Evolv Defy VTR

Priced: $57.94 - $89.99 Rated:   - 4 stars out of 5 by 39 reviews.
Evolv Defy VTR
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Oregon Mountain Community $57.94
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Gearx $59.97
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Campsaver.com $62.27
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Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) $62.96
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Regularly: $89.18
Rock/Creek Outfitters $64.95
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Regularly: $88.95
Half-Moon Outfitters $69.99
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Regularly: $89.00
Al's Sports $69.99 - $89.99
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Moosejaw $70.99
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Appalachain Outdoors $88.95
Campmor $89.00
Zappos.com $89.00
Mountain Gear $89.00
SummitHut.com $89.00
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Evolv Defy VTR -

The Defy Climbing shoe by Evolv is the best selling men's model that just got an upgrade. The Defy VTR appeals to new and advanced climbers alike as a comfortable, great-fitting shoe that performs exceptionally well.

With the VTR technology (Variable Thickness Rand), you get a toe rand that has strategically varying thicknesses. The HW (High Wear) Zone will be engineered to be thicker and more durable than the other areas of the rand which will not only enhance the toe box structure but prevent toe-bulge as well. (PATENT PENDING)


  • These shoes will not stretch; order a size that fits snugly, but not too tight; EVOLV shoes are scaled so your U.S. street shoe size will usually give a snug fit


  • Nylon lining and overlapping padded tongue for comfort


  • Soft midsole and sensitivity for feeling the rock and smearing
  • MX-1 1mm sensitive teardrop half-length midsole for edging and support


  • Medium perforated upper for added breathability


  • Plush, bedroom slipper feel and comfort for extended wearing


  • Molded logo on heel rand


  • Nonstretch Synthratek synthetic upper is vegan friendly


  • Slipper shape and performance without the uncomfortable pressure and crunch
  • Super cormfortable, bedroom slipperfeel and design
  • Durable and grippy 4.2 mm TRAX XT-5 rubber
  • 2.2 mm TRAX duro-rand ties the sole to the shoe for sensitivity and power
  • Asymmetric toe profile allows good preformance even for new climbers
  • VTR3D rand system
  • Hook and loop closure system
  • Ultra-sticky Trax XT-5 rubber for excellent performance
A comfortable, great-fitting shoe that performs exceptionally well, the Defy VTR by EVOLV® appeals to new and advanced climbers alike!
Medium perforated elastic Synthratek synthetic upper for added breathability.
Dual straps with hook-and-loop closure.
Soft nylon lining.
VTRD rand system. Variable Thickness Rand Technology features strategically varying thicknesses on the toe rand. The High Wear Zone will be engineered to be thicker and more durable than other areas of the rand which will not only enhance the toe box structure but prevent toe-bulge.
•Prevents toe-bulge and maintains toe box structure.
•More durability in the High Wear Zone.
•Waste reduction during manufacturing process.
MX-P 1 mm half-length midsole.
4.2 mm TRAX® XT-5 high friction rubber outsole.
2.2 mm TRAX® duro-rand.
Asymmetrical toe profile (KA-1).
Slip-lasted construction.
Made in the U.S.A.
FEATURES of the Evolv Men's Defy Climbing Shoe.
SPECIFICATIONS of the Evolv Men's Defy Climbing Shoe.


Evolv's best selling shoe has received an upgrade for even better performance. With new Variable Thickness Rand (VTR) Technology, this shoe is more durable in the high wear areas, has limited toe-bulge, and maintains toe box structure. With the feel of a nice fitting slipper, the Defy VTR is comfortable for multi-pitch routes or all day in the gym. The TRAX® XT-5 high friction rubber will smear on slippery slopers and stick on overhangs.

Mountain Gear
Evolv is not afraid to defy convention, and never has it been more evident than with the Defy VTR rock shoe - a modification to their already most popular shoe.

Appalachain Outdoors
Currently, the Evolv Defy is the best selling climbing shoe in the USA. The Defy provides comfort, great fit, and sensitivity to climbers of all skill levels.

The Defy is one of Evolv's most popular shoes and became an instant hit as soon as it was released it early 2005. It combines the benefit of a comfortable multi-purpose shoe and the convenience of a hook-and-loop fastener performance shoe. With the feel of a sensitive slipper, the Defy will smear on any slick sloper or stick on overhanging faces while being comfortable enough to wear on long multi-pitch routes or gym marathon-training sessions. Climbers of all abilities and styles will truly appreciate these shoes after just one day with them. The Defy is a must-have for every climber who wants a comfortable shoe that fits and performs superbly out of the box.

