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 F5 rubber holds its own against Vibram XS Edge and Five Ten Stealth rubber, making the Acro a solid contender against the La Sportiva Skwama and similarly aggressive models. All this for a killer price, earning our Best Buy Award.
Butora Acro Review
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
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Our Analysis and Test Results
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 mid sole that feels stiffer than the La Sportiva Skwama and the Scarpa Instinct and you've got a shoe that can handle the dime edges of dead vertical limestone of Wild Iris while remaining sensitive enough to feel tiny divots and crystals at the Buttermilk boulders.
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 .75 camalot, and the fully 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 noticed the Acros show no signs of wear after a few days of jamming.
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 down turn is helpful for toeing into steep pockets. Edging is not a problem for these puppies, but they aren't quite as narrow in the toe as the Tenaya Tarifa or the Evolv Shaman, so they won't wiggle into smaller pockets as well. When it comes to steeper pocketed terrain, the downturn is great for toeing in hard and cranking. 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.
Although the Acro is one of the stiffer aggressive shoes we tested this year, it's no insensitive brick. On slick Yosemite granite, our testers found that they could feel (and stick to!) small bumps and divots, even in the less than ideal summer conditions. If you're on the lookout for a similar fit with more sensitivity, check out the La Sportiva Skwama, which is softer but doesn't edge quite as well.
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 like the Five Ten Quantum or the Scarpa Vapor V. 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 synthetic shoes like the FiveTen Quantum. The heel tension rand kept the heel on during heel hooks without causing achilles pain, though our lead tester 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.
These shoes excel at all types of sport climbing, from steep and powerful to vertical and techy. Our testers were consistently impressed with their ability to perform without pain. The heel fits securely with minimal dead space, and the toe is completely covered with rubber, so the Acro is equipped to handle the bouldering circus tricks found in Hueco Tanks and other steep, featured areas. While too aggressive and snug for El Cap, we were happy to smear, schmooze, and jam our way up single pitch traditional climbs.
For $154, we feel the Acro is a great value, and solid competition for more expensive, time tested favorites like the La Sportiva Solutions or the Scarpa Instinct. Butoras are made in Korea and feature a pressure treatment to prevent delamination.
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. We were psyched to find out that Butora is yet another company producing an excellent product to help us do what we love best.
— Matt Bento