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Evolv Rebel Review

These shoes are just as at home at the crag as they are in town
Evolv Rebel
Photo: Evolv
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Price:  $115 List | $98.95 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Stylish, sticky
Cons:  Average climbing performance, not very supportive
Manufacturer:   Evolv
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 5, 2019
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55
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#13 of 14
  • Climbing Ability - 35% 6
  • Hiking Comfort - 25% 4
  • Support - 20% 4
  • Weight and Packability - 20% 8

Our Verdict

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.

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Evolv Rebel
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Pros Stylish, stickyLightweight, comfortable, supportive, climb wellStiff for edging and standing in aiders, excellent for scambling, good hiking supportAwesome balance of hiking and climbing abilities, great supportDurable, great traction in dirt and mud, excellent value, workhorse approach shoe
Cons Average climbing performance, not very supportiveSynthetic uppers not as durable as leatherMore narrow than the rest of the TX line, expensiveRelatively heavy and bulkyHeavy and bulky, especially when carrying on your harness or in a pack
Bottom Line These shoes are just as at home at the crag as they are in townThese are our first recommendation for the majority of climbers due to elite all-around performanceA great shoe for climbing guides or anyone who needs support for hiking but also a precision fit for climbingThis model combines high performance with the ability to handle big loadsThese durable shoes are well-equipped for miles of hiking and scrambling at a great price
Rating Categories Evolv Rebel La Sportiva TX2 La Sportiva TX Guide La Sportiva TX4 La Sportiva Boulder X
Climbing Ability (35%)
6.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Hiking Comfort (25%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
7.0
Support (20%)
4.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
Weight And Packability (20%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
4.0
1.0
Specs Evolv Rebel La Sportiva TX2 La Sportiva TX Guide La Sportiva TX4 La Sportiva Boulder X
Outsole Trax Enduro Vibram Mega-Grip Vibram Mega-Grip Vibram Mega-Grip with Trail Bite heel Vibram Idro-Grip V-Smear dot pattern
Upper Material Leather Polyester mesh synthetic TPU, PU Leather Leather
Weight per Pair (in oz) 20.5 oz (size 9.5) 20.3 oz (size 9.5) 24.8 oz (size 9.5) 26.2 oz (size 9.5) 32.8 oz (size 9.5)
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Mid Height Available? No No No Yes No
Midsole Compression molded EVA Mem-lex/C2 Combo Cord dual-density compressed EVA, TPU Torsion Shank Traverse injection MEMlex Micropore EVA
Sticky Rubber? Toe Rand? Yes, Yes Yes, Yes Yes, Yes Yes, Yes Yes, Yes

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


These kicks provide the friction you need at the crag and the style...
These kicks provide the friction you need at the crag and the style you want for all-day-everyday use.
Photo: Matt Bento

Climbing Ability


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.

Edging


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.

Stiffer shoes like the Bouder X edge better than these, but for the...
Stiffer shoes like the Bouder X edge better than these, but for the style, they edge ok.
Photo: Matt Bento

Smearing


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.

Never fear, trust the smear! Evolv's sticky rubber provides plenty...
Never fear, trust the smear! Evolv's sticky rubber provides plenty of friction.
Photo: Matt Bento

Crack Climbing


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.

These low volume shoes are great for crack climbing, but we worry...
These low volume shoes are great for crack climbing, but we worry about their durability for big wall applications.
Photo: Matt Bento

Hiking Comfort


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 stick to rock but aren't our favorite for gravel trails.
These stick to rock but aren't our favorite for gravel trails.
Photo: Matt Bento

Support


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.

While these aren't the lightest shoes in the line-up, we wouldn't...
While these aren't the lightest shoes in the line-up, we wouldn't hesitate to carry them up a multi-pitch clipped to our harness.
Photo: Matt Bento

Value


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.

Conclusion


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