2017 Approach Shoe Review: Evolv Zender

Frontcountry Lovin'
Publish date:
The Evolv Zender approach shoe.

The Evolv Zender approach shoe.


14 oz per pair; unisex.


The ultra-light Zender melded a street-savvy stylish leather upper with a nylon mesh lining for a cushy fit. Our tester noted that the shoe was drastically more comfortable on uneven trails, scree, and easy scrambles than on pavement: It felt like a more cushioned, supportive update of Evolv's Cruzers. 


“The Zender was very comfortable for easy hiking,” said our tester. While it wouldn’t be his choice for long approaches in Rocky Mountain National Park, it hit the sweet spot for front-country objectives like quick laps up the Flatirons and approaches to Clear Creek Canyon sport crags.


The Trax rubber sole was a rock star on talus and moderate terrain; even with a wonky ankle, our tester could depend on the rubber to grip the stone, especially for smearing. The shoe performed nicely in cracks and on edges as well, thanks to a supportive last.

$99, evolvsports.com

Read more: