In this UKC Review Jack Geldard takes the Evolv Luchadors inside and out in his quest to find the ultimate rock shoe.
What are they?
The Evolv Luchadors are new rock shoes from Evolv. They come in two models, a lace up version and a velcro version (SC). In this review I test out the velcro version.
They have synthetic uppers, three velcro closure straps, a padded tongue, a leather footbed, Evolv's own brand Trax rubber and two pull-on loops at the back.
They have a very slight down-turn, but feel almost flat once you put your foot in to the shoe.
The uppers are grey with some silvery stripes on the front toe box area. These silvery stripes are a bit rubbery - presumably to give a little extra grip when toe hooking.
The Luchadors are a comfortable boot designed to give all round performance, but not to be cripplingly down-turned or tight for super extreme routes.
Comfort / Fit
Comfort is the biggest plus of the Luchadors for me. Straight out of the box they are comfortable. This is in part due to the 'friendly' shape - not too down-turned, not too asymmetric, but just a little bit. Add to the shape the padded tongue that is fixed on one side to give a sock-like feeling, the leather footbed (the bottom part of the inside of the shoe) and a not too aggressive heel, then you get a pretty damn comfy shoe straight away.
I found the fit to be medium width and volume. The heel sat quite well on my foot, was very comfortable and performed reasonably well on heel hooks, but it did feel a little 'shallow' on the heel.
I had a small amount of dead space above my toes in the toe-box, but I have very low volume feet.
Evolv's own brand Trax rubber has always worked pretty well for me, and these shoes are no exception.
The Luchdors are shod with 4.2mm of Trax and the front part of the sole seems to have a different feel/texture to the back part. I don't know if the compound changes as you get away from the main standing area of the sole, but the front part of the rubber seemed more grippy and also slightly softer when 'squeaked'. This change in rubber didn't affect the shoe's performance, and I tried to heel hook on some sloping holds to check if the rubber at the rear was noticeably different to the front rubber on the rock. Whilst this is clearly difficult to do - I didn't find any change in grip particularly.
All in all, the rubber performed well on a variety of rock types and on plastic.
The rand has what Evolv call VTR - which basically means that it is a bit thicker at the front to stop the shoes wearing out quickly - a great idea, hopefully meaning these shoes will belong-lasting. I've had them a few months, but have mixed them up with other shoes so haven't really done enough climbing in them to tell.
I would say that after several climbing sessions indoors and out, bouldering, trad and sport, that these shoes are reasonable performers. They would not be my go to shoe for micro-edging (the lace up version is reportedly stiffer), and like-wise they wouldn't be my choice for all out smearing either.
What I would choose them for is long-ish routes, and big indoor sessions where I want performance, but also want to keep my shoes on for a longer amount of time.
If I am racing round doing a bouldering circuit I know that with the Luchadors I don't have to take my shoes off after every problem and they will still perform well enough when I am actually on the wall.
Good all-round comfortable shoes. They retail at £110 RRP but I have seen them considerably cheaper - so bargains are available.
Not the shoe to totally push your limits, but for a comfortable semi-technical shoe, they do the job and they do it with 'out of the box' comfort.
Personally I wasn't sure about the look of the silver red and blue design, but each to his own!
Weight: 200 grams (per boot size US 9)
What Evolv Say:
New to the technical all-around category is a strap closure shoe we call the Luchador SC. Inspired by the inner wrestler in all of us who battle the medium of rock; it is built off a slightly cambered last with a semi-asymmetrical toe profile that allows for great control on small edges as well as thin cracks. Its new non-shifting tongue system also offers a sock-like fit.
• Synthetic upper with unlined leather footbed and arch
• Three strap hook-n-loop closure system for convenience and control
• New seamless elastic tongue system reduces bulk and bind while being more breathable
• Tensioned rands for power and performance
Profile: Slightly cambered semi-asymmetric
Upper: Synthetic leather (Synthratec) with leather footbed
Midsole: MX-P: 1 mm full-length
Sole: 4.2 mm TRAX® high friction rubber
Rand: VTR rand (thicker front toe area)
Weight: 7.0 oz (1/2 pair size 9 men's)
Color: Grey with silver accents
Sizes: 4-13.5 US men's (including half sizes)
More Info: Evolv Website
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