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Butora Gomi Review (2023): Good Versatile Bouldering Shoes?

Butora Gomi review
The Butora Gomi is similar to the Scarpa Vapor but with a soft grip rubber and a more flexible and comfortable build.

Bottom Line

8.5Expert Score
The Butora Gomi is a comfortable performance best suited for steep sport climbing and bouldering.
If you don’t want to choose between comfort and performance, the Butora Gomi is a pretty good choice despite its downturned design aimed at ambitious sport climbing and high-level bouldering.

The heel provides sensitivity and precision through its special Power Rand heel design. This transfers power to the forefoot and the toe box and supports the toes on small footholds and thin edges.

The outsole is 4 mm thick and uses the Neo Fuse sticky rubber, providing a secure grip even on the most technical moves. Also, the large thin patch of rubber on the toe box makes this climbing shoe great for toe hooking.

Last but not least, the combination of synthetic and natural leather keeps this shoe relatively soft and comfortable compared to other aggressive models. This makes it a great pick for intermediate climbers looking to upgrade from their neutral shoes!
Comfort
9
Performance
8
Durability
9
Value for Money
8
PROS
  • The patented Neo Fuse rubber is sticky and flexible – good for smearing, hooks, and jamming.
  • There’s a wide and narrow fit to match different sizes and shapes of feet.
  • The sole is 4 mm thick, which provides good durability even on sharper rock or indoors.
  • The sizing corresponds to street shoe size, which helps to pick the desired fit easily.
CONS
  • The sole is thicker than most soft shoes, which takes away some of the sensitivity.
  • Premium pricing

Introduction

The Butora Gomi climbing shoes are considerably aggressive shoes but unexpectedly comfortable. Due to the aggressive fit and all the rubber offering good sensitivity and stickiness, this great shoe fits best for hard bouldering indoors and outdoors. The shoe is available in two colors – pink and seagrass, in classic men’s and women’s versions.

Butora Gomi climbing shoes for vertical terrain

Wide vs. Narrow Version

The “men’s” and “women’s” versions of the Butora Gomi have some noticeable differences aside from color. The pink shoe has a narrow fit with a close-fitting forefoot and snug heel that is best suited for narrower feet. On the other hand, wide feet will be more comfortable in the blue colorway/wide fit version of the shoe. Its cut offers a wider fit in the toe and heel area and has higher arches for more volume.

Butora Gomi wide fit vs narrow fit (men's vs women's)

Note: despite the somewhat gendered colorways, anyone can use either shoe depending on their foot shape and size. Just try both and pick the one that fits best.

Comfort

The Butora Gomi climbing shoe comes in street shoe size, so you can easily pick a comfortable or aggressive fit as desired. For a tighter fit, go a half size lower than street size, and consider the potential toe box stretch. For a more comfortable fit right from the start, get the same size as your street shoes. A single hook-and-loop Velcro closure and a stretchy tongue make the Gomi easy to put on and take off.

Gomi Butora climbing shoes

Performance

Edging

With the Butora Gomi, you can expect good accuracy and sensitivity, especially for smearing, jamming, and in steep overhangs. But because the Gomi is so soft, it ends up being average for edges – so don’t expect too much if you climb a lot of slabs. Standing on bad holds without slipping is possible, but you won’t get the best results on small edges.

Smearing

When it comes to smearing, the Gomi shoes unleash its true superpowers. With modern route setting in gyms, there really aren’t many small edges these days. Most of the time, climbers will have to stand on tiny, slippery, dual-texture jibs where edging isn’t a helpful technique. This is where the sticky rubber of the Gomi comes into play. Since most climbing gyms have grippy, textured walls with lots of friction, it’s good to know that the Butora provides excellent grip when smearing.

Butora Gomi climber smearing on artificial gym wall

Overhang

The aggressiveness level of the Butora Gomi is its true highlight. This shoe offers the perfect amount of tension while still being comfortable and wearable for long periods of time. Due to its sole design, tension is distributed from the forefoot all the way to the heel. This gives the foot a lot of stability and support.

