Vikki, Josh and Layla test Swiss brand On’s new trail running shoe, the Cloudultra
Who doesn’t like to test out some new running shoes, especially now the days are longer and Spring has sprung? I have been waiting a while for the new Cloudultra to launch. Designed for the trails and long hard miles – not that I clock up that many miles or live in the mountains – I’ve been excited to put these through their paces.
When they arrived, I was very impressed by the new FlipRelease system on the toe end of the laces – a first for On. Designed to release pressure on your foot, through flipping the toggle, I absolutely loved how it worked in practice and I tend to flip the switch on the 8K mark. You can really feel the shoe opening up and taking the pressure off, which is great.
You can definitely feel the extra cushioning in the sole (compared to my trusty Cloudflow, which is now a bit worn) and the sock-like upper is really nice and light and fits nicely around my foot. I have managed to smash my 10K PB a couple of times now, which is just great. I am putting this down to the double-layer of cushioning, of course!
The one downside is they’re a little tricky to get on and off and I have found they come up a little snug, so I could do with a half size bigger as my toes are a little sore when I return back from my run, even after releasing the FlipRelease devise on the laces.
All in all, these shoes more than live up to expectations. Although I might not be running through the Alps they will certainly be my go-to shoe on a long run in Bushy Park this summer.
After moving from London to Kent last year, I’ve been making the most of the trails and greener areas when running. So, when the Cloudultra was announced, it’s fair to say I couldn’t wait to give them a go. When the shoe actually arrived, they appeared great. They felt light, I loved the FlipRelease feature and they looked pretty cool – what more could you want?
Unfortunately though, when first putting the shoe on, I had real difficulty squeezing them on. The sock-like construction makes the opening feel tight, given there’s no separate tongue. This makes it feel like you’re pulling on the wrong size shoe, which was a little strange. But having wrestled with them for a few minutes, I finally had them on and the fit felt absolutely fine. Result!
My first run in the shoe was brilliant – it was a steady 10K through the woods and they held up brilliantly. The close fit felt great and, even though they were tough to get on, I soon forgot about that. The cushioning feels a little firm at first but soon starts to soften, and the longer they were on my feet the better they felt. They really came into their own on the harder, uneven woodland ground.
The more I’ve worn the shoes, the more I’ve really started to like them. The FlipRelease technology is a great feature and makes a real difference when your feet swell on hotter days. While they might not boast huge amounts of grip on wet and muddy terrain, I really like how the closed-channel construction keeps out small stones and sticks, which has always been a small issue with On shoes.
After a number of runs in these, I’ve found the Cloudultra a really versatile shoe. It’s light enough for faster paced runs and stable and cushioned enough for slower, steady sessions. The one issue for me is getting them on, so some might want to opt for a size bigger, but the close-fitting upper feels great on the run and does give a little, the longer you’re in them. Overall, it’s a thumbs up from me!
I’ve been lucky enough to test many of the On performance shoes over the last few years, and of course there’s some suit me more than others. As soon as I saw the Cloudultra I was excited to try them out. I’m favouring trail or multi-terrain running these days and with On’s lightweight properties, I held high hopes for this model.
For a start the Cloudultra looks incredible, typical On style, a beautiful simplicity in the overall design, but packed with clever features. I think the design is really unique for a trail shoe and unlike any other on the market.
The sizing is snug, so I went a half size up from my normal fit and once I’d figured that out, I experienced a really comfortable fit. My feet feel really protected in the shoes, but not at all weighed down by this level of protection. The double layer of clouds gives a luxurious comfort that you don’t generally find in a trail shoe. I do find the sock-like feature makes them a bit tricky to get on, but once they are on I feel excited to get going!
A great thing about On shoes for me is that I can wear them straight from the box and more or less forget about them as soon as I start running. There’s always the novelty of wearing new shoes, so I thought more about these during my first few runs, but I didn’t experience any rubbing – I could just enjoy the run and the comfort of the shoe. I’m not a very technical runner, it’s all about feeling a sense of freedom, so being able to enjoy the run for those reasons and not think about my kit is a big bonus.
The MissiongripTM on the sole provides decent grip for any terrain I’ve been on so far; I’m keen to test them on something a bit more slippery. I’m yet to run far enough in the shoes to get any foot swell, so haven’t tested the FlipRelease feature, maybe that will come on a mountain trip this summer – something that’s starting to feel much more likely!