When it comes to climbing, I rely heavily on shoes that edge and are comfortable to wear while doing it. Primarily a Gunks climber my first few years of climbing, I wore shoes that worked well on quartz conglomerate and face climbs rather than ones that would jam comfortably inside of cracks. And then I was introduced to crack climbing.
When I first tried on a pair of Evolv Astroman, they felt so much stiffer than any new pair of shoes. It took a little bit of getting used to, but with such a viciously thick sole, wedging my feet into cracks felt better than using any other pairs of shoes I owned. I was advised to size them a half a size smaller than my regular shoe size. After a few months of usage, I got a decent amount of stretch.
I try not to break new shoes in at the gym because the plastic holds are mean to new rubber. I took the Astroman for a spin in Vedauwoo in early summer and this is what I found out:
I know that there are a lot of good crack climbing shoes out there, but for what I was looking to try, the Astroman fit the bill. Many friends have praised La Sportiva TC Pros, which I think actually edge better than the Astroman, however, the Astroman is much stiffer than the TC Pro. I watched the TC Pro flex a little too much on invert offwidth boulder problems. The Astroman’s thickness decreases quite a bit of sensitivity for me.
The shoe has a slightly asymmetric profile and a slightly larger width to it. It’s not super ideal for thinner cracks and overall, not aggressive (very flat-toed). Overall, the durability of this shoe is quite excellent. I needed a super stiff hightop shoe for climbing offwidths and attempting invert style, and they’re a great alternative to the TC Pro. Plenty of ankle protection and the microfiber lining inside is plenty comfortable! At $145 retail price, you really can’t go wrong. Desert climbing, here we come!
Disclosure: I am currently an athlete with the company Evolv and the gear has been provided for this review. All statements are my own honest opinion.