On Trail Running Shoes
In this article, we’re going to take a look at On’s Trail running shoes. We’ll point out some of the key features and technology of each shoe. Then we’ll help you decide which On trail runner would be best for you.
How On trail running technology improves your performance
On Cloudventure -- On’s versatile trail shoe for technical terrain
The Cloudventure is On’s signature trail running shoe.
Built for off-road running on technical terrain, this shoe can navigate through a variety of conditions you’ll encounter while exploring the trails.
The most interesting features of On shoes are the cloudtec pods on the bottom. The pods are designed to be like a little cushion of air that helps absorb shock and soften your landing. It transfers that energy from the shock into your next step, springing you forward.
This shoe has some great protective features. Here are a few of the most mentioned ones:
- -They’ve packed more cloudtec pods that elevate you up off the ground which acts as a barrier from sharp objects you might step on along the trail
- -The overlay around the base acts as a defense from objects poking through the sides. It also defends against an accidental rock kick
- -The solid, stiff outsole mimics a rock plate, protecting you from sharp rocks below
The Cloudventure is a heavier model. It weighs about 12 ounces for men’s size 11. So, if you’re a runner that wants a lightweight shoe, then a speedier model like the Cloudventure Peak (which we’ll discuss below) might be a good choice.
FYI: The Cloudventure is available in a waterproof model as well.
What you’ll notice:
- Responsive Cushioning.
This shoe has a thick and cushioned insole that gives you lasting comfort for miles on end. Runners have stated that the combination of the insole and the cloudtec pods made them feel like they were running on clouds (which FYI: is where the name “On” comes from).
- Nice For Running Downhill.
The cloudtec pods compress upon impact and flatten down the pocket of space. This brings the shoe close to ground level before resetting with the next step. Runners have mentioned that this feature helped the shoe perform great when going downhill.
This shoe has a mesh upper to allow great ventilation. Although, just know that the Cloudventure may retain more heat than other models with a mesh upper.
On Cloudventure Peak -- On’s lightweight speedy trail shoe
On built this shoe to be their light and speedy option for trail running. The original model received positive feedback. For the second version, On wanted to give this shoe a few upgrades and make it even better while also making it more flexible.
The upgraded Peak was designed with an inner-sock to give runners more comfort while also wrapping around the foot to give a secure feel.
On wanted to make this shoe a little more aggressive so they lowered the heel-to-toe drop from 6mm to 4mm. This encourages you to land more on your midfoot or toe area.
The Peak is very flexible and allows the forefoot to bend along with the rocks and debris underneath. This means more tread touches the surface, giving you better grip.
Since this is a speed shoe, the insole is minimal when it comes to cushioning. That being said, the Peak might not be comfortable for longer runs. Also, due to the extreme flexibility of this shoe, it probably wouldn’t be the best choice for someone needing a sturdy and supportive shoe.
Just an FYI: the second version of the Peak is only available in a white upper.
What you’ll notice:
- Stiffness in upper.
The upper of the Peak is made with a material that is super lightweight, stretchy, durable, and comfortable. However, the overlay is stiff and doesn’t allow stretching.
- Awesome Grip.
The upgraded outsole is very grippy. On uses a variety of patterns on their outsoles to give great traction on various surfaces like wet grassy areas, slippery rocks, and even thick mud.
- Uphill ease.
This shoe has an aggressive lug design under the forefoot that helps make climbing uphill easier.
What to look for in a trail running shoe
Some trail shoes are versatile and will allow you to run comfortably on road surfaces. However, road shoes aren’t designed with an aggressive outsole packed full of the safety tech that is needed for trail running.
When running offroad, you’ll come across obstacles such as rocks, root, grass, and mud. You want to make sure that your tread is going to provide you with an excellent grip. And you want to make sure that the depth of the lugs matches the aggressiveness of the terrain.
How do I choose the best On trail running shoe for me?
When choosing which trail shoe best fits your needs, you need to consider a couple of key factors such as the type of terrain and the length of your run.
Casual runs and Tempo training --
Casual running is a good way to let go of stress while getting in some exercise.
Tempo training would be for the runner looking to work on muscle strengthening or cardiovascular conditioning.
The Cloudventure would be a great choice for both casual runs and Tempo training. This shoe has a little bit of everything you need on the trail. It offers long-lasting cushiony comfort from the insole, protection and durability from the upper, and a versatile grippy outsole.
Remember, it also comes in a waterproof model to cover rainy day runs or splashing through puddles and streams.
Racing/speed (5k - half marathon) --
If you’re going to be running full throttle like in a 5k race or a marathon, then you’ll need a shoe that is speedy and lightweight like the Cloudventure Peak. The Peak is also more aggressive with a 4mm drop. This helps you run swiftly, and with a weight of 9.2oz, it won’t weigh you down.
Frequently Asked Questions
How often should I replace my On trail running shoes?
There are several tips for knowing when to retire your trail runners. Here are a few:
- -It might be a good idea to replace your running shoes approximately every 300-500 miles
- -If you start to notice achy joints after running, this could be a sign that the shock-absorbing tech is wearing out
- -Keep an eye out for wear and tear to the outsole. Also, if you notice any torn or broken lugs, then it’s likely time to replace your shoes
How do I make my trail runners last longer?
To prolong the life of your trail runners, it might be a good idea, if possible, to rotate them after every other run. This will give time for the midsole to reset to form.
I need help deciding: Which would be the best trail shoe for a beginner?
If you’re new to trail running, the Cloudventure would be a good beginner shoe.
This shoe has a stiff upper which would give you more stability as you’re adjusting to the new terrain. It also has a 6mm drop, so it isn’t as aggressive as the Peak which has a 4mm drop. A lower drop can take a while to get used to.