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The reviewer testing the Geshido Velcros at Kalymnos
UKC Gear, Nov 2012
© Dave Nichol This year Evolv launched the Geshido (lace up) and the Geshido SC (Velcro), two shoes built on the same last hand-carved by Chris Sharma, but as I found out during the last eight months testing them, although they share many characteristics, for me they were essentially two different models of shoe.
Both Geshido versions are touted by Evolv as high performance all-rounders, and that sums these shoes up. They have a slight rather than an aggressive down-cambered last found on Evolv's Shaman or Talon, which are very grabby shoes suited for steep rock. Where the Geshidos come into their own is on slabs all the way to slightly overhanging rock.
Evolv have a whole cadre of different shoes as most rock shoe companies do. They tout each model as specialised for different types of climbing or climber (beginner to advanced, all-rounders to a muerte steepness) but the crux is as always the shape of your own foot. There is no one shoe perfect for all climbers, our feet are all different shapes, hence why rock shoe manufacturers produce a whole range of models built on different lasts. Importantly that is why you should always try on a rock shoe before you purchase (unless you are buying a model you already have); you are after the last best suited to your foot shape.
I prefered the Geshido Velcros for general bouldering, not least because they are easy to take off between problems.
UKC Gear, Nov 2012
© Phil Baker
Construction and Shape
The Geshido last as well as being slightly downturned and slightly asymmetric has a toe which is narrow, has a low profile, and is slightly pointy. It's good for placing in cracks and small pockets. But it's narrowness and low profile does mean that if you have wide feet your toes will feel quite crunched up - even with the love bump, yes the love bump from the Shaman returns. The love bump is a raised node in the sole of the toe box that pushes your toes up slightly into a grabbing position rather than having dead space. Does it work? Yes it does, my toes in both models (and the Shamans) take on that prehensile position that does help when grabbing holds with the toe point. But because the last on the Geshidos isn't downturned as much as the Shamans (or the Evolv Talons for that matter) your toes get less tired especially on vertical terrain.
The heel is not an aggressive cup but is firm, held in place by a slingshot rand. The whole heel cup is covered in rubber. Even on the Velcros you will have complete confidence when heel hooking; the three opposing velcro straps can be cinched tight. Out-of-the-box however the heel may feel a tad aggressive until after a couple of days climbing. With the Velcros I still have to use the two heel straps to 'pull' the shoes on, even after 8 months regular wear (2/3 times a week with 4 weeks of climbing holidays). Which will give you a clue about stretch; they don't stretch much, so size accordingly. The reason for the low stretch is that Evolv, just as they did with the Shaman, have made a break from their all synthetic construction and have used a mix of pre-stretched leather and synthetic materials. Yip, because of that leather and a cotton liner, they don't get as smelly as as shoes made from just synthetic materials.
(TOP TIP: REDUCING ROCK SHOE PONG: Take your shoes off between doing routes. Let them dry after use by airing at the crag and clip them to your your rucksack when leaving. Then air dry at home again, don't leave them in an enclosed space..like your rucksack as smelly bacteria and foot fungi love warmth, moisture and darkness.).
As regards sizing, I have a size 43 in the Velcro and size 44 in the Lace Ups - my street shoe size is 42 - and both the Geshidos fit perfectly. However, others have found that that their shoe size is about right for the velcro version, and half a size more for the lace-ups. Go figure as they say, and I have and will now return to my point that that although the Geshido Velcro and the Lace Up are built on the same last they are essentially two different models of shoe (which also may explain the size difference). Because of the velcro fastening on the Geshido SC, there are three opposing velcro straps over a padded spilt-tongue, you do get a slightly more comfortable and looser fit than the Lace-up Geshido. Both models have a stiff plastic mid-sole which I like as it gives lots of support but with the Velcros you get a softer more flexible shoe which is better at smearing than than the Lace-up Geshido.
"I'm going to go out on a limb here, the closest shoe I can compare the Geshido Lace Up version to is the FiveTen Anasazi Pink (I've forgot how many pairs I had of those) but with a gentler heel cup."
I have complete confidence in the 4.2mm Trax-XT rubber for both edging and smearing. It's sticky even with the colder conditions we are experiencing now. Because I've been climbing a while - far too long - my footwork is good, and the soles have lasted well. Because I have worn the Velcros more - I'm lazy - they are getting to that point of 80% worn and are at that time when they could do with a resole - get them before any holes appear and you will get a great resole on either of these shoes as the upper construction for me has been bomber.
The Geshido SC, the velcro version, is a technical all rounder; great at smearing and jamming in cracks with good edging capabilities. They give you all day comfort, they are easy to put on and take off, and should last due to good construction. Great for a day on the grit or on a mountain crag at whatever grade you climb. The Geshidos, the lace-up, are a tighter fit and envolope your foot with tension. They excel at vertical to overhanging climbs giving exceptional edging and pocket power. Both shoes break in quickly and don't stretch that much at all. As always, make sure that you try on before you buy, these shoes do have a unique fit, they suit people with narrower low volume foot-shapes and if they do fit you I don't think you will be disappointed.
Evolv Geshido Lace
Evolv Geshido SC
Evolv Geshido (Lace Up and Velcro)
The newest addition to the Sharma Signature Series, the Geshido is a high performance all arounder good for sport climbing, trad, and bouldering. A down cambered last and low profile 'love bump' provide outstanding edging ability, and a low profile forefoot promotes jamming in thin cracks.
UKC Articles and Gear Reviews by Michael Ryan: