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Evolv Cruzer Review

Evolv Cruzers

The Evolv Cruzers are not (yet) well-known parkour shoes. This may be because they are not actually parkour shoes; they are approach shoes, meant for rock-climbers who need a shoe that’s grippier than a hiking boot, but not a hardcore climbing shoe built for cliff faces. Sound like it would be an ideal shoe for parkour? Let’s find out.

Comfort

Evolv Cruzer Tongue

The Evolv Cruzers are the only “parkour” shoes that I know of to have a split tongue, which is quite nifty. It eliminates the problem of the tongue shifting to one side or the other. Hopefully this feature will become more common on other parkour shoes – and shoes in general – in the next few years.

The Cruzers fit really well, nice and snug. Even when tightened enough that they’ll stay on during high speed maneuvers, they’re not so tight that the top laces dig into the top of my foot. Speaking of laces: they’re a good length, neither too short nor too long. They’ll come undone during swift movement if you’re not careful, but a double-knot or lace replacement should fix that problem.

The arch support is so minimal it’s doesn’t even classify as arch support. The removable insole is thick, but the actual shoe sole is pretty thin. The end result is a shoe that’s comfortable when accidentally heel-striking, but still has the sensitivity of a thinner shoe.

Evolv Cruzer Sole

The only complaint I have about the comfort is that during long training sessions, the back of the shoe will sometimes dig into my Achilles tendon. This could theoretically be mitigated by wearing thicker socks, but that’s far from an ideal solution. However, the heel is designed to be tucked under like a clog or a slipper. In the unlikely event the chafing on your Achilles tendon gets so bad you have to stop training, you’ll be able to walk to your car in comfort.

Grip

Evolv Cruzer Trax rubber

Generally amazing. Predictably, since it’s a rock-climbing shoe, it sticks like a dream on brick, rock, and rough bark. This shoe is a dream for wall runs and tic-tacs on brick. The grip is decent on flatter surfaces like wood and marble; it isn’t great on wet surfaces, but it’s not terrible either.

A few weeks after getting the Cruzers, I hiked a mile uphill, during a pouring rain, on a trail that was basically a muddy stream. In retrospect, it was not the best time for a hike – but I didn’t slip once. If you’re fond of “nature training,” this is the shoe for you.

Evolv Cruzer grip

Rail precisions are the only area on which I don’t like the grip. The Trax rubber just isn’t suited for them. They’re certainly doable, but other shoes are better for that particular movement.

Weight

Evolv Cruzer Trax rubber sole

The Cruzers, weighing in at sub–8oz, are a solid ounce less than Feiyues. For you metric people, that’s less than 227 grams. Objectively, they’re really light. Subjectively, they don’t even feel like they’re there. If you have problems with the Cruzer’s weight, just go barefoot.

Flexibility

Evolv Cruzer flexibility

This picture needs no explanation. They’re plenty flexible. I wouldn’t roll them into a ball like Feiyues, but they’ll be absolutely fine for normal parkour shoe usage.

I will note that the Cruzers are stiff around the toe box, wherever the black rubber rises above the sole. This is to be expected, but it may take you a few days to get accustomed to it. I tripped a little the first two times the toes unexpectedly caught on an obstacle while passing over it, but after that my spatial awareness extended to be aware of that aspect of the shoe. It shouldn’t be a big deal as long as you learn to manage it.

Durability

Evolv Cruzer upside down and from the side

In the interests of full disclosure, I did not put this shoe through a truly extensive durability test full of hundreds of arm jumps and wall runs. However! I did do enough to get a good grasp of how they will wear. They’re about middle of the road. Nothing too special, but they’ll definitely last a while.

Around the laces, the cloth has gotten a little frayed, but all the crucial attachment points are still rock-solid. I don’t foresee that being a problem in the future.

Evolv Cruzer laces

The eyelets under the most stress are metal. Nicely done, Evolv.

Bottom Line

Top of the Evolv Cruzers

The Evolv Cruzers are my current favorite parkour shoe, replacing the Onitsuka Tiger Ultimate 81s. Why? I liked the Tigers because they are a jack-of-all trades, doing everything well. The Cruzers do almost everything just a little bit better than the Tigers. The Tigers surpass the Cruzers is in rail precisions, maybe durability, and price. The Cruzers beat the Tigers in grip, comfort, flexibility, and utility; i.e., they have more uses. For me, this is enough to call it a superior shoe for the majority of traceurs. Are you in that majority? I can’t tell you. Decide what’s most important to you and buy your shoes accordingly.

You can get the Evolv Cruzers from Amazon.com and many other places on the web. The average price seems to be in the $70 range.

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  • Scott

    Alan you train in a forest, these would suck for most city parkour.

    • AlanSchex

      I did train in urban areas with them! They’ll be fine for city parkour.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=175000130 Matthew Lee Willis

    I can account for durability!!!! These shoes are amazing. As for grip, yes for everything, excepted painted walls…but I mean, which shoes are?

  • Daniel

    Nice Review. Keep up the good work, this is the only few site for parkour nowadays.

  • Kim

    So you are telling us this shoes have a good grip on brick,rock so surfaces who already have a natural good grip but when there are no grip this shoes can’t help? Is it really worth the 70$? It’s just we already search good shoes but maybe that when it’s wet, it’s wet and we’ve got just to adapt our moves.

  • luke

    you should make a review on the parkour vision or on the kalenji ekiden or on the puma cabana racers. I am about to buy new shoes but don’t know which to buy, I am a beginner(4 months of training). I can get the tigers for 40euro and puma cabana racers for 25e. I would like to have good grip to stick precisions and not slip and land on my butt. And also on some colours of the tigers they have no padding like the feiyue and some of them they have.

    • AlanSchex

      Not fond of the Parkour Visions, they’re very blocky. Kalenji Ekidens as far as I know are highly recommended, as are Cabana Racers.

  • Tracuer No.1

    Try the Scarpa Mojito’s!!!!!!

  • Austin nix

    Are these shoes true to size? I’m ttying to devide what size to get.

    • AlanSchex

      They are. Possibly a little small, but you should be fine with your normal size.

  • http://www.facebook.com/Elchin.Quluzadeh Elchin Quluzadeh

    Full!

  • Marcus

    great review! it would be really awesome if you could do a review on the Puma mobium elites … just because there interesting shoes as the sole expands every time you walk or run… was going to get them but would love to hear someone else’s opinion before i pay lots of money http://www.puma.com/mobium/

  • Tristian

    How would these compare to the Vivo Neo’s? Which would you prefer? I’m leaning towards the Neo’s right now… Thanks for your help!

  • ParkourJack

    Parkour shoes, I choose Feiyue Shoes

  • Tristian

    Could you review the Merrell Trail Glove?If possible, Compare the two? c: