Is evolv's split shoe sizing worth the extra $30


Original Post
Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I may be in the market for another pair of shoes, and right now I'm looking at either the shamans, or agro (I still need to try them on for fit).  But my feet are about 1/2 size different (left is bigger).  Normally I'll size down to my smaller foot and just let my left be a little uncomfortable until the shoe stretches.  But with evolv offering split sizes, I might be willing to try that.  

Does anyone have experience splitting shoe sizes?  Is it really worth spending $30 extra for that absolutely perfect fit on both feet?  

Im only really noticing the dead space in my instincts now when I do a heel hook on a particular problem.  It doesn't seem to affect me on any other problems, but I can see how it might later on

highaltitudeflatulentexpulsion · · Colorado · Joined Oct 2012 · Points: 35

They don't stretch much, so it might help. You're still going to be stuck with a sub par shoe that you paid 30 extra dollars for. You'll only get 2 resoles max out of that brand. Seems like a poor return on investment.

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

That's the second time I've heard that about evolv.  Are they really that poorly, or cheaply, made.  That's really disappointing to hear because, while I've never owned a pair, the shamans are the only shoe that gives me a perfect fit at both my toes and heal.  I've only not bought them because of the synthetic material being known to not breathe well and smell.  

My instincts and vapors both fit great on my toes, but there is dead space in my heal.  And LS is way too narrow for me.  

Andrewww · · Concord, NH · Joined Mar 2014 · Points: 620

Yes, the split sizing is worth it. I have my Shamans split sized and they are the best fitting shoes I have. The construction on the new Shamans is very good and I have not had any issues and they are well into their 1st resole and I see no issues with them going onto many more. Just send them back to Evolv for resoles and they will come back like new as they remove and replace the entire front portion of the rubber, and they keep the original shape as Evolv has the forms for them because they make them there. 

If you want to talk about shoes that don't last and have poor construction let's talk about Sportiva. my Solutions only lasted about a month before the sole was peeling off the toe and needed a resole, now the right shoe split right in the middle of the arch. I have a friend who bought a pair of Katanas and right out of the box the sole was peeling off. 

Ken Noyce · · Layton, UT · Joined Aug 2010 · Points: 2,067
Baba Fats wrote:

That's the second time I've heard that about evolv.  Are they really that poorly, or cheaply, made.  That's really disappointing to hear because, while I've never owned a pair, the shamans are the only shoe that gives me a perfect fit at both my toes and heal.  I've only not bought them because of the synthetic material being known to not breathe well and smell.  

My instincts and vapors both fit great on my toes, but there is dead space in my heal.  And LS is way too narrow for me.  

I haven't tried the new shamans, but there is absolutely not another shoe on the market that comes anywhere near to fitting me as well as the old shamans.  In my experience, everything on the old shamans seems to be well made with the exception of the velcro straps.  The velcro just isn't sewn on very well and starts to come apart after some use.  Functionally, they are still fine, but they look kind of ghetto, and I haven't resoled any since I just stocked up when they went on closeout after introducing the new shamans.  From what I've heard, the velcro straps on the new shamans are better made than the old ones, so I don't think I'd worry too much about the build quality.

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Thanks ken and andrewww.  The only other gripe I have with the shamans is the direction of the Velcro.  They should the strapped down the other direction so the loop doesn't rub against rock.  That would significantly prolong the life of th shoe.  I'll try them and the Argos on again and see which I like more

anotherclimber · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Apr 2016 · Points: 70
Baba Fats wrote:

My instincts and vapors both fit great on my toes, but there is dead space in my heal.  And LS is way too narrow for me.  

My comment is slightly off topic...

If you have dead space in your heels, then you either didn't down size the shoe enough, or the shape of the shoe is incorrect for your foot. Toes should be comfortably crammed and snug at the front of the shoe with no dead space in the heels. For example, if we disregard the toe shape of 5.10's that doesn't fit my foot, they always have a giant amount of dead space in the heel for me. Down sizing doesn't fix it as I can't fit my foot in what is already a small shoe for me. This took me a long time to learn this. Plus if you have a weird shaped foot, it may take a lot of trying on different shoes no matter what you think of the brand or type to see what actually fits your foot. 

