You may be looking to get from intermediate to advanced in your climbing adventure and looking for the best possible climbing shoe to start out with. Some of the best climbing shoes as you level up in your journey should be geared towards features that allow you to try a lot of different aspects of climbing, such as pockets, crack, and edge climbing.
The Evolv Supra is a great intermediate to advanced climbing shoe and will definitely get you to the next stage in your climbing journey while still being a good extra pair for even more experienced climbers.
Evolv Supra Review
Fit – 7 out of 10
Performance – 7 out of 10
Sensitivity – 4 out of 10
Comfort – 8 out of 10
- Three Strap Closure
How Well Does the Evolv Supra Climbing Shoe Actually Perform?
The Supra is a pretty good climbing shoe for edging. It is more geared for intermediate to advanced climbers who are trying to make the transition from one level to the next.
It has a moderate downturn, which should give you a good amount of support and work in tandem with your foot strength.
Sometimes you may actually want to climb with a climbing shoe that doesn’t have a whole lot of support so that you can work on your foot work and muscle strength. If you reach an ability level where you can edge pretty well without supportive or downturned shoes, wearing a moderately downturned shoe like the Supra will almost give you superpowers when you are edging.
It’s also got pretty good asymmetry to distribute your weight more evenly. The toe of the climbing shoe isn’t perfectly aligned with the middle of the climbing shoe, which provides the highest asymmetry, but it still is able to get a good amount of weight distribution nonetheless. This really helps with support when you are trying to get purchase on small holds on the rock face.
The toe box is also pushed pretty far forward in the shoe so this gives even more support while edging.
It still is a moderately downturned shoe, so even though it’s good at edging, it won’t be uncomfortable after a longer period.
However, this means that the performance will still be lower than other aggressively downturned shoes.
The rubber that is built into the Evolv Supra is also one of higher quality than previous models. The TRAX XE rubber is a harder compound meant for longer edging capabilities, which is similar to the Vibram XS Grip rubber. Vibram is obviously a tougher rubber, but the TRAX XE ranks only a little bit lower on the scale.
The shape of the Supra is really great at focusing a ton of its support towards the front of the shoe. Most of the force will be at your toe, which is going to help a lot when you are attempting to leverage yourself inside of a pocket on the rock face.
This coupled with its modest downturn should make this shoe relatively good at supporting you inside of a pocket. It definitely won’t be as precise as some of the more high quality climbing shoes that are specifically geared for pocket climbing, but it will get the job done.
What you want to look for in a climbing shoe that is good at pockets is an elongated toe with a talon-like curve at the front, and a low profile so the shoe can get into most pockets regardless of the wide or narrow openings.
This climbing shoe is more on the comfortable side, so while you are jammed into a pocket, you shouldn’t be too uncomfortable.
3. Crack Climbing
The Supra somewhat lends itself to crack climbing, as it doesn’t have a crazy aggressive downturn which will sometimes prevent you from getting good support in the crack of a rock face. Because super aggressively downturned shoes are more geared towards forcing tons of support to the front of the shoe, you may find those hard crack climbing.
You really need good support in the midsole and a flatter design to get support when sticking your foot in between cracks.
Since the Supra has a moderate, but not aggressive downturn, it’s flatter and therefore more able to give you much needed support. Now if the crick in the rock face is very thin in width, you may not get as much of that support since it wouldn’t have as much strength focused on the toe as much as a more aggressively downturned shoe, but it will still work pretty well for you.
It’s asymmetrical design also gives it the ability to give you support while climbing in a long crack. It will distribute your weight more evenly and give you better stability than a more off centered shoe.
If you are looking to crack climb exclusively or at least for a good many of your climbs, you may want to find a shoe that has a toe that is more in line with the middle of the climbing shoe than the Supra. But the Supra’s toe really isn’t that far off from the middle.
Lower sensitivity is one of the Supra’s bigger flaws. Even though it only has a moderate downturn, it’s rubber is still pretty thick and the shape is built to be more rigid than not. This means it will be a little tough to feel the rock face and find those hard to feel edges and surfaces.
The rubber is a compound called TRAX XE as stated before, and it is meant to be super durable and be able to grip the rock pretty well. It’s still going to be a good bit softer than a Vibram XS, which is a lot harder, but the XE is still rubber that is tough to feel the rock face with.
Is the Evolv Supra Climbing Shoe Comfortable?
1. Comfortable for a Higher Performing Shoe
The Supra has a pretty high comfort level. Not as much as a beginner shoe, but it does have a great comfort level for a shoe that is geared towards intermediate and advanced climbers who want performance but more comfort than some of the performance driven climbing shoes out there.
The shoe has a rubber thickness that varies at different parts of the climbing shoe. At the toe, the rubber is pretty thick. This lets it be a well performing shoe. However, in the midsole of the shoe, the rubber is actually thinner than it is in the front of the shoe.
