Evolv Sports is an environmentally friendly climbing shoe company based in the United States. They were founded only in 2003. However, in a little over a decade, they have gained critical and popular acclaim for their technical rock climbing shoes to their performance casual footwear.
The Cruzer is meant to be a minimalist, casual, climbing shoe that you can wear all day, from scrambling up a rock face to traveling around town. As climbing shoes, Evolv describes them as a mix between approach and rock shoes.
Their look is somewhat reminiscent of Toms shoes, a far cry from the typical hyper technical climbing shoe. But don’t be mistaken, they are definitely built with performance in mind.
While the Cruzers have become somewhat known to the parkour community, they haven’t really become all that popular. Read the rest of the review to find out more.
The Cruzers fit very snugly on your feet and are designed to be barefoot friendly. They have a microfiber lining throughout and a memory foam insole. However, they are minimalist shoes and have no real arch support. At least for me, this results in a shoe that is quite comfortable, but if you are looking for more support these are not the shoes for you.
The Cruzers come with a split tongue, which isn’t all that common. For those that aren’t familiar with them, a split tongue prevents the tongue from sliding to one side of the shoe. I can’t say that this is a huge problem for me when doing parkour, but it is a nice feature nonetheless.
Another point worth mentioning is that the Cruzers were designed to be able to be slipped on. The heel is not rigid at all. You can easily bend it to slip them on very easily and you can keep the heel folded down and use them as a sort of slipper. The heels have pull tabs as well though this seems to be more for clipping them on to a pack or such.
The canvas upper comes with medial vents and provides good breathability. The toe area is somewhat lacking in this area though. There is not much water resistance to speak of. If it’s raining heavily they could soak through.
Finally, the Cruzers have a more narrow fit, but it is not very pronounced in my opinion.
Flexibility / Sensitivity
The flexibility of the shoes is excellent. For comparison, they are a little stiffer than Feiyues, but substantially more flexible than traditional running shoes. The same goes for sensitivity.
There is minimal padding and minimal shock absorption. These shoes definitely will not help you very much when taking drops or with other impact moves.
Given the minimalist nature of the Cruzers, you would be correct in assuming that they are very light. For a men’s size 9(US), the Cruzers come in at a svelte 7.7 ounces. As far as parkour shoes go, you won’t find many lighter than these, and they are the lightest that have been reviewed on this site so far.
The Cruzers use Evolv’s very sticky TRAX rubber. The grip is solid on pretty much all surfaces. It is spectacularly good on brick, and what it was designed for of course, any rocky terrain. The shoes really shine doing wall runs and climb ups.
Despite being built for climbing, I don’t expect amazing durability. I can’t say for sure as I haven’t tested the Cruzers for long enough. The build quality is solid, but I am concerned about some of the canvas areas under high stress. Overall, I imagine the durability will turn out to be about average as far as parkour shoes go.
Evolv’s Cruzers definitely fill a niche in the parkour world. The grip is excellent, they are incredibly lightweight, the build quality is decent, and they are more than flexible and sensitive enough. Unfortunately, with a growing selection of minimalist shoes on the market, and the much cheaper Feiyues available, I think most people are going to opt for the Feiyues without giving them a shot.
Note: Pay extra attention to the sizing. Evolv provides a good chart to go off of.