Our take The trail runners among us have long loved the Cloudventure for its unmatched springiness. This year, that design gets a waterproof upgrade. Testers praised the stretchy upper; On’s proprietary waterproof/breathable membrane is form-fitting, like a sock. It kept us dry through months of rainy and snowy conditions on trails at 9,000 feet. The gusseted tongue kept splashes out, but we needed ankle gaiters when thrashing through puddles or brushing against wet vegetation.
The details The 20mm heel stack height is average, but feels ultracushioned, thanks to the 11 springy CloudTec pods on the outsole. They help soften impact, and testers said they felt explosive when pushing off. A welded toe and two-thirds rand around the back provide enough armor for light hiking.
Trail cred “The paths I train on have rocks, roots, steeps, rocky scrambles, sand, ice, snow, packed dirt, loose dirt, and stream crossings,” says a Colorado-based competitive runner. “The Cloudventures are grippy enough, and the waterproofing is totally reliable.”