Evolv Astroman Review

When tackling a long route, you are often faced with a tough decision: Do you take a comfortable pair of shoes for the hundreds of feet of jamming in hand, fist and wider cracks, or do you take a tighter shoe that will edge and smear better on the face and slab pitches? Sometimes, I’ve even taken both.

Thankfully, a number of companies now offer shoes that try to simplify that answer and the Astroman is Evolv’s take on the do-it-all shoe. A high-top designed by the legendary Peter Croft, it’s marketed as a high-end, all day shoe.

It should come as no surprise then that the Astromans really stood out on long routes where their comfortable construction was well suited for the multi-pitch realm, from long granite climbs in the Black Canyon and Unaweep to desert sandstone towers.

The high-top construction offered excellent protection from the abuses of wide cracks, and the toe profile worked well in a variety of crack sizes. One of my favorite features is the padded tongue and a small piece of padding for the achilles tendon. Both made the shoe more comfortable than average, and well suited for extended climbing and belaying sessions.

When packing for a recent trip to the Tetons, I threw in the Astromans as my only shoe, as I was traveling light in a carry-on and knew that I might get out for a long route, but would also be doing some single pitch sport cragging on the local limestone and needed a shoe that could handle both with ease.

As it turned out, because of weather I was restricted to some bouldering in the town park and sport climbing on steep limestone at the Cueva de la Cabra.  Halfway through my session at Cueva, I realized that I was climbing routes like I would with any sport shoe at Rifle. It hadn’t even occurred to me that I was using the all day shoes for something they were not really intended for.

Now, would I lace them up regularly for sport climbing? No, but I spent extensive testing time in the Astromans while cragging on our local, often super-polished limestone and they performed well, particularly when I switched into a tighther fitting pair.

The question I’ve heard most about the Astromans is if they perform as well as the La Sportiva TC Pros. I’ve climbed for a few years in the TC Pros and in my experience, the Sportivas are better for more technical climbing, such as precision edging. Even with a tighter fitting pair of Astromans, I didn’t feel as comfortable standing on small edges in them. My rather unscientific observation was that the Astromans have a wider toe box and a less aggressive construction for toeing down on little features.

Overall, however, I loved using the Astromans for multi-pitch routes and I will be grabbing them for again for an upcoming trip to climb some desert towers. If you are looking for a high end trad shoe at a reasonable price, these are certainly worth checking out.

Retail is $145, you can find out more and read other reviews here.

Disclaimer: Wait! Before you go handing over your credit card number, ask yourself, do you really need to buy more new stuff? If so, this product is worth a look. In the spirit of full disclosure, this product was provided to SplitterChoss.com for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!

5 Responses to Evolv Astroman Review

  1. I too found this to be a pretty good shoe but waaaay to stiff. If this show was a little softer for better precision and edging, it would be dreamy. I am curious if you felt the same way about the stiffness?

    Climberism November 5, 2013 at 1:21 pm
  2. I think you’re right on about the stiffness. I think the shoe is stiff and certainly more than the TC Pro. I feel it is the cause of some soreness in my feet when I wear them for a long route, although part of it might just be my feet. I’m curious if I try resoling the shoe with something thinner if I would like the feel better.

    Mike Schneiter November 5, 2013 at 2:15 pm
  3. Enjoy the shoes….hate that split tongue and wish they would pull it and replace a standard design

    Marc November 25, 2013 at 5:09 pm
  4. Nice review. I like Peter and wondered about the shoe. Does he use them do you know?

    Also small grimmer issue needs correction ” grabbing them for again for an”

    Joey December 14, 2013 at 9:38 am
  5. How did you size your Astromans compared to the TC Pro? i.e. Would a 44 TC Pro fit like a 44 Astroman?

    Mitch September 8, 2015 at 5:43 pm
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