April 28, 2021

Butora Acro Review

by Roger

There appears to be something for everyone with the Butora Acro. Its biggest attraction, however, is the excellent value for money they offer with their budget shoes with performance nous to rival premium options. It ranks well in comfort, and the performance side is boosted by top-notch edging ability. Its durability also means it can handle any intense use without much fuss. 

It is possible you haven't heard of Butora, a Korean company that burst onto the climbing shoe scene in 2014. However, after reading this Butora Acro Climbing Shoes Review, you will grant them respect, if only for their commitment to creating excellent bouldering gear at an affordable price. One of the jewels in their crown is the Butora Acro. 

What we like:

  • Performance shoes for budget shoppers.
  • Excellent edging ability.
  • Super durability.

What we don't like:

  • A bit stiff for a performance shoe.
  • Lacks sensitivity. 

The Butora Acro launched in 2015 and quickly built a reputation as a high pedigree performance shoe for bouldering that could rival well-known brand names. It helps that the person behind the company is Nam Hee Do, who has worked at other top climbing shoe-making companies like Five Ten and Evolv. With decades of experience, he has helped Butora create a following thanks to the thorough build quality. Read our full review on Five Ten Blanco climbing shoes.

You cannot even spot any glue on the outer side of the shoe, which is impressive. The general consensus is that the Acro is perfect as an introductory shoe, and we agree that. However, that description does take away the performance chops this shoe has, as it practically can handle anything you put it through. Such is its versatility that it feels pretty much at home, whether at the gym or tackling a limestone crag. 

It does have an uncommon toe box design, and the stiffness is also unusual, and most will need time to get used to the shoe. This Butora Acro review looks at how the shoe performs at the primary metrics to establish why you may want to consider this climbing shoe for your first or next purchase. 

Butora Acro Feature Highlights

Butora's signature triple fork hook and loop strap provides the convenience of a slipper with the extra security and custom fit of a lace-up shoe.

Butora Acro Front Toe

Feature Toe Box

A good part of Acro's performance starts from its design. It has an asymmetric shape, with the design centralizes the toe box. As a result, weight shifts the midsole to your big toes. This feature, along with the downturn sole, makes the Acro one of the best shoes for pocket climbing.

The toe box also features heavy rubber on top. It gives the shoe a great ability for hooking securely while maintaining your comfort. In fact, the company claims it is the largest rubber surface on the toe box of any downturn shoe.

All the extra rubber on top ends up trapping plenty of heat under the toe box. To mitigate this effect, the company uses pinpoint vents. These spread around the toe box surface, heel cup, and rand and provide a means of escape for the air. They also offer extra friction, which improves your climbing points. 

Butora Acro Side Heel

Feature Heel

Acro's heel has a surprising knack of doing things pretty well with no or minimum downsides we have become accustomed to as necessary trade-offs. The heel of the Acro also has a plentiful coating of Butora's own Neo Fuse rubber. The effect is an increase in the technical ability in hooking at the heel. 

An even attractive aspect is the fact that it can do this without lacking sensitivity or feeling bulky, as most premium heels tend to feel. There is a high-tension heel rand which maintains the heel cup's shape and minimizes heel movement. 

You experience no pain in the heel, which is another downside for most climbing shoes. The rubber does not cover all the heels, which allows your foot to fully fill the heel cup, which eliminates any dead space. The heel adopts a minimalist design which achieves an excellent balance between sensitivity and performance. 

Butora Acro Rubber

Feature Rubber

The Neo Fuse is Butora's proprietary rubber compound. The company uses it only for its specialist performance climbing shoes. Of all the rubber options in the company, this is the stickiest

The coating is 4mm thick, which is enough to give you excellent friction and still stay durable. Where the Acro fails is lacking sensitivity of other top bouldering shoes despite being a semi-soft shoe. 

Part of losing this sensitivity is what lends the shoe its super durable quality. You can take this shoe through months of intense sport climbing, and you will not suffer any delamination. 

Feature Comfort and Fit

In comparison to most other performance climbing shoes, finding your right Acro fit is quite straightforward. First, the shoes are not divided by gender. Instead, you have narrow and wide version of these climbing shoes, which makes it easier to pick the right fit.

Secondly, the shoes tend to follow a street shoe size. If you want a more aggressive fit, the company suggests you downsize half a size. For example, if your street size is 42.5 US, then an Acro shoe of the same size will still serve you well. If you are looking for a more snug fit, then you should pick a size 42 US. 

The Acro shoe feels comfortable even on the first wear. However, because much of the shoe is rubber, it will take time to break in the shoe and have it mold to your foot shape. On the other hand, those who prefer aggressive fits will enjoy this fact since it may take up to two months to get your size stretch.

Acro Brings It's Power to the Front Toe for Superior Edging

The Acro is an aggressively down-cambered shoe designed for steep sport climbing and bouldering. The combination of soft synthetic and natural leather in the upper construction allows for even greater performance and a surprisingly comfortable fit.

The Verdict

There is plenty to like about the shoe, as this Butora Acro climbing shoe review demonstrates. The manufacturer has hit all the right spots in a specialized shoe for bouldering and sport climbing. It serves as an excellent introductory pair, and the meticulous design has a premium feel to it. 

Ultimately, any climber looking for a reliable shoe at a budget price will be hard-pressed to find a better shoe. And that's the winning aspect about the Butora Acro.

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About the author 


Roger was born into a family of climbers. As the youngest of his siblings, he was also the most ardent climber of them. Small and agile, he practiced climbing all day. Today, Roger teaches children how to climb the large rock walls safely.

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