You might be looking to add to your rock climbing shoe collection to round out your performance and now are looking for the best option in a climbing shoe to start with. In the beginning of your search, some of the best climbing shoes are geared towards aspects that allow you to try out a variety of climbs but also don’t break the bank.
One shoe can’t give you everything you need, trying out a specific climbing shoe and then getting in depth information with Evolv Shaman Review about the shoe can definitely give you more precise experience on what things your shoe is great at doing, and some of the ways where your shoe is lacking in different performance areas.
The Shamans is a really good shoe and will definitely add a few great options on your climbing adventure. And even if you are a less experienced climber, these are still really great shoes that won’t break your bank but will still begin to increase your skill level.
In Depth Guide of the Evolv Shamans Climbing Shoe
Evolv Shaman Review Climbing Shoe Score
Sensitivity – 5 out of 10
Comfort – 7 out of 10
Pockets – 8 out of 10
Edging – 5 out of 10
How Well Does the Evolv Shamans Climbing Shoe Actually Perform?
Edging Isn’t the Best
Trax is good for sensitivity, but not the best for edging. It still has good stability and can stand up to mild edging surfaces that aren’t too small, but not for some of the sheer faces that other climbing shoes can perform well on.
The soft rubber will sometimes buckle on these smaller holds and you probably won’t feel as safe on those parts of the rock face. Although this shoe is really high performing, this is the one area that is below average for climbing shoes that is usually great in most areas.
Also, there is a unique feature that really helps to unbunch your toes during your climb and spread them out so you can get even better purchase on the rock.
It is called a “Love Bump” and it is a small round bump on the bottom of the shoe on the inside near the front. It forces the toes to spread out as much as is possible even when on smaller edges.
It is sometimes difficult to get used to, but it provides a unique type of support that works really well. It feels a little like there is an immovable but small golf ball in your shoe. It sounds more harsh than it really is. Once you get used to it, it will be as normal as any other climbing shoe, but you will have a good bit more comfort and weight distribution since your toes will be forced to spread slightly.
Good at Crack Climbing
The velcro straps really help this climbing shoe when you are crack climbing. Even though there are three different velcro straps, which would usually make it much harder for the climbing shoe to fit into cracks in the rock, this isn’t true for the Shamans.
They actually have a pretty low profile and they end up being able to fit into cracks pretty well, a good bit better than other climbing shoes that have as many straps as the Shamans do.
The toe of the Shamans also benefits you with its low profile. Some cracks are just too small to get your shoe into, so having a lower profile in this area really expands what you can do on your climb.
Pockets Are Easy
Since this climbing shoe is aggressively downturned, it works really well when you are in a pocket. Not only can you draw a ton of support from it for this reason, you should be able to pull on the pocket pretty well to get leverage for the next spot on your climb. So whether you need to stand in a pocket for support, or use that pocket in the rock face to get to another area, you will be able to do both expertly.
There are a couple of things that hold the Shamans climbing shoe back from being the perfect climbing shoe for pockets.
The rubber, while soft and pretty good for sensitivity, doesn’t really help you grip the rock while you’re in a pocket very much.
You will have to rely on your foot strength and the downturned support, not so much the ability of the rubber to grip the rock face.
Also, the toe is a little squarish compared to some other climbing shoes that have perfectly pointed toes for pockets. You may not be able to put your foot as far into the pocket as you would like. It also doesn’t have as much of a talon edge like some other climbing shoes, which would increase its holding and pulling ability even more.
The Shamans have relatively good sensitivity, but they are a little deceptive. When feeling the rubber, it actually gives way pretty well to pressure, making you think that it would be pretty at feeling unsure places on the wall and give you more overall confidence to find those hard to feel spots.
However the rubber is actually about 4.2mm thick, which is pretty far fetched from being thin enough to actually feel a good amount.
So the rubber is soft enough to give way to smaller ledges and harder textures to get a hold on to, but the amount of rubber between your foot and the rock face is just too thick for the softness to do you much good after a certain point.
Is the Evolv Shamans Climbing Shoe Comfortable?
The Shamans end up being really comfortable, which is unusual for such aggressively downturned shoes.
Much of this comes from its initial sizing. Most climbing shoes need to start out narrowly built so that they can give you as much support from the initial rigidness as they possibly can. This makes it tough for people with wide or uncommonly shaped feet.
But the Shaman actually has a medium to wide fit from the get go and so if you have narrower feet you can just adjust it accordingly, and if you have wider feet you won’t complain about having a hard time sizing this shoe which leads to most of the discomfort.
