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Evolv Demorto Editorial Review


Submitted by vegastradguy on 2006-11-23 | Last Modified on 2006-12-31

Rating: 12345   Go Login to rate this article.   Votes: 0 | Comment: 1 | Views: 12233

by John Wilder


Full Disclosure: The company that manufactured this equipment provided it free of charge to RC.com and RC.com then provided it as compensation to the reviewer for his or her review. This company does not currently advertise on RC.com -- 11/13/06.

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The stylish demorto with it's unique sole and slightly curved profile

The stylish demorto with it's unique sole and slightly curved profile.

I've always had problems with climbing shoes. After I had been climbing a while and started looking at buying a more performance based shoe, I quickly discovered that the shape of my feet prevented me from wearing the ever popular asymmetrical toe profile. The problem came from my Morton's Toe- where my big toe is actually shorter than my second toe, which more or less means that my only options for shoes are those with a symmetrical toe profile.

Symmetrical shoes are often among the most popular shoes for traditional climbers- 5.10's Hueco, La Sportiva's eternally popular Mythos, Boreal's Equinox- these shoes are all excellent all around shoes that I have worn happily for most of my climbing career. They fit my feet comfortably and performed well on pretty much every terrain I encountered. As a result, I have never been a big subscriber to the school of thought that a tight fitting performance shoe can mean the difference between sending and failure.

So, you can imagine that I am not the best shoe reviewer- chances are that I am not going to be overly impressed with any shoe no matter the fit or the performance since I have never felt my climbing ability depended on a shoe.

Regardless, I do have Morton's toe, so this makes me a perfect candidate for reviewing Evolv's latest offering- the Demorto. The Demorto is a snug fitting, symmetrical shoe that is made with performance in mind.

I had Evolv send me the shoe sized a half size smaller than my gym shoe (the Evolv Docon- an excellent shoe for tooling around in the gym) so they would be a bit snugger than normal and I figured I would deal with some pain all in the name of a detailed review.

The Demorto's came and I was immediately impressed. They looked more like a performance shoe- they had a slight curve to them like a more aggressive sport shoe. The sole was also interesting- unlike a full half sole, the shoe only has about 2/3's of the front half with a regular sole, then it sort of changes to a zig zag pattern that moves back along the shoe and ends in a aggressively ribbed heel that looks like it was made for heel hooking. The construction is typically solid for Evolv and the rubber is their newest Trax- which is as good as or better than any rubber out there.

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The aggressive heel excels at heel hooks and heel-toe in offwidths

The aggressive heel excels at heel hooks and heel-toe in offwidths.

The first surprise was the fit. The shoes slid onto my foot like a glove- no air anywhere, the shoe conformed to my foot perfectly, and perhaps most amazing of all- no pain whatsoever! This was uncharted terrain for me- a snug shoe has always been a painful shoe for me. Oh well, nothing better to do now than to test the thing!

First up on the testing list- crack climbing! This translates quickly to a trip to the nearest crack climbing mecca- Paradise Forks! A full day is spent on the unrelenting columnar basalt in this pristine canyon- hands, fists, fingers and everything in between. For those unfamiliar with this area- it's a miniature Indian Creek- steep cracks, no features, and only good crack technique will get you up these routes. All of the climbing was strenuous, but my feet felt no pain at any point during the day- the shoe definitely performs well in cracks and the burly Evolv construction holds up as expected.

Next up is face climbing, which involves a visit to everyone's favorite Red Rock sport crag- the Panty Wall- I ran the gamut here from the pleasant face climbing to the pumpy overhangs to the devious .10c slab on the hill above. The shoe had no problems edging, smearing, and otherwise sticking to the rock. My failure on the slab was my own inability, not the shoes- when I finally figured out what to do with my feet, the shoes stuck and I got up the thing.

The third test was the all day test. Admittedly, I was certainly suspicious here. The shoe is very snug and I wasn't sure if it'd be a good all day shoe. However, I was pleasantly surprised when trips up Black Magic and Frogland proved to be nothing but fun and my feet did not suffer in the least. Although I haven't been on anything bigger than 6 pitches with them, I know at this point from use that a Grade IV would be no problem, anything bigger in a day, though, and you may want something less snug.

Finally, it was time for the true testing ground- Joshua Tree. Two trips to the quartz monzonite mecca of climbing really put the shoes to the test. Face, slab, vicious cracks, sloping boulder problems (yes, I actually went bouldering all in the name of reviewing!): all of these were part of the final gauntlet for the Demortos and they passed with flying colors.

The honest truth? I love this shoe. I had heard rumors about it years ago when I was testing the Docons from Evolv and I have been antsy to get my paws on a pair of them for a while now and I have not been disappointed. These shoes rock for those of us with Morton's toe- the symmetrical toe box combined with a sporty fit (which doesn't stretch at all thanks to Evolv's synthetic linings) make this an excellent shoe for just about anything you want to do with it. I still don't believe that the shoe can mean the difference between sending and not, but I think that a shoe with a great fit can mean the climbing can be smoother and more fun and the Demorto definitely fits the bill!

Reviewer Stats: I normally wear a street size 9.5, which is also my usual climbing shoe size, but for the Demorto's I went to a size 9 and it fit perfectly.

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1 Comment CommentAdd a Comment

 wanlessrm
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 2006-11-27
I too like Evolve shoes so its not the product I have a problem with. Its with reviews done by the same person over and over again. To get a fair review of a company the product should be tested by different people who climb at different levels. Please spread the wealth and have different people review these products so we can better understand them!
Thanks

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