Butora Acro Review
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|Pros||Stiff yet sensitive, availible in wide and narrow versions, great edging ability||Versatile, stiff, durable, comfortable||Extremely precise toe, extra heel sensitivity, comfortable for an aggressive shoe||Comfortable design, respectable edging, low-profile toe, excellent price||Affordable, flat midsole is comfortable all day, well-balanced performance across many areas|
|Cons||Lots of extra space in the heel cup, Achilles pain for some||Expensive, limited sensitivity||Pricey, tall toe box, too narrow for some feet||Mediocre precision, subpar on the steeps, somewhat insensitive||Insensitive, imprecise fit, ineffective design for steep terrain|
|Bottom Line||This shoe features high-quality construction and is a great choice for sport climbing and bouldering||This stiff shoe is an all-day workhorse that also performs well on edges and slabs||An ultra-high-end shoe that is designed for performance||Decent overall climbing performance at an affordable price make these a sold choice||An entry-level shoe ideal for beginners that comes at an awesomely low price|
|Rating Categories||Butora Acro||La Sportiva Katana...||La Sportiva Solutio...||La Sportiva Finale||La Sportiva Tarantu...|
|Steep Terrain (20%)|
|Specs||Butora Acro||La Sportiva Katana...||La Sportiva Solutio...||La Sportiva Finale||La Sportiva Tarantu...|
|Upper||German split leather||Leather / Microfiber||Leather / Microfiber||Eco Leather / microfiber||Leather/Synthetic|
|Width Options||Narrow and Wide||Regular||Regular||Regular||Regular|
|Lining||Unlined||Pacific (forefoot and back)||Pacific, lycra||Unlined||None|
|Rubber Type||Neo Fuse||Vibram XS Edge||Vibram XS Grip2||Vibram XS Edge||FriXion RS|
|Rubber Thickness||4 mm||4 mm||4 mm||5 mm||5 mm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
Edging is the Acro's strong suit. Their high tension 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.
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 add grip to 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 specific durability testing, the Acros showed no noticeable signs of wear after a few days of jamming.
A shoe's performance in steep terrain is influenced by the angle of its downturn and its capabilities for toe and heel hooking. The Butora Acro's aggressive downturn is helpful for keeping your lower body closer to the wall and less body weight on your arms. The top of the shoe is coated in rubber to enhance grip during strenuous toe hooks. We were less impressed with the heel. It features a steep forward lean that irritated some of our tester's Achilles tendons. Others complained about the heel cup feeling insensitive.
When it comes to steep pocketed terrain, the slim toebox and overall downturn are great for toeing in hard and cranking. These shoes also have an additional downturn right below the toe to improve their pulling performance. 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'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.
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. However, we'd leave them behind on a multi-pitch route in favor of a more relaxed fitting shoe. We found we could crag all day with breaks in between pitches and never succumb to debilitating foot pain fatigue.
The German split leather upper feels soft and doesn't get as stinky as some synthetic shoes. The heel tension rand kept the heel in place during tricky heel hooks. 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.
We believe the Butora Acro is a great value and solid competition to the more expensive, time-tested favorites from Scarpa or La Sportiva. Butora shoes 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 could provide above-average durability.
The Butora 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. Our wide-footed testers especially appreciated the wide version, who find many narrower models too painful to use. Overall, the Acro left us psyched with the knowledge that Butora is yet another company producing an excellent shoe to help us rock climb our best.
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