By: Kim Yamauchi
If the On Cloudultra was good, this new and improved version is even better! I’ve taken this shoe out for a few runs on some flowy single track as well as some rocky technical descents and this shoe just continues to perform. As an ultra-trail shoe, it is much lighter than expected, very nimble, but has enough cushion to get you through hours on the trail.
Here are some of the noteworthy improvements from version 1:
- The sole is more rugged. Their updated Missiongrip outsole is a new blend that is grippier than ever. They’ve changed the lug design so there is 50% more ground contact. This is great when you are on technical terrain and descending some trails that are technical, slippery, and full of scree.
The shoe is well cushioned, but you can still feel the trail - in a good way. They’ve incorporated a TPU Speedboard, Helion Superfoam, and CloudTec cushioning that feels like you are propelled along the way with plenty of cushioned support, all without a bouncy, marshmallow’y ride.
The upper has a newly designed sock that you can easily slip into. This sock has two little finger loops to help you easily slide into the shoe, seems to keep the dirt and sand out of the shoe, while still allowing your feet to breathe. And if you care about how your shoe affects the environment, this sock is made with 100% recycled polyester, making our planet just a little bit happier.
- Lastly, the shoe's updated shape has a roomier toe box.
And then there are the features from the version 1 shoes that are still part of version 2 that deserve special recognition:
The lace loop allows you to tuck your laces in so they don’t trip you. Of course we all expect to fall at some point, we just don’t want it to be because we tripped on our laces. This little lace loop will eliminate that.
Lace lock toggle. This nifty little feature allows you to simply flip a little device on your laces and in just seconds, you can loosen up your laces. It is just as easy to flip it back and tighten your shoes again. This eliminates the tying/untying, especially on group runs and workouts when you don’t want to be left behind, or when you are in race mode, and every second counts.
- Cool look. I never buy shoes just because of how they look, but it certainly helps! This shoe comes in Black/White or a very fun Cherry/Hay which looks more purple/blue. The men have three color choices, adding a Wash/Navy which is a light blue/dark blue shoe.
I do like this shoe for most trails. The ride is great and the cushioning will work well for long distance runs. On a rocky/slippery trail such as Castle Peak, I do think the Salomon Speed Cross is a better choice for the steep, slippery, scree encountered there (see Jillian Johnson’s recent recap on that shoe), but that shoe doesn’t come with the cushioning you might need for the longer miles.
This shoes seems to run true to size. I am wearing a size 8 and it is perfect. I did need to size up on the original version of this shoe to an 8 ½.
It’s a lightweight 295 grams with a 6mm heel to toe drop.
If you are looking for a new trail shoe this is definitely one to consider. Stop by Tahoe Mountain Sports and give it a try.
And while you’re there, check out all their great summertime trail items such as my new Ultimate waist pack. This little pack holds my phone, key, lipbalm, and a bug wipe (very much needed these days) for my runs – all without bouncing. And if you run with poles, there are loops on the backside to hold your running poles. Other items I’m running with are both Skratch and LMNT for hydration, TailWind for post run recovery, and we can’t forget my Birkenstocks to help my feet recover!
Author: Kim Yamauchi