CimAlp X-Race Review

CimAlp X-Race Review

When Olivier from CimAlp gave me the the chance to test the new CimAlp X-Race I was really looking forward to seeing how they would perform in the UK hills & mountains around me in the North of England. 

The X-Race is the result of 3 years testing to have a high performance model for use in any terrain and any distance.

It is a trail running shoe that perfectly combines support, comfort and great grip thanks to the outsole designed with the best Vibram materials and specific lugs to ensure maximum grip on all surfaces.

Technical specifications

– Uppers mesh made of 100% recycled material, ventilated and built-to-last.

– Insole: bi-material (recycled EVA and PU) foam .

– Midsole: VIBRAM® SuperLight EVA

– Outsole: VIBRAM® MegaGrip

– Drop: 4 mm

– Heel Height: 20 mm

– Metatarsal height (forefoot): 16 mm

– Lugs height: 4.5 mm

– Stone guard on forefoot for added protection.

– Weight : 275g in size 42

What CimAlp Says:

The X-Race benefits from a new completely renewed fit to ensure excellent foot support and maximum comfort during our mountain runs. This model is tighter in the midfoot to prevent forward slippage and wider in the forefoot to provide more comfort and toe room and allow the metatarsals to move freely. The upper of the X-Race is made of a ventilated mesh made of 100% recycled materials of high resistance, thus offering a better breathability and a longer duration of the shoe during training and competitions. 

Also, on the upper of the X-Race, the heel area has been worked on to provide better support and rear protection to prevent any lateral slippage on the most technical terrain. It also features wrap-around straps attached to the laces with eyelets to provide that extra support without putting a pressure point on the foot inside the shoe and a rock-protected toe cap. 

The midsole and outsole of the X-Race feature Vibrams best materials. As for the midsole, it contains VIBRAM SLE (SuperLight EVA) foam, a foam 30% lighter than standard foams on the market and an energy return of more than 10%, making the X-Race the lightest and most dynamic model CimAlp provide. 

The midsole of the X-Race also features an insole made of two materials, a recycled EVA foam and PU to provide greater comfort and cushioning, two important aspects when running long distances in the hills & mountains.

What Dave Says:

The most versatile shoe of the French brand. I was looking forward to using the X-Race because I had not had the opportunity to try any shoe of CimAlp yet and had only used clothing and was very impressed with the quality. The X-Race is a trail running shoe for long distances according to CimAlp and a very versatile shoe due to the quality of the materials, the Vibram Megagrip sole and a great lightness that will impress all runners. 

The first impressions I had when I put on the new X-Race is that they have a fairly snug fit, the foot is perfectly adjusted inside the shoe. Personally I like shoes with more structure and protection for running in the mountains and I had the feeling of running in a shoe with a size less than those I usually run in.

I started to get used to the tighter fit of the shoe but I still recommend buying one size up from what you are used to in order to be really comfortable if you want to run longer distances in the shoe.

The sole of the X-Race is one aspect I liked the most. Everyone knows how well the Vibram soles work, which in this model has an exclusive design for CimAlp, and that gives us a great grip in any type of terrain.

I was able to test the shoes on wet and muddy terrain living in the UK and they were great however they are more suited to mountainous terrain other than mud and bogs. I expected this as they are shoes born in the Alps. The grip in the wet was excellent it was just the mud, snow and slush that caused issues.

The X-Race has straps on the sides, which form the CimAlp logo, that help and improve the fit and they actually perform that function excellently as they provide extra support and fit.

The terrain in which the shoes perform best is less technical terrain, where you can run at fast paces; for more mountainous terrain I had no problems with grip, however I felt I could use a bit extra protection.

The X-Race has a low drop, 4mm, so if you are not used to this drop it’s a good idea to start slowly with them. According to CimAlp, these are shoes for ultra distance. I believe that for distances of more than 50 km you might want to size up, as I mentioned above. 

What I liked most about the CimAlp X-Race

I love the Vibram sole, the X-Race has an extraordinary sole that provides you with the necessary grip on a wide range of surfaces. It allowed me to run long distances without worrying about the durability and grip of the sole.

Also for me the fit is great, although at first it was a little snug. I have felt comfortable on all my test runs and once they are on feel great after the warm up.

They could improve the shoe with higher profiles and provide a wide fit similar to other brands. 

Buy the X-RACE here

Have you tried the CimAlp X-Race? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

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"The sole of the X-Race is one aspect I liked the most. Everyone knows how well the Vibram soles work, which in this model has an exclusive design for CimAlp, and that gives us a great grip in any type of terrain"

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Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

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Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

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Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

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First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.