Article by Renee Krusemark
ON Running Cloudvista ($140)
Renee: The ON Cloudvista is marketed as a “lightweight, cushioned and seriously agile” trail shoe. Using ON’s CloudTec® and Helion™ midsole foam technology, the Cloudvista features a Speedboard® similar to the CloudUltra meant to provide responsiveness and cushioning. The Cloudvista is tailored to be a road-to-trail, multi-surface shoe that gives the “freedom to run as far as you like . . . over any ground you like.”
Secure and comfortable upper: Renee
Nimble, flexible ride for a variety of paces: Renee
Runs lighter than the actual weight: Renee
Quality made: Renee
Hard feel under the forefoot/Speedboard: Renee
Renee is a former U. S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.
Official Weight: 280g / 9.9 oz (US M 8.5), 235g / 8.3 oz (US W 7)
Samples: women’s 8.78oz / 249g (US8)
Recycled Content: 70% of the polyester, 15% of the entire shoe
Available now. $140
First Impressions and Fit
Renee: The Cloudvista is what runners expect from ON: a quality built, well-fitting, good-looking shoe. If you have a good fit with other ON shoes, the upper of the Cloudvista will feel just as amazing. The real question becomes if the midsole is forgiving enough to actually run in. While I loved the fit and ride of the CloudUltra, the midsole was out-right too hard for anything past short distances (let alone an “ultra” distance).
I had a really fun first run on single track trails with the Cloudvista at 10 miles with 180ft of vertical gain per mile. That said, I think the midsole suffers from similar characteristics many runners experience with other ON shoes. Read on for the details.
For sizing, I suggest true-to-size or the same as any other ON shoe. I have a great fit with ON shoes/uppers. Runners between half sizes might consider the longer size.
Renee: According to ON, the upper is made of “70% recycled polyester and features a perforated microfiber tongue, as well as a TPU mudguard for added protection.” True to most ON uppers, the quality and fit work amazing;y well for me. The security across the midfoot and heel is excellent and the heel counter/collar sits low enough to allow a nimble, flexible ride and some rotation on trails. I do not have a wide or high volume foot, but I do enjoy a roomy toebox.
As with the CloudUltra, the Cloudvista has the perfect balance between security and comfort. The tongue is thin and fully gusseted. I had no issues with discomfort. The mudguards are well placed and offer some protection for mild trail conditions. Overall, it’s a total win for me as far as the upper. Oh yeah, and it’s pretty. Sure, dirt is going to find its way into the inside of the upper, but it cleans up well enough.
Renee: ON states the midsole is a “combined Helion™ superfoam with CloudTec bespoke Cloudultra-inspired Speedboard.” While I loved many aspects of the CloudUltra, the midsole was too hard for running. I’m happy to say the feel of the Cloudvista is softer, but I think the “softer feel” may be as much from the insole rather than the midsole itself. The insole (purple below) is thinner than the CloudUltra and less dense.
The purple Cloudvista insole has built-in structure under the mid foot back to the heel, leaving some flexibility under the forefoot. I found the forefoot flex to be great, but I do think that causes the Speedboard to be felt underfoot. So, while I think the midsole is more runnable than the CloudUltra, at random times (most notable on harder surfaces and at faster paces), I can feel the Speedboard as almost a hard ball underfoot.
Renee: The Missiongrip™ outsole works well for a shoe meant to cover a variety of terrain. It is obvious that the Cloudvista is not meant for deep mud or technical trails, but I thought the shoe worked well on mild mud and soft terrain. Like the CloudUltra, it seems as if debris and mud would stick in the “clouds,” but I did not have that issue. Any mud that collected during my single track 10-mile run quickly fell off. The grip and traction is solid for a “door to trail” shoe. I ran a speed workout of 9 total miles, with 16 x 0.25 mile hill repeats (plus a warm up and cool down) on soft dirt. The outsole worked fine.
Renee: The good and bad of the ride: I had fun during each Cloudvista run. From bouncing around on single tracks to hills repeats in dirt to slower easy 4-5 mile runs.
The flex underfoot is great and the ride is nimble with great ground feel. At 8.78 oz in a women’s size 8, the Cloudvista is not a lightweight shoe, especially when compared to other shoes in its category. However, the Cloudvista runs much lighter than its weight, and I never felt them as “heavy.” Now, for the bad. The midsole is much more forgiving and softer compared to the CloudUltra, but on each run with the Cloudvista, I could randomly feel a “hard ball” under my forefoot, which I think is caused by the placement of the Speedboard and the design of the insole. I tried to switch out insoles with my Saucony Peregrine 12 and my Craft Ultra, but those insoles would not fit. At slower paces on softer terrain, that “hard ball” feel wasn’t a deal breaker. During my hill repeats, that hard feeling becomes annoying.
Conclusions and Recommendations
Renee: I have a mixed opinion of the Cloudvista. The good: The shoe is pretty. The shoe is quality built. The shoe is fun to run with on dirt, gravel, and single track woodland trails. From 4 miles to 10 miles, slow paces to speed workouts, inclines and declines, the Cloudvista has a great fit and nimble, fast ride. And now the not so good: the midsole is not “too hard” for short and mid-distances, but I could feel a hard ball under the forefoot (from the Speedboard I assume). If I look at comparable shoes in a similar class, I’m not sure I would choose the Cloudvista over my other options unless I wanted a trail shoe to run with, walk with, and wear casually. At the end of the day, the Cloudvista shoe is a pretty shoe, even with a little dirt mixed in.
Renee’s score: 8.75/10 (-1.25 hard feel under the forefoot)
Index to all RTR reviews: HERE
ON Cloudultra (RTR Review)
Renee: Despite the “ultra” name, I couldn’t run more than a few miles with the CloudUltra without the hard midsole becoming uncomfortable. The Cloudvista has the same fit and quality as the CloudUltra and runs softer to a degree underfoot.. The Cloudvista is about 0.50oz /14g lighter in my women’s size 8.
Inov-8 Trailfly G 270 (formerly known as the TerraUltra G 270) (RTR Review)
Renee: The TU G 270, now called the Trailfly G 270, remains my overall favorite trail shoe. At about 0.75oz / lighter than the Cloudvista, the G 270 is lighter and works better for any distance from short runs to ultras (depending on the runner of course). Neither shoe is high stack or high cushion, but the G 270 is comfortable underfoot without compromising speed. The G 270 is wider in fit, but still secure. I wore a women’s size 8 in both. My choice is overwhelmingly the G 270, with the only advantage of the Cloudvista being looks. The G 270 is a 0mm drop as compared to the Vista’s 7mm drop.
adidas Terrex Speed Ultra (RTR Review)
Renee: The Terrex Speed Ultra is an ultra shoe that works well for shorter distances as well. The shoes run light and nimble, much like the Cloudvista with a similar drop (8mm compared to 7 mm). Both shoes have great ground feel despite the “higher” drop for a trail shoe. Underfoot, the Terrex is more comfortable although I did find them a bit narrow on the medial side (I still wore them for 20 milers though, so no big deal). The Terrex is about 0.5oz / 14g lighter than the Cloudvista.
Hoka Torrent 2 (RTR Review)
Renee: My favorite Hoka, the Torrent 2 is lighter while still providing enough protection underfoot for longer distances (for some runners). While not plush, the Torrent 2 has a softer midsole than the Cloudvista (most shoes do) while still being agile on trail. I wore a women’s size 7.5 in the Torrent 2 compared to an 8 in the Cloudvista.
The Cloudvista is available now including at RTR partner stores as well as ON Running below
Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased through affiliate links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors’
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