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Evolv Hera Editorial Review

Submitted by vegastradguy on 2007-09-23 | Last Modified on 2007-09-27

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.   Votes: 8 | Comments: 0 | Views: 9549

by John Wilder

By Special Guest Reviewer Lazygirl

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Evolv's Hera- 1% of All Sales donated to the Hera Foundation!
Evolv's Hera- 1% of All Sales donated to the Hera Foundation. Photo: Evolv.

Just before I left for my summer road trip vegastradguy approached me about testing the Evolv Hera. Knowing Iíd be climbing enough to burn through the rubber on my regular shoes I welcomed the opportunity for an extra pair even though I was extraordinarily attached to the shoes I had.

Before I got the shoes, I regularly climbed in a few different sizes, 39.5 Ė 40.5, of the Montrail Zealots resoled in 5.10 rubber (I like to have a couple sizes in the same shoes because some days the Vegas heat makes my feet swell and some days it doesnít). I like shoes that work for technical sport climbing but are low profile enough that I can stick my toes in finger cracks as well, in other words, I need some versatility. They also need to breathe well because I canít stand the feeling of clammy feet.

I picked the shoes up from a post office in Colorado a few days into my trip and immediately headed to the rocks to test them out. When I opened the box my first thought was that they really didnít look like anything special. The design seemed simple enough, nothing flashy or funky, just a simple looking blue shoe. Little did I know...

I threw on the shoes for the first time at the bottom of a buddyís local sandstone crag. I slipped my feet in and thought I had sized them too large, but I soon realized that it was really their suppleness and flexibility, something you donít always find in a new pair of shoes. They fit like a pair Iíd been wearing for months.

This was the first time Iíve climbed in a pair of womenís specific shoes, and I immediately noticed the better fitting heel. It stayed snug as I moved my foot around and for the first time ever I felt like I could utilize a heel hook without feeling like my shoe was going to rip off my foot.

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Heel hooking on a sloping traverse with no problems!
A. Gomoll
Heel hooking on a sloping traverse with no problems! Photo: A. Gomoll.

Which leads me to the next best thing about these shoes... they want to hook things. Maybe it was just me experimenting with footwork but I really felt like these shoes were searching for things to hook onto. That first day in them I was finding the rubber on the top of the toe finding itself in all types of pockets helping me keep my body on the wall. A few days later I had the pleasure of giving them a go in Rifle. It was like having an extra pair of hands pulling me where I needed to go.

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Note the super toe rand that comes standard on the Hera. This allows for power toe hooking!
Note the super toe rand that comes standard on the Hera. This allows for power toe hooking. Photo: Evolv.

On edging climbs they were definitely up to par. The shoes breathed fairly well, and I never found myself unexpectedly rolling off of edges even on some of the toastier days. The suppleness did take some time to get used to, but once I did I found it very beneficial. The shoes were excellent for The City of Rocks where many of the climbs involve delicate slab climbing to technical, edgy faces. They also performed well on Squamish granite easily slipping into thin crack lines and clinging to the difficult slabs.

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Working a delicate boulder problem in Squamish
A. Gomoll
Working a delicate boulder problem in Squamish. Photo: A. Gomoll.

I did notice my feet working pretty hard sometimes; you do need a relatively strong foot for this shoe. However, expect Evolvís production Heraís to be a bit stiffer in the sole. If you prefer a softer sole, the Elektra may be an option.

Overall I was very impressed with the shoes performance. They were extremely versatile and even though they are advertised as a performance shoe for bouldering and sport climbing I found them just as good for trad cragging and multipitch lines. I hate sacrificing performance for the comfort found in an all day shoe and was pleased to find these working well for all my needs. I havenít had a problem with stretching, but it is difficult to judge because the dry climates I climb in usually lend themselves to just as much shrinking as stretching. As for the rubber it has worn very evenly, lasted a long time, and hasnít peeled at all (Iíll admit I had a friend who had a bad experience with the rubber a couple of years back, but Evolv clearly took care of the problem and I think I was the last to know). After the experience with these shoes I will definitely be using Evolv shoes on a regular basis and keeping an eye out for their new designs.

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Cranking out Neat and Cool, Squamish in the Heras
A. Gomoll
Cranking out Neat and Cool, Squamish in the Heras. Photo: A. Gomoll.

Editors Note:

The Hera shoe is part of Evolvís effort to give back to the community. 1% of all sales of this shoe will be donated to the Hera Foundation for research on curing ovarian cancer. For more information, please visit:

Go to this shoe in our Gear Database: here.

Full Disclosure: The company that manufactured this equipment provided it free of charge to and then provided it as compensation to the reviewer for his or her review.


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