A few weeks ago those lovely people at The Crag Station gave me a pair of Evolv's newest climbing shoe, the Nexxo, to try out.
As you can see from the picture below the Nexxo is an aggressive, high performance slipper. Chris Sharma has been involved in the design and production of the Nexxo from the very beginning and you can really tell that a lot of thought and years of experience have gone into this shoe.
Aimed at the hard bouldering and steep sport climbing market with the focus on performance I couldn't wait to pull these on a see if they lived up to the hype.
First impressions were good, very downturned and aggressive, a good amount of rubber on the sole. The rand, top of the toe and the heel are also well covered in rubber stickiness. The inside of the toe box has a microfibre lining which improves the comfort.
With a slipper of this shape getting them onto your foot was never going to be easy but the 3 well places loops give you enough purchase to hold the Nexxo in place as you drive your toes round the instep and into the shoe.
As you would expect from a shoe shaped like this the Nexxo performs brilliantly on steep ground.
Edging is solid and the firm yet flexible last means you can stand confidently on the smallest of chips but still feel what is going on between your feet and the hold.
Normally using a new shoe to rockover onto a high heel or smear on a volume would instil a little uncertainty. The snug fit and responsive sole on the Nexxo meant the thought didn't cross my mind.
I often suffer from a 'hot spot' on my big toe knuckle with a new downturned shoe and the Nexxo was no different, the give in the upper however, made this more bearable and I think after a half dozen more sessions they'll be as comfy as my old well worn in Shamans.
It's obvious that the Nexxo is never going to be your gritstone slab smearing shoe of choice, that's not what Evolv built it for, but the sensitivity in the sole combined with the sticky rubber meant I didn't feel out of sorts on my local grit circuits.
Fit & Sizing
The Nexxo is a very snug fit on your foot. As it's a slipper with a single velcro strap a secure fit is essential and the Nexxo doesn't disappoint as it hugs your foot and inspires confidence.
The sizing is a little different from it's nearest cousin the Evolv Shaman. Most people, including me, have gone up a half size from the Shaman to the Nexxo. For reference I'm a 8.5 in an Shaman and a 9 in the Nexxo. Across the top of the foot the Nexxo is pretty tight, but due to the supple nature of the upper it doesn't as restrictive as other aggressive shoes. If you've not tried an Evolv shoe with the 'Love Bump' and 'Knuckle Box' combination before but you want a precise and aggressive shoe without the associated pain then you need to try the Nexxo.
Straight out of the box the Nexxo is easily the most comfortable, down turned performance shoe I've worn.
The heel is snug and well protected but supple enough to be able to feel what's going on when hooking. The toe is very precise and the power transmission is great on small holds and edges.
Evolv have got the balance between thick enough rubber for durability and thin enough to maintain feel and feedback just right so the Nexxo should last you as long if not longer than other performance shoes.
Only time will tell if the 'Epow system' helps the show retain it's downturned shape as the shoe ages but it's holding up pretty well at the moment.
Evolv Product Information
New to the Chris Sharma Signature Series, the Nexxo represents for Evolv a new way of approaching how we build shoes, how we engineer performance, and how we bridge to a higher level of design. It is soft yet it is powerful. It is convenient and it is precise. The Nexxo ushers in a new era of Evolv's Ultra-Performance climbing footwear.
- Synthetic forefoot for ultimate performance
- Leather from mid to rear for comfort
- Microfiber lining in the forefoot for comfort, performance, and durability
- Combination of "Love Bump" and "Knuckle Box" provides control and power
- Elastic for convenience with instep Velcro for torsional rigidity
- New Evolv Power System - EPow, for tension and power to maximize performance
- Profile: Downturned asymmetric with "Knuckle Box" and "Love Bump"
- Sole: Variable thickness half-sole
- Rand: VTR rand (thicker around toe)
- Upper: Synthetic forefoot with leather in rear
- Lining: Microfiber forefoot, unlined leather in rear
- Midsole: MX-P: 1 mm full-length with semi-crescent nylon support
Evolv have produced a short video showing some of the new construction methods and concepts behind the Nexxo: