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bri-man
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Sep 18, 2003, 5:19 PM
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Help request from EVOLV climbing shoes
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We are almost finished developing two women specific climbing shoes with a narrower fit and lower profile. (phoenix and rockstar) http://www.evolvesports.com/evoproducts.htm

We would love to have your input and ideas to finalize these shoes and get ideas for future models.

1. What are the key shoe fit factors you look for? width? ankle bone area? heel rand tension? comfort?
2. Granted that the shoes fit you well, does the color matter?
3. If you could choose your own color, what color (or color combination) would you like? What color would you avoid?
4. Our Phoenix is currently a fire-orange and Rockstar is lime with fire-orange. Good? Ok? Bad?
5. We've gotten many requests from both U.S. and overseas for the velcro shoe to be pink. We made a sample and showed it around and got responses like "They're awesome" to "I wouldn't get them just because they're pink" Thumbs up or down?

Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!


iamthewallress


Sep 18, 2003, 5:44 PM
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Re: Help request from EVOLV climbing shoes [In reply to]
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In reply to:
We are almost finished developing two women specific climbing shoes with a narrower fit and lower profile. (phoenix and rockstar) http://www.evolvesports.com/evoproducts.htm

Mad Rock is already calling their shoe the Phoenix. They might give you some static if they've trademarked the name.

In reply to:
1. What are the key shoe fit factors you look for? width? ankle bone area? heel rand tension? comfort?

Stiff-ish but thin sole, narrow toe box, narrow width, ankle bone area does not slice me by coming right up to the bone, not too much dead space in the heal cup, laces tight through the instep, sweet spot under the balls of the feet (like moccasyms) instead of way at the front point (like mythos).

In reply to:
2. Granted that the shoes fit you well, does the color matter?

Yes, but not for fashion. Dark shoes that make your feet feel like they are on fire all day are the work of the devil. Who cares if light ones look beat in a hurry? At least they aren't so dang hot!

In reply to:
3. If you could choose your own color, what color (or color combination) would you like? What color would you avoid?

I would choose white or tan and avoid black.

In reply to:
4. Our Phoenix is currently a fire-orange and Rockstar is lime with fire-orange. Good? Ok? Bad?

OK (neither dark nor light.)

Why all of this emphasis on color and not more on performance? That's my #1 gripe w/ the "women's specific" shoes no the market. They are at best mid-level models with respect to performance. (Perhaps excepting the Scarpa Dominatrix). They seem to be less about giving women improved performance by taking the best shoes and making them narrower, and more about making the mediocre shoes have chic colors and women-oriented names.

In reply to:
5. We've gotten many requests from both U.S. and overseas for the velcro shoe to be pink. We made a sample and showed it around and got responses like "They're awesome" to "I wouldn't get them just because they're pink" Thumbs up or down?

Again, I'm getting a bit offended with every question about color that I read. Ask me about stiffness, toe box, type of climbing that I do. Something that MATTERS.

Coloring a mediocre shoes pink will not make me climb harder! Good shoes that fit properly, provide support, and let me get my toes into narrow crack will!


Partner missedyno


Sep 18, 2003, 6:40 PM
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Re: Help request from EVOLV climbing shoes [In reply to]
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In reply to:
1. What are the key shoe fit factors you look for? width? ankle bone area? heel rand tension? comfort?

width is one, i've met a lot of girls that have the good ol' normal sized foot, narrow heel thing going on.
another huge factor is the heel cup. for instance, i've heard so much about boreal stingers, but the heel cup is too deep for me. rest of the shoe fits well, but that pressure at the back of my foot... owie.
toe box sizing is great too. i'm not sure how you can narrow this down by gender....

In reply to:
2. Granted that the shoes fit you well, does the color matter?


not really. history shows that i seem to go for brighter colours but let me tell you i love my katanas so much for fit and performance, they could put zebra stripes and pom poms and i'd keep on wearing them

In reply to:
3. If you could choose your own color, what color (or color combination) would you like? What color would you avoid?

i'm going with iamthewallress on this one. question 2 is a valid question, about color mattering or not. this question? see #2. sorry, but you won't please everyone.

In reply to:
4. Our Phoenix is currently a fire-orange and Rockstar is lime with fire-orange. Good? Ok? Bad?
um, sure. how do they work? what are the styles? what sort of performance are they for? overhangs? sport? how do they smear and/or edge?

