Written by Alastair Dixon | Originally appeared on Trail and Kale
At the very heart of the On Cloud Waterproof lies the On Cloud 2018 and you may think that the only difference between the two shoes is that the on Cloud Waterproof is, well waterproof. While this is the main difference, there are more features that separate these two extra versatile running shoes. The Cloud Waterproof has been designed for people who are always on the move in urban environments during the wet and cold winter months. But don’t let that stop you actually running in them, read on to find out why.
Fit & Design
The On Cloud Waterproof is a firm feeling shoe so if you’re familiar with the On Cloud, Cloud X or Cloud Edge Moonlight then this is probably the biggest difference in ‘feel’ that you’ll notice. There’s not much flex/stretch in the upper materials because of the shoe’s firmness and waterproof properties so it’s important to get your shoe size right. On running shoe sizing is in line with Salomon, Inov-8, Nike and Merrell. If you’ve tried those brands before then go with the size you usually do. Some will like this firmness, while others may not but the reason for it is the waterproof materials being used. I personally prefer the fit and feel of this shoe over the On Cloud 2018 because it provides more cushioning under-foot and extra support in the upper.
You don’t often see an all-black running/lifestyle shoe that looks as classy as this. It’s due in part to the mixed texture and varied reflective/matte properties carried by each patch of material in the upper’s construction. The only colour you’ll see is on a tiny Swiss flag on the back. A nice touch that you’ll find on all On running shoes. If you need a bit of color on your feet and in your life, On have recently added another color to choose from. It’s called ‘Forest & Lunar’ and looks equally stylish.
Finger Loop
There’s also a fairly sizeable finger loop on the back which I have noticed all the Waterproof On running shoes have. This combined with the elasticated lacing system makes them fast and easy to slip on in cold and wet conditions.
Reflective Details
To complement the design, and to make sure you’re seen at night, there’s a ton of reflective material on the upper too. Even the outsole and tip of the toe box has reflective properties. Safety is an important factor when choosing a shoe to run with at night, so make sure you pick one with lots of reflective detailing.
The outer mesh material used for the Cloud Waterproof is fully waterproof making it the right choice for running during those cold and wet winter months. Being waterproof means that the upper is not very breathable but on the flip side, these shoes will keep your feet warm because of it!
There are also areas in the upper that have been protected with strips of ‘no-sew foil’ which will firmly hold fabrics together without the edges fraying adding to the overall durability of the shoe.
Inner Sock
As with all On’s I have tested recently, there’s an inner sock that attaches the tongue to the forefoot area. This keeps the forefoot snug and consistently holds the tongue in place while at the same time reduces any chaffing due to there being fewer seams inside. Also worth noting is that inside the shoe there are soft rubbery strips that run either side of the insole which keeps your foot in place while walking or running.
Tongue & Laces
The tongue is slim, comfortable and soft to the touch, so you could probably even wear these shoes without socks if that floats your boat. On uses elasticated laces for the Cloud Waterproof which means you can slip them on and off quickly. I’m a fan of that for shoes that I wear every day, not just for my running but lifestyle too.
The outsole used on the Cloud Waterproof is identical to that of the On Cloud 2018, On Cloud Edge Moonlight and On Cloud X which is definitely a winner from On. It’s worth noting that the Cloud Edge Moonlight and Cloud X both happen to be my current favourite shoes for speed training right now. If you haven’t tried “Running On Clouds” before, I recommend you give it a try! CloudTec is an innovation that seems to help me run much faster.
As always, let’s take a closer look at that sexy CloudTec outsole, seeing as it’s one of the biggest innovations in running that On has designed. In this photo, you can also see the micro-bump noise that provides extra traction in wet conditions.
Drop & Weight
The On Cloud Waterproof has a heel to toe drop of 6mm, great for all-day comfort whether you choose to wear this shoe for everyday lifestyle, running, gym workouts or all of the above. Moving onto weight reveals another difference between this shoe and the Cloud 2018. Weighing in at 250g (US M 8.5), the Cloud Waterproof is a good 20g heavier than the Cloud 2018. It’s true, that’s not much of a difference and it’s still a very lightweight shoe but it’s heavier none the less. The reason for this is down to the waterproof materials used in the upper’s construction.
Toe Box
The toe box is medium width with just enough space for your toes to wiggle, important if you plan to wear these all day as a lifestyle shoe.
In Summary
The On Cloud Waterproof is the first pair of shoes I reach for when I’m faced with a wet and cold day ahead. It’s a versatile shoe that can be worn throughout the day for running, cross training or even lifting. They will keep your feet warm and dry during the winter months without sacrificing on style and although they’re all black, you won’t be missed at night because of all the reflective detailing that’s elegantly placed around the shoe.
For me, it’s important to be able to feel comfortable while on my feet all day at work and then break into a run whenever I feel the urge. This is why I repeatedly choose the On Cloud line of shoes as my everyday lifestyle shoe.