To be honest, the first pair of climbing shoes that have ever graced my feet were a pair of beat up La Sportiva Miuras that Chan owns. They were well-worn. Loose fitting for me because my feet is a lot smaller than his and comfortable. Miuras are NOT beginner shoes. They are high performance shoes. But because these were at least two sizes too big for me, they fit me just right. They were loose enough that it didn't pinch but they were made with a great shape. The reason why I wore his shoes to climb was because I wanted to avoid paying so much just to climb in the beginning at "The Cave" a gym in Kansas city.
When I finally got into the sport, I decided to get my own shoes for real. I wasn't too sure about spending so much money on a pair of shoes since I was still a beginner and being the non-athletic person that I am, I wasn't sure if my interest would sustain. Hence, I decided to find the best fit between affordability, comfort and quality.
Evolv Elektra Review
Another thing you should take note of is the shape of the shoe! I found a diagram from La Sportiva's site that I thought was really helpful in understanding the different shapes and arches meant for different stages of climbing.
The Evolv Elektra fit right into the comfort fit section for me. It is flat, rounded and has enough space for my wide feet.
Sizing with the Evolv Elektra
You should also understand that within the same brand, under different styles, the sizes and fit can differ too. Make sure to read forums and reviews to see what other people who have bought the shoe have to say about sizing. Just because you are a particular size under a particular brand for that style doesn't mean it's going to be the same size if you get a different style under the same brand.
Affordability, Quality and Comfort
Evolv is a good brand with a good reputation. My Elektras held up really well as a beginner shoe for me and it's only after a high frequency of climbing that I'm starting to realize that the rubber is getting soft and not as sticky as before. I'm on my way to buying my next pair of shoes and I'll write a post about breaking those in and what shoes I decided to get in the end.
Affordability: They are extremely affordable. I got them around $70-80s with free shipping and free returns. I didn't need to return them but it was still cheap for a pair of climbing shoes.
Quality: The shoe is made well, I did not experience any issues with it and it held up well enough for most of the problems that i had to deal with as a beginner.
Ventilation: I sweat a lot and these shoes seem to really just trap the sweat in. They started to smell after a while.
Comfort: They are not the most comfortable of shoes because I've tried some other gym shoes at the gym such as the La Sportiva Mythos that is way more comfortable. The lace allows you to control how tight you want the shoes to be and it seems to be shaped a lot wider too. The Elektra is a little narrow for my feet but they are still tolerable for up to 2 hours of wear and walking in them around the gym.
So for the price, comfort and relatively acceptable level of comfort these shoes are a good buy if you are on a budget or if you are just starting out and you don't want to spend too much. They are not too good on small tiny foot chips, are reasonably okay with smearing and in general good for beginner routes. My only complaint would be that the rubber seems to get worn down pretty fast. I've heard of Scarpas and La sportivas lasting for years and these are not like those types of shoes. But then again, I've seen online forums talking about how the Evolv rubber isn't the most durable. So, you should take a note of that and factor it in your decision making.
Well, I hope this post helped you with understanding the type of shoe you should be looking for and if you were hoping to get the Elektra, I hope this post was informative for you.