Evolv Kira Review
Cons: Low heel height, not the stickiest rubber, overly complicated Velcro straps
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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