Hands-on Gear Review

Evolv Ponta Review

Evolv Ponta
By: Chris McNamara ⋅ Founder and Editor-in-Chief  ⋅  Oct 12, 2010
Price:  $125 List
Pros:  Sticky rubber, relatively comfortable for a high performance shoe.
Cons:  No big dislikes, we just expected more performance.
Manufacturer:   Evolv

Our Verdict

The Evolv Ponta Was Discontinued in 2016

The Evolv Ponta climbing shoe is what Chris Sharma wears to climb many of his hardest routes. So it should be one of the best shoes, right? Yes, it performs well on steep sport climbs, but it is limited, falling in the middle of a lot of categories. It can't stand on tiny edges as well as an edging machine like the La Sportiva Miura VS or even the Five Ten Anasazi VCS. While it toe hooks well, we would still prefer a more aggressive shoe like the La Sportiva Solution for super steep terrain and burly boulder problems. And although the price is good for a high end shoe, it is much higher than an entry level shoe like the Evolv Defy or Mad Rock Flash. In summary, while this is a good shoe, there are better shoes out there. How did it compare to others?


Our Analysis and Test Results

Share:

Likes


This is a comfortable all-around performance shoe for gym, sport and bouldering. The synthetic holds its size reasonably well over time. The rubber is some of the softest and stickiest available. The shoes feature an extended toe rand for toe hooking on steep boulder problems and sport climbs. Also, these shoes can be left on on longer than most other high performance shoes — they are above average in the comfort department. If you size them just right (tight!) they do edge reasonably well.

Dislikes


There were no major dislikes. We just expected a little more from this shoe since it is the Chris Sharma pro model. While it is advertised as putting maximum power to the toe, it is not a micro edging machine like many other high-performance climbing shoes. It is an all-around shoe for bouldering and sport, it is not an all-around trad shoe like the La Sportiva Miura. Overall, is all-around okay but it did not stand out in any categories like we expected.

Best Application


This shoe excels on the steep stuff. Just look at what Sharma is usually sending in the movies: overhanging limestone.

Chris McNamara

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: September 28, 2012
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (3.3)

40% of 5 reviewers recommend it
 
Rating Distribution
5 Total Ratings
5 star: 20%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 60%  (3)
2 star: 20%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)
Climber

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Dec 20, 2011 - 05:50pm
MTkirk · Climber · Billings

Performance wise, it's about the same as my Evolve Defy's with yellow added. They work O.K. but they are definitely not high performance & oddly they are not all that comfortable either.



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

Person Icon

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Sep 28, 2012 - 11:30pm
Manny

They are equal to the Defy…lace or strap.

Man-up the extra dough and get the Shaman….the most amazing shoe I have ever climbed in!

If you are just getting started though, the Ponta or Defy are plenty fine.

Just an FYI for Evolv newbies…they are going to run pretty close to your street shoe size. I personally favor .5 to 1.0 smaller than my street shoe size.

I may never climb another shoe again since having been Shamanized.

I boulder V6+ regularly

Sport 5.10+ regularly and same with trad.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.

Climber

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Sep 24, 2012 - 09:14pm
jmayfiel · Climber

I agree 100% with the review. I find these shoes good at everything and great at nothing. They are comfortable, except for the people who have to stand next to me when I take them off. Worst smelling shoes I've owned.

But I would not buy them again simply because there are better shoes. I own the Miura (lace up), Anasazi VCS and TC Pro, and all are better for at least one type of climbing.

I still wear these for easy days, and except for a frustrating tendency to melt off of tiny footholds, have no big complaints.

I would also point out that matching your shoes to your foot is critical, and not easy. I've owned two pairs of Evolv shoes, and neither fit quite right. No matter how tight I sized it, there was dead space and the heel never locked down. The Five Ten last fits my foot better. I just said goodbye to a smelly, leather-hardened-by-sweat, worn out pair of Ascents that I should have trashed two years ago. But I kept wearing them because I kept finishing problems in them. They were NOT a bouldering shoe, but they worked well for me. So I suspect that people who love the Pontas love it for a good reason: it fits.

Anyway, now that these can be had for $70, if Evolv shoes fit your foot and you have a well-ventilated place to store them, this a fine choice.



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

Climber

Apr 4, 2012 - 07:01pm
 
motta.rr · Climber · Rio de Janeiro
Last Year I bought a Pontas lace. It is a good climbing shoe for edging due to the plate that it has under the sole. The rubber is as stick as the Stealth and it almost didn't loosen up. The only real problem a had was it has a seam exactly on the heel and because I fit it really tight it became a serious problem and I retired them.
Overall it is a good climbing shoe for the price (in Brazil it is almost R$100,00 (more the US$50,00) cheaper than the anasazi). But if you are going to purchase one make sure to fit it with socks!

Rodrigo Motta climber from Rio



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


  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   Dec 21, 2011 - 12:17pm
Rankin · Climber · Greensboro, North Carolina
I bought these from Wilson's Eastside Sports when I lived in Bishop and preceded to head right out to the Buttermilks and send the center route on the East Face of Green Wall (technical v6). They do everything well, but of course lose a bit of their edge after a while. Don't we all.
Definetly fit different and climb better than the Defy. I use the Defy in the gym, so I have experience with both models. They fit me very well and are super comfortable: wider toe box, narrow heel, high arch.

Maybe granite-centric Cali climbers would prefer a pointier toe for freeing Mescalito, but I find the comfort trade off is worth it.



Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...