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Tech Profile: The new Cloudultra

Meet our first shoe made for ultra distances. Born in the Swiss Alps, the ultra-cushioned, ultra-comfortable and ultra-versatile Cloudultra is made for conquering epic mileage on mixed-terrain. 


When you put in long days and distances on the trails, you encounter mixed terrain. That’s why we created a shoe that can handle it all, from approach miles on the road and riverside gravel paths to quick bursts through forest glades and rocky routes on steeper mountain slopes. 


The new Cloudultra is for trail runners who want maximum versatility, next-level cushioned comfort and the freedom to go further. It's already won the 2021 ISPO award for Trail Running and, in this shoe, no distance is off-limits.   


“We wanted to create a shoe for longer-distance trail runs where comfort is critical” explains Sebastien Hage, Footwear Product Management Lead for On Performance Outdoor.   


“We learned a lot from the max-cushioned comfort and long, road-run performance delivered by the Cloudstratus. The ‘double your run’ concept has evolved into a trail shoe that you might describe as the ‘Cloudstratus for off-road."


“I like to think of this shoe as being like a Porsche Cayenne. You can definitely go fast if you want but it’s made for a premium, superior, comfortable ride.”



Elite insights built in


To make the Cloudultra we worked with some of the world’s best ultra trail runners, including Katie Schide and Germain Grangier – both top 10 finishers at the Ultra Trail Mont Blanc (UTMB) – to tailor On’s most-advanced technologies to the needs of the trail.   


When combined with brand new innovations, we were able to create an ultra distance trail shoe that glides over flowing terrain, hard-packed trails and rocky roads. A shoe with reliable comfort and efficiency from the first mile to the last. 


“We ran the whole winter and spring with the Cloudultra,” says Katie. “Even on snow. If you want something that you can use basically anywhere, it’s a really versatile all-round trail shoe. If I was flying with carry-on luggage only, this would be the shoe I’d pack.” 


“It’s totally different from what we’ve come to expect from traditional trail footwear,” adds Germain. “The Cloudultra feels like a completely new type of trail shoe. It performs really well on rolling trails and on hard-packed, dry and mixed terrain.”



Helion™ superfoam hits the trails


“This is the first time we’ve used our super-responsive Helion™ superfoam in an outdoor trail shoe,” explains Sebastian.  


“We took inspiration from the Cloudstratus’ long-run comfort, incorporating that idea of the double layer of Helion™ Clouds in the Cloudultra, to deliver the ultimate ultra ride.


“The two CloudTec® layers work in tandem. The lower layer of Clouds absorb the initial impact, while the second layer acts as a buffer, providing extra cushioning but only when it’s needed as you strike the ground with more force.”


The result: increased impact protection, cushioning without compromise and maximum comfort over ultra distances, on virtually any terrain.  


And because Helion™ superfoam performs consistently whatever the temperature, you’re free to tackle the trails in the hot and the cold. 



FlipRelease™ for quick relief


One particular issue that some of the elite ultra runners we spoke to when creating the Cloudultra mentioned was the discomfort of feet swelling on longer runs. This creates a conundrum: do you compromise on fit by choosing shoes a half size bigger? Maybe change shoes halfway through a run? Or prioritise perfect fit and risk friction and constriction deep into your run? It’s a tough one. At least it was. Not any more.  


We’ve Swiss-engineered a solution that makes finding a comfortable mid-run fit, as easy as flicking a switch. 


Our one-of-a-kind FlipRelease™ tool delivers the perfect lockdown in the early miles. Just tie your laces as you usually would then, if your feet start to swell, you can simply flick the clasp to release the laces and unlock extra wiggle room. As you run, your shoes expand and settle into a roomier shape, just enough to relieve the pressure from your expanded feet. 


Maximum comfort for your whole run made simple. No need to change footwear or fiddling with laces. 


Added bonus: you can use the FlipRelease™ clip on your other On shoes too, giving you total flexibility to find the perfect fit.  



Pushing your upper limits


The Cloudultra uppers feature a two-layer, durable and breathable sandwich mesh made from 100% recycled Polyester. Designed to fit like your favorite socks, the wrap-fit construction has an integrated tongue and is perforated for superior climate-control. 


The snug precision means when you’re pushing your limits, your feet are always in the comfort zone, even if you’re not.


And because we love intelligent details, we included a strap for securely storing your laces so they won’t flap around as you run. 


Wider Speedboard® enhances stability


On’s Speedboard® technology enhances the natural rolling motion of your foot. It flexes with every step, helping to convert the energy you create on impact into forward motion. And who doesn’t need that on a long trail run?


For the Cloudultra, we’ve engineered a Speedboard® specifically for efficiency and comfort over longer trails miles. 


“The Speedboard® in the Cloudultra is wider in the shank (the middle of the shoe) than in other trail shoes we make, like the Cloudventure.” says Sebastian. 


“While some shoes are designed to give lots of ground feedback, this shoe is made to swallow everything underfoot. The Speedboard® design gives you good protection underfoot along with added stability and efficiency.” 



Grip and glide with connected CloudTec®


In a first for any On shoe, the Cloudultra features a brand new closed outsole with easy-to-clean connected CloudTec® that also prevents any stone-catching.


At the same time, our Missiongrip™ outsole provides the grip and traction for mastering mixed terrain, on and off the road.


“When it comes to slip-resistance and traction, the Cloudultra is designed with Missiongrip™ in three independent traction patterns. By using different lugs strategically-placed across the outsole, it can handle everything you’ll find underfoot in the outdoors,” says Sebastian.


The heel features low studs and thicker rubber pattern for a safe heel strike and long term durability. In the shank and toe area, there are more aggressive multi-angled 4mm lugs that give you grip security and control when you land on softer ground. And,finally, we used medium level 2.5mm lugs in the forefoot for aggressive traction and strong push off.


“The flat outsole provides more grip because there’s more surface area and more contact with the ground. This makes it better on mixed rock and trail,” Katie explains. 


We’ve added extra protection for wandering minds and tired feet too. A bumper built into the lateral midsole – at the most external point at your fifth metatarsal – provides extra armor, just in case you unexpectedly ‘discover’ any big rocks in a moment of lost focus.


Built for comfort on long trail and mixed terrain adventures, the Cloudultra is the ultimate versatile daily shoe for off-road training. It’s time to Go Ultra. 


The Cloudultra
Swiss-engineering molded by mountains. Discover our first shoe made for ultra distances. Cushioned, comfortable, versatile. For runners who demand more. Featuring the revolutionary FlipRelease™️ system.
The Cloudultra - a versatile and comfy ultra distance running shoe

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