Oregon Mountain Community
The Evolv Defy VTR climbing shoes are a top seller due to excellent fit, sticky rubber, and nimble performance. A great do-it-all or entry level shoe.

Half-Moon Outfitters
Plush, bedroom slipper feel and comfort for extended wearing
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Average Price History: Price History
Review RatingNumber of Reviews
Avg. Weight (Pair):15 oz.
Last Shape:Flat
Lining:Nylon (comfortable and plush)
Midsole:MX-P: 1mm half-length midsole
PROFILE:Asymmetrical toe profile (KA-1 last)
RAND:VTR3D rand system (thicker in front toe area)
Shoe Profile:Flat Profile
Sole:4.2 mm TRAXᆴ XT-5 high friction rubber
Upper:Synthetic (non-stretch Synthratek upper)
Weight:7.5 oz ½ pair size 9 men's
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Evolv Defy VTR Reviews:

Positive Reviews:

The Evolv Defy VTR shoes, thus far, have been money well spent. The are one of the most popular shoes used by rock gyms in the US, and I can see why. As Evolv goes, they tend to run small, so I would advise ordering a half size larger. But with Zappos' return policy, you can't really go wrong. I have used these only on an indoor rock wall, and they have been amazing so far. The construction seems solid, and the tread is sticky, as needed. I have wondered if a lace up would be better, but honestly, the velcro is perfect for easy on and off. Nothing wrong with it at all, I think it is more of a style preference. I would say these are best suited for beginner/intermediate climbers, especially indoors. Ignore the fitting ratings, they are climbing shoes. They aren't really built for comfort, and being tight and narrow is the whole point.
Brian W - customer at Zappos.com on 03/16/2011
Plush, what else can I say, the Defy's are plush. I found that the Defy got me the most bang for my buck. The price of the Defy VTR is almost like stealing. They are build like a Sherman Tank with the Variable Thickness Rand. I can't believe that Evolv has actually come up with technology that prolongs the life of the shoe. One would think that nowadays, like computers, products would be designed to self destruct within a short period of time. Hell yeah and big props to Evolv for producing a product that was built to last. The Defy is a very soft, comfy slipper that has a very relaxed heel cup and just enough support to allow a gumby like myself to get his climb on for as long as I need to send. Big props Evolv for keeping it real.
EZ - customer at Zappos.com on 07/23/2010

They have been very nice to me

It's funny how shoe reviews are usually pretty useless. I will attempt to write yet another useless comment.
1. I got size 10, my street shoes are 8.5
2. Even at size 10, they still felt very small (half a size)
3. My toes bruised for 4 visits (12 climbs) at least 2 toes turned purple per foot
4. Yes, they do stretch (even though they said synthetic doesn't stretch)
5. After 4 visits, those shoes are perfect in every way, it feels like I'm wearing them as socks.
6. Problem with having perfectly fitted shoes is that I don't take them off between climbs.....and they smell!!!! Perhaps better material would be better with that.
Pig at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 06/06/2011

Perfect first shoes

As someone new to climbing you really can't beat the price of these shoes. After a few outings have to say the shoes are comfortable when climbing, but they need to be taken off to give your feet a break. Despite proper sizing the top of the shoes becomes cramped and can actually cause a pain in your foot. Haven't had them long enough to deal with the smell everyone is complaining about. Overall, a great choice.
Danny Boy at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 02/02/2012


Good beginner shoe for climbers starting out. These were my first pair and used them for mostly indoor bouldering with occasional top roping and outdoor climbs. Good for edges and smearing, but not the greatest for tiny foot chips. Hurts when you first wear them but breaks in nicely. One con is that it smells real bad after you use them for while. Other than that, good overall shoe for beginners.
Anonymous at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 08/08/2010

Perfect for a bigner

I started climbing on 2nd Feb, 2010. These were my 1st shoes.These shoes r great for some just starting up. The prices is not to high and they don't constrict your toes to much. It gives your feet a chance to get used to staying cramped for long hrs. All in all if u r planing to learn rock climbing this the shoe for u.
H.M Murdock at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 09/09/2010
I had first gotten the Evolv Kaos2 shoe. I am a 9.5 in street shoes and the 9.5 in Evolv's shoes kill my feet. I moved over to this shoe in a 10. Night and day. I climb so much smoother because I am comfortable. These shoes are amazing! Order a half size up from your street shoe and you should be fine.
Anonymous - customer at Zappos.com on 12/06/2011

Great shoe for all day

This is my 2nd pair. I have 3 pair of shoes, but I always find myself wearing these. Most routes 5.10 and lower these shoes are great. Harder routes usually require a more aggressive shoe. They do get funky, and should probably come with a bottle of lysol.
marc at Rock/Creek Outfitters on 08/08/2012

Comfort King!