John Wilder · · Las Vegas, NV · Joined Feb 2004 · Points: 1,530

1) people who hate evolv or say they are really poorly made are usually referring to evolv from 3 to 5 years ago (or even longer). Evolv has come a long way in quality in recent years. The Nexxo and the Agro are really well made. The new Shaman is also on par, imho. 

2) I generally size to my larger foot, but I'm only off by 1/4 size. The extra money could be worth it if you're in constant pain, as you'll likely do long term damage to your foot. 

Good luck. 

Mike Brady · · Van Diesel, OR · Joined Jul 2014 · Points: 681
Baba Fats wrote:

Are they really that poorly, or cheaply, made.  

No.

bkozak · · Sterling, VA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 70
Baba Fats wrote:

That's the second time I've heard that about evolv.  Are they really that poorly, or cheaply, made.  That's really disappointing to hear because, while I've never owned a pair, the shamans are the only shoe that gives me a perfect fit at both my toes and heal.  I've only not bought them because of the synthetic material being known to not breathe well and smell.  

My instincts and vapors both fit great on my toes, but there is dead space in my heal.  And LS is way too narrow for me.  

No they are not bad quality.  You can find anyone talking crap about any product and tons of other people who love them.  I've seen lots of reviews for the La Sportiva TC pro that say they delaminate really quickly and those shoes cost nearly $200 and are touted as one of the best shoes.  In another completely anecdotal example, my pair of Evolv bandits ($72 "intermediate" shoe) just came back from their second resole and are still in great shape and will probably get at least two more, and I wear them a lot and have not been easy on them.  On the other side, my friend was debating whether he should get another pair of Miuras or get a 2nd resole because the upper rubber on his current pair is peeling off and the shoes aren't holding up very well.

So yes, they are good shoes.  

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

It's not that there is dead space behind my heel.  That fits fine.  It's dead space on the sides.  I apparently have really wide toes and a narrow heel.  So the depth of the instinct heel is great, but the width is too much.  I downsized a full size from my street shoe.  I could have squeezed into a 44, but then my toes were really cramped.  

I've tried LS, butora, 5.10, scarpa, and evolve.  They are the only brands I can find in stores or at the gym.  Like I said earlier, evolve was out for various reasons that I'm now learning weren't as founded as I thought.  Scarpa was the next best fit, so that's what I started sticking with

bkozak · · Sterling, VA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 70

Also, for the whole smell thing, I don't know who these people are that say their Evolvs smell like dead animals and that people around complain, but they must have disgusting foot odor to begin with.  Seriously.  I'm not the worlds best smelling person and I sweat a lot, but my bandits have never smelled really bad.  Nothing close to what people say about them.  Again, my friend who wears La Sportiva says his stink too.  You don't wear socks and you sweat in them.  No brainer that they smell.  From what people online say, you would think any shoe other than Evolv smells like roses.

AndrewArroz · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 10

I have a couple different Evolvs that I've used a lot. The only time I had a problem (toe split in first couple months) I sent them to Evolv and they freshly resoled the pair for free. 

Evan Gates · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Dec 2015 · Points: 0
Baba Fats wrote:

It's not that there is dead space behind my heel.  That fits fine.  It's dead space on the sides.  I apparently have really wide toes and a narrow heel.  So the depth of the instinct heel is great, but the width is too much. 

I fixed this problem with women's shoes. I found a pair of women's 5.10 rogues at an REI garage sale and they were the first pair of perfectly fitting climbing shoes for me. Unfortunately 5.10 stopped making that size. Apparently not many women who are buying climbing shoes have feet as large as mine.

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I've thought about women's shoes, but don't they make the toe more narrow along with the heel?  That would defeat what I'm looking for.  That and the size differences 

As for the smell, it also doesn't help if you leave you shoes in a hot car all the time.  I always take mine into the house and let them air out properly

cyclestupor · · Woodland Park, Colorado · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 93

Heck yes, split sizing is worth it.  A good fitting shoes is the most important thing.  Much more important than the latest gimmicky rand, midsole, closure... tech.  Evolvs are very reasonably priced, so the way I look at it, spending an extra $30 on split sized Shamans is still cheaper than the many other high performance shoes, and gives me a fit that will allow me to climb better than I would in more expensive non split-sized shoes.  I wish more companies would do split sizing.

