By Flora Froese
The Evolv Shaman is a high-performance, multi-purpose climbing shoe that is often seen on the feet of elite climbers all over the world, with their bold and stylish colours making them hard to miss.
The Shaman fits nicely and is fairly low cut on the heel, not cutting into the Achilles tendon yet firm enough to comfortably heel hook without the fear of losing your shoe. The twin heel tabs are also a nice feature that makes getting the tight shoes on and off a breeze.
Probably my favourite feature is the toe box which has a unique “love bump” – a rounded lump under the ball of the toes which maintains the toes in a powerful flexed position and gives the confidence to use the tiniest edges. While this is great on the wall, it does make walking on boulder mats an uncomfortable hobble.
The blue and orange synthratex VR fabric is a breathable synthetic somewhat reducing the stink factor common to all climbing shoes. They look smart and are easily recognisable as performance shoes. Three strips of opposing Velcro give a snug and secure fit for narrow feet, although my shoes have a fault in one of the Velcro buckles which could increase wear on the hinge and reduce the overall lifespan. As far as I know, this is not a common issue with the Shaman.
On the whole, the Evolv Shaman receives a big thumbs up from me as a versatile high performance shoe. Though breaking them in was harsh work, they are the best lead climbing shoes I have worn and would transition well from gym to crag but perhaps lack some of the softness needed for smearing on sandstone boulders.
You can view the Shaman by clicking here, although we definitely recommend coming into the shop to try before you buy!
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