Hands-on Gear Review

Butora Acro Narrow Fit Review

Price:  $154 List | $123.20 at Amazon
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Pros:  Multiple sizing options, sensitive, good edging shoe
Cons:  Runs small, can be hard to get on and off
Bottom line:  The Acro is an aggressive shoe for steep sport climbing and bouldering.
Editors' Rating:   
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Style:  Velcro
Weight (Per Pair, size 37):  .96 lb
Fit:  Asymmetrical
Manufacturer:   Butora

Our Verdict

A high-performance, shoe that excels at the sport crag or the boulders, the Butora Acro is an excellent option for those seeking an aggressive, sensitive shoe. The Acro comes in a wide and narrow fit option, with the narrow-fit catering more to the ladies. We tested the slim model and found that they ran very small. When sized small, these shoes can be your red-point weapon. When sized closer to your street shoe, the Acro is excellent as a gym shoe or a more comfortable sport climbing shoe. We were pleasantly surprised by the Acro and since starting this review have noticed these slippers at crags across the Western US.


RELATED REVIEW: The 11 Best Climbing Shoes For Women


Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Jane Jackson

Last Updated:
Friday
December 29, 2017

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If you are looking for a downturned, aggressively shaped slipper, the Butora Acro could be the shoe for you. The fact that these kicks come in different widths makes it easier to get the exact right fit for your foot. If sized correctly, the Acro is a sleek and precise slipper, on par with our other top picks for steep terrain.

Performance Comparison


The fabric sleeve that pads the closure system of the Butora is baggy and can sometimes get bunched up if you're not careful.
The fabric sleeve that pads the closure system of the Butora is baggy and can sometimes get bunched up if you're not careful.

Comfort


Once these shoes are on, the Acro feel like rubber gloves, with no air pockets or wasted space anywhere in shoes. For single pitch routes and bouldering, where you are most likely taking the shoes on and off throughout the day, the Acro is a great choice. We would probably leave them behind on multi-pitch endeavors and instead bring a shoe that is less aggressive, like the La Sportiva Miura or the Five Ten Anasazi LV - Women's. Our narrow-footed testers were happy to see an option that catered specifically to their foot shape, while those with wider feet will be equally happy with the wider version of the Acro.

Sensitivity


These slippers shine regarding sensitivity, especially after a few days of wearing them in. Initially, we found them almost too downturned to work well as a precision tool, but over time the rubber softened, and the shoes became more sensitive and forgiving. Similar in design, the Lotus was more sensitive right out of the box and broke in to be an overall more sensitive shoe. The Acro has a rubber extension on the toe that assists in toe hooking but makes smearing more difficult. The Acro was no match for the sensitivity of our Editors' Choice Award winner, the La Sportiva Kataki.

Climbing on vertical terrain in the Acro can be difficult  especially when the downturn gets in the way of the wall on small holds.
Climbing on vertical terrain in the Acro can be difficult, especially when the downturn gets in the way of the wall on small holds.

Edging


The edging power of the Acro improved over time. The extra toe rubber wore in to an excellent and precise edge, and the high-tension heel rand keeps pressure on the toe and weight off the arch of the foot. Much like the Powerhinge design of the La Sportiva Miura, the Acro's 3D Injection molded midsole provides support from the heel to the toe that helps you feel more secure on dime edges.

The toe box of a shoe tells a lot about how well the shoe may perform as an edging tool. The Mad Rock Lotus has a good amount of downturn  but also enough of a flat toe to make it decent at edging as well as a heavy hitter in the steeps. The other model pictured is the Butora Acro.
The toe box of a shoe tells a lot about how well the shoe may perform as an edging tool. The Mad Rock Lotus has a good amount of downturn, but also enough of a flat toe to make it decent at edging as well as a heavy hitter in the steeps. The other model pictured is the Butora Acro.

Cracks


Crack climbing is not the Acro's strong suit because of their aggressive downturn and almost hooked toe box. That said, there is not a model in this review with the amount of rubber on the toe box that the Acro wields. These shoes are almost entirely rubber on the front, which can provide extra friction and protection in cracks, but only if the shoes are sized appropriately. If they are sized to a performance fit, the Acro will probably be fairly uncomfortable in cracks. This is also true of similar models like the Mad Rock Lotus and the La Sportiva Solution. For a shoe that edges with ease and fits into splitters comfortably, try the Five Ten Anasazi LV, which received our Top Pick Award for Crack Climbing.

Pockets


Steep pocket climbing is the Acro's place to shine. These slippers have a tight fit, an aggressive downturn, and an extension in their rubber toe that make them a steep climbing machine. The narrow version of the Acro makes for an exceptional pocket climbing shoe, as the toe tapers to a small point that can fit in tiny footholds. Their edging prowess also adds to their ability to work well on steep terrain, much like the La Sportiva Solution. Our feet seemed like they would never cut on steep terrain in the Acro.

Once on  the Acro fit tightly  with so much rubber making up the upper that they hardly stretch at all.
Once on, the Acro fit tightly, with so much rubber making up the upper that they hardly stretch at all.

Ease of Use


The Velcro closure of the Acro makes them easy to get on and off. The Acro's have a unique tongue that is made of stretchy, breathable fabric which gives them a secure feel. This fabric got bunched up occasionally when sliding the shoes on. Fortunately, while this small detail detracts slightly from the overall ease of use of the Acro, it isn't a complete game changer.

Here  our testers scope the curve of Acro from the toe to the heel.
Here, our testers scope the curve of Acro from the toe to the heel.

Best Applications


These aggressive slippers are most at home at the steep sport crag or bouldering area. From steep and powerful routes to technical boulders, the Acro fits the bill. The rubber that covers the upper side of the toe box makes them great for toe hooking but also detracts from their ability to stretch at all. The Acro is definitely better suited for single pitch endeavors over all-day trad-climbing affairs.

Value


For $154, the Acro is aptly priced. They are a well-made, high-performance shoe that is designed for advanced climbing. The Acro is less expensive than many of the performance Sportiva models, and performs nearly as well, especially on steep terrain. For a specialty tool, the Acro is a reasonably priced option.

The Acro works well in tiny pockets found in the Volcanic Tablelands.
The Acro works well in tiny pockets found in the Volcanic Tablelands.

Conclusion


The Butora Acro shined most noticeably on steep sport pitches and boulder problems. The fact that they come in both a narrow and a wide option give you the ability to fine-tune your fit. With that in mind, remember that these shoes run small! So be sure to try them on or order a size or two up from your street shoe to get the proper fit.
Jane Jackson

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Most recent review: December 29, 2017
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