Who should buy the Evolv Phantom

Climbers in search of an Evolv climbing shoe that does wonders on boulder-type ascents can bank on the Phantom. It is a solid option if you:

  • Prefer a climbing shoe that provides as much support and security as possible.
  • Prefer a climbing shoe that provides adequate multi-directional grip underfoot.
  • Prefer a climbing shoe that is specifically built for sports routes and bouldering problems.

Evolv Phantom logo

Updates to Evolv Phantom

  • 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.

Evolv Phantom updates


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.

Evolv Phantom application

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

Provides slip resistance on virtually  all sorts of surfaces 

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.

Evolv Phantom outsole

Enhances underfoot support

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 Phantom midsole

Provides extra sensitivity during heel hooks

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.

Evolv Phantom midsole 2


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.

Evolv Phantom upper

Excellent toe-hooking traction

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.

Evolv Phantom toe-hooking

Velcro-based lockdown system

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.

Evolv Phantom laces

Evolv Phantom vs. Agro

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.

Nice to know

-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 worldwide competition as well.

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 255g
Construction: Vegan
Closure: Velcro
Fit: Performance fit
Downturn: Aggressive
Environment: Indoor, Outdoor
Material: Synthetic

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Teddy Dondanville
Teddy Dondanville

Teddy is a professionally trained Apprentice Rock Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association and a Wilderness First Responder with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Besides guiding outdoor rock climbing, Teddy also has years of experience in route setting and coaching climbing indoors. Through his guiding, route setting, and coaching, Teddy has experimented with climbing shoes for over a decade.