On Cloudventure Waterproof – Review

On Cloudventure Waterproof Review

Introduction

I’ve been a huge fan of “On-running” road shoes for a long time, so I was really excited to receive a pair of their new Cloudventure Waterproof trail running shoes for review. I’ve owned 2 pairs of “Cloud Surfers”, 3 pairs of “Cloud” and 1 pair of “Cloud Racers” in the past and have really enjoyed running through them. Out of all of those, I think I preferred the most minimal of them all, the Cloud Racer. This is because I personally love to run in super lightweight shoes that have very little energy loss when pushing off the ground. In essence, shoes that are merely an extension of the leg rather than a buffer between you and the terrain below. But enough about road running shoes, let’s see what On-running have managed to create with the Cloudventure Waterproof trail running shoe.

On Cloudventure waterproof Review

 


Fit

For me, On shoes always feel amazing when I put them on, they don’t even need to be broken in. Maybe its the shape of my feet, but I think it’s more likely to be the soft inner materials that they choose to use. This shoe is no exception.

The sizing comes out ever so slightly larger (not enough for you to order a different size than you normally would though) than Salomon and Inov-8 trail shoes, so if you run in either of those brands then you will be ok going for your usual size.

On Cloudventure waterproof Review

The first time I went for a run I felt my heel slipping a bit out of the shoe which surprised me a bit. When I get back I experimented with different lacing and realised that the foot becomes a lot more secure when you do the laces up all the way to the top holes of the shoe. This is not something I normally have to do, so it must be related to the shoe design, I’m just not sure why the laces aren’t done up like this out of the box as I’m sure others will feel the same lack of foothold.

On Cloudventure waterproof Review
If you feel the same heel slip then try doing the laces up to the top black holes – they are not done up all the way in the image above.

 


Running in the On Cloudventure Waterproof shoes

These shoes feel so springy when running on buff trails and any roads that you may need to run on to get to your favourite trail head. But with bounciness comes a loss of power when moving slowly. I did notice a loss of power during uphill climbs, the clouds seemed to be absorbing a lot of force that I felt was needed to help push myself off quickly and efficiently. I can appreciate that with such a radical and innovative “cloud pod” design on the soles there are going to be things that will work brilliantly and some things that just won’t.

On Cloudventure waterproof Review
Space left in the toe area so that power isn’t lost on shallow gradient uphill running

I noticed that “On” have left a space near the toe end of the sole free of pods which is exactly what I would have done to their road shoe design if making a trail shoe. But for me, this only works when running up a shallow gradient hill. Anything steep and the whole forefoot would need to lose the pods. But then how do you get that design to work for fast downhill running? I found the fine grip to be really good on any wet patches of light mud but as soon as you approach more boggy regions, the spaces between the pods quickly become clogged up with dirt. If you’re not able to shake it loose, you may end up running with twice the shoe weight due to all the mud you’ll collect.

On Cloudventure waterproof Review

The bounciness coming from the pods is so fun whilst running downhill and you can really let yourself fly down the trails. In fact, I found myself wanting to run faster than usual on the downhills because the shoe made my feet feel so protected and free from niggles. The foot plate protection felt great and I didn’t experience any heel roll.

On Cloudventure waterproof Review

Unfortunately, when the cloud pods get wet, you’ll know about it as they start squeaking which can be a bit embarrassing whilst running with other people. A minor thing really but a surprise considering the shoes are designed for running through water. I did some running through deep puddles on the trails and my feet did stay dry which is a really impressive feature of this shoe. However, being a waterproof shoe obviously means reduced airflow through the shoe, so you may find your feet heating up on a warmer day.

I did some running through deep puddles on the trails and my feet did stay dry which is a really impressive feature of this shoe. However, being a waterproof shoe obviously means reduced airflow through the shoe, so you may find your feet overheating on a hot day.

 


In Summary

These shoes look really badass whilst thrashing the trails. But for a waterproof trail shoe, I felt they performed better on the road and buff dry trails than on the wet and muddy ones. I think it’s great to be able to feel technical terrain underfoot when on the trails and maybe this shoe has too much of a “buffer” between the foot and the ground to really let you benefit from that. This extra cushioning did, on the other hand, allow me to storm down the hills much faster than usual on hard terrain without feeling any foot niggles. The Cloudventure’s really make downhill running on hard terrain feel super fun.

The Cloudventures really make downhill running on hard terrain feel super fun.

If you have any questions about the shoes or anything relating to them then please leave a comment below and I will reply as soon as possible. Happy Trails!!



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Alastair Dixon

Landscape & Adventure Photographer // Mountain & Ultra Runner // Former Ski Racer.VFX Lighting Supervisor at Aardman Animations.

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