 My feet are just a little over a 1/2 size difference.  Last year I bought a pair of split sized Luchadores, and they were the most comfortable pair of climbing shoes i have ever owned.  Unfortunately they were stolen from me before they needed a resole.  I would have bought another pair, but they were stolen right before a climbing trip, so I had to replace them fast.  I usually do the opposite of you and fit to my larger foot, because it has some sensitive spots that prevent me from sizing down.  So I normally have a bit of slop develop on my smaller right foot.  Having no slop in those Luchadores was definitely a noticeable improvement.

As for Evolv's quality, I have had no problems.  I also bought some Bandits long ago, and they still look like new despite the soles being completely shot.  I haven't had them resoled, but my guess is that they would hold up to multiple resoles.  Some people complain about them becoming stinky but I haven' noticed, maybe I don't have stinky feet.  The rubber on Evolv shoes does seem a bit softer than Vibram XS, but I didn't notice any major diff in edging or smearing performance.

Evolv's customer service is also excellent, they are responsive, courteous, and helpful.

Chase Horn · · Los Gatos, CA · Joined Oct 2016 · Points: 6

I was too lazy to read the full discussion so if I copy someone here... whoops.

Anyway, I live just about a 20 minute drive from the Evolv factory over here in sunny Southern California. Since moving down here I have fallen deeply in love with Evolv. Their innovative "adaptive foot" sort of exemplifies the integrity and general good juju I've come to expect from them. To the point now, Evolv will stretch any of their shoes up to a full size FOR FREE. My recommendation here is you buy a pair from them, wear them around a bit and if you need one a size bigger just send that one in to be stretched. I had to have my pair of Nexxos sized up and they fit great now and, as far as I could tell, it didn't change the dynamics of the shoes. Cheers!

bkozak · · Sterling, VA · Joined Jul 2016 · Points: 70
Chase Horn wrote:

I was too lazy to read the full discussion so if I copy someone here... whoops.

Anyway, I live just about a 20 minute drive from the Evolv factory over here in sunny Southern California. Since moving down here I have fallen deeply in love with Evolv. Their innovative "adaptive foot" sort of exemplifies the integrity and general good juju I've come to expect from them. To the point now, Evolv will stretch any of their shoes up to a full size FOR FREE. My recommendation here is you buy a pair from them, wear them around a bit and if you need one a size bigger just send that one in to be stretched. I had to have my pair of Nexxos sized up and they fit great now and, as far as I could tell, it didn't change the dynamics of the shoes. Cheers!

Seriously?  I had never seen that anywhere.  If that's the case I will totally send in my Luchadors.  Is it only available if you bought them directly through them?  

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

Cyclestupor, Where did you get split sizes cheaper?  No stores do it.  The only way I saw it happen was either at a demo or on their site.  So Shamans would end up being $195, compared to $180 for my Instincts.  Still not saying I don't think it's worth it, but it would be  just as, if not more expensive than all other high performance shoes.  If they are good, it's worth the money.  But I might have to do some serious saving since I just bought a new pair

cyclestupor · · Woodland Park, Colorado · Joined Mar 2015 · Points: 93
Baba Fats wrote:

Cyclestupor, Where did you get split sizes cheaper?  No stores do it.  The only way I saw it happen was either at a demo or on their site.  So Shamans would end up being $195, compared to $180 for my Instincts.  Still not saying I don't think it's worth it, but it would be  just as, if not more expensive than all other high performance shoes.  If they are good, it's worth the money.  But I might have to do some serious saving since I just bought a new pair

Good question.   I bought my luchadores directly from Evolv.  That is the only way to get split sizing.   I think they may have been having a sale at the time though.  A quick search through email...  Looks like I paid $170 for my luchadors. 

  I was thinking the Shamans are about $140 + $30 a well,  but I guess Evolv doesn't sell them for that cheap. 

Baba Fats · · Philadelphia, PA · Joined Aug 2016 · Points: 0

I've seen the old shamans for between $70 and $140.  But the newer ones are $160 across the board.  I haven't really noticed what brands do sales around the holidays.  

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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