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The Pro Picks…

Daniel Woods Climbing Shoes

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With seven National bouldering titles to his name and an array of gnarly boulder problem first ascents, including an impressive send of his V17 project, Daniel Woods is undoubtedly one of the best boulders of his generation.

Evolv Phantom

His Top Pick

Evolv Phantom

Daniel Woods’ signature shoe. The Phantom is arguably the most aggressive shoe in the biz.

Evolv Shaman Pro thumbnail

For Smearing

Evolv Shaman Pro

The soft version of the classic Shaman, the Pro excels at smearing on both indoor and outdoor walls.

La Sportiva Solution thumbnail

Former Shoe

La Sportiva Solution

Daniel’s favorite shoe is from his former sponsor, La Sportiva. The Solution is a shoe that can do it all.

Evolv Agro thumbnail

Former Shoe

Evolv Agro

The now-retired Agro was the go-to shoe for Woods when he first joined the Evol team.

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Daniel Woods, the legendary mega-crusher, has built a reputation as one of the greatest boulderers of his generation. He has repeated, or established, some of the hardest problems bouldering this world has to offer, stood on the podium of ABS National Championship and IFSC World Cup competition–  and more recently – become one of the few people to claim an illusive send a V17 boulder. 

His impressive résumé of climbing accomplishments makes him a hot comedy to climbing brands. Since the start of his career, Woods has worked with both La Sportiva and more recently Evolv, providing a non-stop supply of high-quality climbing shoes. In this article, we will shine a light on some of the most iconic Daniel Woods climbing shoes.

What Shoes Does Daniel Woods Wear?

Daniel Woods shoes

Daniel Woods currently wears the Evolv Phantom for the vast majority of his sport climbing and boulder projects.

Because Daniel spends most of his free time hanging off stupidly steep boulders, we would be shocked to see Woods in a pair of flat lace-up climbing shoes. He exclusively wears aggressive climbing shoes, which is hardly surprising considering his powerful climbing style and appetite for heinously pumpy problems.

To commemorate his ground-breaking V17 ascent of the ‘Return of the Sleepwalker’, we have looked back on the shoes he used for his biggest ascents throughout his career.

His Top Pick

Evolv Phantom

Evolv Phantom

Used for: Return of the Sleepwalker, Off the Wagon, Blade Runner, Empath

In March 2020, Daniel announced his long-awaited collab with Evolv had been set loose. We have been watching Daniel testing out early prototypes of the Phantom since September 2018, so it was great to finally see these puppies hit the shelves.

Even a quick glance at the Phantom, you can’t help but notice one or two unusual features. For starters, it’s one of the most aggressive climbing shoes out there, with a very unique camber shape. As Daniel explained “Its shape was unique and different from anything else I had seen. The shape forced the point of the toe box to the big toe, which is where you want to have all your power at.”

Woods Bouldering in Switzerland
Woods working hard in Switzerland – By @honngy

This shoe isn’t just good on paper, it works in practice too. Woods has laid down some serious ascents with his signature shoe. For starters, he claimed the FA of the V17 boulder Return of the Sleepwalker in pair of the Phantoms, as well as plenty of other crazy problems like Box Therapy (V16) and Off the Wagon (V16). 

Like Woods said himself “I do not climb in any other shoe… for me, there is no need. This beast does it all. Go try it for yourself.”

For Smearing

Evolv Shaman Pro

Used for: Alphane (projecting), gym training

On the rare occasion Woods isn’t using the Phantom, it’s most likely because he has slipped into a pair of the Shaman Pro. The Shaman Pro is one of the newest shoes to debut in the Evolv climbing shoe collection and is a variation of the classic model designed for competition and the signature dynamic style that goes along with it.

Daniel Woods On Alphane V17
Woods putting a shift in on Alphane – by ©lisapaarviophotography

Naturally, this makes the shoe well-suited to smearing. Woods has put the Shaman Pro to good use, most noticeable while projecting the V17 boulder Alphane.

Former Favorite

Evolv Agro

Evolv Agro Review
Overall
8.2
(1 review)
  • Edging - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Smearing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Steep Terrain - 10/10
    10/10
  • Comfort - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Sensitivity - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value For Money - 8/10
    8/10

Pros

  • Amazing heel & toe hook
  • Very sensitive
  • Master of the overhangs
  • Secure velcro closure

Cons

  • Painful to break-in
  • Struggles with small edges
  • No low variation 

Used for: First Ley

Before there was the Phantom, there was the Agro. This menacing-looking shoe was Daniel’s weapon of choice when he first joined the Evolv team.  

Unfortunately, the Agro didn’t make it into Evolv’s 2021 line-up and was discontinued to make room for the Phantom as well as their new gym shoe, the Zenist. 

It wasn’t just Daniel who was a fan of the Agro either. Other pros including Chris Sharma, Moritz Welt, and actor turned V4 crusher Jason Momoa have all been known to wear a pair of Agro at one time or another.

Daniel Woods Bouldering
Putting the Agros to good use in Hueco Tanks

We have also put this shoe through its paces and have plenty of good things to say about it. The break-in period is pretty brutal, but after a few sessions the Agro molds to a great fit, especially for wider-footed climbers.

The split sole and Trax SAS rubber give the shoe buckets of flexibility and can hold their own on the slabs as well as the overhangs. 

Former Favorite

La Sportiva Solution

La Sportiva Solution Review
Overall
8.6
(7 reviews)
  • Edging - 9/10
    9/10
  • Smearing - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Steep Terrain - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Comfort - 7.5/10
    7.5/10
  • Sensitivity - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value For Money - 10/10
    10/10

Pros

  • Laser precise toe is awesome for technical footwork
  • 3D molded heel is great for heel hooking
  • Secure fit thank to the hook and loop strap

Cons

  • A little expensive
  • Not suitable for all-day climbing
  • The straps can break easily

Used For: Creature From the Black Lagoon, Practise of the Wild

Since the early days of Woodsy’s climbing career, La Sportiva was his supplier of super sticky climbing shoes. However, after (what seemed like) a slightly bitter breakup, their decade-long partnership came to an end in January 2017.

Of all their legendary creations, there was one in particular that Daniel used on a frequent basis during his time as a La Sportiva ambassador – the Solution.

Creature From The Black Lagoon
The stupidly steep ‘Creature From The Black Lagoon

In fact, Woods was such a big fan of the Solution, that he pretty much exclusively used this shoe for almost 10 years. Many of his early daring ascents were made with a pair of Solution strapped to his feet. Remember ‘Creature From the Black Lagoon’, ‘Lucid Dreaming’ or his repeat of Sharma’s iconic ‘Practise of the Wild’? Daniel crushed them all with the help of his trusty Solutions.

What’s Your Favorite Woodsy Shoe?

If anything is for certain, it’s that we haven’t seen the last of Daniel Woods. Many fans and publications wrote off Woods as a ‘has been’ after he was unable to make the podium of the ABS Championships in 2017 and 2018.

However, his recent FA of the Sleepwalker sit start has solidified Daniel’s position as one of the best boulderers ever. We look forward to seeing what projects Daniel Woods has in the works!

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