Make no mistake, the new Shamans are definitely an improvement on the old. The rubber is sticky, although I have always been a fan of Evolv rubber to be honest. The fit is comfortable, even, exceptionally comfortable for high end, high performance shoes. The 3 straps still ensure the fit is tight and secure, even if they are marginally narrower to allow for some more rubber to be placed on the toe for toe hooking glory.
But before I go singing their praises, there are a few niggling things that have me a little frustrated.
The first is the sizing. If you are going to buy these online, be very careful. For a single manufacturer I am not sure I have ever had so much variance in the sizing I use across their range. I’m a 10 in Nexxos, 9.5 in the old Shamans and a flat 9 in the Shamans V2. The more comfortable fit could be why I feel like I have to go down a size. With the lightly padded tongue and soft interior, I feel like I can really cram my foot into something a little more snug, but well, just size up before you commit!
The second thing is the top strap. The loop that the top strap runs through allows the small metal oval to twist and pinch the fabric of the strap and of the shoe. Mind you nothing has broken yet, but it’s super frustrating, especially if you are a little too focused on the little things, like me.
The last is the heel. It’s a bit shallow for my foot. Now this could just be me, but I have tried a larger size (a smaller size isn’t possible, trust me), but it just slips that little bit! With the issues I outlined about the top strap, I feel almost unwilling to pull the strap tight enough to make sure my foot doesn’t come out if I’m on a marginal heel hook. Not that it has….. but when it feels like it could, it can be little distracting when you are trying to send.
Ok, I feel better now…. Now I’m going to tell you all the things that make me want to go back for more, despite the above issues.
Firstly…….. OMG, dayum! Who did the colour picking and the re-design!? They are pretty good looking shoes now. Even with the So-Ill street inspired crazy that is happening at the moment, they are so very very good looking. Almost ridiculously good looking?
The other thing about them is the comfort, they are so comfortable! Like, noticeably comfortable. More comfortable than the last version for sure. More comfortable than the Nexxos and maybe even more comfortable than the Defys!
The performance improvements from the last version are pretty great too, with the increase in toe rubber, fractionally reduced strap width, altered fit. The toe rubber is not quite as much as the Nexxo’s but then it doesn’t really need to be. The heel is great (despite the movement) and the toes are exceptional. They are soft enough to smear, but accurate enough to stand on small edges, nuggets, micro pockets and anything else you can think of. Like the last Shamans they are a really impressive all round performance shoe that offers great versatility in competitions and in outdoor projecting. If I can only take one pair of shoes with me, it will probably be these, and my new adidas suede skate shoes, but well that’s another review on another blog.
Shamans V2 –
Profile: Downturned asymmetry with “Knuckle Box”
Upper: Synthetic (Synthratek VX upper)
Midsole: 1.0 mm half-length “Love Bump” midsole
Sole: 4.2 mm TRAX® high friction rubber, two-piece outsole
Rand: VTR rand (thicker front toe area)
Weight: 9.5 oz (½ pair size 9)
Shamans V2 85 nuggests/100