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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
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Price:  $165 List | $131.99 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, Achilles pain for some
Manufacturer:   Butora
By Jack Cramer & Matt Bento  ⋅  May 4, 2021
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#18 of 29
  • Edging - 20% 8
  • Cracks - 20% 7
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Steep Terrain - 20% 8
  • Sensitivity - 20% 7

Our Verdict

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 displayed great performance on almost every rock type and wall angle we threw its way. We were also impressed with Butora's proprietary Neo Fuse rubber, which held its own against Vibram XS Edge and Five Ten Stealth rubber. The biggest complaint we heard was about the steep forward lean of the heel. Some testers commented that it made the heel cup insensitive, others moaned that it caused Achilles pain. Although the price of the Acro has crept up the past few years, it still offers modest savings compared to its most expensive competitors.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
74
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64
Star Rating
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Pros Stiff yet sensitive, availible in wide and narrow versions, great edging abilityVersatile, stiff, durable, comfortableExtremely precise toe, extra heel sensitivity, comfortable for an aggressive shoeComfortable design, respectable edging, low-profile toe, excellent priceAffordable, flat midsole is comfortable all day, well-balanced performance across many areas
Cons Lots of extra space in the heel cup, Achilles pain for someExpensive, limited sensitivityPricey, tall toe box, too narrow for some feetMediocre precision, subpar on the steeps, somewhat insensitiveInsensitive, imprecise fit, ineffective design for steep terrain
Bottom Line This shoe features high-quality construction and is a great choice for sport climbing and boulderingThis stiff shoe is an all-day crack climbing workhorse that also performs well on edges and slabsAn ultra-high-end shoe that could put you on the podium of your climbing competitionDecent overall climbing performance at an affordable price make these a sold choiceAn 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...
Edging (20%)
8.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Cracks (20%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Comfort (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Steep Terrain (20%)
8.0
8.0
10.0
6.0
5.0
Sensitivity (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Specs Butora Acro La Sportiva Katana... La Sportiva Solutio... La Sportiva Finale La Sportiva Tarantu...
Style Velcro Lace Velcro Lace Lace
Upper German split leather Leather/Lorica Leather / microfiber 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 (millimeters) 4 mm 4 mm 4 mm 5 mm 5 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 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.

The forefoot of the Butora Acro is fairly stiff and supplies a solid...
The forefoot of the Butora Acro is fairly stiff and supplies a solid platform for edging.
Photo: Jack Cramer

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.

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

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.

Steep Terrain


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.

The heel cup is much more important for performance on steep...
The heel cup is much more important for performance on steep terrain. Some testers loved the Butora Acro's heel cup, others complained of lots of dead space.
Photo: Jack Cramer

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.

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.

There Butora Acro is pretty flexible through the midfoot. Towards...
There Butora Acro is pretty flexible through the midfoot. Towards the forefoot, it is much stiffer.
Photo: Jack Cramer

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. 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.

Check out the sharp forward lean of the heel. Several of our testers...
Check out the sharp forward lean of the heel. Several of our testers complained about this causing Achilles pain.
Photo: Jack Cramer

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.

Value


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.

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 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.

Jack Cramer & Matt Bento

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