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Review: Evolv Kronos

Whether at the gym or at the crag, there always seems to be someone attempting to smash their feet into downsized and aggressively downturned climbing shoes.

By: Daniel Conrad + Save to a List

While they most likely can warm up on my projects, I prefer a more comfortable shoe that lets me enjoy the climb without the distraction of painful feet. The Evolv Kronos do just that. 


When testing gear, I like to see how it holds up in various conditions and numerous applications. As a climbing wall employee and route setter, I used these shoes on every shift – when setting routes and gym climbing for fun. In addition to extensive gym climbing, I took the Kronos to The Pit, a sport climbing destination in Flagstaff Arizona, numerous times. This included leading guided climbing trips as well as simply climbing for fun. Now let’s get to what matters…Performance. 


My favorite thing about the Kronos is the fit and comfort of the shoe. They break in quickly and stretch out slightly more than some other synthetic shoes. I used these shoes to set a few routes at Grand Canyon University’s climbing wall. They were comfortable to keep on the entire time setting a route and working out the moves. I was not able to get these sendy shoes on a multi-pitch but can confidently say they would be comfortable to wear for all-day climbing. I normally wear La Sportiva shoes (Mythos and Katanas) and the Kronos are sized similarly. For reference: The Kronos I tested are 45 (Euro), my La Sportiva Katanas are 45, and my La Sportiva Mythos are 44.5. The Kronos and Mythos fit fairly similarly with the mythos a half size smaller.  


In all honesty, I’m generally more concerned with performance than style. However, the black on gray color scheme looks sharp without being overly flashy. With many outdoor apparel items being bright neon, the dark color scheme of the Kronos almost makes them stand out more. The Velcro closure also gives the shoe a clean look. 


This shoe boasts a variety of convenient features that contribute both to convince and quality performance. The Kronos is made of a Synthratek VX synthetic upper, making it a vegan-friendly shoe. The slight downturn of the shoe makes it somewhat more technical. However, as the shoe breaks in, they lose most of the downturn. Because of this, I would consider it more of a neutral than a technical shoe. 


I am a big fan of both the split tongue and adjustable strap length closure. These contribute to the shoe’s high level of comfort and convenience while at the gym or at the crag. The full-length midsole and outsole also contribute to giving the shoe more support and comfort. 

The Kronos also sport Evolv’s variable thickness rand that has thicker rubber in high wear areas while having thinner rubber in less used areas. Evolv also uses a TRAX® SAS sole which claims to have superior friction and durability. Just how do all these features perform and hold up? Let’s find out!


When the rubber meets the rock, these kicks get the job done. Evolv advertises the Kronos as a technical all-around shoe. While I would not consider them technical, they excel as an all-around climbing shoe. I was happy with the Kronos performance (both indoor and outdoor) for edging, smearing, and some light crack climbing. 

Being a more flexible shoe with only a slight downturn, the Kronos excelled at smearing. However, the Kronos did seem to struggle a little bit more on edgy or overhung routes. While I don’t consider the Kronos an aggressive shoe, I would have appreciated a little more edging power as they are advertised as a somewhat technical shoe. 

Despite this, the comfort and ease of use of these shoes made them enjoyable to climb with on any surface. The adjustable strap closure makes getting these shoes on and off a breeze. I normally only use lace up shoes, but the Velcro strap continues to grow on me the more I use it.

As a comfortable and quick on and off shoe, I loved using it as more of a gym shoe. During long climbing sessions they are so easy to slip on and off between climbs. As a climbing wall employee, I also appreciated being able to throw on the Kronos quickly if a customer wanted coaching and/or demonstration on how to do a certain move or route. Using the Kronos in the gym was where I found them to perform the best, however they also gave a solid performance every time I used them on outdoor rock.   


After using the Kronos frequently for two months, they show little sign of wear and tear. Out of the box, I was concerned that the heel loops might not hold up. I have been proven wrong as they have held up just fine so far, but I would still be careful not to pull too hard on them. The rand and edge are still in good shape and have not worn down more than expected of any climbing shoe. 

Friendliness to the Earth

Evolv uses their Synthratek VX synthetic material for the upper of the Kronos, making them vegan friendly shoes! This means that no animal products were used in the production of these shoes. Evolv as a company offers many vegan friendly shoes for all types and levels of climbing.  

The Final Word

Evolv’s Kronos are great all-around shoes that perform well across a wide range of rock and in the gym. I love the high level of comfort the Kronos has to offer as well as the ease of use when putting them on and taking off. My only wish would be for the slight downturn to hold its shape better, as it flattens out when the shoes are broken in. Overall, Evolv crushed it with the Kronos! I have already recommended the Kronos to others who have bought and are happy with them as well.

This review was originally posted on DirtbagDreams.com. 
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