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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.