Are you on the hunt for a hunting/hiking boot? Well, look no further as I found a hiking boot that I have personally put to the test and am extremely thrilled with, the OnRunning Cloudrock Sand Hiking Boot.
Before I get too deep into my Cloudrock Waterproof Hiking Boot review, I want to talk about how I got here. I was first introduced to OnRunning when my wife ran in the Humana Rock N Roll Half Marathon in downtown New Orleans in 2016. This company, born in the Swiss Alps, started in 2010 with a goal of changing the world of running. They focused their attention on soft landings and explosive take-offs. The unique design of OnRunning caught my attention and after a test trial on a treadmill, I decided to take the plunge with their cloud series, and well the rest is history.
Now I will admit the sole bothered me on occasion as I would frequently get rocks/pebbles stuck in the bottom, prompting me to have to stop and take them out…the only downside to the shoe…and there are plenty of reviews stating the same experience I had, but the performance and comfort outweighed this!
Fast forward three years later and my buddy Mike asked if I would join him on a hunt in Colorado in the fall of 2019. I’m not an avid hunter but was enticed by the idea of actually hiking several miles alongside a good friend (who has an extensive hunting background) on the chase for a bull elk in the high altitude of the Colorado mountains. I quickly realized that while I had a decent list of gear already from my time in the military, I needed to address some key areas that are extremely important to me, but that I knew would hinder the journey if not properly addressed. One of those key areas was my footwear.
Now sure, there are many types of hunting boots out there, that have great reviews, but I did not want a traditional hunting boot. I wanted something a little more athletic and tennis shoes feeling, but that could hold up to some elements.
Now I have to admit, I have sensitive feet, and knew hard sole boots would lead to some foot pain after covering some distance over the course of four to five days. As a dual-purpose guy, I also did not want to buy a boot that was specific for just this hunting trip. I wanted a boot that I could use to go hiking and walking trails in the Blue Ridge Mountains and soon the mountains of Colorado (found out I was getting stationed in Colorado the summer of 2020). I wanted a boot that gave me an athletic flexible feel, that could still brave the elements we would encounter in October at the elevation levels we planned to hunt.
Because of the success, I had with their running shoes, and the release of the OnRunning Cloudrock the summer of 2019, I felt this was a boot worth investing in…and boy was I right! I purchased these boots in the sand/black color (I am not sponsored by On, nor did I receive any discount or benefit from writing this article).
One thing I figured is that if a company from the Swiss Alps designed and tested this boot, it would definitely be able to handle what I was about to throw at it. Now onto the specifics of this boot. It has a Missiongrip rubber sole that adds traction along with the lugs that eat into the softer trails. Their OnRunning FlexLock system allows the laces to be traditionally tied or with a single pull…this really helps with securing the high collar of the boot for ankle support.
Speaking of ankle support, the top of the boots have a nice cushion along with a padded outside surface. I really like the 360-degree mudguard as it adds that beefed-up protection and stability. The Zero-Gravity CloudTec sole enabled a soft cushioned landing…and yes, very cushioned landings absorbing the impact and lessening the strain on my feet, knees, and back.
Waterproof…I had some hesitation with this statement as many companies say their boots are waterproof and do not live up to this statement, but in my experience with OnRunning Cloudrock is so far dry! I have hiked with these boots in the rain and trekked through some puddles and I have not had any leakage.
Now my assumption would be if I stuck my foot in a lake or river up to the top of the boot, then yes water would penetrate, but I did not nor plan on ever doing this. The membrane they use is very durable. Padding along with the tongue, that matches the previously mentioned padding of the high collar does not hinder movement. All the components of this OnRunning Cloudrock add to a strong durable, lightweight, and flexible boot that has performed very well for me. Did I mention they weigh 15.7 ounces! Not heavy at all.
I have finally put some miles on them between multiple hiking adventures in the Blue Ridge Mountains in addition to our summer hikes here in Colorado Springs. So far, every journey I have made in these has patrons, who are enjoying the same trail, looking down and asking about them. And to my surprise, I have not had to deal with any issues of rocks or pebbles getting stuck at the bottom of this boot. The traction has performed on both hard and soft trails, with very little slippage.
Cost? Well, they are a little pricey at $229.99 (check the latest price here), but I personally feel worth every penny.
Unfortunately, our hunting trip had to be canceled due to an injury I sustained while training (previously mentioned in the Review article of the Nemo Roamer pad, click here), but this will be my boot for the future…and On just released some new color schemes J!!!!
Go check out the full specs and current deals here, at this link.
So if you are a hunter, explorer, or just an avid hiker, I strongly suggest you give the OnRunning Cloudrock some serious consideration. I have been impressed with their performance and durability. My feet do not hurt after long hikes, nor have I experienced any blistering. These bad boys are truly terrain, element, and excuse proof by my standards.
CJ is a Colorado resident, active duty military, and an avid outdoorsman. From hiking, camping, and mountain biking, to river rafting and Overlanding, CJ and his family are constantly adventuring.
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