This adds to the comfort and gives relief to the shoe’s rand in the midsole which gives greater comfort while still giving great performance.
2. Lining Adds Comfort, Prevents Stench
The Supra also has a great cotton lining that is more breathable and helps the shoe not to retain sweat and water. This not only makes the shoe a lot more comfortable, but it helps it not to stink as moisture won’t build up in the shoe, causing foul odors.
All these things come together to make the shoe very comfortable, and allow you to go on more multi-pitch climbs without having to rest for long periods in between.
You are still going to have a break in period for the shoe to feel comfortable, so don’t be dismayed if at first the shoe is a little tight or uncomfortable. Usually it takes several climbs for you to get used to the shoe and for the shoe to comfort your foot as much as it can.
3. Heel Fits the Back, but Not the Sides
Heel fit doesn’t seem like it would be that big of a deal for shoe comfort, but it really is. This part of the climbing shoe is where a lot of the pull comes from, and if it fits too loose, it will affect the entire rest of the shoe. And obviously if it’s too tight it will do the same.
The heel of the Supra is very fitted at the back so comfort in that area isn’t a problem. However, as you come farther along the sides that are closest to the very back of the heel, the shoe begins to flare out slightly. It isn’t a huge flare, but enough to be somewhat noticeable and take away from the Supras over comfortable feel.
Does the Evolv Supra Climbing Shoe Have Good Fit?
1. Low Heel Provides Good Fit
When the heel of a shoe is higher than normal, it provides really great protection so your foot won’t get scraped too badly on the rock face. It also provides a good option for heel hooking if the shoe’s rubber is thick enough.
However, if the shoe’s heel has a pretty low profile, then this allows the shoe to conform much better to the foot. If there is too much material at the back of the climbing shoe, there is more chance that the fit will be lesser and there will be more chance of the heel slipping around, something you don’t want while you are climbing.
The Evolv Supra has a great, low profile heel and while it may not be the best at heel hooking, it will stay on your foot very well.
2. No Good for Wide Feet
There are only a few climbing shoes that lend themselves to wider feet right off the bat. The Supra isn’t one of them. This is common for climbing shoes as most need to be as tight a fit as possible to get the most support, and the best way to do that is to make them naturally narrow.
But people with naturally wide or abnormally shaped feet may be at a disadvantage if they get a shoe like the Evolv Supra that has a narrow build.
3. Size Down for Performance, Up for Casual
The general rule of thumb is to go down a half a size or a whole size if you are looking for better performance for your shoe, and go up in the same degree for better comfort.
Since the Supra is already a narrow fit right out of the box, you may not need to go down in size if you are looking for performance. Going down may actually cut into the comfort so much that it won’t be worth it to you to keep the downsized fit.
4. Three Strap Closure System
You should be able to get a pretty adjustable fit from the Supra because it actually has three velcro straps built in. Though velcro sometimes gets a bad rap for being not as adjustable as other climbing shoes that feature laces, having three velcro straps present provides for a lot higher adjustability in the Supras fit than ones that sport only one or two.
The straps go from the top of the shoe to pretty far forward. The two top straps are the same size, but the third is about half their size.
Laces are still probably a better choice when you are wanting to adjust your shoe the most to your foot, however the advantage of velcro is that you won’t spend a lot of time fiddling with Velcro straps as much as you would with laces.
Does the Evolv Supra Climbing Shoe Have Good Value?
1. Good Balance of Performance and Comfort
The Evolv Supra has a pretty good price for its performance and comfort balance.
Also the fit is more adjustable because of its three velcro straps while having an easy on, easy off ability because of the velcro.
It doesn’t have as high end rubber as some other shoes, so this makes it lag a little in the value for money. It also can be up to $160 in some places, making it not crazy expensive, but enough to make you think twice.
How does the Evolv Supra Climbing Shoe Compare?
1. Supra VS Kronos
The Evolv Kronos only has two velcro straps, however the larger one implements a hook and look system where it is partially a velcro strap, but also has smaller non-velcro straps attached to it. When you tighten the larger velcro strap you also tighten these as well, and they are thinner and closer to the shoe which makes them better adjust the fit.
2. Supra VS Defy
The Supra doesn’t have as much rubber concentrated in the heel of the shoe and it’s also slightly lower in the heel than the Evolv Defy is.
However, the Supra is a good deal better at edging than the Defy and can take a little bit tougher climbs and still give support because of its moderate curve that the Defy doesn’t have.
What’s the Verdict on Evolv Supra Climbing Shoe?
Good Intermediate to Advanced Climber Shoe
With its balance between comfort and performance, and having a better fit with its three strap closure system while still being easy to take on and off, the Evolv Supra should satisfy a variety of climbers.