Holds Power Position Well
The shoe is designed to keep your feet, especially the toe portion, in a power position to give great support instead of the rand of the shoe pulling tightly from the heel all the way to the toes. Since a majority of the support doesn’t come from the heel, you won’t have to worry about the heel digging into your Achilles.
The velcro straps also won’t bunch when jamming into cracks and generally flexing them, so you won’t get too much, if any, discomfort from those kinds of actions.
True to Size
This shoe is relatively true to size, so don’t worry overly much about sizing down or sizing up at first. You’ll want to start with a baseline fit that matches your street shoes and only if after that and a few climbs you feel the shoe is off size for your feet should you bother with a sizing decision.
Most climbing shoes are built narrowly, but the Shamans are great because they take into account how tough it is for wide footed people to try to find a good size of shoe.
This really aids in your comfort level because you have a lot more ability to adjust the fit. It is really hard at times to get away from a climbing shoe’s initial sizing, especially when it begins with a small, narrow fit.
What are the Best Applications for the Evolv Shamans Climbing Shoe?
Gym and Sport Climbs
Beginners should be able to use this shoe, even though it’s meant for high performance. It does a great job of blending quality with comfort and so if you are looking to level up your skills but don’t want to stray too far away from your literal comfort level, the Shamans are a pretty great choice.
For this reason, you shouldn’t have any trouble with this climbing shoe when you are in the gym or if you are going on a sport climb.
You can even use them for steep overhangs and tough bouldering spots that require a good bit of performance for a short amount of time.
Does the Evolv Shamans Climbing Shoe Have Good Fit?
True to Size
The Shamans climbing shoe is a good fit for people with wider fit. This means that the initial fit of this climbing shoe is actually pretty true to size and you won’t have to size the shoe up or down to get the best fit.
Obviously if you want even more support, you can still size the shoe down a certain amount, and if you want even more comfort you can size up a little bit as well.
However both of these options present problems. If you downsize too much then you may find a lot of unnecessary discomfort that you can avoid by staying with your normal sizing that matches your walking shoe.
If you size up too much, it will definitely be more comfortable, but your shoe won’t give you near enough stability and your safety might be at risk.
Overly Narrow Footed People May Find Flaws
The starting size of the Shamans usually won’t provide difficulty for the narrow footed person, but since it is a little bit wider shoe to begin with, especially narrow footed people may face a problem.
The solution generally would just be to size the shoe down until it has a comfortable fit. However, since you are going to have to break in any shoe that you purchase, it may be a longer process to find the perfect fit.
Does the Evolv Shamans Climbing Shoe Have Good Value?
The Shaman is great at being a middle of the road shoe price wise. It definitely won’t break your bank but it will also make you feel like you’re paying the right amount of money for a quality shoe.
The natural fit and comfort level while still having high performance qualities in crack climbing and crack climbing really gives this shoe great value for money.
Pros and Cons of the Evolv Shamans Climbing Shoe
- Good for steep climbs
- Rubber is soft
How does the Evolv Shamans Climbing Shoe Compare?
Shamans VS Katana
The Katana pretty much outranks the Shamans in every except one. Pockets. They both have pretty good pocket skills in that you should get a good amount of support from them while you are in the pocket, and also be able to hook into the pocket very well also.
The Shamans does come relatively close to the La Sportiva Katana Lace when you talk about comfort. The Shamans is actually a little more downturned than the Katana so this contributes to why it is a little bit less comfortable of a climbing shoe.
Shamans VS Genius
The Genius is pretty exactly on par with the Shamans when comparing their respective crack climbing skills and their overall comfort.
Both have pretty aggressive downturns, but the Genius outranks the Shamans in their edging abilities and their sensitivity by a lot.
The Genius has a “no edge” design that makes it near perfect at edging but still gives pretty good comfort.
What’s the Verdict on Evolv Shamans Climbing Shoe?
Great Price, Durable, Low Performance
How soft the rubber is on the Evolv Shamans climbing shoe is a little disappointing. It’s a little deciding as well when you are expecting a sensitive shoe but instead get one that doesn’t edge well.
The price is really good for a higher performing shoe, but the shoe only performs well in certain areas, so you may still need another shoe when you are wanting to do climbs that have areas that the Shamans can’t really handle.
It is a pretty durable shoe however since the rubber is so thick and this makes up slightly for the softness of the shoe.