This was my first shoe, I have owned three! Great for all day comfort, plus it strikes a nice balance between stiffness and sensitivity. Great for a first shoe or a comfy casual climbing shoe.
Hillbilly Willie at Rock/Creek Outfitters on 07/07/2011

solid shoe

these were my first shoe and I loved them. I got them resoled and would buy another pair. they fit me perfectly and made some of my best progress in the gym with them
airbornemohawk at Mountain Gear on 01/01/2011

Negative Reviews:

These shoes dont smear!

These shoes are simply put the worst climbing shoes I have ever owned, nay worn. And I have worn a lot of shoes in my life.

The sales person explained that these shoes would not stretch out since they are synthetic, and that they did not have to be sized tight to function well. The Evolv's proceed to stretch out immensely in the first day or twos use. Actually they stretched more than my last pair of leather shoes did in several years, and those were unlined leather.

Now they are completely worthless for climbing, I cant even smear in them, which is unfortunate because I just took a trip to climb slabs...
and had to purchase a new pair of shoes (not evolv's) after the scariest lead of my life.

Do not listen to the sales people when they tell you not to size them tight, they DO stretch, and they stretch quickly. My shoes still look new, but are no good for climbing whatsoever.
Dante at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 02/02/2011

Oh the pain

This shoe was unbelievably painful. I tried to push through and climb in them once but the pain was constant and distracting. I thought it was the size so I brought them back and tried a half-size then a whole size bigger. It didn't matter. The toe box is so narrow, no matter the size, the shoe put a lot of pressure on the side of my big toe and pushed the nail into the skin. It's even more painful than it sounds. I finally gave up and tried a pair of La Sportivas. While the La Sportivas are smaller size, they actually fit the shape of my foot and feel great! Every foot is different but for me, this shoe was horrible. The real lesson is to try shoes on and buy what works for you!
Brad at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 07/07/2012

First Shoe

I bought these as my first pair of shoes because they felt great and were reasonably priced. After about 8 months of consistent use, holes developed on the toe of each shoe. I loved these shoes for their comfort and versatility but the lack of durability is an issue.
MM at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 01/01/2011

Neutral Reviews:

EVOLV Men's Defy

I've been climbing for 3 years and this was the first pair of shoes I got. I mainly use it for indoor bouldering and occasional top rope and overall its a great beginner shoe. It has good value is entry level for all your heel hooks, toe hooks, and smearing. However, on tiny foot chips, its a bit hard to stick to the wall. I've used them for 3 yrs and finally get a new pair. The rubber isn't as good as it was fresh out of the box and one con is that it stinks. The smell alone is driving me to get a new pair. Overall, good pair of shoes, durable, and good value.
Anonymous at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 08/08/2010

Just ok, not bad, not great...

If this is your first pair of shoes, then you will probably be satisfied. These shoes do basically everything ok, but nothing super well. my pair were from a few years ago, and after about 6 months they smelled so bad when i brought them to the gym employees started looking for a dead rodent because of what they smelled,... it was just my shoes, but I've heard they have largely changed this problem (I did not have this issue with any of my other 8-10 pairs of shoes).Expect regular beginner shoes, and your get what you expected.
Danger-Russ at Mountain Gear on 11/11/2012

Decent gym shoe

I like these shoes for use at the gym and a little bit of outdoor before they get broken in. I really can't use them for technical climbing, but they do well as my back up pair of shoes. Evolve's foot mold never stays on my heel while hooking anything small, but these shoes are comparatively cheap, comfortable, and durable.
Roo1986 at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 01/01/2011

Good for beginners

The shoes were about a size too small when I got them, which is what I was looking for, but after 3 months or so they stretched out so much that I had extra room for my toes.
climber at Eastern Mountain Sports (EMS) on 07/07/2012