In reply to:
5. We've gotten many requests from both U.S. and overseas for the velcro shoe to be pink. We made a sample and showed it around and got responses like "They're awesome" to "I wouldn't get them just because they're pink" Thumbs up or down?

i'm personally not a fan of pink, but hey if you're marketing the shoe to women wouldn't it be cute if they were pink? so we can always remember that we're chicks? see questions on #4 above :)


crazygirl


Sep 18, 2003, 6:46 PM
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Re: Help request from EVOLV climbing shoes [In reply to]
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why pink?

but anyway, my ideal shoe would be a cross between sportiva mythos and 5.10 diamonds. straight toe, no arch, thin sensitive sole, please. that's my wish list.

as far as colors, Phoenix is OK, but Rockstar is a little too obnoxious.


enigma


Sep 18, 2003, 7:15 PM
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Re: Help request from EVOLV climbing shoes [In reply to]
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My most comfortable is 5.10 diamonds, I also like the color black, it goes with everything. Unfortunately there no longer made, but I've had those shoes resoled either 2 or 3 times. I like the cushiony part in the inside.
I personally would'nt buy a pink shoe, they would look so dirty so quick. You have to remember if you use light colors there probably more for gym climbing, so design with that in mind.
Seems like women climbers who are using there shoes for outside and inside would need at least two different styles, and perhaps colors. :idea:
Hey, Brian,if you give a pair a shoes away,you could get more women into this marketing/focus group.
You know:
it is usually paid by companies for about 100 dollars. Just a thought :wink:


bri-man
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Re: Help request from EVOLV climbing shoes [In reply to]
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Ok, I better clarify a few things....

We put all of our major emphasis on fit and performance first because we know that it's the most important aspect. We've gotten so much feedback on that already that we based it on what climbers told us over the years.

The Phoenix (name might be changed), is a performance non-stretch synthetic velcro shoe similar to our kaos and has a thin sole, narrow toe width, low heel volume, low cut around the ankle, low volume toe area, with sling shot rand. The Rockstar has a thin sole, but slightly stiffer than Phoenix, with same width and fit, but has a slightly less tensioned heel rand for more comfort and all-around climbing. We've tested them over a few months and made additional changes like lowering it around the ankle even more and adjusting heel tension. So, yes, fit and performance were our first priority and we've done our best to address the wish-list that we compiled over the years. Please feel free to add more suggestions to fit and performance issues if not addressed above already.

I apologize if asking about colors seemed offensive, but I hope this clarifies that color was our last remaining variable... Might as well have a shoe color that's not lame. So, light colors for sure, but what colors? Several companies have white and the shoes would look too similar.


iamthewallress


Sep 18, 2003, 7:35 PM
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In reply to:
You have to remember if you use light colors there probably more for gym climbing.

Unless you put the functionality of your shoes over the fashion aspect. Black shoes feel like meteors after a long day on hot rocks.


katydid


Sep 18, 2003, 7:41 PM
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1. What are the key shoe fit factors you look for? width? ankle bone area? heel rand tension? comfort?

Yes to all. I have AA feet with (get this) AAAA heels. (Average width for women is B.) The most recent pair of shoes I bought (La Sportiva Women's Mythos) I had to size down 3 sizes from street just to get them to fit in the width/heel.

I can't wear men's shoes at all, because the heel comes up too high and kills my Achilles' tendons. Arch support's also a major factor for me, and whether I can lace tightly without killing my insteps (S-curve lacing ROCKS!).

Luckily I took enough ballet when I was younger that I'm willing to put up with a bit of toe-squash-age for width fit, but, truthfully, I'd rather not.

2. Granted that the shoes fit you well, does the color matter?

I'd prefer something lighter colored so my feet don't roast to death on hot days. But not that awful light blue that makes you look like you're wearing rental shoes, PLEASE!

3. If you could choose your own color, what color (or color combination) would you like? What color would you avoid?

See above. I wouldn't mind something really obnoxious, like fluorescent yellow.

4. Our Phoenix is currently a fire-orange and Rockstar is lime with fire-orange. Good? Ok? Bad?

Fine by me.

