Verdict from 4 experts and 16 user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • The Evolv Phantom rock climbing shoe fits like a glove, some testers claim.
  • It is a bouldering champ, say a couple of wearers.
  • Heel hooking is among its strongest suits, according to a few purchasers.
  • Based on an Evolv Phantom review, this piece of gear is fantastic in terms of edging abilities.
  • An owner is super impressed with the Phantom’s exemplary toe-hooking prowess.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Its ultra-high asking price might shun those simply looking for budget-friendly climbing shoes.
  • Someone who tests footwear for a living is not happy with the way the Phantom smears.

Bottom line

Climbers in search of an Evolv climbing shoe that does wonders on boulder-type ascents can bank on the Phantom. Those in need of a great-fitting pair that hooks admirably (heel + toe) and gets on edges like a pro can also invest in this shoe.

That said, this product does not come cheap. To sum up, the Phantom is yet another incredible Evolv piece. Budget-conscious folks, however, might want to look elsewhere.

Tip: see the best climbing shoes.

Good to know

-Co-designed by professional American climbers Paul Robinson and Daniel Woods, the Phantom is aimed at senders who wish to climb with as much support and security as possible without compromising sensitivity. It has been updated to sport a sleeker, more modern upper construction.

-Compared with its former self, the revamped Evolv Phantom has one less pull loop, leaving it with two instead of three. Its closure system opens up more fit management possibilities this time—it now comes with an adjustable ladder-type buckle.

-This climb-centric piece comes with two of Evolv’s proprietary technologies: Variable Thickness Rand (VTR) and Trax-SAS. The former grants the forefoot a combination of protection and relief from pressure. The latter, on the other hand, provides adequate multi-directional grip underfoot.

-The Phantom by Evolv is a vegan product. This means that every component making up this rock climbing shoe is animal-free.

Downturn. This Evolv offering has an aggressively downturned toe zone. Its rigid and pointed construction helps the forefoot get into slots and mount on tricky edges with enough precision and security. Climbing kicks with this type of downward camber are comfy enough for single-pitch projects.

Applications. This performance-oriented, medium-stiff climbing shoe is made specifically for sport routes and bouldering problems. Send enthusiasts may use it both indoors and outdoors.

The Evolv Phantom is a low-cut rock shoe for men. The climber’s foot is expected to curl inward within its asymmetric (bent) confines, which can also give the arch zone a bit of pressure. In the area of stretch, the shoe in question might not provide a lot, given that it has a mostly synthetic construction.

The brand recommends getting it in the wearer’s street shoe size. A secure and personalized fit is possible with the Phantom’s Velcro closure.

Midsole. This aggressive Evolv piece is furnished with the AVT midsole for enhanced support underfoot. AVT stands for Abridged Variable Thickness, which translates to a kind of support system that does not skimp on responsiveness.

Evolv shoemakers imbued it with TPS+ (Tension Power System Plus), a technology that helps the Phantom retain its downturned shape for longer.  They also paired it with the Dark Spine S—an additional component at the heel—for extra sensitivity during heel hooks.

Outsole. The Evolv Phantom climbing shoe offers sufficient slip resistance on virtually all sorts of surfaces with its Trax-SAS outsole. It is made of a rubber compound that promises to provide a firm hold of whatever it latches on to in a wide range of temperatures. Its overall thickness is 4.2 mm.

The Phantom’s below-the-ankle upper, also known as Synthratek VX, is made of vegan-friendly synthetic fabric. Access to and from its unlined confines is a relatively convenient affair, thanks to the pair of pull loops stationed securely at its heel.

Its lower perimeter and high-contact points are reinforced with heavy randing for improved lateral grip. For toe-hooking traction, on the other hand, the Phantom provides adequately with its Variable Thickness Rand.

This Evolv offering has its upper equation rounded out with the shoe’s Velcro-based lockdown system. It is made up of a synthetic strap, a series of metallic D-rings, an adjustable buckle, and a hook-and-loop locking tab.

The Phantom is one of Evolv’s high-quality aggressive rock shoes. Its noteworthiness drives climbers to compare it with some of the best climbing kicks out on the market. In this head to head, the featured shoe finds competition in the Evolv Agro. The following points will present their key differences.

Weight. On this front, the Evolv Phantom climbing shoe bags the crown. Yes, it is lighter than the Agro by approximately 30 g.

Price. The competition wins against the featured shoe in this round. Indeed, the Agro is cheaper than the Phantom by about $20. Check out the cheapest rock shoes featured on this site.

Outsole thickness. Both Evolv kicks in this comparison sport the Trax-SAS outsole. That said, the one in the Phantom is thinner than the Agro’s by 0.2 mm.

Lining. Between the two rock shoes in this head to head, only the Agro comes with a liner, which is made of microfiber.

-The Evolv Phantom is among the selected climbing shoes for official use in the 2020 Olympics, which is set to be held in Tokyo, Japan. Note that sport climbing debuts in this world-wide competition as well.


How Evolv Phantom ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 37% aggressive climbing shoes
All aggressive climbing shoes
Bottom 41% Evolv climbing shoes
All Evolv climbing shoes
Bottom 41% indoor climbing shoes
All indoor climbing shoes


The current trend of Evolv Phantom.
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