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Climbing Gear > Climbing Shoes > Climbing Shoes - Men's

Evolv Defy VTR

Weight255 g

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Evolv Defy VTR
4 out of 5 based on 42 user reviews.

Cred: 555
Review by rmcgibbo on Aug. 03, 2008
The velcro is really solid. The nonstretch synthetic material is nice for beginners because it's easier to dial in the fit in-store. Sole is pretty sensitive. Trax rubber is great - durable and sticky. Heel cup fits well.
Their black, so they get hot in the sun. When they get hot, your feet sweat, and when they sweat, they sort of slide around inside an otherwise tight shoe.

Cred: 863
Review by brownie710 on Jun. 16, 2008
thin and sensitive with easy on/off velcro, having had these for a month or so now I certainly can see the difference in grip and sensitivity compared to my old cliffs, these rock
iv'e heard the synth cowdura stinks after a while but mine are new so that is yet to be seen.
5.10 galelio's if you want to spend the extra $50

Cred: 483
Review by mtnkid85 on Jul. 14, 2008
comfy alldayer do it all shoe
Quite durable Ive resoled mine once and will move on to another shoe after this rubber wears, theyve lasted ~2.5 years.
Quick on and off velcro.
Dont have any complaints concerning the rubber
not much, perhaps could benifit from some rubber above the toes, Ive worn small holes in mine here from doing toe hooks.
pretty much any of evolvs shoes...

Cred: 141
Review by philchai on Dec. 03, 2008
The Evolv Defy are a good, economical, beginner climbing shoe. The rubber is the same Trax 5 found on higher end models like the Optimus and Optimus Primes; it's tacky enough for solid smearing and will not peel off the wall. Despite not having much rubber around the toe, edging and toe camming/hooking is decent. The greatest characteristic of this shoe is its comfortability. By far, it is the softest shoe I have ever worn; I can spend an entire day at the crag without having to ever change shoes or take them off between runs. Bonus: No break-in period is required for these shoes, and they are ready to go right out of the box. The Defy are a good entry level, all-around shoe to start with as you progress and become more enamored with climbing.

Key Pros:
* Economical
* Sticky rubber, solid smearing
* Comfortable
* No break-in period
* Decent all-around shoes
With all the good, comes the bad. The Evolv Defy are too soft which makes hard bouldering difficult; little rubber on the toes and minimal downturn limit toe camming and heel hooking. The heel cup is fairly deep, so you may have to size down in order to get a snug fit. In addition, the shoes will begin to smell after a few months. These are the first shoe I have EVER had that smell weird after any period of time; my Evolv Optimus Primes and La Sportiva Solutions have never had any odor whatsoever.

Key Cons:
* Small amount of rubber on toe
* Deep heel cup
* Too soft for hard bouldering
* Synthetic liner smells after limited use
For alternatives, I would recommend the La Sportiva Mantis/Kumo or Five Ten Galileo/Moccasym.

Cred: 164
Review by CaptainAwesome on Feb. 10, 2011
Evolv's Defy is a great all-around, beginner to intermediate shoe. "Beginner shoe" carries a stigma that's unjust in this case, as I have many friends and colleagues with 10+ years going vertical who still crush in the Defy. For a climbing shoe, the Defy is very comfortable option, with a soft upper that doesn't destroy the foot when you size down - ideal for those who want a snug fit without the pain that comes with a stiff, rubberized upper. I climbed in these for years without a complaint, only moving to a more aggressive model when the toe finally blew out (got to improve my footwork..). For the price, you get a solid shoe with good rubber, and it will prove a solid investment into your climbing career.
For those with lower volume, narrow feet, the heel cup may seem a bit large. This only presents an issue on steep overhangs and heel hooks, and like anything else, different brands fit different people better - so this may be a non-issue for some.
Oh, the smell. More than other models I've seen, the Defy takes on a certain funk after repeated uses. While generally manageable, don't make the mistake of leaving these in a hot car during the summer after a day of climbing. When they were my go-to shoe, they lived on the balcony (sorry, neighbors!) or biner'd to the outside of my pack. While this obviously doesn't affect their solid performance, it's worth noting for the sensitive types out there. Pro tip: my tried and true counteroffensive for shoe funk - open them up all the way (undo the velcro, unfold the tongue), sprinkle baby powder liberally on the inside, and leave out in breezy sunlight for a day or so. It'll buy you a few funk-free uses between treatments.

