Editors' Choice 2018: Evolv Oracle Review
Our top climbing gear picks for 2018
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A new offering in the Evolv ultra performance series, the Oracle is a high-performance downturned lace-up built for steep sport routes, bouldering, and gym climbing. Our tester wore his street-shoe size; while he was concerned that his foot might not fit the agressive last, the shoe expanded nicely when he put them on, and he was able to climb hard right away, on both steeps and vert. “Because of their downturned shape, I was concerned I wouldn’t be able to edge on vertical face,” he says. “But edge they did—I could do hand-foot matches on fingernail edges, without the sole popping off.” You get a 1.6mm half-length “Love Bump” midsole, which curls your toes under for grabbing, while the outsole is 4.2mm grippy Trax SAS rubber. Our tester praised the speed lacing system, which, coupled with the high-tension heel rand, cranks your foot snugly into place—i.e., bomber on technical hooking. A high forefoot toe-hooking patch was great for scumming as well. The Oracle is a steep-rock machine.