alex johnson and 4 other LGBTQ+ community members pose against a mural in the Evolv Pride Rebel street/approach shoes
(photo/Cody Kaemmerlen)

A Proud Movement: Evolv Launches PRIDE Rebel Shoe

Evolv is releasing a limited-edition Pride Rebel approach shoe, with half the proceeds to benefit inclusion-focused organizations.

Evolv partnered with pro-climber/LGBTQ+ advocate Alex Johnson and Rise Brewing back in June to raise awareness and funds for the outdoor community’s LGBTQ+ members. Next week, what started as a simple campaign will make a functional reemergence in the form of a … shoe? Actually, yeah — and what looks to be a capable and rad shoe at that.

On September 7, Evolv will release a limited edition of its bestselling, technical-meets-casual Rebel approach shoe.

Because, as Johnson puts it, “Pride isn’t just a month, it’s a movement.”

Evolv PRIDE Rebel Approach Shoe

rebel PRIDE shoe
(Photo/Evolv Sports)

“We wanted to design a cool, accessible shoe with Evolv that isn’t specific to only rock climbers. Yes, it’s an approach shoe, but also a fresh-looking street shoe that is a symbol of love and acceptance that anyone in or out of our sport can wear to show their pride or allyship,” Johnson said. She added, “Not just during June, but every day year-round.”

Evolv’s new edition is based on the brand’s Rebel street shoe. Its foundational design won the 2019 Climbing Magazine’s Editor’s Choice Award. The PRIDE Rebel stays true to its core design and gives a little something back to the community, too.

Shop the PRIDE Rebel Shoe

What’s more, Evolv will donate 50% of the profits to Black Trans Travel Fund, Inclusive Outdoors Project, and The Venture Out Project, organizations the collaborators identify as making the outdoors spaces safer and more accessible.

The approach-style shoe is meant to encourage freedom of movement, resilience, and dexterity in the face of challenges. “When you’re always holding a part of you back, you’re holding all of you back,” Johnson said.

Alex Johnson Rises to the Occasion

Johnson began climbing competitively in 1997, where she quickly rose above the competition, winning just about everything from 2002 to 2010. But it wasn’t until well into adulthood and her relationship with Bree, her partner, that the competitive athlete felt ready to come out to the climbing world.


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by ALEX JOHNSON (@alexjohnson89)

As a child, teen, and young adult, there weren’t any publicly LGBTQ+ climbers that Johnson could look to. Once she realized this about her own experience, Johnson felt compelled to come out.

She noted how crucial it is for kids to see themselves in their role models. Johnson wants the next generation of climbers to know that they can be themselves and pursue the things they love.

The Evolv x Alex Johnson x Rise Brewing PRIDE Rebel approach shoe drops on September 7 at Evolv and Backcountry.

closeup of climber putting on harness
The Best Climbing Harnesses of 2022
We found the best climbing harnesses of 2022. Whether you're sport climbing or mountaineering, we have you covered. Read more…

Jilli Cluff

Jilli grew up in the rural southern Colorado mountains, later moving to Texas for college. After seven years in corporate consulting, she was introduced to sport climbing — and life would never be the same. She now works as a contributor, gear tester, and editor for GearJunkie and other outlets within the AllGear family. She is based out of Atlanta, Georgia where she takes up residence with her climbing gear and one-eared blue heeler, George Michael.