Verdict from 21 experts and +100 user reviews

6 reasons to buy

  • A great number of Evolv Shaman buyers say that it has oozing amounts of comfort.
  • This rock climbing shoe has a quick break-in time, as claimed by many wearers.
  • Several shoppers find their Evolv Shaman climbing shoes remarkably grippy.
  • Its climbing performance over steep terrain is nothing short of impressive, say gear pundits.
  • A decent percentage of users who have tested this climb-centric Evolv product consider it a competent all-rounder.
  • Bloggers who have used the Shaman numerous times praise its super-secure lockdown system.

3 reasons not to buy

  • Less than a handful of patrons decry its inability to fight off the stink.
  • Its sensitivity is lackluster, say a couple of customers.
  • According to an owner, the Evolv Shaman's toe box could be a bit narrower.

Bottom line

Immensely comfortable right off the bat—this is likely how wearers would describe the Evolv Shaman. That said, day-one comfort is not the only quality it has in spades. Indeed, this aggressive rock climbing shoe also has incredible surface traction and excellent steep climbing performance.

It, unfortunately, has some booboos, the most concerning of which has to do with odor prevention. Nevertheless, the Shaman is an astonishing Evolv piece in which climbers can send projects with increased confidence.

Tip: see the best climbing shoes.

Good to know

  • Co-designed by Chris Sharma—a world-renowned professional rock climber and the establisher of the grade 5.15c, the Evolv Shaman is a climbing shoe engineered with a set of technologies that grants wearers the ability to take on steep ascents. It has been redesigned to provide enhanced comfort and fit as well as improved maneuverability involving the forefoot.
  • It comes built with two Evolv-exclusive technologies: Love Bump and Knuckle Box. The former fills in dead space under the flex point of the toes, while the latter gives the knuckle of the big toe enough room for a curled position. Together, these two give climbers additional edging power.
  • This Evolv offering is advertised as a vegan-friendly climbing shoe. Vegan products are built free of any animal substance—in some cases, even the tools and equipment with which they were created.

Downturn. The Shaman from Evolv is an aggressively downturned footgear. Its structure is even more pronounced with the Love Bump and Knuckle Box design technologies. It gives owners a sturdy foothold on small edges.

Applications. This intermediate climbing shoe is a product built mainly for sport climbing and bouldering. It is engineered to take on overhangs and edges. It may be used on both indoor and outdoor surfaces.

A low-top climbing shoe for men is the Evolv Shaman. Since its upper is synthetic, it offers little, or none at all, in the way of stretch. Wearers may personalize its fit using the shoe’s Velcro strapping system. A performance fit is delivered through its asymmetric shape. It has a tighter hug on the foot and curves toward the big toe.

Midsole. The Shaman has a sturdy platform for edging and like maneuvers thanks to its stiff midsole, called MX-P. Its half-length construction has a thickness of 1.6 mm. The Love Bump technology gives it a curved design at the forefoot, allowing the toes to curl into position without too much effort.

Outsole. Trax-SAS is the name of the Evolv Shaman’s sticky outsole. It is 4.2 mm in thickness. It has split construction, which gives the shoe sufficient flexibility around the arch zone. The compound used in it delivers tenacity over a wide range of temperatures.

The Evolv Shaman’s unlined upper is made of Synthratex VX which is entirely synthetic. It is furnished with molded VTR (Variable Thickness Rand)—a proprietary randing technology that lessens hotspots and pressure points without sacrificing performance and durability. Helping users to get in and out of it with convenience is the collaboration between the two heel pull loops and the split tongue. Three hook-and-loop straps make up its closure system.

Evolv has made strides in crafting quality rock climbing shoes over the years. Two of these compelling pieces of footwear are the Shaman—the featured shoe—and the Oracle. Find out the things that set them apart in the following points:

Midsole. Although both Evolv offerings have the same 1.6-mm thick MX-P midsole, only the Oracle comes with Dark Spine. This additional midsole component is placed at the heel for extra protection when heel hooking. It also helps in keeping the heel firmly in place.

Pricing. On this front, the Evolv Shaman edges out the Oracle. Indeed, the featured climbing shoe is about $15 less than the competition. If you are on a tight budget, check out some of the most affordable climbing kicks featured on this site.

Weight. Those who are quite particular with lightness might find the Evolv Oracle slightly more appealing. Certainly, compared with the Shaman, the rival shoe is lighter by about 15 grams.

-Chris Sharma is among the world’s best climbers. He is also a lead designer at Evolv.


How Evolv Shaman ranks compared to all other shoes
Bottom 46% aggressive climbing shoes
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Bottom 47% Evolv climbing shoes
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Top 50% indoor climbing shoes
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The current trend of Evolv Shaman.
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