Great All Around Shoes
This is the second Evolv Pontas II I have purchased, previously having the 2 velcro pair. The third velcro is a great addition, it really tightens the arch and the heel has been made to fit better as well. the toes have a decent edge for small foot holds, but the downturn is not so severe these hurt the feet after long climbs. The rubber is super sticky on the sole and is good for smearing. There is extra grip added on the heel which increase the hold of a heel hook (and the bulky feel of the heel from the last Pontas II version has been fixed).
I am a size 10.5 US in regular shoes but I found that the size 11US in both versions of the Pontas II fit perfectly, with the initial tightness to be expected, but broke in very nicely. The tight toe box contributes to this effect.
This is a great all around shoe, capable of any climb, and has the comfort for long climbs. At this price, this is a great shoe for a beginner, intermediate or someone even better looking for a great boulding/gym extra pair. They are similar in fit to the Evolv Defy VTR , and are a step above them.
The velcro are very nice for easy and quick on/off so if you take your shoes off between climbs it is very nice. The triple velcro ensures you dont loose much on adjustability and tightness control compared to laces.
The only real issue I have with these is that they get very smelly after a while, they require a good airing or else they will stink! Also the options of colors is limited to the black/yellow which is not a bad color scheme, but variety would be nice.
Very good for the price
I picked up the Pontas II for the price but ended up getting much more value out of this shoe then I was expecting.
The mildly aggressive asymmetrical last with a good pointy toe and a nearly flat sole result in a shoe that can be used very effectively on pockets, finger splitters, small edges, and overhangs despite being surprisingly comfortable.
The 4.2mm TRAX XT-5 rubber is just about as sticky as they come and held up very well. These shoes lasted me a whole season and a half of climbing 2-3 times a week before I finally blew out the toe (due to my own sloppy footwork). The sticky rubber does come with a slight tradeoff in the micro edging department, but smedging on those very small edges works like a dream. The midsole is also a bit on the stiffer side too, which allows you to stand on small hold much longer.
The high toe rand lets you hook and jam with ease and didn't show much of any ware by the time I finally retired my pair. The heel cup is right in between the exaggerated heels on more aggressive shoes like the Solutions or Miuras and more relaxed heels on shoes like the Moccasyms or Mythos (meaning they hook just fine without trying to cut your Achilles tendon in half), and the 3 very durable Velcro straps let you really cinch down the fit for when you need it.
The only down side I can think of for these shoes is the trademark evolv stink, but even that was pretty comparable to the stink you get from just about any other shoes out there.
For the price, you'd be hard pressed to find anything better out there.
Decent shoe if you can handle the stink
Mildly aggressive, very durable (with clean footwork) and sport a very comfortable feel due to the soft liner, with a big heel cup (perfect for large volume feet)and well designed toe box that doesn't have odd empty spots. Quick on and off which is good since I sized this shoe very small and it starts to kill the toes after awhile, YMMV. They also heel and toe hook very well, feeling secure on the rock with no slippage on my feet no matter how sweaty they might be. The rubber is pretty sticky, though I think the Miura's are both a bit stickier and certainly more sensitive. That said, these perform quite well bouldering and allow you to find and with some care stand on the smallest of the small. That is to say, edging could be a little better but doesn't dissapoint, and smearing is top notch.
The synthetic is nice in keeping the shoe true to size even after three months filled with climbing indoors, as well as tons of bouldering and short sport climbs outside. Rubber, velcro and stitching has all held up very well, and after an occasional scrub in the sink these shoes look pretty much good as new--they do not, however, smell anything near 'good'. If you are familiar with synthetic shoes, you know what I'm talking about. Despite all of your habits of ablution these things will stink all but the most odor-apathetic parties out of the crag when you take them off, but that means less waiting at popular climbs...so its a small bonus.
Solid four stars held back from five due to stink and 'soft' edging performance. Good chance I'll buy another pair, likely to the chagrin of my partners' noses.
Solid All-Around Shoe
So I never climbed in the original Pontas, so I can't really make a comparison between these and the first version, but I have worn many, many different climbing shoes in 10+ years, and I've been quite a fan of these since I picked them up.