5. We've gotten many requests from both U.S. and overseas for the velcro shoe to be pink. We made a sample and showed it around and got responses like "They're awesome" to "I wouldn't get them just because they're pink" Thumbs up or down?

Me, I'd pass on pink, unless it was day-glo. Otherwise it's simply too stereotypically "girly".

k.


iamthewallress


Sep 18, 2003, 7:42 PM
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In reply to:
Ok, I better clarify a few things....

Thanks!

In reply to:
I apologize if asking about colors seemed offensive, but I hope this clarifies that color was our last remaining variable... Might as well have a shoe color that's not lame. So, light colors for sure, but what colors? Several companies have white and the shoes would look too similar.

Well...I know some narrow footed guys who have bought shoes marketed towards women. If you make them too girly (pink or with some kind of cutey-pie design), they will probably be scared off.

I remember the Steph Davis Gold Lame' Zlipper. That was probably the only time that the look of a climbing shoe would have kept me from even trying it on.

I honestly don't care what my climbing shoes look like. The Mad Rock pheonixes are light yellow...sort of already the color of dirt, so even though they are light, they don't look too cruddy after they've been out. Apliques and what not that look snazzy but tend to peel off and catch on stuff. (I'm thinking of Aces here...) Shoes that leave dye on my feet, although I continue to by them because the are my favorite fit, are kind of annoying.


dalguard


Sep 18, 2003, 8:46 PM
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I don't care what my shoes look like either except that black is bad as Melissa has already pointed out and I'd be more annoyed by pink than attracted. I wonder why rock shoes have to look so much like bowling shoes anyway.

The most common problem I have with shoes is the back of the heel of the shoe cutting into the back of my heel, so a low heel would be nice. Velcro that was sized to the shoe size would be nice too. Why does 5.10 give you an extra six inches of velcro to flop around? I think they cut the same size piece of velcro no matter the size of the shoe. You could learn from that mistake.


sroehlk


Sep 18, 2003, 9:55 PM
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This is kind of earthy and not too girly.

http://www.colorvoodoo.com/cvgifs/cv3demo.gif


climbsomething


Sep 19, 2003, 9:32 AM
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It's cool Brian, I understand that you had the important stuff down (fit) and were looking for input on the more superficial details (color). It's all shoes, it's all good! How I love to talk shoe :twisted:

'wallress made a good point: female-specific shoes are hit and miss when it comes to performance. My old 5.10 Diamonds are comfy, but they're just not very technical- too clunky, too sloppy. Fine for multi-pitch or mellow routes where precise foot work isn't a big deal, but they rarely see action outside of the single digits. They're my beater shoes that I pull out when I think the need for comfort far outweighs the need for precision. The rags have said similar about their successor, the Sapphire. So if you could market a true high-performance shoe, like something with the vroom-vroom performance of the Anasazis, but tailored to a woman's foot, you could really work a niche! The climbing ladies would thank you :)

Looks like your Velcro model would be the higher-performance of the two shoes. They're also novel in that they're Velcro; all the female-specific climbing shoes I have seen till now (except the 5.10 ladies' Zlipper, which I think has been discontinued) have been lace-ups. Being able to extend my laziness into not even having to tie my shoes would be a nice bonus :P

Since you've come seeking advice on color, I'll gladly talk color:

Rockstar- uhh, yeah, the neon orange and green certainly is unique, but not quite my cup of tea. I am loud enough on my own :P Might I suggest a tan/creme and blue color scheme? Tan for the main part of the shoe, dusty blue for the lacing area. Light colors are practical if you plan to climb under the sun... and I just like that color combo :P

Phoenix- I am neutral to the orange, although, Melissa did make a good catch- Phoenix is already the name of a MadRock shoe. And FWIW, MadRock also has an orange Velcro slipper, the Flash, that looks a lot like your Phoenix. So while orange is no biggy to me either way, maybe to make it more unique you could go for another color... I also like a muted green color (like the right side of sroehlk's diagram thingy, since I see it here and all :) ) And for a name, if you were to change it, I'd vote for calling it the Athena ;) Athena was definitely a strong woman! My favorite of all the Olympian gods (I even named my cat Athena!) heheh

Hope I am helpful, B.

ooh, too much fun! SHOESHOESHOES.

shoes4lyfe!

