Gear Review: Evolv HERA Climbing Shoes, the Shoes that Give Back
|The Hera shoes and I at Clark Creek |
Canyon in the Sierras. (J. Johnsen)
I entered my first outdoor bouldering competition this spring at the newly opened Pennsylvania mecca that is Governor Stable, and was awarded a pair of Evolv shoes after winning the women's beginner category. Andy is incredibly committed to supporting the local climbing community and as such, he donated at least five pairs of climbing shoes as prizes for the Meltdown comp, among other things. Having never worn Evolv shoes before, I tried on several pairs before finding my perfect match.
The first pair of I tried on were the Elektras. I've seen them all over the gym and at the crags, but with my high arch and narrow heel, they didn't fit my foot at all. I had to try on the Pontas because if Chris Sharma wears them, they have to be great shoes, right? They might be great shoes for men, but they were much too wide for me. Finally, I tried on the Heras, and it was just about a match made in climbing shoe heaven.
I've used them for indoor and outdoor bouldering as well as route climbing and they've performed well in every instance. The stiff sole makes them great for just about every type of climbing, and they come up high enough on my ankles for heel hooking. I did have a friend who owned them complain that the rubber wore out much too quickly, but I've had them for five months and haven't noticed any issues. (Andy explained that Evolv made some changes to the shoe's design after hearing that problem from a lot of climbers, and it seems they've fixed it!)
The only small issue I've noticed is that despite the perforated synthetic uppers, my feet sweat quite a bit in them. It doesn't affect the fit, but they do tend to get a little stinky. A dose of Friendly Foot after each use certainly helps with that.
Aside from the performance, the Hera shoes are truly special for a completely different reason - they are part of Evolv’s effort to give back to the community. 1% of all sales of this shoe are donated to the Hera Foundation for research on curing ovarian cancer. I love supporting brands that truly work to make a difference love that Evolv designed a shoe to help the Hera Foundation.
Huge thanks to East Ridge Outfitters for providing prizes for the competition! As always, all opinions expressed here are my own. Overall, I love the Evolv Heras. They're great, comfortable all-around shoes. Have you tried them out? Tell us in the comments!