CimAlp 864 Drop Evo F women’s trail running shoes review: interchangeable insoles are more than a gimmick

Work out the right drop for your running stride with CimAlp 864 Drop Evo’s three customisable insoles

CimAlp 864 Drop Evo trail running shoes
(Image: © CimAlp)

Advnture Verdict

Customize the drop of your trail shoes to suit your stride and the surfaces you’re tackling with CimAlp’s 864 Drop Evo F women’s trail running shoes, which also stand out for fit and grip.

Pros

  • +

    Innovative customisable drop

  • +

    Grippy Vibram soles

Cons

  • -

    Different insoles might be unnecessary if you always run the same terrain

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CimAlp 864 Drop Evo F: first impressions

When it comes to women’s trail running shoes, CimAlp 864 Drop Evo F offer something a bit different: they come with three pairs of insoles, allowing you to switch downwards from an 8mm to a 4mm drop. Also known as offset, different drops will suit different runners’ strides (whether you’re a front-foot, mid-foot or heelstrike runner) and surfaces – a lower drop is typically better for trail running, as it provides more stability and trail feel. 

This is brilliant if you are getting into trail running more seriously and want to work out what your natural stride suits, or if you’re experimenting with transitioning from road to trail running, or like to do a bit of both. 

Even if you know what kind of runner you are, switching to less drop on more technical terrain and then going back to more drop on groomed trails and tarmac might suit you nicely, or you may want to experiment with dropping down to strengthen your Achilles heel. 

Specifications

• RRP: $132 (US) / £169.90 (UK)
• Weight (per shoe): 265g / 9.35oz
• Drop: 4-8mm
• Sizes: 33.5–7.5
• Colors: Grey
• Compatibility: Good for tackling varied terrain each time you run

CimAlp 864 Drop Evo F: on the trails

CimAlp 864 Drop Evo F women’s trail running shoes

Forget the interchangeable insoles, the outer sole is decent too (Image credit: CimAlp)

It was good to be able to mix up the drop on these shoes, matching the off-set to suit the terrain we were running on. We found the 6mm insoles, handily labelled “Perfect Balance Drop”, just right for most trail runs on mixed terrain. 

We always rate Vibram soles when testing out trail running shoes and hiking boots, and CimAlp’s are no exception, offering reliable grip even on wet, uneven ground. 

We were also impressed with the fit of the Drop Evo straight out of the box – it’s as cushiony as a pair of casual trainers even when using the thinnest insoles, with plenty of room around the toes if you have wider feet (see also: how should trail running shoes fit?).

The Drop Evo is a good trail running shoe all round, so is it worth picking this design for its range of insoles? We think definitely yes if you fancy experimenting with drop – after all, they don’t cost more than other trail shoes, they perform well and they leave your options open if you change terrain. 

An award-winning travel and outdoors journalist, presenter and blogger, Sian regularly writes for The Independent, Evening Standard, BBC Countryfile, Coast, Outdoor Enthusiast and Sunday Times Travel. Life as a hiking, camping, wild-swimming adventure-writer has taken her around the world, exploring Bolivian jungles, kayaking in Greenland, diving with turtles in Australia, climbing mountains in Africa and, in Thailand, learning the hard way that peeing on a jellyfish sting doesn’t help. Her blog, thegirloutdoors.co.uk, champions accessible adventures.