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Hands-on Gear Review

Evolv Pontas 2 Review

Evolv Pontas 2
Price:   $130 List | $129.90 at Amazon
Pros:  Versatile, pointy toe tip, extra rubber rand for toe hooking, one of the most comfortable high performance shoes we tested.
Cons:  The liner takes on a stronger odor than most other shoe liners and the fit was a bit airy in the toe tip.
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Evolv

Our Verdict

The Evolv Pontas 2 is a revised version of the first Pontas designed by Chris Sharma. The main additions are a third Velcro strap and a thicker rand in the toe. The sole is the same 4.2mm Trax rubber with a pointy toe tip similar to the popular Five Ten Anasazi VCS and Mad Rock Flash 2.0. This new version also has a slightly improved fit in the heel for better heel hooking. All in all, the Pontas 2 is a comfortable and versatile shoe in the middle price range that offers above average performance. They have enough improvements and new features to move them up higher than the original Pontas in our overall ratings and if we gave an award for versatility, this would be a contender to win for sure. That said, the Shaman is still our favorite Evolv shoe for steeper angles and it's also one of our top-rated shoes overall. The Pontas 2 are more flat which makes them more comfortable to wear for long periods of time so they are better for less steep rock and more varied styles of climbing.

Discontinued - November 2016
The Evolv Pontas 2 has been discontinued. It may be available on closeout at some retailers. View our complete Climbing Shoe Review to check out additional options.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Men's Rock Climbing Shoes

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Style Upper Lining
86
$195
Editors' Choice Award
lace Suede Leather/MIcro fiber none
86
$185
Top Pick Award
lace Leather/Lorica Pacific (forefoot and back)
86
$185
velcro Leather/Synthetic Leather Unlined
80
$185
Top Pick Award
lace Leather Sentex/PU Foam
76
$165
lace Leather dentex
76
$175
velcro Cowdura⢠Synthetic synthetic
76
$165
velcro leather synthetic
74
$180
velcro Leather/Lorica HF
74
$130
velcro Non-stretch Synthratek synthetic upper microfiber leather cotton
74
$175
velcro Leather synthetic
74
$160
velcro synthetic Unlined
72
$145
lace Leather none
72
$175
lace Synthetic (Cowdura) none
72
$83
Best Buy Award
velcro Leather / Synflex none
70
$125
slipper leather none
70
$175
velcro MicroFiber (Synthetic)
66
$139
Lace 1.8mm Suede/Micro Suede none
66
$90
velcro Leather/ Synthetic Leather synthetic (tongue and arch only)
66
$180
velcro Suede/Micro Suede none
62
$150
velcro Leather synthetic
58
$89
velcro Elastic Synthratek synthetic upper nylon

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Chris Summit
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Monday
November 14, 2016

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Edging


A pointy toe tip just like the original puts the power down on small edges right where you want it. The non-aggressive design allows you to stand comfortably on fairly small edges for long periods of time. The more aggressive/down-turned toe on shoes like the Evolv Shaman puts the power down on tiny edges better but mostly just on steeper angles and for shorter periods of time. These shoes work above average for edging but not as well as the very precise, but more expensive Five Ten Anasazi VCS that has a similarly pointy toe design and was one of the best shoes we've ever tested for edging.

Cracks


The sticky rubber "VTR rand" is thicker on top of the big toe area and helps for most foot jams. The pointy toe tip works good for toe jamming in some thin finger cracks. The foot lays flat (non aggressive design) and allows for stable and non- painful foot jamming with the toes not being so curled up that the top of the knuckles get rubbed raw. This shoe is overall average for crack performance, which is pretty good considering its design is more for sport climbing, gym climbing and bouldering.

Comfort


Because these shoes were so comfortable and fairly high performing they became this tester's "go to shoe" used for warming up, working moves and sometimes even pushing it on projects near the limit. We tested using our street shoe size and it was comfortable and not too tight anywhere on the shoe (a lot of rock climbing shoe manufacturers are sizing their shoes down to fit your street shoe size now). With the new, third Velcro strap it is a bit more adjustable but this is not a really big difference considering the added bulk of the third strap. The Velcro closures allow it to quickly and easily loosen up for all-day comfort or tighten up to perform at a fairly high level when needed.

Pockets


The pointy toe tip gets the power down where you want it, penetrating and standing very well in tiny pockets, small slots and thin seams. This was above average for pocket climbing.

Sensitivity


Having a flat/non aggressive sole comfortably positions the toes for maximum sensitivity. The 4.2mm rubber on the sole is average thickness and offers the perfect mix of softness for sensitivity and firmness to hold an edge. A full-length 1.5mm midsole stiffens and supports while not being too thick to decrease your ability to feel the rock. For comparison, the popular and much less expensive Evolv Defy also has a comfortable, non-aggressive design and a 4.2mm sole but has a half-length 1mm midsole that increases sensitivity but decreases support and durability.

Sizing


The pair we reviewed were a bit loose fitting in our street shoe size, which made them a great all-day shoe but made them lack a bit in high performance. If you want a tighter fit for higher performance try a half size smaller than your street shoe size (we recommend doing this at a retailer where you can actually try the shoe on first since feet and shoe sizes are all so different).

Other Versions


Evolv Shaman or Evolv Shaman LV - Women's
  • High performance, downturned velcro shoe
  • Ideal for bouldering, sport climbing and steep terrain
  • $150

Evolv Nexxo
Evolv Nexxo
  • High performance slipper meets velcro shoe
  • Sensitive, down turned design
  • $150
Chris Summit

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: November 14, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
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  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
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  • 5
 (2.0)

0% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 33%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 67%  (2)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
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   Apr 22, 2016 - 02:21pm
MrMister · Climber · Elizabethtown, PA
I own these shoes and shortly after purchase and use i regretted buying them. It might be because of the shape of my feet but these are the most uncomfortable shoes i own. I should have bought the pythons by la sportiva. They stink after a few uses, and boy do they stink BAD. They seem to wear out fast too, maybe due to being 'green' or whatever they claimed. I am glad i got them on sale.

They do have cool lightning bolt patterns though?

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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   Jan 25, 2016 - 12:16pm
Denis Tangney · Climber · Tralee
I currently own an old pair of Evolv Pontas size 11UK climbing shoes which i find very comfy and they also perform at a high level.
Evolv introduced the Pontas 2 in 2012 and completely changed the sizing of the shoe. I purchased a pair of these in size 11 recently and i could not squeeze them on to my feet. I returned the shoes and then purchased size 12UK which were also way too tight/painful. I also returned these at a total cost of €50.00.
I take a size 10 UK walking shoe but i reckon that i would need the Pontas in size 13UK which is not available on the web.
Beware Evolv rock shoe sizing when purchasing on the web.
These purchases cost me dearly in return postage and i am still seeking to buy a new pair of shoes!!

Bottom Line: No, I would not recommend this product to a friend.
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