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John Stewart

John Stewart

San Francisco Bay Area

John Stewart's Passions

Hiking & Camping
Running
Climbing

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John Stewart

John Stewartwrote a review of on March 1, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it several times
Fit: True to size
Height: 6' 0"
Weight: 150 lbs

I really enjoy the crew-length version of this sock so I tried the mini-crew for times when I want a shorter sock, such as when wearing shorts. The crew length sock is in my opinion the best outdoor sock Injinji has made and this is exactly what it says it is: a short version of that sock. Great feel, moisture-wicking wool, and a nice neutral look that makes it usable both for outdoor and everyday use.

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John Stewart

John Stewartwrote a review of on February 5, 2015

5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: True to size

My collection of the old Injinji outdoor wool socks were worn through to the point of falling apart and it seems they are discontinued; these seem to be the logical successor.

They are every bit as good, perhaps more so. They are longer than the old outdoor wool socks, and feel a little less thick but are still warm. I like the new gray color (I got them in Charcoal) design. The appearance works well for outdoors and for everyday wear.

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John Stewart

John Stewartwrote a review of on December 20, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

After a while with the Nexxo, which I thought was my ultimate climbing shoe, I decided to try the Futura at the behest of friends who kept insisting it was the bees knees. I'd tried the shoe on before but was too intimidated at the thought of no edges to keep them. That was a mistake!

This shoe blows away anything else I've ever climbed in. The Futuras are better than other downturned shoes to the same extent that other downturned shoes are compared to a flat-lasted shoe. It's really like a whole new category. In my first day in Futuras I tried a boulder problem that I had hurt my knee on the week before when I foot slipped off a bad hold. I had seen other people fall off the same hold the same way, so it seemed to fluster even the best footwork. In the Futuras it was trivial to stand on it! Even the tiniest edges get dominated by these!

What's also crazy is how comfortable they are. Easily the most comfortable downturned shoes I've ever worn. I got these in the same size as I wear in Solutions (42.5) and the comfort is amazing. Most Sportivas are a little narrow for me, and at first this was true for the Futuras as well, but after a couple days in them they conform perfectly to my foot. I'd recommend the same size as you wear in Solutions or if you really want something super tight, a half size down. When I tried a half size up they actually were less comfortable because of the worse heel fit. You don't really need to size tightly though, just snuggly. This very close to the "ideal" downturned shoe: one that doesn't really force your toes to curl, but is more like dipping your toes in rubber and then letting you curl your toes naturally. For comparison, I can only barely wear the Miura VS, which has the same last; it seems the softness of this shoe makes the fit very forgiving.

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John Stewart

John Stewartposted an image about on July 6, 2014

Like cheating at bouldering

Now that I've tested them thoroughly outdoors I'll add a few notes to my original review.

* There is no stretch. The size I got fits my perfectly snuggly but comfortably, and they still fit the same way. The aggressive downcamber is still there even after walking around the crag in them. Only time will tell if they hold their shape as well as Evolv says they will but so far so good.
* I LOVE the precision toe. The more rounded toe on the Shaman was my least favorite aspect of the shoe, and the Nexxo fixes that.
* They have the Shaman's superb heel hooking talents, but they toe hook even better.
* Definitely don't use them for technical (edging) slab; they work great but your toe will get sore very fast. They don't offer enough support. But on smearing slab, especially topping out a boulder, they are great.
* Overall, they feel as aggressive, perhaps even slightly moreso, than the Shamans, even though they actually have less downturned toes. I think the more aggressive downcamber gives it the same performance feel with less discomfort.

My original conclusion stands: I think these are the best performance bouldering shoe on the market. I definitely see these totally replacing the Shamans in my quiver.

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John Stewart

John Stewartwrote a review of on June 24, 2014

5 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I like this shirt for climbing; it's very light, loose, and doesn't restrict your movement. It leaves a lot of skin visible so perhaps not the best for long climbs that expose you to the sun for too long (I burn!), but great for quick boulders or single pitch climbs.

