Since I first put on a pair of Shamans two years years ago they have been my go to shoe for almost everything. However, this may have changed. I started wearing Nexxo, the latest shoe in the Evolv Sharma Signature Series, towards the end of the summer and have been impressed. In fact, I was sold before I put them on. The slick and sexy looking shoe looks more like a high end fashionable football boot than nerdy climbing shoe. So regardless of performance at least you’ll look good in a pair – winner! So far I have used them on a number of sport climbing trips testing them on short steep routes in the UK through to 40m endro fests in Yangshuo, China. I like the aggressive, downturned asymmetric profile meaning gripping footholds on steep terrain is easy. Like the Shaman, the Nexxo features the Love Bump at the bottom of your toes and the Knuckle Box at the top put your toes into a powerful position that's also incredibly comfortable. For those that surf I guess you could make the comparison to when split toe wetsuit boots first came out. This feels a little strange at first but once used to it you can really notice the difference in power you can get through your feet on poor footholds. I’d hesitate to go back to wearing a shoe that didn’t have this feature now. It really does work! Further bonuses I’ve encountered is that the Nexxo provides lots of toe power yet keeps the sensitivity allowing your footwork to feel precise and powerful standing on the tiniest edges. Evolv took its trademark Trax rubber and shaved it down in critical areas to give your foot the dexterity it needs for precision on technical climbs. I must concur that this seems to have worked quite well. The dynamic, precision shape of the toe box allowed me to utilise tiny pockets effectively and with confidence; something I was grateful of on the crux of China Climb 8c. Those who have climbed with me will know that a love to use the whole shoe to sneak my way around hard moves, toe hooks, drags, footlocks and more. This is where the Nexxo exceeds the Shaman with lots of rubber atop the foot made toe hooking, heel toes and footlocking exceptionally great. Like the Shaman, the shoe strives to reach that fine balance between sensitivity and support, comfort, and performance, and meets those expectations for what a great performance shoe should be. I therefore found, once broken in, the Nexxo was great for long training sessions I’d been putting in prior to my China trip.
To summarise, for steep climbing of any variety, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better, more powerful edging shoe than Evolv Nexxo; a great high-performance slipper that does it all well whilst being surprisingly comfortable for a high performance shoe. I can’t imagine a better shoe to take on a two month trip in the states next month.