Evolv Oracle vs. Shaman Climbing Shoes

When it comes to climbing shoes, there are numerous options available in the market, each with its own set of unique features and advantages. Two popular options are the Evolv Oracle and the Shaman climbing shoes. These shoes have gained a significant following among climbers due to their excellent performance and comfort.

However, choosing the right pair of climbing shoes can be a daunting task, especially for beginners. In this article, we will compare both of these shoes, exploring their features, pros and cons, and performance, to help you make an informed decision about which one is best suited for your climbing needs.

Evolv Oracle

Evolv Oracle
Climbing Shoe Type: Aggressive
Last: Slip-lasted
Upper: Synthetic leather
Lining: Unlined
Outsole: TRAX SAS high-friction rubber
Footwear Closure: Lace-up
Weight (Pair): 1 lb. 1.4 oz.

The Evolv Oracle climbing shoe is a top-of-the-line shoe that offers innovative features for performance and comfort. The Knuckle Box feature provides extra space to accommodate the curled knuckle of the big toe, while the FSS Heel Tensioner makes lacing up a cinch. The shoe has outstanding edging ability due to its split outsole and forefoot stiffness. However, the downturned position and rubber-coated upper make it less suitable for crack climbing.

The Knuckle Box also increases the volume of the toe box, limiting its usefulness for pocket climbing. Despite its bias toward support over sensitivity, the shoe strikes a balance between the two and offers excellent value compared to top competitors from Scarpa or La Sportiva. The shoe is highly recommended for steep bouldering or sport climbing, or for those with wider feet.

Overall, the Evolv Oracle climbing shoe is an outstanding choice for anyone looking for high-performance and comfortable climbing shoes.

What I like: Great edging, quick lace closure, and great toe hooking

What I don’t: Big toe volume and painful cracks

See the Evolv Oracle

Evolv Shaman

Evolv Shaman
Climbing Shoe Type: Aggressive
Last: Slip-lasted
Upper: Synthetic lux microsuede
Lining: Synthetic suede
Outsole: 4.2 mm TRAX high-friction rubber
Footwear Closure: Strap
Weight (Pair): 1 lb. 4.8 oz.

The Evolv Shaman climbing shoe, designed by Chris Sharma for hard sport climbing and bouldering, is a high-performance and comfortable shoe with a unique “love bump” that helps maintain the downturn over the shoe’s lifespan and pushes the big toe forward. The shoe fits well in the front without causing bone-crushing pain, and testers recommend sizing them in-store, perhaps a half-size up from street shoe size. Although the Shaman excels in pockets and is comfortable to wear, it falls behind other high-end climbing shoes in the edging department due to its softer Trax rubber, which can deform around smaller features, making testers feel insecure on tiny nubbins. The Shaman is suitable for jamming in hand-sized cracks, but its aggressive downturn is not ideal for sustained cracks.

The shoe has a medium-wide fit, and the low-profile Velcro straps go unnoticed when jamming them in cracks or flexing the shoe on slabs and smears. The Shaman is competitively priced for a high-end climbing shoe, and after two months of testing, there was no damage or delamination. However, the softness of the rubber is a limiting factor in the shoe’s performance, and its toe feels somewhat blunt, making it harder to fit into small spaces or place on thin edges. Ultimately, the final decision will come down to personal preference and the type of climbing being done.

What I like: Great for steep climbing, comfortable, high-performance, and secure fit

What I don’t: Soft rubber and lacks sensitivity

See the Evolv Shaman

Which one is right for you?

The Evolv Oracle is a high-performance shoe that excels in technical and vertical climbing. It has a moderately downturned shape that provides precision and edging capabilities, and it also has a stiff midsole that allows for optimal power transfer to the toes. The Oracle has a slightly asymmetrical shape and a low-volume fit, making it a good choice for climbers with narrow feet.

On the other hand, the Evolv Shaman is an aggressive shoe designed for steep and overhanging climbing. It has an extremely downturned shape with a “love bump” feature that pushes the big toe forward and maintains the downturn over the life of the shoe. The Shaman has a comfortable medium-wide fit and three Velcro straps for adjustability. It is a good choice for climbers who prefer a more powerful and aggressive shoe.

In summary, if you primarily climb technical and vertical routes, the Evolv Oracle may be a better choice for you. If you prefer steep and overhanging routes, the Evolv Shaman may be a better fit. However, both shoes are high-quality and versatile, so it ultimately depends on your personal preference and intended use.

Olivia Wade

Olivia Wade is the creative force behind Climb Daily. Born and raised in beautiful British Columbia, she brings her passion for photography, content creation, and outdoor exploration to the team. Learn more about Olivia Wade here.