CimAlp 864 Drop Control Trail Running Shoe | Review - Outdoors Magic

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CimAlp 864 Drop Control Trail Running Shoe | Review

This progressive, world first, offering from CimAlp could improve your trail running technique

Why We Chose The CimAlp 864 Drop Control Trail Running Shoe: Innovative design, sturdy build, protective

CimAlp have been in the outdoor game for a while now. In fact, they’ve been making gear under the CimAlp banner since 1964. From their headquarters in the Drône region, not far from the French / Italian Alps, they’ve been able to go about their business for nearly sixty years now – slowly but surely mastering their chosen field.

In the time they’ve been around, CimAlp have developed a borderline forensic understanding of what outdoor enthusiasts need from their kit. Their clever 864 Drop Control shoe is a progressive, forward-thinking, trail running product that’s all about improving performance and preventing injuries. We like it a lot.

Who Is The CimAlp 864 Drop Control For?

Love trail running, but sick of all the annoying little injuries that come with it? It might be time to give the CimAlp 864 Drop Control a go. It might sound like marketing spiel, but this really is so much more than just a shoe.

“Love trail running, but sick of all the annoying little injuries…?”

Coming with three pairs of insoles (8mm, 6mm, 4mm), the 864 Drop Control will help you to evolve your technique and run with a more natural stride. It might seem seriously geeky but if you’re dead serious about trail running, you’ll appreciate what this brings to the mix.

Thanks to its durable upper and protective and robust chassis, this will also suitable for ultra-light hikers, and speedy trekkers.


The 864 multi-sole offering is primarily what this shoe is really all about. However, before we get fully stuck into that, let’s first discuss this item’s various other features.

The Vibram MegaGrip sole here provides the perfect blend of effective on-trail grip and built-to-last durability. This is obviously vital when you consider the kind of steep, harsh, terrain dedicated terrain trail runners are dealing with on a regular basis.

The shoe’s stabilising heel cup will help to keep you steady. Photo: Mike Brindley

Trail runners, of course, need to know that when they’re charging hard and fast over rocky terrain the shoes on their feet are tough enough to keep on keeping on. They need to know that their trail shoes are ‘nails’ enough to take the hits, and protect them when they need protecting. The reinforced and ultra-resistant stone guard on the 864 Drop Control acts as the perfect shield.

What else? Well, we like how breathable the shoe is. The upper mesh, in particular, provides an impressive amount of ventilation. Something you’ll definitely be grateful for when you’re on track for an FKT in the middle of August.

Other features we want to talk about include the shoe’s stabilising heel cup which keeps your foot comfortably but securely in place, the seamless inner structure to help reduce friction (which reduces the risk of blisters), and the Lycra tongue with storage for laces (which minimises the chance of you snagging a lace / tripping over your own laces).

The upper mesh provides optimal ventilation. Photo: Mike Brindley
Grip and durability underfoot is provided. Photo: Mike Brindley
The different soles will help to reduce the risk of injury. Photo: Mike Brindley

The 864 Progressive Drop

The 864 progressive drop aspect of this CimAlp shoe is its standout feature. It’s based around the idea that, over the years, all runners have picked up bad habits. This might be because of poorly matched footwear, it might be because of generally bad technique.

Whatever the reason, it’s led to a situation where most runners land heel first when they’re on the move. This causes excessive shock to the body, and increases the risk of injury. It also, if you’ve permanently got one eye on the stopwatch, reduces efficiency and slows you down.

“The world first concept being served up by CimAlp here allows for runners to gradually reduce the height of the heel (aka the drop)”

The world first concept being served up by CimAlp here allows for runners to gradually reduce the height of the heel (aka the drop), and work towards landing midfoot. Landing midfoot improves natural damping, and encourages a more efficient, natural, stride, in the long term potentially minimising the risk of stress injuries.

By providing three soles – with varying drop levels – CimAlp are helping runners to optimise their technique in stages. It’s important to do this in stages because large, dramatic, changes in footstrike can increase the load on different, unprepared, tissues and potentially lead to injury.

The progressive soles will help you improve your technique. Photo: Mike Brindley


If you’re new to trail running, the forensic and geeky approach to your technique might set alarm bells ringing. After all, you just want to run right? The great thing about this shoe though is that it can fix bad habits before they’ve set, and also be of great use to people wanting to evolve and improve how they move through the hills and mountains. With the CimAlp 864 Drop Control, you’re buying a shoe but you’re also, in a strange sort of way, buying yourself a coach as well.

CimAlp Drop Control 864

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