Rock & Ice Evolv Defy VTR Review << Prev | Next >>

Evolv Defy VTR 

Price:   $89
Sizes:   US: (M) 4-13
Unisex Fit:   1
Women's Fit:   0
Closure Type:   Velcro
Stifness:   Soft
Last:   Asymmetrical,Flat
Lined:   1
Uses:   Bouldering,Gym,Sport
Rubber:   4.2mm TRAX
Upper Material:  
New This Year:   0

Manufacturer says:

Like the Defy but with lace-up closure, the Defy VTR offer comfort, fit, versatility and value with a more adjustable lace-up fit for long days on the rock. Whether for training and for an entry point into quality high performance climbing shoes, the Defy VTR offer extended wear and sensitivity to climbers of all levels.

Editor's Review

Consumer Reviews

Joshua Rian Heath commented on 05-Nov-2013 10:21 AM3 out of 5 stars
For the price, these are a pretty good deal for beginner climbers, and those looking to get their own shoes for the crag or gym who don't want to make a huge investment in shoes. These are what I would consider all-arounders, in that they are serviceable on most terrain, but they excel on vertical terrain more than overhanging.

The downside to them is that you will find out pretty quickly what parts of your toe you favor -- I wore a hole through both shoes in about 4 months of climbing 3-5 times a week. That said, I've seen people absolutely crush in these shoes at Smith Rock, so there's something to be said about shoes that aren't 'specialized' but merely provide a sticky sole for good, strong feet.

I would recommend these if you just want to get shoes, but don't necessarily aspire to overhangs or boulders right away -- that and they look pretty snazzy!

The two complaints I've heard in talking to buddies:
-The rubber wears through
-The placement of the buckles can make toe hooks a little painful at times.
Noah Simcoff commented on 05-Nov-2013 02:28 PM3 out of 5 stars
Im hard pressed to think of a better beginner all/around shoe. Its comfortable and has straps so getting in/out and walking around a gym is no painful struggle. Its also relatively inexpensive so its a good shoe for someone just getting started who isnt ready to commit to a more expensive shoe.

The cons:
-It wears out, especially in front of the big toe and the inside edges.
-Its not very breathable, so if you have smelly feet (like yours truly) brace yourself for some new smells you werent even aware you could produce!
-Placement of the metal buckle makes toe hooking a pain at times.
-Its not particularly aggressive, so not great for overhands or 30s/45s.

If you are looking for a good beginner shoe tho, this is the way to do
Alison Osius commented on 11-Nov-2013 01:17 PM4 out of 5 stars
What?! I had no idea until looking at our Gear Guide today that the evolv Defy is only $89. An economy shoe!

My pair came my way by accident, a spare pair when Rock and Ice reviewed these shoes three years ago. I’ve been wearing them ever since. Not solely—rather, working them in with other shoes—but often, like all day last Saturday.

An all-arounder that is mainly for sport routes and is great in the gym, the shoe is perfect for me. My toes have boxed in climbing shoes and ski boots for so long it hurts just to look at the downturned performance shoe sitting over there on the intern’s desk. The Defy is non-aggressive, thankfully, with a nice and snug but comfortable fit. The soles feel soft and sensitive. I can wear the shoes for single routes or all day on a multipitch.

On my foot, which is narrow, they fit a bit wide, so I have to keep yarding the hook-and-loop systems down, but that is my only issue.

I do hear and read from others that the rubber wears down and people tend to blow out the toes. The toes on my shoes are still smooth and sound, though. For me the sign of wear is that on one shoe, the rubber sole in two spots is starting to gap away from the upper. But it has been three years, leading me to wonder whether part of the more common toe problem is that these affordable shoes are good starters, often used by people not yet practiced in their footwork. Still, they got their money’s worth.

Great value. And if the shoe is your second string, you could save your expensive ones for sending, and use these for the gym and anything else.
William Brown commented on 10-Dec-2013 03:51 PM3 out of 5 stars
For the price they are awesome. Perfect for new climbers. Nice flat shape that won't kill your toes.
Josh Harrison commented on 06-Mar-2014 07:21 PM4 out of 5 stars
For the price point these shoes can't be beat. This comes from someone who has tried many entry-level offerings from shoe companies. I find the flexibility of these shoes really great, especially for slabby climbs or multi-pitch climbing on easy terrain. I feel flexibility in a shoe is a boon for newer climbers because it forces one to develop foot strength as well as consciously use your foot to grasp at holds. This is opposed to shoes that force your toebox into a grasping position, or shoes that are rigid enough to facilitate standing on tiny holds. The downside to this shoe is it sucks at heel-hooks. I like having a pair around for gym climbing too, so I don't wear out my more expensive shoes.
Dylan Connole commented on 07-Mar-2014 04:55 PM2 out of 5 stars
Even with the flat shape, these were very painful and did not fit my foot well.
Samuel Cody commented on 07-Mar-2014 06:38 PM3 out of 5 stars
Very basic climbing shoe for the beginner climber. A good all around shoe for bouldering, sport and traditional climbing.
Jordan Kessler commented on 14-Mar-2014 12:48 PM4 out of 5 stars
Great beginner shoe at a fair price. Their comfortable enough for all day wear and the wife likes them alot.
Leighton Brew commented on 28-Mar-2014 12:12 PM3 out of 5 stars
Decent all around shoe and a good price. Great for beginners. I have a slightly more comfortable fitting pair in my shoe quiver for endurance training and cold weather drytooling (I can fit a sock liner in for a little warmth).
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Evolv Defy VTR