For a climbing slipper priced under $100 the Evolv Addict may be the best out there. The Addicts are a comfortable and durable shoe and one that will surely compete with the Five Ten Moccasyms.
You can’t write about the Addicts without noting how similar they are to the Five Ten Moccasym (retail $115.00). Virtually everything about these shoes seems modeled after the very popular “Moccs”; the main differences being they fit a wider foot better, and the sizing is a bit on the generous side. For example: I typically wear between a 10 and 10.5 in climbing shoes, and with these I wear 11s.
Perfect for desert finger cracks
I got a pair of the Addicts primarily for thin, sandstone desert cracks, and in this realm they have certainly performed perfectly. A slipper with a small toe profile is key to sending thin desert cracks. A normal shoe simply won’t do, and many other slippers geared towards bouldering or steep sport climbing are too wide for fitting into tiny cracks when footholds are basically non-existent. I voiced some concerns about Evolv’s rubber in my review of their Astroman last year, but it seems like those issues have been figured out: I’ve put these shoes through the ringer in the desert and beyond for the last nine months, and the rubber is still holding up nicely.
Other types of climbing in the Addicts?
In the process of reviewing the Addicts I made the mistake of bringing only these shoes on a two week trip to Squamish, The Cascades, and City of Rocks. I’d meant to bring a pair of high top shoes to compliment these in my quiver, but at the last minute I spaced them.
The Addict performed well on granite, though a slipper like this is not very comfortable on multipitch routes. I prefer to have something with more stability when I’m constantly standing on my feet. The shoes did perform though: from 5.9 granite cracks to 5.12 sport routes.
For me, and my feet, the heel simply does not fit tightly enough to properly heel hook. Overall that’s my biggest complaint with this otherwise great, affordable shoe: often when I’m heel hooking in these it feels like the heel is going to slip off. They fit well until I attempt a heel hook move.
All in all, a great shoe, that’s worth every penny. It’s durable to stand the test of bouldering, multi-pitch climbs, and for the desert climber, difficult cracks. Honestly, I only have a shoe like this in my quiver for the Utah desert, and because I’m a desert fiend, I imagine I’ll be wearing the Addicts for quite a while.
Evolv Addict (on backcountry.com)
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