WORDS BY STEPHEN YU
It’s hard to believe, but there was once a time when the worlds of luxury fashion and sportswear were not so intertwined. Though collaborations between our favourite athletic brands and Japan’s most avant garde designers seems commonplace now — it’s highly likely that Nike collabs are the only pieces of Sacai, CDG or Undercover in many people’s wardrobes — yet at one point Yohji Yamamoto’s Y-3 was your only option. While crafting this season’s most-hyped sneaker seems to be every fashion house’s raison d’etre, it wasn’t always like this –– until Prada came along.
In 1997, Prada would design a performance sneaker for its Luna Rossa sailing team to wear during the first America’s Cup race. Made from a technical mesh fabric with premium leather paneling and a heavy duty rubber sole, it was made to survive even the most rigorous demands of life on deck of a cutting-edge yacht. By 1998, the sneaker, now dubbed the ‘America’s Cup’, was released to the general public, single handedly kickstarting the fashion’s love affair with athletic footwear. Fast forward two decades and Prada has remained dedicated to the cause, with the release of a series of formal footwear silhouettes on both the America Cup sole as well as a Nike copycat air sole. But in 2018, Prada would once again capture the luxury sneaker market, knocking the Balenciaga Triple S off its throne. The Cloudbust, with its futuristic yet minimal uppers, was inspired by Japanese Manga mixing sport perforated mesh uppers with a more curved sole unit, and was an instant hit after being spotted on hip-hop superstars like ASAP Rocky and Pusha-T.
Now, with its successors the Cloudbust Thunder and Air alongside a whole new silhouette, the ‘Techno’, Prada is enjoying being the innovator of the luxury sneaker market once again. Thinking of making a purchase? These four influencers are here to clue you up on all things Prada sneaker sizing, including answering your most pressing questions like, ‘do Prada shoes run small’? This is the FARFETCH Prada sneakers sizing guide.
Prada Sneakers Sizing Guide
Fashion Instagrammer based in Paris, France
What drew me to the Prada Cloudbusts were how different the colours and the shape were from other sneakers. I love the attention to detail, the quality materials and production of the Cloudbusts; their combination of cutting-edge aesthetics and unique colours.
For my outfit I paired my Prada Cloudbusts with some yellow pants and a black turtleneck. For the accessories I had on a A-Cold-Wall* yellow hat and a Jacquemus yellow bag.
There are so many brands that go well with the Cloudbusts, it depends on how you put them together. Some of the brands that I think go best with the Cloudbust sneakers are Eytys, A-Cold-Wall*, Acne Studios, AMI, JW Anderson and Jacquemus.
Sizing & Fit:
The Prada Cloudbust sneakers fit quite true to size and aren’t tight or small. So many people are scared to buy the Cloudbust sneakers online because they’re afraid that they’ll be too big or small. I’d advise you to try the sneakers on before buying them — go to the Prada store or ask friends who have the sneakers if you can try them on.
I remove the laces in my Prada Cloudbusts before washing them, which allows the water and detergent to access the most surprisingly grimy part of the shoe. They require special handling because the strands can easily get pulled off. Always be gentle when cleaning them and never use a toothbrush on them as the bristles can snag on the fabric. One of the best things I do to preserve the health and good looks of my sneakers is to store them properly when I’m not wearing them.
That unique and different design of the Prada Cloudbust was what caught my attention. In today's market, most brands look at the biggest trends and create their models based around them, but with the Cloudbusts it's the opposite. The unique and very personal design enchanted me from the first moment, I said to myself: ‘I need to try this shoe, I need to work with this design.’
I wear the Prada Cloudbusts in many different ways. They really go with almost any garment perfectly, from the most futuristic and technical garments to knitted cardigans or sweaters. Same with pants: you can wear them wide-cut to cover the sneakers or with a cropped straight-cut pant to highlight the sneakers even more. To be honest, with this shoe there’s no wrong way to wear them; every option works thanks to their versatile design.
Sizing & Fit:
In my opinion the Prada Cloudbust fits a little bit big. For me, it’s the same with every Italian made sneaker or shoe. So, if you’re doubting which size to choose, I’d recommend choosing one size down from your usual size.
The question of comfort is one I’ve been asked many times and I have no doubt of my answer, I actually have a video on my YouTube channel talking about it. The Prada Cloudbust is in my opinion one of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever tried on in my entire life. It's something that really impressed me from the first step. They have an extremely comfortable and soft upper with the perfectly cosy midsole.
I use the same care and cleaning methods on every pair of shoes I own. I use a little bit of spray protector on them once a week (or on rainy days), but don’t go overboard when applying the product. Once every few months I’ll usually clean all my sneakers with a damp cloth or baby wipes. With this method, you’ll always have a pair that’s ready to rumble.
Menswear editor and blogger based in Vienna, Austria
When the Prada Cloudbust sneakers came out, I immediately fell in love with them. The combination of the sporty yet chunky silhouette and the futuristic design make it unique. No one, including me, expected this kind of sneaker from Prada when it dropped last year.
I always style my Prada Cloudbusts with some wide-fitting and cropped black trousers, so the sneaker is clearly visible and remains the statement piece of the whole look. The ideal brands to style with them would be Y-3 or Homme Plissé Issey Miyake.
Sizing & Fit:
The Prada Cloudbusts fit true to size but overall but are quite narrow, although the sole is super chunky.
On a scale of 0 to 10, I would give them a 7 when it comes to comfort. They’re comparable to the Burberry Arthur Sneaker which is also made with big rubber parts. In terms of heaviness, the Prada Cloudbust reminds me of the Balenciaga Triple S.
The rubber parts can be easily washed with water. But pay attention to not damage the heel patches on the back of the sneakers –– you can leave scuff marks on them if you catch them with the chunky coloured rubber sole of the other sneaker when sitting, walking or standing.
Fashion Instagrammer based in Newcastle, United Kingdom
I love anything that’s different and stands out. With the sneaker market now being very saturated, it can be hard to find new styles that haven’t been recycled over and over. The Prada Cloudbust has such a unique shape and aesthetic, especially with the design of the sole. The uppers of the Cloudbust are sleek while the sole is edgy and dominant.
The Prada Cloudbusts are very versatile because of their simple colourways. I like to style mine with some grey or acid wash Balenciaga sweatpants or a wide-leg pant, my personal faves being the Homme Plissé Issey Miyake ones.
Sizing & Fit:
After owning two pairs of Cloudbust and a pair of the original Prada sneakers, personally I’d say go up one size. The shape of the trainer is narrower towards the front, making them a little tight when I go for my normal size. Going one size up makes them a lot more comfortable, especially when you’re wearing them for a long time.
But overall the Prada Cloudbust sneakers are super comfy. They’re lighter than what you’d usually expect from a chunky trainer; I’d say their weight is similar to the Balenciaga Speeds. Structurally, they feel comparable to a running trainer, there’s a cushioned feel to the sole and they’re flexible due to the knitted fabric uppers. The quality and finish is definitely more toward the high-fashion end of the scale though.
I use Crep Protect spray on all of my sneakers before I wear them to help shield them from the environment, especially when in the city. The webbed knitting easily attracts stains and marks –– my little tip would be to make sure you keep sneaker wipes on hand for any little spills (especially when you’re a big coffee drinker, like me). I’m also a big advocate for sneaker trees to help prolong their shape, and life.