The Evolv Cruzer is one of the more eye-grabbing approach shoes we have seen in a while, and won a Top Pick for Casual, Lightweight Shoe. At first, it just looks like a fashion innovation: the first company to bring TOMS shoes style to the climbing world. It's a sleek looking shoe, but even more impressive to us is how it climbs. Sized to fit snugly, the Cruzer climbs surprisingly well. And while this is a lace-up shoe that can be cinched up on your midfoot when desired, the heel portion can also be folded down to the footbed for slip-on entry. We love this feature for quickly bouncing around the boulders and sport crag. Available in several colors, including a tan and gray, this is the most unassuming looking shoe for casual wear as well. We wanted to call this the Top Pick for Carrying up Long Multi-Pitch Routes with Slab Descents, and Chilling at the Crag and Boulders…but that's a mouthful.
The Evolv Cruzer is almost in its own category. The closest comparison would probably be the Vasque Grand Traverse, the second lightest model we tested, but it's nearly twice as heavy. The Cruzer climbs better, especially because the lacing and design makes the whole toe area feel more precise. The Grand Traverse offers much more foot support, hikes well, and is better suited to longer approaches and descents.
Our Editors' Choice winner Five Ten Guide Tennie and Best Buy La Sportiva Boulder X are much heavier, but provide more "do everything" performance. The Women's Cruzer was also a Top Pick winner in the Men's Approach Shoe Review.