If you’re shopping for a walking boot that manages to be both lightweight and waterproof, look no further than this review. The bouncy On Cloudrock Waterproof from Swiss brand On Running feels rather like a trainer when on your foot, but will perform like a hiking boot when it meets bad weather, and is fully waterproofed to combat rain and rogue puddles. On Running calls its Cloudrock model ‘Terrain proof. Element proof. Excuse proof.’ I took a pair out to the hills to see if it lived up to its own tagline and find out whether it can compete with the rest of the best hiking boots for men and best hiking boots for women. Here's my full On Cloudrock Waterproof hiking boots review.
On Cloudrock Waterproof Hiking Boots review: design and features
On Cloudrock Waterproof Hiking Boots review: specs
Waterproofing: Waterproof membrane
Soles: Missiongrip Rubber
Colours available: 3 (for women), 4 (for men)
Sizes available: 2.5-10
On Running designed this boot with speed-hiking in mind, and the Cloudrock Waterproof’s light weight and cushioning inner sole definitely help you keep the pace up over long distances. As the name indicates, these boots feature a membrane that renders them fully wind- and waterproof. They also stand out for breathability when compared to other waterproof walking boots, thanks to the mesh that’s incorporated into their fabric get-up.
Pretty element-proof, then, but how about terrain-proof? The large, eye-catching rubber lugs (the indentations on the bottom of the boot that grip the ground) on the bottom of the boots’ sole offer some grip, but they aren’t as reliable as those on the best hiking boots I've tested. On wet or slippery ground, the long depression in the centre of the boot’s sole can easily clog with mud and dirt, and the lugs can slip. If you tend to stick to established, groomed trails on your hikes and fast-packing adventures without venturing off-piste, they’ll suit you fine, but tougher hikers will need tougher grip than the Cloudrock can offer.
When it comes to style points the Cloudrocks look smart and come in neutral shades that would work well for casual use as well as for country walks.
On Cloudrock Waterproof Hiking Boots review: Performance and comfort
If you hate the traditionally stiff and clunky feel of traditional hiking boots, On Running’s Cloudrock may well feel like a breath of fresh air for your feet. In look and feel it reminds me of the running shoes that this brand is better-known for, and it feels cushiony, breathable and lightweight underfoot from the get-go. If you’re covering long distances or moving fast, the Cloudrock will feel light and freeing for a lot longer than most models. This design is also more breathable than most, so it’s ideal for warm weather, when you won’t get the hot sweaty feet that thicker fabric or leather boots usually cause.
While the Cloudrock fits roughly true to size, if you plan to wear thick hiking socks rather than regular ones, we’d recommend going a half-size up. I also found the thin laces and the four hooked eyelets on the boot’s lacing system a tad fiddly to use, and this issue plus the thick cushioning around the ankle do make it harder to get a snug fit than some less casual hikers. If you need good ankle support, pick something higher-cut.
On Cloudrock Waterproof Hiking Boots review: Alternatives to consider
The On Running Cloudrock Edge Raw is a similar model made with sustainable and recycled materials, so it’s good choice if you’re trying to make more planet-friendly purchases in 2022.
On Cloudrock Waterproof Hiking Boots review: Verdict
An On Running fan called the Cloudrock Waterproof hiking boots design ‘a waterproof boot that wears like a sneaker’, and as a one-line review, that’s pretty bang-on. If you want to free your feet from restrictive hiking boots and plan to wear your walking footwear mostly in warm weather and on groomed trails, the Cloudrock is a sporty and comfortable pick.