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Lee Macholz is one of our 2018/2019 RErun ambassadors. She is a stud! After work and family time, she still manages to volunteer and/or run many events through Runners Edge and Run Wild Missoula. We got a new trail shoe called the Cloud Venture. Since Lee rocks the trails, we asked her to test out these shoes and her thoughts are below…

OnCloud Cloudventure

Specs: 6 mm; Neutral; 7.9 oz

I grabbed a pair of Cloudventures just before heading down to Moab, UT for spring break play time with the family. I was set to run the Behind the Rocks 30k and still hadn’t decided which shoes to wear. But since I didn’t have the time to take them out for a test run before the race, I stuck with my Xodus because I was already completely un-trained for the race and felt it was not terribly smart to add new shoes to the mix as well. However, we still had a full week to play after the race and I wore the Cloudventure for the rest of our time running and hiking in the desert. I also raced the Bitterroot Runoff in them last weekend so these shoes have seen some great early-season action.

OnCloud is a new brand to me, I’d seen a few folks in them over the past year or so, but I had not yet tried them on. In the store, my initial impression was that they were stiff and didn’t have much cushion.
This impression didn’t last though. As soon as I got out on the trail with them, they proved to be really responsive and comfortable. I find that I don’t need, or even want, as much cushion in my trail shoes as I do in my road shoes. The Cloudventure has good support throughout the shoe. I can feel the arch support just enough to know that it is helping my foot, but not so much that it is too tall. The arch support does feel like it extends forward more than other shoes I’ve worn. It was noticeable enough to wonder if it would hurt or fatigue my foot, but it didn’t take long to get used to it and by the end of my first run I’d forgotten all about that. I tend to get a couple tender toes, but I have not had that issue yet with these shoes. The rest of the fit is good, with skinny laces that don’t come untied and a soft tongue that doesn’t slip or pinch. And they are really light weight – easily the lightest running shoes I’ve ever worn!
The really noticeable thing about the Cloudventure is the sole. It is really knobby and kind of crazy looking. Most of the cushion for this shoe seems to be in the material of the sole. I am not the lightest on my feed on the downhill but the sole absorbs impact really well. The downhill sections of the
Bitterroot Runoff felt really great in these shoes. Then there is the traction. I love the “Missiongrip” traction on these Cloudventures. Wearing these in Moab was super fun and I felt kind of like spiderman on the rocks in these shoes. They gripped everything – going up and going down. The one thing that annoys me about the sole is that the spacing and depth between the lugs will pick up rather large rocks.
You know the feeling/sound when you get a little rock stuck in the tread of your shoe? Yeah, instead of smaller-than-pea-sized rocks that are usually easy enough to scuff out of your tread without stopping, I get thumb-sized rocks stuck and usually have to reach down and dislodge the rock. I’m not sure yet if that was just a factor of the rocks in Moab, or if that will continue to be an annoyance on the trails
around Missoula. We’ll see.

All in all, I think the Cloudventure is a great trail running shoe. My favorite things about them is how incredibly light they feel and how grippy the soles are. This makes going up and down hills a dream. If you are looking for a new trail shoe, check them out and come join me in chasing clouds in the mountains this summer!

Sean Kiffe is a Runner’s Edge Ambassador for the 2018/19 season. He is very visible around town as he runs just about every Runner’s Edge race and Run Wild Missoula event each year. We asked him to review the ON Cloud X, and you can find his thoughts below. You can also follow Sean’s adventures on instagram@seankiffe.

The ON brand of shoes was one that I looked at hard this past winter and seriously considered buying. Needless to say, I was pretty excited when I found out that I was going to get to review a pair.

Weight: 8oz
Drop: 6mm
Stack Height: 6mm

Once on my feet the ON Cloud X felt super light. The bulkless, minimal construction of the upper shoe hugs your foot like a glove. The super thin tongue conforms willingly to the shape of your foot. This shoe feels airy and fast from the second you put it on. Weighing in at 8 ounces the shoe is one of the lighter shoes on the market. Categorized by ON as a ¨running remixed¨shoe the Cloud X is intended for runners who have a diversity of training activities in their week. My first run out of the box was a 12 mile run around Missoula and included asphalt, light trail, paved pedestrian paths and gravel. From my front door the Cloud X felt nimble and responsive. The shoe runs like a racing flat but with just enough cushion to be forgiving. The shoe felt great on the short climbs, with no evidence of heel-slip. The ON website boasts that the heelbox is a bombproof fit and my experience was nothing short of that. I’ve now put a little over 70 miles on these shoes and the entire construction is holding together extremely well.

One of the ingenious features of this shoe that really caught my eye was the way it minimized weight and bulk with a couple unique features. First, the shoe uses injection molded padding at key spots at the ankle collar instead of the stuffed traditional style padding common in most other shoes. This makes for a lean fit with padding in just the right spots. It really helps to avoid the bulk that can act like a sponge in wet conditions. The second feature is a hard plastic footplate that runs throughout the shoe. While most shoes achieve the rigid footplate by laminating thin layers of foam and plastic together, ON uses a single lightweight high density plastic piece which eliminates the extra weight of the glue and multiple laminated layers in a traditional shoe. The entire upper is made of what ON calls ¨new-generation materials,¨ and these are truly very thin and lightweight. The mesh of the toe box is well constructed and ventilates nicely.

One downside of the Pod system used by ON is that rocks get stuck in the tread pretty easily. While I did not notice the feel of the rocks in my shoe, I could hear them once I got back on the pavement. To be fair though, ON is very clear about the fact that this is not a dedicated trail shoe. So with that in mind this might not be a problem when on packed gravel pedestrian trails. Other reviewers commented on the fact they experienced low traction on wet running surfaces. This was not my experience on the runs that I did on wet roads. The ON Cloud X felt just fine to me on the wet Missoula streets.

The cushioning of the Cloud X is just right. For a shoe that has a minimalist feel it is cushioned enough so when you hit that unfortunate rock, pothole or when your form falls apart for a few seconds (or miles) you are afforded some cushion to ease the blow. Make no mistake, these are not ¨plush¨ pillow-like shoes such as many Hoka One One models but the Pod technology does offer a decent amount of cushion.

As a general shoe that might be used in a gym setting, a spin class, zumba, crossfit or some other indoor aerobic pursuit the ON Cloud X gets high praise from this reviewer. I gave it a shot at the gym that I usually am absent from all summer and fall and really liked the feel that they had. The On Cloud X will be my gym shoe choice for the coming winter.

Overall this shoe is a great addition to my gear closet. The ON Cloud X is very light, responsive and cushioned just enough. The colors are simple and attractive and the design is appealing to the eye as well. I look forward to putting more miles on these shoes around Missoula, racing some fall 5Kś in them and using them at the gym when the unfortunate winter treadmill sessions are called for. I´d recommend these shoes to anyone who is looking for a super light, versatile all-around training shoe. At an MSRP of $140.00 they are a bit spendy, but in my opinion they are well worth it.