Gear Review: Evolv Cruzer


If you’re a manufacturer setting out to produce a high-end approach shoe, there’s a fairly simple equation to follow: sticky rubber plus burly soles with a dash of ankle support. It can be difficult to get it wrong, but many do. Indeed, most iterations of the approach shoe are eerily similar to one another. Some break the mold. But there are certain things to keep in mind when considering which pair of approach shoes to throw down on. Chief among your considerations should be the shoes intended usage. Scrambling involved in most of your approaches? Get a burly, tight fitting approach shoe. Loose scree and roots clogging your approaches? Check for ankle support.

Or perhaps your approaches are predominantly on simple, well-manicured trails. You’re used to Conservation Corp amenities, like stairs and rope railings. Maybe you frequent outdoor-climbing-gyms like Rumney. If the above stipulations are true for yourself, we’ve discovered the approach shoe of your dreams. Enter the Evolv Cruzer, a hybrid approach/camp/casual shoe that will prove to be among the most versatile pairs of kicks that you own.

Let’s start with the rubber. Evolve employs their patented TRAX rubber on the sole and toe, keeping you upright when things get slick, while a collapsible heel quickly converts your approach shoe into the perfect in-between-pitches, chill-out shoe. This heel feature also makes hangin’ around the fire especially comforting. Walking off the top of a route? Clip these featherweight kicks to your harness, and avoid the painful stumble that is walking down a trail in climbing shoes or naked feet. The Cruzer is also an incredible comfortable casual shoe, fit for jaunts around town. Pair with skinny jeans. No. Please don’t do that.

As mentioned before, purchasing approach shoes requires some recognition of their intended usage. Do not use the Cruzers as a hefty, workhorse approach shoe. The canvas body of the shoe induces rolled ankles, and offers little support for your delicate climber cankles.

That being said, if you’re looking for a versatile, semi-casual approach shoe, look no further than the Evolv Cruzer. If you’re reading this review, you’re already halfway winning.

About the Author: Newly graduated and painfully jobless, Taylor VanRoekel often refers to himself as a native Vermonter, despite only having lived in the Green Mountain State for a mere couple months. A Midwestern boy at heart, Taylor cut his teeth on the slick quartzite of Devil’s Lake, Wisconsin, where the cams slip and the climbs are short. Taylor enjoys poorly fly-fishing, moderate trad climbs and eating Chinese food.

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