Gear Review: Evolv Cruzer Psyche Climbing Shoes
Value Rating: 9
Durability Rating: 8
Overall Rating: 9
Location of Test: Smith Rock
Duration: 2 days
Product Name: Cruzer Psyche
Product Brand: Evolv
Best Use: Day trips to the crag, multipitch climbing
Sizes Available/ Specs: Cotton canvas shell, TRAX high friction rubber
The Full Review:
I am, well, psyched, on the Evolv Cruzer Psyche. The shoe is lightweight, incredibly comfortable, and impressively functional on rock.
I picked up the Cruzer Psyche because I wanted an approach shoe that was light—while I was not looking for a big wall shoe or something to use aid climbing (this shoe is far too flexible for that), I wanted something stiffer than the original Cruzer. The Cruzer psyche met my needs. Each shoe weights an impressive 6.6 oz (in a Men’s size 9), making the pair just under a pound. Finally, something just as comfortable, more functional (from a climbing point of view), and less bulky than my Chacos!
In terms of comfort, I was impressed. While the shoe doesn’t offer the world’s best arch support, it fit my high arches pretty well. Even in a snugly sized shoe, I never felt any discomfort. I was dubious of Evolv’s claim that this shoe would be comfortable barefoot, but my doubts were quickly dismissed. I frequently would return from a climb, slip them on barefoot and stay in them for several belays. One of my favorite features of the shoe is the collapsible heel. The shoe is designed such that you can wear it like a slipper by simply collapsing the heel by stepping on it. This makes it far easier to put on when you return from a climb, and if you tie them like that, they stay on quite well.
This shoe feels a lot like a non-aggressive climbing shoe. The small traction studs on the bottom are nice for walking, but actually super great for the nubbin-y Smith Rock conglomerate. I wore these shoes on a trip with a bunch of new climbers, so for an entire day I didn’t climb above 5.8. The rubber toe cap is very durable, and the Evolv Trax stickey rubber was shockingly good at smearing. While everyone has different footwork abilities (meaning what I say may not be true for you), I felt totally comfortable climbing several slab routes, mostly on lead, up to 5.8 in my Cruzer Psyches.
In terms of negatives, I see two things. The first is durability. The rubber sole seems thin. While I love how light they are, I’m a little worried about the longevity of the sole, though I suppose I could always have them resoled. The other isn’t a problem with the shoe as long as the buyer is aware; this is not a big wall/aid climbing shoe. The weight and sleek profile makes it ideal for multipitch climbing, and the comfort factor makes it an awesome shoe for lounging around the crag, however that light profile certainly comes with a downside. The thin canvas walls do not offer as much protection as, say, the La Sportiva Boulder X, and the shoe does not offer proper stiffness to stand in aid ladders.
Overall, I’m incredibly impressed by the Evolv Cruzer Psyche, and $74.95, you’re getting truly fantastic value.
Super light, comfortable fit, collapsable heel, surprisingly good as a climbing shoe
Not a multiptich shoe
The Bottom Line:
This shoe is a screamin' deal!