On Cloudsurfer Trail: Check Out This Shoe at On + REI Trail Camp

What it's like to run in the On Cloudsurfer trail shoe?
One of the best ways to find out: Go to Trail Camp.
📷Freelance photographer Alan Lam recently joined a team of On + REI:

  • Employees
  • Athletes
  • Social media influencers...

And others to get the dirt on this trail shoe and some other shoes and gear by On.
Here's what happened...

Freelance photographer Alan Lam went to Trail Camp with On + REI.

Go to On + REI Trail Camp with freelance photographer Alan Lam

Have you ever seen a photo that stops you in your tracks?
You know...

  • An NBA player driving to the basket to score the winning point
  • A runner hammering down the track to a finish-line victory
  • A perfect sunrise peeking through a cluster of trees, making the entire world seem still and quiet

📷There's a chance those photos were captured by freelance photographer Alan Lam.
He's based in Atlanta, Ga., and he's a rising star as a photographer helping brands tell their stories.
Alan recently partnered with On & REI to capture scenes from Trail Camp along the Columbia River in Washington state on the Coyote Wall Trail, to showcase the:

Over the last few years, Alan has captured finish-line moments in track and field, NBA games, and a growing list of races.

👟And he's done projects for brands like:

  • Nike
  • Adidas
  • REI
  • On
  • And many others

"I love what I do," says Alan. "It's been a really interesting time to be a freelancer in the running world."
"It's a sport that keeps growing. Media coverage for running has grown tremendously. And it feels good to be part of that group."

Coyote Wall Trail near Bingen, Wash. Photo by Alan Lam.

Building a 'dream team' for Trail Camp

One morning a few months ago Alan, checks his messages:

  • "Hi Alan. Can you come out to Washington for a couple days and shoot some photos at Trail Camp for On and REI?"

It's On Marketing Manager Shay Huskey, and he's building a 'dream team' of athletes and influencers, one invite at a time to make Trail Camp a success, and he knew Alan could deliver...
"Alan has such a beautiful, creative eye for photography," says Shay. 

"He's really opening the aperture to photographing running, and capturing these beautiful moments in outdoor spaces to highlight our brand, shoes, and products."

—On Marketing Manager Shay Huskey
Runners move along the trail bordering the Columbia River during Trail Camp. Photo by Alan Lam.

It didn't take long for Alan to say "yes" and start making plans for Trail Camp.

But before Alan packed up his Canon EOS R5 digital camera and three different lenses, Shay had a lot more work to do:

  • Coordinate schedules with Alan and about 45 other people from On, REI, and Right to Run
  • Get sizing info from everybody attending Trail Camp + order a truckload of Cloudsurfer trail shoes, hydration vests, and other stuff
  • Coordinate travel plans, meals and lodging at The Society Hotel in Bingen, Wash.
  • Create a hands-on plan to educate the Trail Camp crew about the features and performance of On's newest products by putting them to the test
  • Brainstorm with the entire creative team to come up with a content plan for capturing photos and videos at Trail Camp

"Shay is great to work with. We spent a couple months brainstorming ideas for Trail Camp," says Alan.
"We looked at a lot of different brands in the trail running niche to get inspiration for Trail Camp. We created a couple different mood boards to help us capture the vision for this shoot."
"And ultimately, we decided to focus on capturing shots that look as natural as possible to show the Cloudsurfer, Cloudhorizon, Ultra Vest and some other products."

On Cloudsurfer trail running shoe. Photo by Alan Lam.

"Alan was moving up and down the trail capturing photos, smiles, and all these amazing moments at Trail Camp," says Shay.
Everybody wore the On Cloudsurfer trail shoe, including Alan, during Trail Camp as part of the launch to let more runners know about the shoe.

Here's the dirt on the On Cloudsurfer trail shoe:

  • Price: $159.99
  • Heel-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Midsole: On's unique design for a smooth ride
  • Heel: Made with shock-absorbing superfoam
  • Outsole: Rubber outsole + lugs for traction and stability designed for moderate terrain
  • Upper: Flexible, soft-mesh upper material
  • Fun fact: The On Cloudsurfer trail shoe is currently ranked #3 most popular trail running shoe at REI


  • "The Cloudsurfer trail is perfect for shorter-distance trail runs and the everyday runner just getting into trails."
  • "The step-in is really soft. It has great traction. It's lightweight, breathable, and looks really good.


