Shoe Review: On Cloudvista

The women's On Cloudvista.

The On Cloudvista is a brand new, light and agile multipurpose trail running shoe that is ideal for running on smooth dirt paths, moderately technical trails and gravel roads. It even runs smoothly on roads if you need to log a few miles on pavement or concrete on the way to a trailhead. Built on a platform of On’s shock-absorbing and responsive proprietary midsole technology, it’s a neutral-oriented model that has the comfort and smoothness of a road running shoe with a low-to-the-ground feel and a nice blend of cushioning, traction and protection. If you’re looking for a versatile trail shoe to add to your quiver, you’ll appreciate how the multi-talented Cloudvista performs on so many different surfaces.

Tech Specs

On Cloudvista

Weight

8.3 oz (W), 9.9 oz (M)

Drop

7 mm

Category

Neutral

Use

Daily training, Trail racing

Surface

Trail

On Cloudvista is Lightweight, Agile and Versatile

The women's On Cloudvista sits propped up against a tree.

When it comes to trail running, On is relatively new to the scene. It launched its first trail running shoes a few years ago and has quickly become a reliable brand in the trail running world.

The Cloudvista is built on a moderate-level Cloudtec platform made from responsive Helion foam that straddles the line between semi-soft and semi-firm, maximal and minimal. It feels plush and smooth on dirt trails and provides soft landings and snappy toe-offs on firmer terrain. The midsole cushioning is accompanied by a flexible rock plate that allows for a cushy, flexible and protective ride that doesn’t inhibit the natural movement of your feet on variable terrain.

“Right away this shoe felt super light on my feet. It definitely isn't overly cushioned, but it also didn’t feel super minimalistic and still provided reasonable protection from the ground,” Alex says.

Out on the trails, it feels agile and precise, allowing for nimble foot placements when required while maneuvering over roots, rocks and trail debris. There’s ample forefoot protection from the reinforced toe bumper and exception protection from pointy rocks under the foot from the flexible plastic plate embedded in the midsole. A few wear-testers suggested they would have appreciated a little more fortification to reduce the impact of sidewall abrasions, but, for the most part, the Cloudvista helps keep your feet out of harm’s way.

The outsole features segments of durable sticky rubber and an array of low-profile multidirectional lugs separated by a series of flex grooves and channels that provide both great traction flexibility.

“The tread gripped effectively on mud and I didn’t slip or slide. Plus, they were easy to clean when I was done with the run - a rare trail tread bonus feature!” Alex says.

The Cloudvista could be an everyday trail runner for someone who runs a combination of mild trails, dirt roads and gravel paths on a regular basis or a up-tempo trainer or a great race-day trail shoe for from 5K to half marathon.

“Overall, it’s a nice package of features for a do-everything trail running shoe,” says Brian. “It feels light, fast and nimble, but it also has enough cushioning and interior comfort for multi-hour runs on moderate trails.”

On Cloudvista Features a Clean, Eco-friendly Design

The women's On Cloudvista

A fully gusseted tongue, a moderately rigid heel counter and a reinforced, mesh upper made from recycled polyester provide a feeling of locked-down security and stability.

“The tongue sits nice and flat on top of my foot and the laces are long enough to tie a marathon loop and a double knot to lock down the fit. I didn’t notice any heel slippage. The upper fits nicely around my foot, even though it’s not soft and smooth like some shoe uppers are, it does the trick,” Caroline says. “Plus, the upper felt very breathable in the hot Florida sun.”

The Cloudvista has a performance-oriented fit that secures each foot to the chassis of the shoe without allowing excess internal slipping and sliding. It generally fits true to size, but our wear-testers felt it was a bit snug in the toe box, especially when running on more technical terrain.

“This shoe runs a touch narrow for my taste and I couldn’t help but feel a little cramped,” Nate says.

“This shoe fits well, but I did notice it felt a little tight around my pinky toe when I was walking. I was nervous I would feel this during my run but it didn’t bother me,” says Caroline.

The back of the On Cloudvista.

On Cloudvista vs On Cloudventure

Tech Specs

On Cloudvista

On Cloudventure

Weight

8.3 oz (W), 9.9 oz (M)

8.9 oz (W), 10.9 oz (M)

Drop

6 mm

6 mm

Category

Neutral

Neutral

Use

Daily training, Trail racing

Daily training

Surface

Trail

Trail

The Cloudventure was one of On’s first trail running shoes, featuring a comfortable interior, a durable design and great traction from a rugged outsole. But it’s not quite as agile or flexible as a lot of other trail shoes on the market, so it’s better suited for slower running on rugged terrain and hiking.

On solved those performance issues when it built the Cloudvista by taking cues from some of its lightweight, flexible road shoes. Aside from making it a half-ounce lighter with a premium upper and segment rubber outsole, the Cloudvista is also considerably more agile. Although the Cloudvista and Cloudventure have similar geometries with a 6mm heel-toe drop, they run entirely differently.

“The Cloudvista seems to move really well with my feet. Some trail shoes feel very stiff and rigid all over, but this shoe allowed my feet to move comfortably throughout the run,” Caroline says.

While the Cloudvista lacks optimal protection for long, rugged mountain trails, it’s agile enough to handle shorter segments of rocky routes. When it comes to its sweet spot of mild and moderate terrain, it serves up a buttery smooth ride.

“Whereas the Cloudventure was rugged and durable, the Cloudvista is built for milder trails so I wouldn’t take it on gnarly routes because it just doesn’t have the full-scale protection or durability for that,” Brian says. “But the Cloudvista can definitely fill the niche in my quiver for running over rolling, semi-technical trails.”

Final Thoughts

The On Cloudvista is a legitimate entry into the trail running market. Because it’s so light and comfortable, the Cloudvista will appeal to a lot of trail runners, from first-timers to those who frequently go off-road and also those who live and breathe nothing but dirt.

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