The Evolv Talon is a shoe designed for steep climbing. Evolv bills it as the best high performance steep rock shoe in the world, and I am inclined to agree with them. It is certainly the best that I have used.
The Talon sports an extremely downturned toe profile. It has a 4.2 mm outsole and a 1.1 mm sensitive, half-length teardrop midsole. The upper has a microfiber lining. Also, like most Evolv shoes, the upper is synthetic and will not stretch with use. The Talon is a lace-up shoe with a lot of rubber on the toe and heel to facilitate hooking. The Talon retails for $109.
My Talons fit me very tightly. I should have gotten them a half-size bigger. Given that, however, they still fit extremely well. I never thought that shoes this tight could be this comfortable. They have neither pressure points nor any dead space, and I can stand with full body weight on the tiniest of holds without causing any additional discomfort to the joints of my toes. The Talon is far more comfortable and performs better than the other aggressive, downcambered shoes I have used, such as the Mad Rock Loco.
The rubber on the Talon is outstanding. Whether I’m standing on tiny edges, grabbing little nubs with my toes, or heel hooking, the rubber works wonders. It is a great combination of sticky and firm, and my feet don’t slip inside or out. When the toes flatten out after a good amount of use, the shoe actually smears decently, and I love the extra rubber on the toe for when I’m toe hooking or need to jam my foot in a crack. It is great that the heel is fully encased in rubber for those times when a sideways heel hook on sharp rock is necessary.
The Talon edges exceptionally well. Its pointy toe is wonderful for toeing into small pockets. The Talon really lends itself to frontpointing on small edges and pockets. Heel hooks are solid and secure, as are toe hooks. If you have a more straight-in climbing style on steep routes, you should really like the Talon. If you tend to turn and twist your hips a lot, the Talon will still do everything you need it to.
As you can already tell from my comments above, I love the performance of the Talon. It is the best shoe for overhanging routes that I have ever used, and the Talon edges so well that it is sometimes my choice for thin and technical vertical routes as well. If the Talon fits your feet and you like steep climbing, then I highly recommend it.
If you are new to climbing check out this link to figure out what you should look for in a climbing shoe: http://tinyurl.com/p4wpjv. Trust me that the Talon is not a good choice for a beginning climber. Any of the shoes in this articlewould be a good choice for a beginner. To read reviews of other climbing shoes, click here, here, and here. Find the rock shoe that fits you, and have fun climbing!