Butora Brava Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Soft microfiber upper, EVA heel cushion, affordable, lightweight
Cons: Thin toe rand, poor at edging
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|Price||$39.99 at Backcountry|
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$49.98 at Amazon
$65.00 at Backcountry
|$48.00 at REI|
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|Pros||Soft microfiber upper, EVA heel cushion, affordable, lightweight||Adjustable heel strap, breathability, single pull adjustment, very comfortable||Very comfortable, easy to put on and take off, sensitive yet durable||Durable, comfortable, high quality construction||Good price, comfortable, easy on/off|
|Cons||Thin toe rand, poor at edging||Fabric is less abrasion resistant than synthetic or real leather, metal D-rings can cause pressure points and abrasion to straps||Hard to size correctly, too soft for smaller edges and pockets, rounded toe box||Not great on small holds, runs quite large||Single lace tension strap can wear out quickly, adjustable heel sacrifices heel hooking rubber|
|Bottom Line||A comfortable shoe, great for beginners and casual climbers alike, with good performance at a great price||One of the best available, all-around comfortable shoes, that performs well for most applications including cracks, slab, and face||A colorful and comfortable shoe that is easy to put on and performs well, especially while climbing slabs and cracks||The Piki is a high-quality kids shoe with both decent performance and good comfort||A good basic shoe that does just about everything well, but doesn’t excel in any one thing in particular|
|Rating Categories||Butora Brava||Evolv Venga||Five Ten Kirigami||Scarpa Piki||La Sportiva Stickit|
|Specs||Butora Brava||Evolv Venga||Five Ten Kirigami||Scarpa Piki||La Sportiva Stickit|
|Style||Velcro slipper||Velcro slipper||Velcro slipper||Velcro slipper||Velcro slipper|
|Lining||Unlined||Agion Antimicrobial||Textile sock liner||Unlined||Unlined|
|Rubber Type||Butyl Butora F5||TRAX SAS||Stealth Phantom||Vision||Frixion RS|
|Rubber Thickness||4 mm||4.2 mm||3 mm||4 mm||3 mm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
As a whole, we like this shoe for its fit and wearability. The performance of Butora Brava is only fair, but few shoes in the kid's market have excellent performance. Instead, comfort tends to be the priority.
Kids climbing shoes are not known to be excellent at edging, and that rings true with these shoes. The Brava is a soft, flexible shoe that has a hard time standing on small footholds. They would be much better at edging if they were slightly downturned and a bit stiffer.
But let's be honest, for the majority of routes most kids are doing, these shoes will perform just fine. The kids who crush and start to seek out harder thin face routes should look towards something that scores higher in the edging metric.
This shoe is a lot like the adult La Sportiva Mythos in that it excels at moderate crack climbing. It has a symmetric narrow flat last with a low profile toe box that fits well into cracks "hand size" and down. A sticky rubber toe rand helps to protect the toes and adds extra friction, which naturally provides more comfort and confidence in the crack climbing performance of the shoes.
The butyl Butora F5 rubber also has great friction in cracks and has no issues on moderate terrain. Even though it's an extremely flexible shoe, it is quite rigid across the width of the toe box and does a good job of protecting the foot because it retains quite a bit of its flat shape in cracks, allowing the feet to stay in their natural position.
The narrow, slender shape of the toe box on the Brava helps make this shoe decent at climbing pockets, but if the shoes were a bit stiffer, it would be appreciated. The flexible sole that hurts the performance on small edges is also what prevents this shoe from being better on pockets, but the shape and volume of the shoe are at least working in their favor. However, when the climbing steepens, the performance suffers greatly.
The rigid forefoot that helps with crack climbing works against this shoe when it comes to sensitivity. Even though it's super light and flexible, that lateral stiffness makes it difficult to feel the rock. But don't think that just because it's not a sensitive shoe, that you can't smear on small holds.
This shoe smears and slab climbs extremely well despite the lack of sensitivity. As the kids start to learn about sensitivity in shoes, they can check out what the market has to offer.
The Brava was one of the most comfortable shoes we tested. While it's more narrow, and lower volume than the others, it is closer to the right amount of space for the average kid's foot. All the other shoes had more dead space over the toes.
Unless you need a particularly wide shoe, this should fit great. The symmetric, flat last, surrounded by a soft microfiber and a wide hook and loop strap combine to make this a super comfortable option. We also found the EVA wedge under the heel did a good job of giving a little cushion which is nice, and it doesn't add to the weight; quite the contrary, it's actually the lightest shoe in our test.
The microfiber upper doesn't breathe very well, but that's to be expected in most kids climbing shoes.
We named the Butora Brava our Best Buy Award-winner because it is an all-around great shoe, loaded with good attributes for a steal of a deal. Even with their adult models, Butora does a good job of bringing a good competitive product at a lower price. A thicker rubber toe rand would have been a nice addition for better durability, but we haven't had any issues yet. However, a new climber with sloppy footwork will wear through the average toe rand fairly quickly.
The Butora Brava is worthy of a close look. This kids' shoe has some great things going for it. Sure, it may not be the highest performer, but it makes up for it with its incredible value and having a few great features like the adjustable heel strap, the EVA heel wedge, and the wide hook and loop opening. A soft, almost sock-like, microfiber upper and a flat neutral last also make this shoe super comfortable.
— Adam Paashaus
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