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ProView – Evolv The General

The General is a new climbing shoe in Evlov’s extensive line up of high-performance climbing footwear. The General is designed precisely to be your go-to, all-day, multi-pitch, traditional climbing shoe, with features that will stand out to any trad climber. If you’re looking for a comfortable and high performing shoe that you can keep on your feet all day, then this is the shoe for you.

As previously mentioned, this shoe is designed primarily for traditional climbing and long routes, thus my testing grounds would require multi-pitch routes with varied terrain. Fortunately, I live in Western North Carolina where I’ve been climbing for over ten years and guiding professionally for the past five. My testing grounds would consist of the large granite domes, multi-pitch quartzite walls, and single-pitch crags that are scattered throughout the North Carolina mountains. The guiding season is about to be in full swing and I intend to guide in these all-season long.

Evolv The General

Product Description: All day comfort and ankle protection now comes with performance. Featuring Trax® XE edging rubber, The General gives an amazing amount of precision to the toes, making it a technical face climber's dream come true. Add on the cotton lining and leather upper covering the ankles for wide cracks and you have the best "trad climbing" shoe ever made.

Price: MSRP $170.00

  • Function
    (5)
  • Fit
    (3)
  • Durability
    (5)

Summary

Overall, I can say that I have been quite impressed and pleased with the performance and comfort The General provides. It’s a super stylish high-top trad shoe that will keep your feet comfortable for those multi-pitch adventures. They perform well on varying types of terrain but aren’t designed to be a go-to shoe for your 5.13 sport project. Personally, I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be shoving these bad boys into my pack for many adventures to come!

Overall
4.3

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Great on varied terrain
  • Extra rubber over toe and heel

Cons

  • Sizing

  • Rubber has a break in period

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Fit

First, I’d like to mull over the fit. I usually wear around a 7.5 or 8 but had to size all the way up to a 9 to get my desired fit. So, you may want to size up a half or a full size if you’re ordering them off the web. Otherwise, I’d recommend visiting your local gear shop to dial in your size.

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Features

Now let’s get into the nitty-gritty of these suckers. First off, I’d like to discuss the design and how particular features are an improvement to high-top climbing shoes on the market. The first thing I noticed was that the entire toe box is encapsulated with sticky rubber and has a slight bump where the toes fit. This feature undoubtedly makes these shoes a dream for jamming into cracks (especially hand sized cracks) and also worked well for toe cams and bicycling. That extra bit of rubber feels super secure in cracks but I really noticed how well they performed in flared out cracks where strait-in-jamming just isn’t going to happen.

Arguably the most obvious feature is the high-top design that grants you more ankle protection when wrestling around with cracks, off-widths, chimneys, or whatever you may be groveling with at the moment. Another feature is the presence of more rubber around the heel when compared to other similar models, this undoubtedly aids with heel hooks but is also nice when climbing in chimneys and off-widths. Most climbers will quickly recognize that The General is a meticulously thought out shoe with features designed to enhance its performance without compromising comfort.

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Performance

The rubber on these shoes performed pretty well but took a little time to break in as the manufacturers finish sometimes feels slick on your first several outings. I personally prefer the rubber on other brands, but I’m starting to warm up to Evolv’s rubber now that I’ve logged some decent mileage.

During my testing, I really wanted to see how well these shoes performed on long climbs with varied terrain. One of the first places I took them after breaking in the rubber was Stone Mountain. If you’re not familiar, Stone is known for some pretty serious runouts (think 40-90 feet between pro) on stellar granite and is known as friction climbing. So, if there’s anywhere you want a shoe to give you a mental edge it is Stone. Once I broke in the rubber and dialed things in, I felt comfortable on some pretty long runouts in the 5.9 to 5.10 range. I was soon scampering up pitches with ease and without second-guessing the rubber. I was also able to climb at Whiteside Mountain where the rock is extremely coarse and gritty and can report that the rubber stuck to even the tiniest of edges on steep rock.

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Comfort

The Linville Gorge was another a testing ground and is known for its long multi-pitch routes on quartzite and varying degrees for metamorphosed sandstone. The Linville Gorge has some unique rock and consists of slab, techy faces, steep roofs, cracks, etc. I spent several days guiding in Linville which consisted of long days climbing multi-pitch routes with lots of downtime at belays. I’m pleased to report that my feet were happy the entire time and I never felt the need to take my shoes off. Though my feet did get a little toasty by the end of the day.

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The Final Word

Overall, I can say that I have been quite impressed and pleased with the performance and comfort The General provides. It’s a super stylish high-top trad shoe that will keep your feet comfortable for those multi-pitch adventures. They perform well on varying types of terrain but aren’t designed to be a go-to shoe for your 5.13 sport project. Personally, I’ve got a feeling that I’ll be shoving these bad boys into my pack for many adventures to come!

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