The all-white Cloudventure Peaks hit the target on trail like a Stormtrooper never could. Fast, lightweight, comfortable out of the box, and made for speedy missions in the mountains or racing on gnarly technical singletrack. But that white duco colour scheme… I mean, really?
Lightweight and fast
Great trail feel
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On Cloudventure Peaks are pinnacle performers if your aim is to move light and ridiculously fast through mountains. These trail shoes are for intense, shorter-format racing on technical mountain trails where nimble footedness is key.
Appropriately, and as you'd expect, mountains (and clouds) were our primary testing ground for the Peaks. They mostly pushed limits on the steep and extremely technical terrain of the Victorian Alps in Australia, where vertigo-inducing summits were gained, knife-sharp ridges run and valleys descended via wild singletrack that would take multiple bites at derailing you: it was all rocks, logs, roots and the odd snake (seriously) demanding a high leap (and then adrenaline sprint – lucky these shoes are fast).
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• RRP: $150 (US)/£135 (UK)
• Weight (per shoe): 260g/9.1oz
• Materials used: Missiongrip rubber, Zero gravity heel clouds, ripstop upper
• Drop (for trail shoes): 4mm
• Compatibility: technical trails, mountains, steep terrain, racing
A few more coastal trails finished off the roughly 190km of testing we put them through.
On those softer trails it was more about fast, undulating efforts, with stretches of manicured buffness interspersed with short technical climbs, the odd length of clay mud, and plenty of twists and turns to test the flow and go of the Peaks as all-round racers.
On the trails
In our opinion, the Cloudventure Peak is a supremely comfortable yet fashion-challenged trail-racing shoe. The light, white ripstop mesh upper delivers comfort and breathability, but also passes as sanctioned Stormtrooper footwear. These are no door-to-trail shoe: they want the good dirt from the get-go.
An initially stiff ride transforms as soon as you get off the buff and onto the rough. Technical is the sweet spot, so long as your form remains on point. A lowered drop of 4mm means they favour good running mechanics and a natural footfall. The sock-like inner and good tensioning through laces and welded skeleton gives a sublime fit with zero hotspots.
At the rear, a rigid heel holds your foot in place and reduces lateral roll, translating to more confidence and running fast over technical, rocky terrain. The foundation cloud pods remain, although to a diminished degree with all up front closed-in. The rear grip zone retains the only clouds for a cushioned downhill landing. Ground bite is as vice-like as you can get.
Pegging it up hill, it’s like you have teeth on the front; while downhill is like cloudsurfing. The mid-shoe has no primary grip and sits ‘arch-like’ between the rear and fore units, meaning less mid-sole support.
Australia-based Chris mastered his outdoor gear reviewing technique as an editor of outdoor and adventure magazines, including Walk (UK), Outer Edge and Trail Run Mag (Australia), and as a contributor to the likes of Australian Geographic Outdoor, Wild, Adventure NZ, and Lonely Planet adventure titles. He mostly knows what he's doing. Apart from that time he was helicoptered out of the Bhutanese Himalayas. Or evacuated from the Australian desert to hospital. Or... well, let's say he tests his gear with gusto.