By: Ben Hogan
The Enhanced Cloudultra 2
By now everyone has heard of On Shoes, a brand that advertises the thoughtful technology utilized to design and fabricate their products. Well, they upped the ante once again with the changes seen on the second version of their long-distance trail runner the Cloudultra 2.
A More Perfect Fit with Improved Liner
The first thing that I noticed upon slipping the shoe on was the improved sock like liner that wraps around your foot and lower ankle like a form fitting hug (not to mention that the liner is 100% recycled polyester). Last year the liner seemed thicker and therefore less accommodating to different sizes and shapes. I have a rather narrow foot and the shoe runs just a little wide for my ideal fit. The liner helped make up for this and did its job better than the previous version.
The Flip Release is innovative and remains unchanged from last year; it’s a plastic tab woven in the laces that can be toggled late in the run to loosen the shoe and allow a little more volume for swollen tootsies. With a simple flip of a switch the toe box of the shoe gets a little roomier and really does feel good after a few hours on trail.
These boots feel light for their degree of all terrain trail readiness. The weight is the same as last year, but the heel-to-toe drop has gone from a rather tall 10mm last year to 6mm for the second iteration. The lower drop does give a better sense of connectivity with the ground passing beneath you and the Enhanced Missiongrip does certainly lives up to the name with noticeably improved traction.
Last year during more aggressive descents while deeply flexing the shoe it felt like there a change in rigidity of the shoe under the ball of your foot that made for a sudden change in the flex of the sole. This too seems improved with a more even flex throughout.
While it may seem petty the washed navy color has held up much better in the dirt and the mud compared to the white and black shoes I was rocking from On last summer.
All in all, I am impressed with the upgrades seen on the On Cloudultra 2. This shoe is rugged and trail-ready while still checking all of the regular On Shoe boxes of remaining light weight and comfortable to be in. You can expect to see me sporting these boots on Truckee’s local trails or even around town.Author: Ben Hogan
Ben is first and foremost a local skier. He loves the search for good snow and doesn't mind a long day in the skin track to find it. When there is no fresh snow around Ben entertains himself with Nordic skiing, trail running and mountain biking. Ben loves being a part of the TMS team for the camaraderie and love for the outdoors as well as to check out new gear and offer an opinion. Keep your eye out for "that guy skiing with a baby on his chest" as he shows his new daughter and future ripper, Stella, some of his favorite stashes.