This is the second generation of the On Cloudventure Peak shoes. The first version was lauded for its cushioning, though there were criticisms of grip and the durability of the clouds if you were running on rocky surfaces. How would the new version compare?
We reviewed the new version of the Cloudventure earlier this year and found them much improved. They made some big changes, such as the new formation of clouds on the sole and the new MissiongripTM outsole. These improvements have also been applied to the Cloudventure Peak, their ultralight race version of the shoe.
Upper: ripstop fabric, inner sock construction
Grip: Missiongrip, sticky rubber
Other tech: Speedboard for increased torsion
White. Why would you do that? This shoe only comes in white (with a black bumper around it), which means that this beautiful package of Swiss design will only look good for one run. It’s a bit like buying a white sofa, then inviting a load of children round for a party involving a chocolate fountain. But they are undeniably a thing of beauty. The shoe is incredibly light, the ripstop upper feels durable and looks great, the supportive rubber around the shoe feels sturdy.
The clouds are much different from the first version. At the front of the sole there are L shaped studs, for maximum traction. In the middle (ie under the ball of your foot) there are bigger, square studs. It’s on the back half of the shoe that you get the On clouds that you recognise. The idea is that you get traction going uphill and then cushioning and grip coming downhill.
As you’d expect for a race shoe, they are designed for a quite narrow fit. Your foot won’t move around in them too much when running downhill and they feel quite snug. The ‘inner-sock’ construction means that there’s no tongue to move around, which I like, and there obviously isn’t masses of cushioning. Having said that, I did find the fit pretty comfortable from the off. Functional comfort.
One the run
Again, as this is a race shoe, I wasn’t expecting cushioning. You do feel pretty close to the ground when wearing them. However, the clouds do absorb some of the impact when descending. The grip was really good on mud, dirt, gravel and dry rock. But I didn’t find it great on wet rock – but what shoes are?
They feel firm on the run. I’d describe them as a bit like a slightly more cushioned and comfortable fell shoe. You get the grip of a pared-back fell shoe, but more bells and whistles in terms of the clouds, the upper and the tech. I’d say that where these shoes really come into their own is on hills, where you feel light and fast on the climbs, then confident and slightly cushioned on the descents.
As far as On shoes go, the Cloudventure Peak is one of their more functional ones. If you’re looking for a fast, light shoe, with decent grip and a bit of cushioning on the heel, this is it. I wouldn’t wear them on long runs in the hills but that’s not what they’re designed for. This is a serious performance shoe built with racing in mind. And if the proof is in the pudding then it’s worth saying that GB runner Phillipa Williams wore these shoes at the World Mountain Running Championships in Patagonia and she won a bronze medal.
Find out more about the shoe, which is priced at £135.99, HERE.