  • "The On Cloudsurfer has the same foam as the Cloudeclipse. It's super comfortable."
  • "This shoe is a road to trail hybrid, and great beginner shoe for anyone who wants to get into trail running
On Cloud Ultra Vest. Photo by Alan Lam.

The Trail Camp crew ran up to 30 miles during the 3-day photo shoot.
Some even crossed a river, ran through snow, and cruised lots of buttery miles on smooth single-track trail.
And they used the On Ultra Vest (available in 5L and 10L) to fuel their runs.

Here's the dirt on the On Ultra Vest:

  • Price: $149.99 5L; $179.99 10L
  • Made with lightweight mesh for airflow and comfort
  • Has daisy-chain loops to attach other things for the trail
  • Designed with non-stretch zones to minimize bounce and movement
  • Pocket-storage for keys, nutrition/fuel, even a light jacket
  • Front pockets for (2) hydration flasks
  • Built-in trash pocket with easy-to-clean lining
  • Reflective detailing for visibility in low light

What makes the 10L different:

  • It's designed with a detachable water-resistant 5L dry pack
  • Includes attachment-points for trekking poles & quiver bag


  • "The On Ultra Vest is very lightweight and fits a lot of different body types really nicely."
  • "There's plenty of room to stash hydration bottles and different types of nutrition"
  • "It's been getting some attention and gaining validity, because it's been landing on podiums at trail races."
On Cloudhorizon hiking shoe. Photo by Alan Lam.

Looking for a comfortable trail shoe combined with the performance of a hiking boot?
That's the On Cloudhorizon:

  • Price: $169.99
  • Made with CloudTec Phase® technology, optimized for hiking
  • Rubber outsole designed to grip wet and dry surfaces
  • Superfoam cushioning in the midsole
  • Soft and flexible mesh upper material
  • Built for stability and durability, from heel to toe
  • Lightweight construction with a soft, pillowy sensation
  • Made with about 88% recycled polyester for less waste


  • "The On Cloudhorizon was designed to be a lightweight hiking shoe made for non-technical hiking."
  • "It's the kind of shoe you could wear from town to trail."
  • "Aesthetically, it looks really good. But it has all the technical features to handle mid-distance to shorter-length hikes."

Photos by Alan Lam

Trail Camp debrief...

After you finish a race or run an epic trail, chances are pretty good you take some time to reflect on what went well and how to improve.
In the weeks since the On + REI Trail Camp, that's exactly what's been happening...

  • No strobe light required. "We rented a strobe light for certain shots, but we didn't end up using it."
  • Wait for the golden hour. "The natural lighting ended up coming out perfectly. And we got some incredible shots between 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. It was right around that golden hour when the sun is coming down just above the horizon."
  • Playground for athletes. "It was super helpful to have professional athletes and runners to photograph who understand what we were trying to capture at Trail Camp."
  • Fun fact: "I think The North Face and Patagonia have both done photo shoots in Bingen, Wash., because it's kind of the perfect spot in the Pacific Northwest to showcase trail products."


  • Copy success. "This is the first time we've done something like this. And I think we hit a homerun. We're already talking about hosting Trail Camp in other markets in Europe and the Americas."
  • Show, don't tell. "This has been so much better than holding up a shoe or product and explaining it. It's been a really positive way to get people out on the trails, experience our products, and learn more about our brand, technology, and newest footwear offerings."
  • Breathe a sigh of relief: "Nobody got hurt. No one got lost. There were a ton of smiles. And we had all kind of elements to run through including snow, mud, dry trails, and even some technical terrain."
  • Make trail running accessible to everyone. "Trail Camp was a great moment to open the aperture on trail running for all types of people. We had pro athletes, social media influencers, and people who had never run on a trail before at Trail Camp. It was amazing to share this experience with them, hear their stories, and enjoy the outdoors and nature together."

More about On running: Check out these stories...

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Evan Jensen
SANDY, Oregon
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I help RUNNERS reduce injuries, fix running form, run longer & faster by strength training without running ragged. I'm a NASM...


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