Cred: 434
Review by zealous89 on Oct. 06, 2008
Great rubber and extremely comfortable for long periods of time. Good price.
Not very rigid thus sometimes hard to stay on small face holds.

Cred: 24
Review by galong on Dec. 30, 2010
The price is definitely right. These are among the most comfortable shoes I've ever owned, though I did buy them a bit bigger than I should have. The rubber is good for a variety of rock conditions. I have no problem climbing 5.10d routes in these shoes. They edge, smear and do everything I need them to do. I like the black color as it makes me look Goth. :-)
Not the most sturdy shoe on the market. The construction seems to be slightly inferior to some higher-end shoes, but that is to be expected given the price.

Cred: 14
Review by r0ss0027 on Sep. 06, 2011
A really good shoe for getting into climbing, and when you outgrow it skillwise or tear the soles up, still would make a good gym shoe. Really comfortable and pretty sticky rubber. Velcro is so much easier than lace up.
Can wiggle a little loose. Toe and heel are more like standard shoes, so comfortable at first but doesn't hit that high performance niche of shoes with formed toes or really tight heels.
For Evolv, the Pontas are pretty good step up. If you want something a little stiffer you might Look at La Sportiva Miura too.

Cred: 21
Review by Huge3783 on May. 27, 2008
They fit the shape of my foot and they don't slip around on my foot. What more can a beginer like me ask for.
They don't stretch. Hard to wear when belaying others for a long time.
Havent had anything else yet.

Cred: 32
Review by osu_cowboy on Nov. 10, 2008
I am a new climber and these are my first shoes, but I really like them. I don't have a lot to compare too, but I think they are very comfortable and the fit is good all around.
The edging power isn't great, and I think for next pair I will get a stiffer shoe, but I have been really pleased with these so far!

Cred: 315
Review by kord92 on Jan. 06, 2012
sticky sole, really comfortable, the velcro is really convenient, and i havent noticed the smell yet!
the heel seems to be kinda hard to tighten onto your foot without it sliding a bit, but its possible.
evolve evo

Cred: 335
Review by JacksonLandFill on Jul. 09, 2013
Once on my feet and on the wall/rock I don't even notice they are on my feet. Toe point is easy to use, heel is solid and does not slide around. The generous amount of rubber makes smearing easier. Traction is not something theese lack. The velco is nice and quick for getting on and off or adjusting later after your feet swell. Real rock is a good place for these but the gym also makes good use of these: smearing on painted plywood.
Absolutely horrible to stand around in.

Cred: 6
Review by mill87 on May. 18, 2010
I love this shoe. just got back into climbing, and for me it was great. The grip is awesome and the feel is superb
The one thing that I wish the shoe had was a more aggressive heel. and the fact that they are black makes the get really hot in the sun
If you are willing to spend a little extra the Evolv Pontas, or the 5.10 galileo would be a good alternative.

Cred: 8
Review by juliarod on Mar. 03, 2011
nice and comfy all day long.
not any noticeable stretch.
good starter shoe.
a tight fit haven't had any kind of slipping.

can and will smell really bad-use shoe balls.
rubber around big toe will wear away after a while.

Cred: 29
Review by veitski87 on Mar. 15, 2011
As a beginner climber I got these shoes based on the rental shoes at the local gym. They are not the comfiest shoes but good all around shoe. great toe and heel and very reliable. This shoe will not stretch out like leather shoes will so it is built tight like a climbing shoe should be for your shoe size.
none so far

Cred: 9
Review by pundt1 on Mar. 03, 2012
A really decent shoe for beginner climbers. Does well in the gym
Not a very good outdoor shoe. High quality and made well but doesnt have the features needed to grip those tiny foot holds or dig into cracks

Cred: 264
Review by myname on Apr. 07, 2012
I have the lace version of this shoe (always been a fan of laces more). Solid all around shoe. Kind of a "Jack of All Trades, Master of None".
Doesn't edge too well.
La Sportiva Nago

Cred: 11
Review by kyledaviddunn on Sep. 26, 2012
Great beginner shoe. Excellent fit (you can feel comfortable in buying a shoe that doesn't fit too tightly from the start as they do not stretch too much) and comfort until you're ready to cram your feet into something more aggressive. Can't beat the price.
The rubber is pretty sticky, however, the edges wore down quickly.

