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Evolv Kira Review

The Kira provides everything you need in a basic climbing shoe, no extra bells or whistles included.
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Price:  $130 List | $77.93 at REI
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Reasonably priced, comfortable, good edging shoe
Cons:  Low heel height, not the stickiest rubber, overly complicated Velcro straps
Manufacturer:   Evolv
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Dec 29, 2017
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 18
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Sensitivity - 25% 7
  • Edging - 15% 5
  • Cracks - 15% 6
  • Pockets - 15% 5
  • Ease of Use - 5% 5

Our Verdict

The Evolv Kira is a tremendous all-around workhorse of a shoe. These Velcro slippers have a slight downturn so that they can hang on steeper sport climbs, but the overall shape is not that aggressive, making them a great shoe for long days on low-angle climbs. They have a well-padded tongue and solid rubber on the sides, which allows them to be a decent crack climbing shoe. The most significant complaint we found both in our tests and in our online research was the fact that these shoes run small! Most folks found the Kira to fit best when sized two or more sizes up, so keep that in mind if you decide to buy online.


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Evolv Kira
Awards  Editors' Choice Award   Top Pick Award 
Price $77.93 at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Reasonably priced, comfortable, good edging shoeSensitive, great for edging, supportive, comfortable, versatileComfortable, high performance, sticky rubber, easy to put on, good in cracks, versatileComfortable, extremely sensitive, great for smearing and steep climbing, easy to get on and offGood for steep climbing, break in well, conforms to foot shape, comfortable, aggressive shape
Cons Low heel height, not the stickiest rubber, overly complicated Velcro strapsExpensiveStretch out quickly, costly, lack supportExpensive, No-Edge technology could be an acquired tasteExpensive, lacks versatility
Bottom Line The Kira provides everything you need in a basic climbing shoe, no extra bells or whistles included.The Kataki wins our Editors' Choice Award for their combination of comfort, sensitivity, and edging prowess.The Skwama are impressive in many realms, combining comfort with a high performance fit.If you let them, they may revolutionize your footwork; they'll take some getting used to, but are top notch for steep climbing.The Solution gets our Top Pick for steep climbing and bouldering for their aggressive shape, precision, and comfortable design.
Rating Categories Evolv Kira La Sportiva Kataki - Women's La Sportiva Skwama - Women's La Sportiva Futura - Women's Solution
Comfort (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
8
Sensitivity (25%)
10
0
7
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
Edging (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
10
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Cracks (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
5
10
0
7
Pockets (15%)
10
0
5
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
10
10
0
10
Ease Of Use (5%)
10
0
5
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
9
Specs Evolv Kira La Sportiva Kataki... La Sportiva Skwama... La Sportiva Futura... Solution
Style Velcro Lace Velcro Velcro Velcro
Weight (Per Pair, size 37) .92 lb 1.08 lb 1.00 lb .91 lb 1.06 lb
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Fit Medium Asymmetry Asymmetrical Asymmetrical High Asymmetry Asymmetrical
Upper Strong Synthratek VX Suede leather microfiber Leather/Microfiber Leather/ Synthetic Leather/Lorica
Lining Unlined Pacific Unlined Unlined HF (heel and toe box only)
Sole Rubber Trax Vibram XS Grip2 Vibram XS Grip2 Vibram XSGrip2 Vibram XS Grip2

Our Analysis and Test Results

With above average scores in almost all of our technical metric ratings and a high level of comfort and ease of use, the Evolv Kira is a top notch all-arounder. These shoes have a relatively flat shape and an asymmetrical toe box, making them an excellent middle ground between an aggressive model and a beginner climbing shoe. They have a Velcro closure mechanism and a very well-padded tongue making them comfortable and easy to get on and off.

Performance Comparison


There is tons of padding on the Kira  especially in the tongue. This added comfort makes these shoes a good all-day option.
There is tons of padding on the Kira, especially in the tongue. This added comfort makes these shoes a good all-day option.

Comfort


In general, the Kira is a comfortable shoe. Its design trends toward comfort rather than performance with its flat shape and Velcro closure. The downside we found is the fit of the heel, which significantly detracted from the overall comfort of the shoe. The lip of the heel comes up short on the back of the foot, leaving us with the unnerving feeling that the shoe is about to pop off. This heel height used to be a problem on some of the Five Ten models, but the updated Five Ten Anasazi LV has a higher heel to do away with this issue. La Sportiva shoes, like the Miura or the Finale, come up higher in the back as well.

