On Cloudventure Peak #2 Review
Last year I reviewed the Cloudventure Peak. I positively raved about it. You can read that review here.
This year, that shoe has been rendered obsolete. Bummer....
Or is it?
This year brings in an entirely new evolution of the Cloudventure Peak, the 'Mark 2'. And with it, a bunch of updates.
First and most apparent - colour. Or lack of. They have in fact released this off-road running shoe in WHITE.
Perhaps not the most sensible choice but then, it's different. And whatever the colour, trail shoes are going to get covered in dirt soon enough.
So to more important matters...
The uppers stay as confy as ever, but with a lot more foot hold than last year's model.
One of the only issues I had with the 2018 shoe was the stretch upper. It certainly was comfortable, but boy did it stretch. No longer. There's still the elasticated feel, but with a much more fitted sock style upper, with bands of structure added in order to keep the foot where it ought to be.
Result - more trust in your footing. Security and strength when landing on/pushing off from uneven ground.
The stretch sock feels so good when first you slip them on, there hardly feels reason to fasten the laces, but once you do, there's a real sense of everything being safe. And still comfy. Oh and the laces stay tied throughout your run. Not to be under appreciated EVER.
The wierdest thing in having tested these shoes so far, is that the day I first chose to use them, I wore them to work. I had them on for a total of 12 hours. Supermarket shopping pre-shift, full day in the store, then out to lead a group run at our weekly trail running session and finally home.
They were comfy all day. No aggravation whatsoever. And the running.....
Thanks to what worked in the original, I was keen to get my hands on these. The sense of a firm, stable shoe, but without the hard impact that can come with a low stack off-road shoe. The feel good upper with bags of breathability.
The only thing I knew was in need of improvement was the traction over steep terrain or anything wet. And again, On have gone above & beyond with what's on offer here. The Missiongrip rubber studs are a vast improvement over the pimpled clouds from 2018.
There are now strategically sized studs with texture and friction in all the right places. I've run road in them. I've run gravel. Dirt. Dry and wet terrain. I've tackled thick mud, tree roots and rock.
This shoe grips in all conditions. Hands down, it surpasses all expectation. I thought I loved the Cloudventure Peak last year. I positively adore this version.
And what's more, they've lowered the heel to toe off-set to my favoured 4mm drop. So I feel natural and fleet of foot when running in them.
They're not too heavy. In fact they feel a lot lighter than the 260g they claim to be. Perhaps again, because of the way they allow me to move freely and without any awkwardness over time.
(worth noting that I'm running in the ladies UK6 for having small feet, so they are in fact definitely lighter, but perfectly in proportion with my own bodyweight).
There are features new, with the addition of a Speedboard, lending the foot additional leverage when loading for the push. The split forefoot doesn't register from within the shoe, but affords the movement for a smooth transition from landing to push off, over uneven ground or when the surface becomes rock hard and the foot needs to cope with the impact.
The narrower last, combined with the stretch upper makes the hold a million times better. My main criticism against the original was the way it would cause a lot of foot roll when running on an incline. The mark 2 solves that completely. I trust every move I make in them.
So all things combined, these are a brilliant update and now versatile enough that they serve year round use and multi-terrain.
And the colour.....
Well, they all get dirty one way or the other. Sure - the ads all display scandinavian bods moving across sun drenched rocks, but in actual fact, these are a perfect choice for anyone heading out on a regular basis, whether road at times, firm rocky areas, mud and wet grass, or a combination of the lot! The cleverly designed outsole affords resilience when the tread might suffer wear, with teeth enough to dig into the softer stuff.
The heels are absurdly cushioned, but in a good way. You can feel the potential for heel striking on severe downhills, but if like me you land forefoot/midfoot even on descents, it's reassuring to know they'll spare you some bombardment when biting off more than you can chew.
On say " Zero-Gravity heel Clouds provide soft landings as you power down dizzying descents. "
So in concluson:
Based on already being a big fan of the Cloudventure Peak last year, the updates have only addressed the few gripes I could muster, as well as fixing the limitations which came with the rather timid outsole and minimal feel.
Now with increased structure, foot hold, protection underfoot and sophisticated multi terrain grip and bags of stable cushioning, there's nothing to not like. An uber comfy fit has managed to become even more comfortable and much more confidence inducing in open country.
I've had them on for upto 12hrs straight out the box and forgot they were there. I've run in the dark and trusted every step, even in wet muddy conditions. I've run 4 miles of road and could have been in my road shoes for all the issues I didn't encounter.
And I don't so much mind them being white, because they remind me of Stormtroopers from Star Wars!
Or at least, they did...
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Friday 3rd of July 2020