Price – £140
Available – On Running
For a number of years, I have been trying to find a trail shoe. I’ve been through a couple of pairs of Nikes (which I know fit me well). A Shield version, a Gore-Tex version and a lightweight pair. They’ve either not had enough grip, been a bit bulky or not been waterproof. With no new versions or designs coming out, I had to look for another brand.
For Christmas this year I got a pair of On Cloudventure Waterproof. The delivery was free, took 2-3 days and was fully tracked. I’ve been watching On closely for a while. A new player trying to break into a seriously competitive business, which has particularly picky and loyal customers. They seem to be doing pretty well. A slick website, local running shops are stocking them and they’re sponsoring some interesting athletes.
I’ve had my Cloudventure for a couple of months now and I’m pretty impressed with them. They come in one colour (black and grey) and there are men’s and women’s versions.
The Upper is flexible (a number of trail shoes I looked at seemed very stiff) and is fairly light and though they are waterproof they seem quite breathable. There’s a reinforced rubber and mesh toe cap, that would be good for fell running or any scrambling in the mountains. This works nicely whilst planking and doing press-ups at BMF. I’ve put them through their paces this winter at Wimbledon parkrun, which is sometimes akin to a flooded ploughed field and through the snow we’ve had in the UK, and haven’t felt any wetness come through them at all.
One gripe I have is with the laces. They are insanely long (several double knots needed) and are skinny(probably so they don’t carry weight when wet). There is some slippage when wearing them. I start my workout with them tight and they are definitely slightly looser when I’ve finished. Nothing dramatic, but definitely looser.
The sole has plenty of grip, not massive lugs, but enough. I’ve always experienced enough grip on flatish muddy surfaces. I think if you went very extreme (very steep muddy slopes) you may struggle for grip, but for general trail running, they’re good. I have rarely used them on the road, but when I have come across a tarmaced path, it’s felt like when you drive a Land Rover on the road. They are built for something else and feel odd when out of their environment.
The website states – “The patented CloudTec® sole has 11 individual pods that stretch back upon impact to offset the forces of downhill running. We call it horizontal cushioning, and it comes on top of our standard vertical cushioning”.
So there are two types of cushioning! The cushioning is good, not too stiff and not too soft. The Cloudtec sole works well. I did try a pair of the Cloudflow on before it bought the Cloudventure to make sure I got the correct size, and the cushioning felt great.
The On Cloudventure felt a little stiff to start off with but they broke in quickly and now feel lightweight and flexible. They’re a good trail shoe that has the feel of a road shoe. I think they ‘re very well built and will definitely last a long time. I’m very happy with my Christmas present.
….. proper off-road running, BMF, obstacle course racing, people who run on lots of wet grass and are fed up of getting wet feet.
Update – September 2018
This is one of my most popular posts so I thought I’d update the post a little. I see that I negated to include much information about the waterproofness of the shoes.
After a very wet BMF session in Bushy Park with conditions that can be seen below, after 1 hour my feet were still dry and warm. I was pretty much running through puddles and was amazingly impressed. I thought the shoes would give way to the water after 20 or so minutes, but no!