The Evolv Pontas 2 is a revised version of the first Pontas designed by Chris Sharma. The main additions are a third Velcro strap and a thicker rand in the toe. The sole is the same 4.2mm Trax rubber with a pointy toe tip similar to the popular Five Ten Anasazi VCS and Mad Rock Flash 2.0. This new version also has a slightly improved fit in the heel for better heel hooking. All in all, the Pontas 2 is a comfortable and versatile shoe in the middle price range that offers above average performance. They have enough improvements and new features to move them up higher than the original Pontas in our overall ratings and if we gave an award for versatility, this would be a contender to win for sure. That said, the Shaman is still our favorite Evolv shoe for steeper angles and it's also one of our top-rated shoes overall. The Pontas 2 are more flat which makes them more comfortable to wear for long periods of time so they are better for less steep rock and more varied styles of climbing.
Evolv Pontas 2 Review
Cons: The liner takes on a stronger odor than most other shoe liners and the fit was a bit airy in the toe tip.
Our Analysis and Test Results
A pointy toe tip just like the original puts the power down on small edges right where you want it. The non-aggressive design allows you to stand comfortably on fairly small edges for long periods of time. The more aggressive/down-turned toe on shoes like the Evolv Shaman puts the power down on tiny edges better but mostly just on steeper angles and for shorter periods of time. These shoes work above average for edging but not as well as the very precise, but more expensive Five Ten Anasazi VCS that has a similarly pointy toe design and was one of the best shoes we've ever tested for edging.
The sticky rubber "VTR rand" is thicker on top of the big toe area and helps for most foot jams. The pointy toe tip works good for toe jamming in some thin finger cracks. The foot lays flat (non aggressive design) and allows for stable and non- painful foot jamming with the toes not being so curled up that the top of the knuckles get rubbed raw. This shoe is overall average for crack performance, which is pretty good considering its design is more for sport climbing, gym climbing and bouldering.
Because these shoes were so comfortable and fairly high performing they became this tester's "go to shoe" used for warming up, working moves and sometimes even pushing it on projects near the limit. We tested using our street shoe size and it was comfortable and not too tight anywhere on the shoe (a lot of rock climbing shoe manufacturers are sizing their shoes down to fit your street shoe size now). With the new, third Velcro strap it is a bit more adjustable but this is not a really big difference considering the added bulk of the third strap. The Velcro closures allow it to quickly and easily loosen up for all-day comfort or tighten up to perform at a fairly high level when needed.
The pointy toe tip gets the power down where you want it, penetrating and standing very well in tiny pockets, small slots and thin seams. This was above average for pocket climbing.
Having a flat/non aggressive sole comfortably positions the toes for maximum sensitivity. The 4.2mm rubber on the sole is average thickness and offers the perfect mix of softness for sensitivity and firmness to hold an edge. A full-length 1.5mm midsole stiffens and supports while not being too thick to decrease your ability to feel the rock. For comparison, the popular and much less expensive Evolv Defy Black also has a comfortable, non-aggressive design and a 4.2mm sole but has a half-length 1mm midsole that increases sensitivity but decreases support and durability.
The pair we reviewed were a bit loose fitting in our street shoe size, which made them a great all-day shoe but made them lack a bit in high performance. If you want a tighter fit for higher performance try a half size smaller than your street shoe size (we recommend doing this at a retailer where you can actually try the shoe on first since feet and shoe sizes are all so different).
— Chris Summit