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Butora Acro Review

This shoe features high quality construction and is a great choice for sport climbing and bouldering
Butora Acro
Photo: Butora
Top Pick Award
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Price:  $160 List | $159.90 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Stiff yet sensitive, availible in wide and narrow versions, great edging ability
Cons:  Lots of extra space in the heel cup
Manufacturer:   Butora
By Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 17, 2017
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82
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 34
  • Edging - 20% 9
  • Cracks - 20% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Pockets - 20% 9
  • Sensitivity - 20% 8

Our Verdict

Straight out of the box and onto the project, the Butora Acro is a favorite among our wide footed testers for its stiff yet sensitive edging prowess, comfort, and surprising versatility. From limestone pockets and micro edges to slick granite smearing, the Acro excelled at almost any challenge we threw its way. Relatively new to the climbing shoe game, Butora's proprietary Neo Fuse rubber holds its own against Vibram XS Edge and Five Ten Stealth rubber, making the Acro a solid contender. Although its price has crept up the past few years, it still offers modest savings compared to its most expensive competitors

Slight Tweaks to the Acro
The rubber used on the Acro, formerly called F5, is now dubbed Neo Fuse, but Butora assures us this is the same rubber under a new name. This shoe also now announces its name across the velcro strap in orange embroidery. There are no changes in performance in these slight updates.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Pros Stiff yet sensitive, availible in wide and narrow versions, great edging abilityVersatile, durable, comfortableGreat precision, aggressive/down turned toe tip, sensitive, great toe and heel hooking, precise fit, comfortable, easy on/offIncredible sensitivity, great edging, durabilityBest edging shoe on the market
Cons Lots of extra space in the heel cupExpensiveNot comfortable for all-day climbing, expensive, not the most versatile, hard to fit, single strap broke prematurelySpecalized use, expensive, might be hard to resoleExpensive
Bottom Line A worthy option for sport climbing at all angles, from steep to slabbyAn awesome shoe for long climbs requiring a variety of crack climbing and edging techniquesA tried and true modern classic, this model excels while steep and technical climbingAn incredibly sensitive and comfortable shoe that excels at edgingThis high performance model is the ultimate balance of support and sensitivity
Rating Categories Butora Acro La Sportiva Katana Lace La Sportiva Solution La Sportiva Futura La Sportiva Genius
Edging (20%)
9
9
9
9
10
Cracks (20%)
8
9
8
7
6
Comfort (20%)
7
9
7
7
7
Pockets (20%)
9
8
9
9
9
Sensitivity (20%)
8
8
9
10
10
Specs Butora Acro La Sportiva Katana... La Sportiva Solution La Sportiva Futura La Sportiva Genius
Style Velcro Lace Velcro Velcro Lace
Upper German split leather Leather/Lorica Leather / Lorica Leather/Synthetic Leather Suede leather / Microfiber
Width Options Narrow and Wide Regular Regular Regular Regular
Lining Unlined Pacific (forefoot and back) HF in toe box and arch area only Unlined Unlined
Rubber Type Neo Fuse Vibram XS Edge Vibram XS Grip 2 Vibram XS Grip2 Vibram XS Grip2
Rubber Thickness (millimeters) 4 mm 4 mm 4 mm 3 mm 3 mm

Our Analysis and Test Results

Performance Comparison


These shoes are most at home in steep limestone caves
These shoes are most at home in steep limestone caves
Photo: Matt Bento

Edging


Edging is the Acro's strong suit. Their high tension heel rand keeps the big toe snug and secure at the power point.


Combine that with a stiff midsole and you've got a shoe that can handle the dime edges of dead vertical limestone at Wild Iris while remaining sensitive enough to feel divots and crystals on the quartz monzonite of the Buttermilk boulders.

Though stiff, our tester can still use these shoes to feel out the...
Though stiff, our tester can still use these shoes to feel out the micro crystal foot holds found in the Buttermilks.
Photo: Matt Bento

Crack Climbing


Most climbers will size these shoes too tight to be running laps on cracks at Indian Creek or charging up soaring granite multi-pitch climbs in Yosemite, but if you encounter some toe jamming action on a sport climb or a shorter trad pitch, you won't be out of luck.


The toe profile of the Acro is narrow enough to wiggle your toes into the same cracks and pods that accept a 0.75 camalot, and the rubber-covered upper helps your rand smear in flares and corners. Additionally, these shoes are wide enough to keep your feet relatively comfy in hand sized cracks. While we didn't do any durability testing, we the Acros show no noticeable signs of wear after a few days of jamming.

Though the Acros were designed for bouldering and sport climbing, we...
Though the Acros were designed for bouldering and sport climbing, we found they performed well in cracks, allowing us to make use of thin cracks and pods.
Photo: Matt Bento

Pockets


A shoe's performance in pockets depends on how well it edges and how narrow it is at the point of the toe. Also, a little downturn is helpful for toeing into steep pockets. Edging is not a problem for these puppies, but they aren't the narrowest shoe, so they can't wiggle into smallest of pockets.


When it comes to steeper pocketed terrain, the overall downturn is great for toeing in hard and cranking. These shoes also have an added downturn right at the toe to enhance their pulling potential. Our lead tester found he could pull in so well with this shoe without his feet popping that his hip flexors were aching after a long day of steep climbing.

The toe on the Acro is not as pointy as some models, but it's edging...
The toe on the Acro is not as pointy as some models, but it's edging capabilities still make it a formidable weapon against steep pocketed routes.
Photo: Matt Bento

Sensitivity


Although the Acro is one of the stiffer aggressive shoes we've tested, they don't feel like insensitive bricks. On slick Yosemite granite, our testers found that they could feel, and stick to, small bumps and divots, even in less than ideal summer conditions.

Stiff enough to edge, yet soft enough to smear, the Acro is a...
Stiff enough to edge, yet soft enough to smear, the Acro is a versatile addition to any shoe quiver.
Photo: Matt Bento

Comfort


These shoes run small, and we sized them the same as our street shoe size, resulting in a shoe that was great right out of the box for sport climbing and bouldering, but we'd leave them behind on a multi-pitch in favor of a more relaxed fitting shoe. We found we could crag all day with breaks in between pitches and never succumb to foot pain fatigue.


The German split leather upper feels soft and doesn't get as stinky as a synthetic shoe. The heel tension rand kept the heel on during heel hooks without causing Achilles pain. Our lead tester, however, did notice some dead space on the sides of the heel. The elastic on top of the shoe is not very tight and won't keep the shoe on very well without the velcro strap cinched down, but this makes for easy on and off, especially for folks with high volume feet.

The heel on this shoe stays in place under pressure, but our testers...
The heel on this shoe stays in place under pressure, but our testers felt the heel was baggy and didn't grip as well as other models.
Photo: Matt Bento

Value


We feel the Acro is a great value and solid competition to the more expensive, time-tested favorites from Scarpa or La Sportiva. Butoras are made in Korea and feature a pressure treatment to prevent delamination. Its 4mm of Neo Fuse rubber is slightly thicker than average for all shoes, suggesting it will provide above average durability.

These shoes are a favorite of our wide footed testers and helped us...
These shoes are a favorite of our wide footed testers and helped us tick off many classic routes at Wild Iris.
Photo: Matt Bento

Conclusion


The Acro helped our testers float up limestone sport climbs in Sinks Canyon, WY, edge on the granite patina of the City of Rocks in Idaho, and even send a few crack climbs in Yosemite Valley. The wide version was especially appreciated by our wide footed testers who find many narrower models to painful to use. Overall, the Acro made us psyched to learn that Butora is yet another company producing an excellent shoe to help us rock climb our best.

Matt Bento