Heel drop: 7mm
The On Cloudvista is a road-to-trail shoe, suitable for both all-terrain use and as a simple road running shoe. Plus it has that stylish On look, which means it’s one you can wear when you’re not exploring your local trails.
The polyester upper offers a strong fit, particularly for runners with narrower feet, and there’s some protection in place to guard against some trail debris. You’ll definitely find more protective trail shoe options if you’re going to spend more time off-road than on it.
While On’s Cloudtec cushioning tech typically delivers quite a firm ride, the Cloudvista manages to offer something that sits somewhere in between firm and soft and its Missiongrip outsole provides the traction underfoot to work well on harder trails and stay nimble on roads.
There aren't a lot of road-to-trail shoes that look and feel like the Cloudvista, but if you’re sold on On’s look and want something that’s not as firm feeling as most of its shoes, the Cloudvista for the price, is a good fit.
Price and release date
The On Cloudvista (opens in new tab) was launched in March 2022, priced at $139.99/£130/$AUS229.95.
On knows how to make a stylish running shoe and the Cloudvista is no exception. Though what was going through its mind when it decided to make a shoe fit for trails that comes in white colorways only, we’re not quite sure: a step in even a shallow bit of mud, and that shoe is brightly hued no more. It's certainly going to be difficult to keep your new running shoes clean.
Puzzling colorway choice aside, it’s a shoe that fits quite narrowly in the toe box, which was fine on our feet. Even though On suggests going half a size up, we found our UK size 8 was a good fit. If you wanted to go for long runs in them, you'd definitely appreciate a bit more room in the toe, but we’re not convinced it’s a shoe you will want to go very long in anyway.
Weight-wise, you’re looking at 280g for the men’s shoe and 235g for the women’s Cloudvista. This doesn’t sound particularly light, but we found they didn’t feel like a heavy shoe to run in. The polyester upper doesn’t go huge on protective elements for those off-road runs, with some modest protection at the toe and small padding around the heel collar. A translucent TPU mudguard is in place to fend off dirt and mud and worked fine in light muddy conditions.
There’s a very thin, perforated tongue that does stay in place while the thin laces on top can be a bit fiddly to tie. The insole is pretty thin but does at least add some structure further back at the midfoot and the heel.
On the outsole, On employs a similar Missiongrip outsole featured on its Cloudultra shoe where the lugs are kept relatively small to make sure they’re suitable for road and trail time. Stick to the hard terrain, and that outsole holds up. In wet, muddy conditions, things get a little sloppy with that grip.
It’s fair to say that running in On’s shoes in general can be an acquired taste. You either love its signature Cloudtec cushioning technology or simply just can’t get on board with the firm ride that On’s technology tends to deliver. So we were surprised to find that actually the Cloudvista runs pretty well and isn’t as firm-feeling as a lot of other On shoes we’ve tested.
Delivering that ride is On’s Helion superfoam and Cloudtec midsole with a polymer-based Speedboard plate sandwiched between the midsole and the upper. While the Cloudtec compresses to soften your landing, the Speedboard is there to offer a strong push-off. You're getting a pretty middle-of-the-road 7mm heel-to-toe drop, which is in line with most of On’s shoes in terms of drops.
Our experience of that combination of foam, Cloudtec, and Speedboard is that there are elements here that remind us of running in the Cloudultra. However, it doesn’t run as firm as the ‘ultra, and On manages to strike a pretty good balance between a soft and firm feel that does make it surprisingly quite a nimble shoe to run in.
It’s not one we’d say is for racing, but you do have the scope to pick up the pace in them. We’d say it feels best suited to running at easy to moderate paces, and that Missiongrip outsole holds up much better on harder surfaces. Think long, straight canal paths and light park trails rather than twisty, hilly terrain. The ride is consistent and feels nicely protected too, provided you’re sticking to the terrain it excels best in.
The level of protection in the upper and the not so spacious toe box doesn’t feel like the ideal mix to go long in this shoe, and we’d say stick to the short-to-medium distances On recommends and you’ll get the best experience from them.
Overall though, it’s a comfortable shoe, definitely better suited to narrow feet, that doesn’t run as firm as a lot of other On shoes. You could definitely find a road to trail shoe that offers a little more protection and less firmness in the ride, but if you like the idea of an On shoe that holds up well for some trail and road running time and you can keep on after that running time, the Cloudvista certainly fits that profile.
Buy it if...
You want a shoe to wear in between running time
On makes stylish running shoes and the Cloudvista is a looker. Keep it out of the mud and you’ve got something you can wear when you’re not running.
You want a road to trail shoe that works best on shorter runs
The Cloudvista doesn’t feel like one to go long in, but we say will serve better for 30 minute to one hour runs.
Don't buy it if...
You like to run in wet, muddy conditions
The outsole and lug-style isn’t best suited to trudging through deep mud. If that’s your trail terrain, there’s better options out there.
If you want a trail shoe to race in
While they do offer a surprisingly nimble ride, the Cloudvista feels like a shoe that works better at easy to moderate paces as opposed to when a medal or PB is at stake.
First reviewed May 2022