From a Beginner: My Favorite Climbing Shoes (Evolv)

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Climbing Shoes for Beginners - Evolv Shoes for Women by Campfire Chic

 

Today I want to talk to you about the best (in my opinion) climbing shoes for beginners – specifically, for women looking to start climbing and bouldering.

I bought my first pair of climbing shoes in August of 2011 and bought my second pair for myself for Christmas 2012. I use them both to this day and I wanted to share more information about them both with you.

 
Why buy climbing shoes?

Climbing shoes are a great first investment when you start climbing at a gym (or outdoors, if your friends have all the necessary equipment) because renting each time you go can get pricey — Let’s say a day pass is $12 and shoe rental is $6…after going a few times and renting shoes, you’re halfway to a pair of the Elektra VTR shoes! After buying your shoes, you will have more money for you day pass (or monthly pass, should you decide to go often).

 

As somebody who doesn’t wear socks with her climbing shoes, you can imagine why I’m encouraging you to buy your own shoes. Yep, I went there.

I should also mention that climbing in your sneakers isn’t the best option, you’ll want to rent or buy climbing shoes. Climbing shoes have a sticky rubber on them that will help you stick to the wall/rock better and are tight enough on your feet that you will have better contact with whatever it is you are climbing at the time. With climbing shoes, you’ll be able to get a foothold on something you would otherwise not think you could stick to! Think of it as Spider-Man shoes!

 
Why these Evolv shoes?

The Elektra VTR (in purple above) and EVO (in blue above) shoes are fantastic entry-level and intermediate shoes because they are really well-made and have a fantastic price point…especially the Elektra VTRs. I’ve used both pairs in an indoor gym as well as outdoors on granite.

 

I love that both shoes have the climbing rubber surrounding most of the shoe…the EVOs have a higher heel, so there is even more climbing rubber back there. Having that sticky rubber all the way around helps keep you connected to the wall, and I feel that other entry-level shoes cut back on the amount of rubber on the shoe to cut down costs. More rubber = happy Kam.

 

It may just be me, but I prefer to wear shoes with 2-strap closure more than shoes with laces. While there is the rare instance that my straps will get momentarily-snagged on the rope while I belay, I feel more comfortable with straps than I do laces. Laces make me feel I don’t have good control over the tension in my shoe, and I have an irrational fear┬áthe laces will get caught on a hold/rock/anchor and I’ll die. Other people prefer laces (the Elektra VTR is available with laces for about the same price as the 2-strap), so try out both types before purchasing your first pair.

 

I’m not saying that Evolv isn’t for elite athletes, it totally is! Heck, Chris Sharma developed one of the top Evolv shoes – the Shaman (mens and womens). I just wanted to share two great options for beginners that are awesome and at a great price point.

 

Shoes discussed in this post:

 

So there you have it!
 
If you’re in the market for an inexpensive-but-awesome climbing shoe, I hope you consider Evolv!
 

What was your first pair of climbing shoes?

If you’re looking to buy your first pair,
what are you looking for in climbing shoes?

 

 

 

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Climbing Review

{ 2 comments… add one }

  • Rachel June 6, 2013, 11:13 am

    Love this. I climbed for about 4 years before purchasing my own pair (though to be fair, I started climbing pretty young so I didn’t want to outgrow them, I also took a break from climbing after a broken wrist). I love having my own shoes.
    I have La Sportiva’s Mythos shoes (http://www.rei.com/product/694900/la-sportiva-mythos-rock-shoes-womens) and I adore them. A little more pricey, but mine were a Christmas gift a few years ago. I like having laces because I feel like a get a more custom fit from tightening them, but I can see the worry of them catching on something too.
    For a while I was climbing in Vibram FiveFinger shoes. Nope. Terrible idea, I don’t know what I was thinking.

    Reply
    • Kam June 14, 2013, 7:23 am

      Are your shoes that pretty mint color, too? I’ve only tried laces with rental shoes…and you know how weird rentals feel! Maybe I’ll find a gently used pair at the next REI sale to get a better feel for them. I like the idea of a more custom fit, but thankfully my feet are so small (size 6!) that the two velcro-straps are plenty…and they even hang over a bit, I need to get them adjusted :S

      Reply

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