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Gear Review: Evolv Venga Kids Rock Climbing Shoes

Evolv Venga kids rock climbing shoes

Kids Rock Climbing Shoes
Evolv Venga
$45, 11 oz. (pair of youth size 5)
Sizes: unisex kids 11 to youth 5

Kids are often happy to climb in their low-cut hiking shoes up to a certain age—then they want a pair of real rock shoes like mom and dad. When my 11-year-old son decided this summer he wanted to graduate to sticky climbing shoes, I got him the Venga. Unless your kid is a climbing prodigy, the Venga is the sort of all-around climbing shoe that he or she needs: comfortable (especially for multi-pitch routes); easy to pull on and off with its one-strap, hook-and-loop closure; and sporting outsole rubber that’s sticky enough to make your kid feel like the next Alex Honnold.

My son wore the shoes on single- and multi-pitch routes on the granite at Idaho’s City of Rocks National Reserve and Castle Rocks State Park, and had only good words for their comfort and stickiness. The perforated synthetic uppers and mesh tongue keep feet cool on hot walls. An adjustable heel strap lets you shrink or expand fit by a full size, giving your child two or three seasons in them. And you’ll wish you could buy adult rock shoes for this price.

—Michael Lanza

About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor and primary gear reviewer for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.

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    This is Evolve’s high performance donurwtned climbing shoe designed by Chris Sharma. For a shoe of this type (specialized for steep hard climbing) it is exceptionally comfortable and versatile. I often see beginner-intermediate climbers using this shoe and having fun which says a lot! Try another company’s secret weapon model on anything but the gnar-gnar and you will feel like your big toe is about to break. The key to this comfort is a less asymetric last while creating an aggressive donurwtned shape that stays through the life of the shoe. This model also features a deep high volume heel cup which fits and performs very well for me. The Optimus Primes have helped me step it up on gently overhanging to severely overhanging terrain thanks Evolv!


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Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter. Join The Big Outside now to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. And click here to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

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