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Butora Gomi Wide - Women's Review

This shoe is a steep climber's dream - a soft slipper covered in rubber, designed to pull you close to the wall on steep terrain
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Price:  $149 List | $149.00 at REI
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  High-performance yet comfortable design, slightly less expensive than most, great for toe hooking
Cons:  Steep-climbing-specific design lacks versatility, almost entirely covered in rubber
Manufacturer:   Butora
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 17, 2020
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67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#17 of 19
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Sensitivity - 25% 7
  • Edging - 15% 5
  • Cracks - 15% 5
  • Pockets - 15% 7
  • Ease of Use - 5% 8

Our Verdict

The Butora Gomi is a fairly aggressive, downturned slipper with a Velcro closure made for steep climbing. We were most psyched to boulder in these shoes — whether in a gym or outside. The toe box is fully encased in rubber, making them toe-hooking, scumming masters. Though not a roof climber by nature, or one who identifies with steep climbing much period, our lead tester found these shoes to be most at home in caves and roof problems that require toe hooks, heel hooks, and other trickery. Their soft sole makes them easy to break in and fairly comfortable considering their aggressive shape. Additionally, these shoes are reasonably priced compared to the average pair of shoes on the market right now.

Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison



The Butora Gomi helped us feel more at home on steep lines like this.
The Butora Gomi helped us feel more at home on steep lines like this.

Comfort


We sized these shoes more for comfort than for performance this round, which allowed us to have a fairly pleasant experience in an otherwise fairly aggressive and difficult shoe to break in. The all-rubber toe-box that makes the Gomi great for toe hooking and scumming also means that the shoes won't stretch much when breaking in. This still proved to be the case though ours were comfortable to begin with, they didn't stretch much at all through our testing period. Their aggressive shape pairs well with the soft midsole, allowing them to conform to your foot without binding it in an uncomfortable, unnatural position.

All that rubber means the Gomi won't stretch much  so keep that in mind when sizing these slippers.
All that rubber means the Gomi won't stretch much, so keep that in mind when sizing these slippers.

Sensitivity


After a few days in these shoes, the rubber softened up to make the Gomi an impressively sensitive shoe. Though not quite up there in our comparison metrics with the highest-ranked products on the market, the Gomi holds it down as a sensitive-enough shoe for most climbing. Perhaps not our go-to for minuscule granite crystal smedging, the Gomi holds its own on most styles of climbing in this realm.

These shoes are ideal for heel hooking.
These shoes are ideal for heel hooking.

Edging


This shoe's comfort zone is pasted on the side of a steep arete — the more surface area the better. Unfortunately, this means that the Gomi doesn't receive our highest praise in the edging metric. The softness that makes these shoes sensitive and comfortable means that on the flip side, they can't hold an edge as well as a stiffer shoe will. IF you must edge in these, make sure it's not for long, or your feet may be complaining.

As you can see  these shoes have basically no support underfoot. This makes them a less-ideal option for sustained edging.
As you can see, these shoes have basically no support underfoot. This makes them a less-ideal option for sustained edging.

Crack Climbing


At first glance, these shoes would not be the trad climbers first pick, but we were fairly impressed by these rubber-encased slippers when it came to jamming. They are soft enough to be torqued into cracks without pain and the Velcro strap is high enough to stay out of the way when jamming hand-sized or larger cracks.

Pockets


We tested the wide version of the Gomi to accommodate our wide-footed lead tester. The toe box seemed to be a bit bulky and lacked some of the precision that a more tapered toe box provides. That said, the softness of this slipper allowed us to climb on steep terrain and toe in to steep pockets well.

Toeing in on steep pockets in the Gomi.
Toeing in on steep pockets in the Gomi.

We liked the Gomi for pocketed bouldering, but would perhaps choose a shoe with a bit more support underfoot for the long pocketed routes found at The Fins and other sport climbing destinations.

Ease of Use



A single Velcro strap and a stretchy tongue make the Gomi easy to get on and off.
A single Velcro strap and a stretchy tongue make the Gomi easy to get on and off.

In terms of design, the Butora Gomi is fairly straight forward. A single Velcro strap secures the slipper. The ankle opening is wide enough to easily get your foot inside without too much hassle. We found the pull tab on the tongue of these shoes to be superfluous and not necessarily that useful, instead, we just used the heel pull tab to assist in getting these shoes on and off, but this is fairly small potatoes in the overall design of these shoes.

Value


Well under the average price for a comparable model from other brands, the Butora Gomi is a contender for our Best Buy Award with its current price tag. If you are looking for a well-made, aggressively shaped shoe that performs well in almost all styles of climbing without costing an arm and a leg, the Gomi could be for you.

These slippers are less expensive than many options on the market and received similar scores in our metric comparisons.
These slippers are less expensive than many options on the market and received similar scores in our metric comparisons.

Conclusion


We were impressed by the Gomi overall. A soft midsole, a toe box fully encased in rubber, and a comfortable fit make this shoe a great option for gym climbing or your next toe-hook-ridden cave project. We found them to be better at smearing and scumming than edging, so the Gomi is perhaps not the ideal shoe for vertical terrain or slabs. A reasonable price tag and durable construction round out this solid Velcro slipper.

Jane Jackson