On a per/runner standpoint there are more trail running shoes than road running shoes. That’s hard to believe but it’s true. First and foremost there are simply more runners who run daily or weekly on roads and treadmills. Then there is the fact that most runners who run on some trails and some roads use road shoes and even some runners who only run on trails use road shoes. You get the point. There are too many shoes to choose from.
You may have never heard of On Running let alone the Cloud Venture. On Running has been around for 6-7 years. Their two points of difference are:
- They are a Swiss company. You should expect high attention to detail and high quality from a Swiss company and that’s what you get from On Running.
- Cloud technology – The midsole/outsole of every On Running shoe has Cloud tech. Essentially it’s a pressure/impact dampening system. Instead of getting into all the technical aspects the essenatial feel you’ll get from the Cloud system versus foam systems is a firmer more responsive feel. Most foam is soft and rather dead feeling.
Taking all of this into perspective the ideal trail shoe should take you somewhere. Literally you should feel 100% confident that your shoe will help you conquer the trail. Just knowing you aren’t out there to conquer the trail is information you need to use in your shoe decision. Figuratively the shoe should take you somewhere too. Trail running is about adventure and beauty and if you can enjoy those two things more than slipping, twisting and foot pain then all the better.
On Running makes two trail shoes, the Cloudventure and the Cloudventure Peak. The difference is in the upper. The Cloudventure uses an open breathable mesh where the Peak uses a rip stop tight weave mesh.
Midsole Hieights: 25mm/19mm
Midsole offset: 6mm
Weight Men’s: 9.7 oz
Weight Women’s: 7.9oz
Heel Fit: Mediium
Toe Box: Medium-Low
Arch Height: Medium
What’s to like about this shoe?
- It’s low to the ground at 25mm/19mm – If you like to feel the ground this shoe offers that.
- It’s light and fast feeling – Again if you like that it’s there.
The insole is really well thought out. It’s two pieces. There is a “supportive” heel to arch piece that helps to create really nice fit. Then there is the arch to forefoot piece which is cushioned. In the photo above the cushioned foam is green. It’s a difference maker in this shoe.
The Cloud system on the outsole provides two benefits. First and foremost is traction. They work with the trail you are running on to provide you really good traction. Second is they mold over each stone or root you strike. This is no guarantee that you won’t feel it but there is a slight dampening when you hit it.
The upper has lot’s of features/benefits. First it’s a very tight weave on the mesh. Nothing is getting in and there is nothing to catch. Second is the internal welding. It’s there to hold your foot in place which it does nicely and it’s internal so again it won’t catch on anything. There is a toe bumper which should be there. Finally you can see that slight lip right where you big toe lines up. It’s a great functional design that will keep that part of your foot on the platform.
- the laces are so long it seems like they were meant for a soccer boot and not a running shoe. You can easily wrap the laces around your foot.
- If the right size rock hits the gap in the Cloud technology under your heel you will pick up the rock. Many shoes are rock collectors. They shouldn’t be.
You Should buy this:
- If you want a performance fit. You really want that shoe tight around your foot. You can get that fit here.
- You want to feel the trail.
- You appreciate nimbleness.
You Should stay away:
- If protection is your #1 need or want.
- If you need a wide fitting shoe.
Now get out there and conquer some trails and enjoy it as you do.