Sensitivity


With 4.2mm Trax rubber soles and a barely asymmetrical toe box and flat sole, the Kira is a fairly sensitive shoe, especially once the rubber has been worn in a bit. In comparison, the Miura has a slightly thinner 4mm rubber sole and still feels more sensitive once this sole has been worn down a tad. Unlike the Miura, the Kira has toe box that is more square, which takes away from the overall sensitivity of the shoe. A shoe with a similar toe shape is the Five Ten Anasazi LV. Due to their overall shape and flat soles, the Anasazi and the Kira received similar scores in the sensitivity metric.

The slight downturn makes the Kira a good shoe for those transitioning into a more aggressive model.
The slight downturn makes the Kira a good shoe for those transitioning into a more aggressive model.

Edging


As mentioned above, the shape of the toe box and the lack of stiffness in the midsole makes the Kira a mediocre edging shoe. The overall design of the shoe is not supportive enough to keep your feet feeling secure on small holds. That said, the Kiras are an excellent smearing shoe that performs well on slabs and low-angle terrain. For a similar shape shoe with an incredibly stiff midsole that works better for edging, look no further than the Libra, the stiffest shoe in this review.

The true test of the sticky rubber soles and edging ability of the Kira high off the deck.
The true test of the sticky rubber soles and edging ability of the Kira high off the deck.

Cracks


The Kira has a flat shape that is conducive to slotting into cracks comfortably. The shoe has enough flexibility that it can be torqued and twisted into cracks with ease. Since the toe box is not tapered at all, the Kira is not an ideal shoe for finger cracks, since it is hard to get a narrow section of the toe into the crack. The La Sportiva Miura can be used as a secret weapon for finger cracks because of their very narrow toe. Our overall favorite crack climbing shoe is the*Five Ten Anasazi LV, which is quite similar to the Kira in the overall design.

Pockets


As you may imagine based on the Kira's performance in the edging and sensitivity metrics, this shoe is not exactly meant for steep pockets either. This contender does not have an aggressive shape and is more akin to the flat soled La Sportiva Finale or the La Sportiva Tarantulace — Women's than the more aggressive models like the Mad Rock Lotus or the La Sportiva Solution. This means that the Kira is less of a precision pocket powerhouse and more of a smearing and crack climbing tool.

The Velcro closure mechanism on the Kira felt a bit excessive to us  though it does allow for lots of adjustment.
The Velcro closure mechanism on the Kira felt a bit excessive to us, though it does allow for lots of adjustment.

Ease of Use


The Kira slippers are pretty easy to use. Just slide your foot in and adjust the Velcro straps accordingly. The one downside to the Kira is the over-complicated Velcro strap. There are multiple adjustment points for this strap, which seems like overkill when the strap itself is already inherently adjustable just by being Velcro. The tongue also has so much padding that it can almost get in the way sometimes when strapping feet into these slippers. The Five Ten Anasazi LV is also a Velcro slipper, as is the Butora Acro, and both of these models are much easier to use overall.

Best Applications


The Kira is a great all-around, introductory, and/or gym climbing shoe. The Velcro closure makes them relatively easy to get one and off in between climbs and the flat shape makes them comfortable. Marketed as a shoe for technical multi-pitch climbing, the Kira pretty much fits the bill; we found this was the best use for these shoes.

Value


Sold for $130, the Kira falls in the middle of the price range compared to the other shoes in this review. These shoes are similar to the Five Ten Anasazi LV but are $35 cheaper. Comparatively, the Kiras are only $10 more than our Best Buy Award winner, the Mad Rock Lotus. They are a good option for more of an introductory shoe, rather than the more aggressive fit of the Lotus.

Conclusion


The Evolv Kira is a comfortable, yet still fairly technical shoe. This competitor is exceptional in cracks and can still perform well on small holds, edges, and smears. They are not as expensive as most of the Five Ten or La Sportiva models and make a great introductory shoe that focuses on comfort above performance.


Jane Jackson