The most aggressive shoe I own...
Review by: brijoel, 2008-07-22
Before I went and tried on a pair of the Optimus, I was skeptical of a shoe this aggressive not having the usual asymetric and pointed toe design I was used to. Granted, the toe on this shoe doesn't fit the smaller pockets the way some other shoes do. But, after climbing for a couple of weeks in them, I've found that they will grab, front-point, edge, and smear on every other feature imaginable.
The way the cambered last fits your feet, the stiffer synthetic material than Evolv normally uses, and having rand rubber all over the last means not only does the shoe have an agressive design, but it STAYS that way. There is almost no give in the design. Be careful how far you downsize with this shoe, otherwise it's gonna be very painful. I tried on both this shoe and the Prime version (velcro), and these have a bit more snug fit to them. Ie, they aren't going to bend at the ball of your foot anywhere near as much as the Primes.
Being 6'3 and 210, I'm soooo glad Chris and Evolv decided to go with a stiff midsole on this slipper. It really makes a huge difference in not only supporting hard edging on the tinier features, but it makes it easier to use your legs to pull, instead of your feet, on the steeper stuff.
The one thing that really makes this shoe stand out, in my opinion, is that unlike aggressive down turned toe shoes like the agro/predator/talon, you can still smear with this shoe when necessary.
As with all of my Evolv shoes, the fit and finish is great, and I expect these to hold up as hard as my others have from them.
This replaces my predators as my favorite super-aggressive, bouldering shoe.