Love,

Imelda M. 8)


climbsomething


Sep 19, 2003, 10:05 AM
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What can I say... I'm an insomniac and a dork ;)

I tinkered a bit with the images of the prototypes and made this crude rendition of the color schemes I suggested:

http://hillarydavis.com/images/evolveshoes.jpg

Yeeeeeeeeah 8)


kimmyt


Sep 19, 2003, 11:51 AM
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I like the blue one better than the green....all the rental shoes at the place I climb look just like the green one.

K.


enigma


Sep 20, 2003, 7:16 AM
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In reply to:
What can I say... I'm an insomniac and a dork ;)

I tinkered a bit with the images of the prototypes and made this crude rendition of the color schemes I suggested:

http://hillarydavis.com/images/evolveshoes.jpg

Yeeeeeeeeah 8)

You know as unbelievable as it might sound, you might actually have a chance of making a living on your own.
Hmmn, maybe fashion design, climbsomething? :idea:


bri-man
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Dear all,

Thank you so much for the valuable feedback on women specific shoes. We thought our list of features was complete, but you helped add a few more characteristics. Here's a summary: narrow everywhere(forefoot, arch, heel), thin sole, low cut all-around, adjustable length velcro, no achilles digging, light colors, thin toe height for cracks.

We've tried to lower those areas as much as possible for comfort without sacrificing performance. It's a fine balance between lowering the upper around the ankle bone and adjusting heel rand tension to make them comfortable while at the same time making sure that those areas are high enough that the shoes feel supportive and won't slip off when heel hooking.

One more question:
How about the inside lining? Cotton or Nylon? Here are the characteristics:
1. Cotton (think of boreal zen or anasazi velcro lining):
stretch resistant and maintains fit, sweat absorbing but more prone to retaining odor.
2. Nylon (think of the 5.10 diamond lining): plush, slightly more giving
and comfortable, but still stretch resistant since the upper is synthetic.
Perhaps cotton on the velcro performance one and nylon on the all-arounder?

Well, one last question:
Pull-tabs. They shoes have two right now: one directly behind the heel and another to the inside of the heel. How important is it to have two tabs? It's easier to put the shoes on with two, but the second one may or may not cause irritation to some people.

Thanks for the cool photoshop renditions. That's pretty awesome. I like the off-white/light blue lace-up, but the velcro color reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream(which might be good :wink: ) but somewhat rental shoe-like.

We're definitely going with light colors to avoid toasting your feet. So, the current orange on the velcro is out which means we'll be changing the name of the shoe from Phoenix to ____??____.. something else...

Thanks again everyone!!

B.


climbsomething


Sep 22, 2003, 8:24 AM
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You know as unbelievable as it might sound, you might actually have a chance of making a living on your own.
Hmmn, maybe fashion design, climbsomething? :idea:
Why would I want to join the rat race? Then I wouldn't have time for the finer things in life, like

---rockclimbing road trips,solo :!:

But yes, my shoe designs are rad. They may be my secret to success. They can help you rockclimb,to 5.10b, and they're so sexy, they'll make all your climbing partners want to date you!! :idea:


iamthewallress


Sep 22, 2003, 4:53 PM
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Hi, Brian.

Thanks for the updates. Here are mine...

I like unlined. (Is that a choice?)

Two tabs is much easier to get on. I've never noticed irritation.

For an "all-arounder" shoe (that usually implies long trad climbs more than bouldering, gym, or sport to me), comfort is more important than heel-hooking performance, IMO. I heel hook about twice a year, but I come home with blisters weekly.

Melissa


enigma


Sep 22, 2003, 6:44 PM
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In reply to:
In reply to:

You know as unbelievable as it might sound, you might actually have a chance of making a living on your own.
Hmmn, maybe fashion design, climbsomething? :idea:
Why would I want to join the rat race? Then I wouldn't have time for the finer things in life, like

---rockclimbing road trips,solo :!:

But yes, my shoe designs are rad. They may be my secret to success. They can help you rockclimb,to 5.10b, and they're so sexy, they'll make all your climbing partners want to date you!! :idea:

