The Evolv Rebel is our favorite hiking approach shoe from Evolv to date. They trade the lightweight and packability found in their Cruzer line for improved hiking comfort and some urban styling. They don't climb quite as well as the Cruzers and aren't going to be your footwear of choice for running up Royal Arches, but for approaches longer than a mile, easy alpine romps, and everyday use around town, a pair of Rebels will do the trick nicely. They are not our recommendation for approaches with heavy packs.
Evolv Rebel Review
Cons: Average climbing performance, not very supportive
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Cruzer Psyche climbs very well. The rubber sticks, the forefoot flexes for smearing, and the low profile fits into cracks that burlier shoes can't.
Compared to the Five Ten Guide Tennie or the Scarpa Crux, the Rebel feels sloppy on the edges. These skater style shoes are soft and comfy, but not stiff and supportive. One anything but the biggest jug-like edges, you're going to want a stiffer shoe.
The softness of these kicks helps deliver lots of "rubber to the road." That is, it's relatively easy to hike up low angle slab approaches, but true slab climbing is off-limits.
The leather uppers and the rubber rand are suitable for easy chugging on low angle cracks. In our scrambling adventures, we found that the Rebels held up well after getting twisted into cracks.
The heel on this shoe is significantly more stable than other Evolv models we have tested over the years. Our lead tester emphatically dislikes hiking long distances in those shoes, while the Rebel offers comfort and stability for everyday use without compounding his many tweaks and injuries. We've been consistently disappointed with heel stability in the Evolv shoes we tested in the past, and the Rebel's heel is a welcome change. The leather upper and the black color (it goes with everything!) of the model we tested combined for a sweaty experience, so if you've got extra soggy dogs or just need an all-around better hiker, beware.
These aren't the best choice for burly backcountry expeditions. You'll want something with a higher ankle, a stiffer midsole, and a tread with bigger lugs. The Rebel is also not suited to the task of hauling heavy loads and standing in aiders all day. For general hiking to the crag, these provide enough support for most folks.
Weight & Packability
The Rebels aren't as harness friendly as the Evolv Cruzers, which are more compact and lighter than the Rebels. The Rebels do have a clip-in loop, so a least you'll have an easy option to attach them to your harness. At 20.5 oz, they're a lighter load than more supportive models.
For the price, you get a sticky rubber approach shoe you can wear from the crag to the bar, without anyone asking you if you're wearing climbing shoes. The Rebel's casual skate shoe style makes them pretty versatile, and are a good choice for anyone who wants the security of sticky rubber wherever they go.
We don't recommend these shoes for long slogs with heavy loads and we don't think they'd hold up for many El Cap routes, but our friends think they look cool! So, on quick strolls to roads side boulders and crags, or just a night out, we'll be wearing them.
— Matt Bento