The Evolv Elektra were my first pair of climbing shoes, they remind me of good times and happy memories! Lots of holds were stood on in these little purple boots, and many a fall taken. I only ever wore them indoor bouldering, but they were a great newbie shoe. I know there are plenty of reviews out in cyberspace already, but I thought I would throw my views into the mix too, as they’re a great starter shoe. I’ve also done a post on buying your first pair of shoes which you can read here, but anyway on with the review.
Fit – I’m a street size 3 (UK) and size matched as most people do in Evolv. I found that they did stretch a little after breaking in and became more comfortable for a long climbing session, but still had a snug fit.
Specifications – They are an asymmetric shoe which gives a new climber the feel of what a technical climbing shoe should feel like without being horrendously painful. The extra toe rubber is awesome too as a lot of toe dragging can happen as a newbie, so this extra thickness means your shoes are likely to last longer. They come in both lace and Velcro, I went with Velcro because I like the speed I can whizz the shoes on and off, plus after experiencing post climbing hand pains I figured this would be the nicest option. Ain’t nobody got time for laces with sore finger tips!
Performance – The rubber is Trax ( I believe) which is sticky and feels safe, especially when smearing. However the toe comes to a very thick point which takes away any feedback you could get from the holds, causing the shoe to lack sensitivity at times. They’re okay for heel and toe hooks, but not the best. However that could be seen as a little irrelevant for a beginner, as it’s unlikely you’ll be doing such demanding moves so soon anyway.
I think these are a common option for beginners with the price point, (I paid around £45 in Go Outdoors) and also because they are a very good, all round beginner shoe. Originally aimed at the female market they’ve recently been redesigned with more gender neutral colours (teal and grey), this makes them more suitable for all you guys out there with low volume feet.
Overall my personal experience with them has been great, the only downside has been the smell they can emit, something Evolv shoes are notorious for. Typically you don’t wear socks with your climbing shoes, so you can feel the sensitivity of holds, and after climbing hard in synthetic fabrics it’s likely to cause sweaty feet and smelly shoes! Don’t be put off, as this is easily fixed by using a shoe or foot spray. I like to use Boot Bananas as they are amazingly good at neutralising odours.
I hope this has been a helpful post, feel free to ask any questions. I’m planning on doing some more reviews so any feedback is very welcome 🙂
-A Girl Who Climbs