Cred: 7
Review by ac398 on Mar. 06, 2013
good beginner shoe and gym shoe. edges well and if sized tight enough it becomes very precise. Cant go wrong for the price plus when you up grade you'll have a great pair of shoes to deep water solo in
heel does not fit well, like a bubble on your heel. Smell is awful compared to other shoes

Cred: 9
Review by DannyDanDaniel on Oct. 27, 2007
amazingly comfortable right out of the box. Great price and performance, and very durable.
Smell horrible.

Cred: 208
Review by wpreedy on Mar. 23, 2011
velcro allows for easy adjustments and putting on/ removal. they are very comfortable shoes. they are good for all around climbing
the sole isn't as firm as i want it to be sometimes

Cred: 20
Review by fb_51104820 on Apr. 09, 2008
i got them cheap at an REI scratch 'n dent sale. they need to be resoled, but they still grip well and fit great.

Cred: 18
Review by ZachMortimer on Mar. 15, 2011
excellent entry level climbing shoe and really not that bad all around regardless. velcro works well, soles are strong for the price.

Cred: 23
Review by Slothman on May. 03, 2012
Low price, fairly comfortable.
Holes in the toe after ~4 months of 2-3 times/week indoor/light outdoor use. Also are uncomfortable to belay in.

Cred: 15
Review by Grebbs on Dec. 09, 2013
Most comfortable shoes I've ever worn, great beginner shoes.
They are tearing apart at the straps and top cushion

Cred: 12137
Review by Troy on Feb. 13, 2008
Comfy, good performing all around shoe. The rubber is pretty good on it as well.

Cred: 12
Review by motocrosser21 on Mar. 26, 2008
Good fit
rubber could be improved
if i had to pick another shoe, i would by far take the talon also made by evolv. But they're two different types of shoes, like comparing apples to oranges.

Cred: 5
Review by mrtoothaker on Feb. 22, 2011
Great grip on bottom for small footholds. I tried a pair on and i liked how well they gripped even the smallest nub on rock.
oddly shaped for most feet, too narrow in front, wide in back. It may just be my feet though.
Evolv Optimus

Cred: 5
Review by hippyhoppin42 on Feb. 28, 2011
Great grip for smearing on the bottom. Solid toe grip with a nice point that doesn't kill your toes, but still can hit those toe chips on the wall well.
The rubber on the side of the shoe wears off fairly quickly which inhibits edging (BUT only a little.)
5.10 VMile (price and quality)
La Sportiva Mantis (price and quality)

Cred: 40569
Review by marks on Oct. 19, 2007
Comfortable shoe that performs well. Highly recommended for a long / all day shoe.

Cred: 60
Review by Jon Cannon on Jun. 04, 2008
Best shoes I've ever had right out of the box.
Will roll a little bit after they've been broken in

Cred: 21
Review by fb_24903186 on Jan. 17, 2008
This is a very comfortable shoe if fitted correctly, it doesn't stretch, so don't undersize.

Cred: 3
Review by kennyken on Jul. 16, 2008
Stetched 1/4 size after 10 pitches. Thin and sensative but they're holding up nicely.

Cred: 44
Review by ltfrem on Nov. 03, 2013
Velcro, good beginner shoe
Lots of stretch

Cred: 2
Review by mountain hardwear on Apr. 19, 2008
Good Intro. level

Cred: 52
Review by fb_1030170280 on Apr. 19, 2008
good gym shoes
heel hooks are almost impossible

Cred: 7
Review by fb_554734351 on May. 18, 2008
great rubber and fit
rubber wears out fast

Cred: 9
Review by JHKreisler on Sep. 10, 2008
comfortable, good shoe for beginner climbers.

Cred: 3
Review by mdresser on Apr. 03, 2009
not as good as my la sportivas

Cred: 12
Review by fb_11322771 on Jan. 20, 2008
Good all around

Cred: 0
Review by destro777 on Nov. 18, 2010
Excellent beginners shoe.

Cred: 147
Review by fb_829070088 on Feb. 06, 2008
good rubber
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