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With an ever evolving technical product such as a climbing shoe, it is often hard to wade through all of the hype to find something that can feel so good when it feels so bad. The Evolv Geshido SC (SC=Sport Climbing) is a shoe designed as a Jack-of-all-trades sport climbing shoe. Which Evolv seems to believe that if you only owned one shoe this should be it, and for the most part we agree.
The Geshido SC is built around a new last that incorporates a slightly down turned toe for more aggressive edging and a multidirectional triple strap closure that really sucks the shoe onto your foot. While testing this shoe out I followed the advice of the Evolv site and was pleased when bouldering and sending mildly overhanging routes, I was particularly pleased when I was faced with edging sequences and the Geshido SC's did a great job. I must admit that the fit was rough during the duration and because of the cut of the upper on the transition between the rubber and the leather over the toe of the shoe. I had to battle a bit of pain on the knuckle of my big toe and even after a few months of use I am still making quite the impression on my flesh with every use. The more I think about it though I could probably have avoided this if I had jammed my feet into an even smaller size (I dropped 1/2 size and should have gone down a full size) which would have fully stretched out the shoe and avoided the issue all together…I think.
The rand features a slightly down turned toe that doesn't seem to have the rigidity to hold the angle and when I would walk around the shoe would flatten out completely. This flattening out is allowed by a divot under the ball of the foot that while it tensions nicely when not fully weighting the length of the shoe, it does allow more of a pocket to cup the rock on overhanging routes. In the laced version of the Geshido this flattening out would be welcome should you jump on multi-pitch climbs while dealing with standing belays. (The laced Geshido features a half length 1 mm insole as opposed to the full length mid found in the SC).
The midsole of the shoe is bomber and combined with the triple strap closure this shoe fits like the famous O.J. glove and I really liked how snug I could get the shoe on my foot and I thought that this was one of the best midsole fitting shoes I have ever tried. I want to warn you that this shoe is narrow, fortunately I have narrow feet and it made me happy that these fit so well. I truly hope Evolv sticks with this design, because it rocks.
As for the rubber, with any new rubber it takes a bit of time to get the sheen off and allow the tack of the rubber to stick. Plastic holds in a gym are not the way to do it, and with the weather being gnarly while I was breaking these in it took a good bit of climbing before they would stick, but now they are golden and the Trax rubber is actually lasting through a fair amount of abuse.
The heel on this shoe felt snug and I never felt any of the slide that some past Evolv shoes have suffered from, the heel cup is fairly snug and while it could have been a bit more so combining it with the strap closure and midsole really worked out well in the finished product.
If you are a novice to intermediate climber looking to up your game and you spend the majority of your time on sport routes or on boulders than this shoe can open the door to more aggressive footwork and hopefully aid in your climbing skill progression.