December usually turns my attention towards ski season, but winter has been slow to come to Idaho this year. Instead of sliding down hills, I’ve been climbing in a t-shirt, belaying in a puffy, and taking advantage of the diverse nature of the Black Cliffs to test out the new Evolv Geshido.
As anyone who has climbed at the Cliffs can tell you, if you want to send, you had better bring your feet. The columnar basalt offers everything from technical face holds and smearing, to cracks and overhanging roofs. To climb well here, you need a shoe that can do it all, on a variety of styles.
The Geshido, as I’ve found, is just that shoe, somehow climbing like both a bouldering slipper AND a trad shoe at the same time. It kept my foot in a downturned position while climbing under and over roofs, and then flattened out while pressing into technical face moves and smears. Also, the downturned last was surprisingly comfortable at second pitch belays, and I was shocked to find that it was not painful to jam into cracks.
The versatility of the Geshido is accomplished through its unique VTR3D variable thickness rand and concave plastic midsole. The sole of the shoe is thicker and thinner at strategic points, which allows it to switch from a downturned shape to a flatter last with minimal pressure. There is a noticeable concave divot in the rand located at the ball of the foot, which keeps the toes in a downturned position but can be easily depressed to straighten it out. A plastic midsole gives the shoe solid support for crack climbing and standing belays.
Departing from their synthetic standard, Evolv gave this shoe a real leather upper that molds and stretches to your foot. This is good news for people who like their shoes to feel like old friends, but bad for the vegetarians out there. In fact, I know many people who choose Evolv shoes because they have traditionally been made of synthetic material, instead of dead animals, so this shoe might not appeal to them. Another thing that might turn some heads is the price. The Geshido retails for $135, which is a bit on the high side from other shoes in the line, especially for those of us not buying their shoes at pro-deal prices.
That being said, if you are looking for a versatile shoe that excels at all types of climbing, and you’re not afraid to throw down some dough, the Geshido should be your next climbing shoe (assuming you’re not a vegetarian, of course!) It’s certainly become my shoe of choice for the Black Cliffs in Boise, and I’m psyched to get it out to other climbing areas soon.
For more info and tech specs, check out the Evolv website.
Jeff Cole is based in Boise, Idaho. His climbing travels have taken him around the world, from the limestone of Oman to the choss of Ecuador.
Disclaimer: This product was provided to SplitterChoss.com for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!