Well one day, just maybe you'll want to be able to stand on your own two feet.
Being self-sufficient , and not having to depend on your parents and others feels pretty damn good.
I was actually giving you a compliment in regard to the shoe designs.
I went to a gifted art school where many students were involved with fashion design.
You might be able to do pretty well if you can focus, and let go of the attitude. :roll:


climbsomething


Sep 22, 2003, 6:49 PM
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In reply to:
One more question:
How about the inside lining? Cotton or Nylon? Here are the characteristics:
1. Cotton (think of boreal zen or anasazi velcro lining):
stretch resistant and maintains fit, sweat absorbing but more prone to retaining odor.
2. Nylon (think of the 5.10 diamond lining): plush, slightly more giving
and comfortable, but still stretch resistant since the upper is synthetic.
Perhaps cotton on the velcro performance one and nylon on the all-arounder?
Well, I'd like unlined too, but because your shoes have synthetic uppers you need lining, right? In which case, I'd go for cotton/canvas on both. The nylon in my Diamonds is plush but it tends to get slippery when my feet get a little sweaty.

In reply to:
Well, one last question:
Pull-tabs. They shoes have two right now: one directly behind the heel and another to the inside of the heel. How important is it to have two tabs? It's easier to put the shoes on with two, but the second one may or may not cause irritation to some people.
Pull tabs are something you kinda take for granted ;) I always use the second tab, and it never irritates me. Just as long as the stitching isn't right against the skin... put it under the liner.

In reply to:
Thanks for the cool photoshop renditions. That's pretty awesome. I like the off-white/light blue lace-up, but the velcro color reminds me of mint chocolate chip ice cream(which might be good :wink: ) but somewhat rental shoe-like.

We're definitely going with light colors to avoid toasting your feet. So, the current orange on the velcro is out which means we'll be changing the name of the shoe from Phoenix to ____??____.. something else...

Thanks again everyone!!

B.
:mrgreen: well, win some lose some

OK, how about powder blue instead of orange? (in keeping with the light colors). And names? I toldja! Athena! :D or maybe the Betty? (ya know, "climbing Betty..." Betty as in girl) :)


bri-man
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Yes, our shoes must be lined since they're synthetic.
The nylon lining does have the disadvantage of slipping when the shoes
get sweaty. I didn't mention that so I wouldn't influence your feedback, but I'm glad you mentioned it. Wow, you must be a shoe expert! :)

So, it seems that non-slip is preferred over plush. I'll wait to hear some more feedback before deciding.

Hillary, is the base color of the lace-up beige with a light blue trim?
or is it off-white or a silght tint of yellow? Maybe we should just use the same colors for both shoes and mix the base and support trim. both light colors and earthtone.


dalguard


Sep 22, 2003, 11:22 PM
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Hm. I like unlined too because the shoes seem to stretch to fit your feet better. Which lining will conform better?


climbsomething


Sep 23, 2003, 12:38 AM
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In reply to:
Wow, you must be a shoe expert! :)
Yes, yes I am. Sick, isn't it? :roll: ;)

In reply to:
Hillary, is the base color of the lace-up beige with a light blue trim?
or is it off-white or a silght tint of yellow? Maybe we should just use the same colors for both shoes and mix the base and support trim. both light colors and earthtone.
Beige, a light beige. Like the color of the older 5.10 Huecos that had the funky fat heel thingy.

SHOES!!!!1


iamthewallress


Sep 23, 2003, 12:56 AM
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In reply to:
Beige, a light beige. Like the color of the older 5.10 Huecos that had the funky fat heel thingy.

SHOES!!!!1

Hillary...Did you ever see the Red Chili Sausolito's? They felt kind of like work boots on my feet, but I thought that they were the best looking shoe that I've seen. Brown suede...no gaudy colors.


climbsomething


Sep 23, 2003, 4:32 AM
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Registered: May 30, 2002
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Re: Help request from EVOLV climbing shoes [In reply to]
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Beige, a light beige. Like the color of the older 5.10 Huecos that had the funky fat heel thingy.

SHOES!!!!1

Hillary...Did you ever see the Red Chili Sausolito's? They felt kind of like work boots on my feet, but I thought that they were the best looking shoe that I've seen. Brown suede...no gaudy colors.
Of course I have ;) The mustard color wasn't faaaabulous but then I didn't like the shoe anyway. Too stiff. But overall, Red Chili makes some snazzy-lookin' shoes. Their stripes are a nice touch.

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