouds’, these individual units provide active cushioning throughout all the phases of the gait cycle. They handle the impact shock during the landing phase, and they give energy & lift during the toe-off.
- The outsole unit features a durable rubber, which is highly resistant to wear and tear. Gripping lugs and traction patterns enhance the grip, while rubber reinforcements on the sides of the ‘clouds’ heighten their durability.
The waterproof version of the On Cloudventure features standard measurements. The sizing scheme follows the preferences of runners. D=Medium and B=Medium are the width profiles available for men and women, respectively. It has a semi-curved shape, which adheres nicely to the natural curve of the human foot.
The Grip-Rubber technology makes use of a durable rubber compound that’s highly resistant to abrasion. It has been micro-engineered to deliver reliable traction on a variety of surfaces and running conditions. Gripping lugs and traction patterns enable the runner to get the right amount of surface control.
The outsole unit blends naturally with the shape of the cushioning systems. It doesn’t stiffen the material. It still allows the foot to move naturally through the gait cycle.
The Intelligent CloudTec® cushioning system utilizes 11 pods, which are called ‘clouds’. Visibly seen on the bottom of the On Cloudventure Waterproof, they deliver responsive cushioning for the wearer. It carries the foot well throughout the running experience, and even gives an energized lift during the toe-off.
The Speedboard is a plate in the mid-sole. It distributes the weight of the runner and the impact of the footfall evenly across all the ‘clouds’ of the sole unit, thus making each step much smoother and easier.
The upper unit makes use of the On Membrane, a stretchable material that’s 1005 waterproof and weatherproof. It’s not coated with any harsh chemicals, making it soft and agreeable to the skin. It’s lightweight and it still accommodates airflow into the foot-chamber.
The perimeter of the upper unit’s lower section uses the fusion of rubber and engineered mesh. This also includes the toecap. It acts like a shield against debris and potentially injurious surfaces.
Reflective strips allow the On Cloudventure Waterproof to be visible in low-light conditions, which is helpful when it comes to running at night.
An extended rubber heel cage locks the foot in place and prevents accidental shoe removals. It also adds a bit more security for the foot.