(For reference - I work as a routesetter and climbing coach, and have usually climbed in Anasazi Lace-ups for a stiffer technical shoe, testarossas for a steep sport shoe, and Speedsters (or the old school Mantra S, for those that remember it) as a gym shoe.)
The style of this shoe is flat and pointy, and it climbs very similar to other shoes in this category (think Anasazi lace-up). The three velcro straps work about as well as laces for tensioning the fit throughout the whole shoe, and the heel cup is decently deep and secure enough that my heel hasn't slipped out on strong heel hooks. Decent toe cap rubber over the rand for toe-hooking. If you have decent footwork and can place your toes well, I think this shoe will serve you pretty well on just about any terrain - while many new shoes are pushing the downturned toe as a necessity for hard climbing, these feel they will perform just as well on steep routes as on thin vertical routes.
The Pontas II fit my 11.5 feet a little too comfortably in a size 12, but when sized true to my street size they were perfect. I would not buy them in more than a half-size below your street shoe. The toebox has enough room such that your toes should be slightly curled, but not painfully so. This will give you more power when edging; however, the shoes are not down-turned enough for you to gain much additional performance by cramming yourself into something uncomfortable. The Pontas have a really nice toe for edging and good the 3rd strap keeps the sole tight for smearing, but the heel feels a little lacking. It will work well for most heel hooks, but I would really like to see something with more of a pronounced heel cup and an extension of the outsole higher up the heel. This is a solid all around shoe that is meant to be comfortable, so that you can enjoy being on the wall. By the time you wear them out, you'll have a good feeling of what features you want in your next shoe. They'll get you to 5.11 and v5.
Better than expected, great shoe.
Great shoe so far.
I bought these as a strictly indoor shoe but they would do well outdoors in my opinion. These rarely slip on even tiny holds and smear well. I'm not an avid climber so I can't say how quickly they wear, but so far they seem solid. I'm not a fan of shoelaces so this is my second pair of velcro. Even with the 3rd strap I'm in and out of them quickly. The heels are my favorite feature. Had trouble heel hooking with my last pair because I have a tendon that bruises easy in my right heel. I don't even feel it anymore with these shoes. Would definately say they are worth the price, even if I had paid full price for them. I bought them a half size smaller and I can get through two to three climbs without having to take them off. My feet feel very protected in these so if you like to feel the hold on the heel hooks and crimpy holds you will be disappointed.
First off, with sizing it is difficult to say if shoes are "true to size" because each brand is a little different, and the shape of the shoe is always a factor. If you already climb in Evolv and want a good fit, I went one full size down from street shoe size. In Evolv's other, more down-turned and aggressive shoes, I only go down half a size from street. The fit is solid; the opposing strap idea works well to really keep the arch of your fit tight against the shoe, and makes it more trustworthy on major heelhocks. A bit stiffer of a design through the midsole; means these shoes perform great across a wide range of terrain, from being able to smear on slabs, stand on small holds on vertical walls, and still provide enough flex to toe in when climbing on steep walls. Style... too personal to judge, right? I like brightly colored shoes.
Comfort and precision
I had the original Pontas and liked them a lot, so I had an idea of what i was getting. These are a good all around shoe, that mixes comfort with the aggressive edge you need. I wear a 10.5 street shoe and got these in the same. My feet are normal width and not too narrow. I dont like my shoes too tight and think they fit well, although they may be a little loose in the heel for some. The added velcro seems to help in tightening everything up pretty good. I climb indoors and out, trad and sport, face and cracks. I used these on a technical edgy 5.11 climb and they performed great. For me, I like a shoe that can be worn for a whole day of climbing without killing your feet but which still provide some technical features.
First Pair of Climbing Shoes
I got these as my first pair of climbing shoes about a half a year ago and haven't had any problems. They really seem to grip the wall well and the Velcro straps make them really quick to get into and out of. I bought them a little tight, but after a few trips they stretch out a tiny bit, so now they fit perfectly. Overall they are the best shoes I have ever tried on or used through rental.
I'm really happy with these shoes. The grip is really great. More aggressive than any climbing shoe I have used in the past. It has been fairly painful on the tops of my toes breaking them in, though it is getting a bit better. So far I've only used these in a gym and not yet outdoors.