- Performance: 85% 85%
- Sensitivity: 80% 80%
- Comfort: 75% 75%
- Value For Money 85% 85%
- Total Score 82% 82%
Cheap performance shoes
Good at edging
High and low volume versions
We Don’t Like
Lack of sensitivity
Stiff for a performance shoe
Built For: Bouldering, Sport Climbing
Summary: Butora might not be a household name just yet, but the Acro brings some interesting features to the table.
Butora Acro Review
A favourite amongst wide-footed climbers, the Butora Acro snuck onto the climbing scene in 2015 and quickly became known as a high performance sport and bouldering shoe that can compete with the biggest names in the game. For those of you who haven’t heard of Butora, this Korean company burst onto the climbing scene in 2014 under the ownership of Nam Hee Do – a man with some serious climbing shoe credentials having worked with various shoe manufactures (including Five Ten and Evolv) for decades. The company’s attention to detail is also second to none, with hardly any glue visible on the outside of the shoe.
Due to their price, the Acro is a nice introductory pair of performance shoes, which has handled pretty much everything I have thrown at them. Whether its a quick session of pulling plastic at the gym or working on my latest project at my local limestone crag, these aggressive climbing shoes are remarkably versatile. While the unusual toe box shape and uncharacteristic stiffness of the rubber certainly take a bit of getting used to, this hasn’t stopped the Acros becoming a popular performance shoe.
1) Toe Box
These shoes have an asymmetric design with a centralised toe box which directs weight from the midsole directly to your big toes. This, paired with the aggressive last and the spoon dipped sole, help make the Acro one of the best pocket climbing shoes I have used.
It goes without saying that the rubber on top of the toe box massively aides toe hooks. In fact, Butora claim that the Acro has ‘one of the largest toe rubber surfaces of any downturned shoes’ making hooks secure and comfortable.
But all that rubber does have a downside. More rubber means more heat trapped in the shoe. That’s why, as well as aiding with friction, you will find pin points vents dotted around the toe box, rand, heel cup.
I was equally as impressed with the back of the shoe as I was the front of it. The heel has a generous coating of Butora’s Neo Fuse rubber – and while this helps preforms technical heel hooks well – it doesn’t feel as bulk or lacking the sensitivity of other leading bouldering shoes.
I have also noticed that the high tension heel rand maintains the shape of the heel cup very well while minimising the movement in the heel – without causing pain in your Achilles – which is a big problem that a lot of climbing shoes face (including the Evolv Agro I am testing right now). Another cool feature is that the area of the heel which is not covered in rubber is designed to allow your heel to securely fill the heel cup, helping to reduce any dead space.
Overall, this is a minimally designed heel design which strikes a great balance between sensitivity and performance which pays dividends heel hooks.
As previously mentioned, the Butora Acro uses their own rubber compound called “Neo Fuse” which is reserved for their sport climbing and bouldering shoe. This is the stickiest rubber compound in Butora’s arsenal and can be found in many of their other performance shoes including the Narsha and their new model, the Gomi.
In my opinion, the 4mm rubber delivers a good balance between durability and friction. While these are a semi-soft shoe, they don’t deliver the complete sensitivity of other bouldering shoes like the Instinct VS.
That said, the upside to less friction is that the rubber is super durable, and after several months of putting them through their paces, I am happy to report that there is still no evidence of delamination.
4) Comfort and Fit
Instead of dividing their shoes by gender, Butora has a narrow and wide version which helps get a fit you want, which is a brilliant concept. While finding the right size climbing shoe isn’t always the easiest task, their narrow/wide option paired the Acro’s velcro closure system is sure to help you get the.
Due to being mostly rubber, Butora Acros take some time to break in and mould to your foot. One of the great things about Butora shoes is that they tend to follow normal street shoe size (crazy, I know). For an aggressive fit, Butora suggests downsizing half a size – which is what I did – and found these to be pretty snug. That said, I tend to downsize pretty aggressively for my shoes and was pleasantly surprised with how tight these were and how little they stretched (took about 2 months for ½ a size stretch).
My street shoe is about a 42.5, so I got these in a 42, which felt similar than a 39.5 in La Sportiva. When compared to other shoes, they feel great straight of the box. While I wouldn’t recommend taking these along for your next big trad expedition, they do offer a slightly higher level of comfort than other leading bouldering shoes.
Here at Climbing Shoe Review, we believe in recommending a shoe based off of what it was intended for – and for steep sport climbing and bouldering – and so far the Acros have hit the mark.
If you are an intermediate climber that wants to try aggressive shoes that aren’t going to break the bank, these could be the shoe for you. We hope your Butora Acro review has given you some food for thought. If you really want to get your hands on these shoes, you can find them on REI here. Or if you want to keep looking for your perfect pair, make sure to have a look at more of our shoe reviews!