Review: Evolv Nighthawk and Skyhawk - Climbing Magazine

Review: Evolv Nighthawk and Skyhawk

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Evolv Nighthawk Skyhawk Trad Climbing Shoes Flat Review

The Evolv Skyhawk (left) and Nighthawk (right) climbing shoes.

“For the price point, they’re the best shoe I’ve worn,” said one tester of Evolv’s new all-around shoe, the Nighthawk, which with its low-volume companion, the Skyhawk, hit markets this year. Both shoes are flat-lasted lace-ups with unlined leather uppers, an antimicrobial split tongue, synthetic overlay, 1.4mm full-length MX-P midsole, and 4.2mm Trax SAS sole. One Nighthawk tester used his in the gym for ARC training (25 minutes at a time of bouldering), while another used them on moderate roped soloing in Eldorado; both praised their consistent comfort for long sessions—“They encouraged me to climb comfortably for hours,” said our Eldo tester. Meanwhile, our Skyhawk testers took theirs out on Colorado granite, plus sandstone bouldering in Utah and Colorado. All testers said the shoes excelled at smearing, pockets, and trad (jamming, slabs), and were good on face holds down to “medium-sized edges”—the 5.9–5.11 range. The shoes, which one tester labelled “semi-precise” (she hankered for a pointier, more asymmetrical toe), did work on smaller footholds by applying concerted force, though this led to big-toe fatigue. And they weren’t as fluent on overhanging sport—not surprising given their flat last. Still, the “Nighthawk far outperforms its $79 price point,” a tester said. “It’s not a high-performance shoe, but it is a solid shoe for days when you’re looking for something comfortable.” Echoed a Skyhawk tester, “These are great for trad climbs and moderate sport climbs—super-comfy for long periods.” All testers also praised the durability and antimicrobial treatment, saying even after long, sweaty sessions during which the shoes didn’t come off, they still smelled like leather and not foot stank.

$79, (nighthawk, skyhawk)