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John Stewart

John Stewartwrote a review of on June 23, 2014

4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
Fit: True to size

I am currently using this shoe as my warm-up shoe and to try to get back into crack climbing after a long hiatus. I like this shoe for cracks for the slipper form factor, and unlike the Moccasym it still has a significant midsole so it edges decently. In fact I dare say it edges better than decently -- I was shocked to find it edges quite well. I feel like its good for cracks but I'm pretty bad at crack climbing so I'm not sure what my opinion is worth. Previously I used the Anasazi VCS for cracks and these have a similar toe profile, but the rubber is slightly softer and stickier than 5.10's Onyxx, so I feel a tad more secure.

I am wearing a 9.5 in the Addicts; for comparison my street shoe is a 10 (in minimalist shoes, Merrell Trail Gloves). When this pair wears out I think I will go up a half size. At this size they edge well but aren't as relaxed as I wanted for a warm-up and crack shoe. The fit is somewhat narrow, which is unusual for Evolv. I feel like my foot is pinched laterally a bit and it results in a hot spot around the first joint of the small toe. Hopefully sizing less aggressively will address this. Since Evolv advertises you can size these down for good performance, be aware if you do that the fit is a bit more narrow than other Evolv shoes.

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John Stewart

John Stewartwrote a review of on June 19, 2014

There's a new king of climbing shoes
5 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
Fit: Runs small

I cannot overstate how much I love this shoe. I've been eager to try it for some time and it not only did it not disappoint, it blew away my expectations.

For me the gold standard of performance climbing shoes until now has been the Shaman. Compared to the Shaman, I feel like the fit on this is insanely perfect. A size 11 fits me comfortably but with great performance. It fits me so well that that comfort is in spite of being a very snug fit -- so snug that dropping to a 10.5 makes them so small I cannot even get them on my feet. Compared to the Shaman the toe is more precise. It has the same amazing heel as the Shaman. You can heel hook like crazy. And while I usually don't like shoes with an elastic sock since they are typically very hard to get on, I can slip these on easily (again, shocking considering a half size drop makes them impossible to put on at all). Sensitivity is in the middle, balancd with edging. I don't feel like I am losing noticable edging power compared to the Shamans, which are already amazing edgers. The comfort seems to come from the fact that the toe is only barely downturned. However the downcamber at the arch is extreme so you still feel like you have a hook for a foot.

Sizing is a bit small for the Nexxo. I wear a 10 in street shoe (minimalist shoes), a 10.5 in Shamans, and an 11 in these. Compared to the Shamans I think these fit a slightly smaller volume foot, closer to the middle of the road but erring a hair on the higher volume side.

I can't wait to use these on my upcoming bouldering trip outdoors. I have a feeling when my Shamans wear out I won't be replacing them this time since this shoe feels like a step up.

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John Stewart

John Stewartwrote a review of on April 4, 2014

Incredibly small
4 5

Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I got this to test as a possible replacement for a Petzl Ascension as a primary ascender in top rope soloing. When I first received this I was awed at how tiny it is. Pictured below is the Micro Traxion next to an Attache carabiner. It feels bomber too.

While I don't have much experience with it yet, I can note immediately the issue that has come up with some of these pulleys being used in soloing. Like the Mini Traxion it can be locked in the cam open position, preventing it from acting as an ascender. The way it is oriented when soloing makes it very likely the locking lever will bump your harness. As such I think this can't really replace my Ascension as a primary ascender when soloing. It would be safer to use in the chest harness position rather than attached to the belay loop. On the other hand, compared to the Mini it is much more obvious when it is locked open as the cam sticks prominently out of the casing when opened.

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John Stewart

John Stewartwrote a review of on April 2, 2014

Bomber light harness but not comfortable
4 5

Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This harness is very well built. After 2 years the belay loop and tie-in points still look barely worn. The best feature of this harness in my opinion is how well it packs down. It's one of the lightest you will find as well.

The disadvantage to this harness is that it isn't very comfortable for hanging in. I don't think its ideal for multipitch trad, big wall, or for projecting sport routes. But it's no less comfortable than many much bulkier harnesses (I don't think its any worse than my old BD Momentum was).

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