Hooking

All the rubber in the Butora Gomi will be immensely useful for a solid heel hook. Not only that, but the shape of the shoe and its arched sole culminate in a tight Power Rand heel in the rear of the shoe. It has a reinforced heel cup with a high-tension rim. These two components work together to help climbers perform efficient and impressive heel hooking.

Butora Gomi with generous rubber at the rear for heel hooking

Jamming

Jamming is very common in trad climbing, crack climbing, and often in outdoor bouldering, while it’s still not very popular indoors. But for those of you who love jamming and foot cams, the Butora Gomi might be just what you’re looking for. These climbing shoes have rubber around the toe area to keep your feet from slipping in cracks and holes in the rock.

Use

Lead climbing

The Butora Gomi is great for lead climbing, considering its comfortable fit. They’re alright to wear for prolonged periods but might be a bit too aggressive for a fun day of climbing. Unless you’re after performance on steep terrain or roofs, a less downturned slipper or classic lace-up climbing shoes may fit the occasion better.

Outdoor vs. Gym Climbing

The Gomi are excellent indoor climbing shoes that won’t wear off at the tips too quickly because of its comparatively thick sole (4 mm). Heel hooks on macro holds and volumes in the gym will work great, thanks to the snug and sticky heel.

Butora Gomi solid velcro slipper for outdoor climbing

Out on the rock, the stickiness and aggressiveness of the Gomi are best suited for roofs, overhangs, and cracks or where a good smearing grip is required. Even on poor footholds, you won’t slip easily, with one exception: tiny edges. Be aware that the softness of the Butora Gomi doesn’t make it the best edging shoe on the market.

Bouldering

The Gomi was indeed designed for indoor climbing and competition climbing. So they’re ideal for steep lead climbing and bouldering, offering fantastic grip on modern moves like toe hooks – thanks to the special Neo Fuse sticky rubber. Given that the Gomis aren’t great for slab climbing and delicate edging on the rock, you’d better use them for aggressive climbing in roofs and overhangs.

Trad and Crack Climbing

This shoe is indeed a decent all-rounder, but it still can’t be called the best shoe for trad or crack climbing. Trad and crack climbers out there: definitely go ahead and give them a go anyway. It might surprise you! The added bonus of comfort will prolong your time on the rope. However, you should definitely have a spare pair if the Gomi doesn’t perform as you’d like them to.

Butora Gomi sticky rubber outsole for heel and toe hooks

Conclusion

So, in summary, the Butora Gomi is made for advanced climbers who like lead climbing and steep bouldering in the gym or on rock. Whether in pink or in the color of seagrass, they can be a great addition to your repertoire of climbing shoes. However, probably not the absolute all-rounder and the last shoe you’ll ever need. The price ranges in online shops, but it’s relatively high compared to a similar pair by established competitors such as Scarpa and La Sportiva. Yet, depending on your personal goal, it can still offer you pretty good value for money.

Facts

Butora Gomi performance shoes with durable construction

Technical Specs

Weight8 oz/227 g
FitPerformance
DownturnAggressive
ShapeMedium asymmetry
VolumeLow, High
StiffnessSoft
Sole thickness4 mm
ClosureVelcro
ResoleableYes
VeganNo

Use

ActivitiesIndoor, Outdoor, Bouldering, Sport
Experience levelIntermediate

Technologies

OutsoleButora NEO Fuse rubber
MidsoleHigh-rebound rubber
UpperSuede/leather, 3D molded heel cups
LastSlip-lasted
LiningMicrofiber

Not convinced by this model? Check out our top shoe picks for bouldering.

Butora Acro Comp vs. Gomi: What’s the Difference?


The Butora Acro Comp has a stiffer midsole and a more downturned shape for maximum edging power. On the other hand, the Butora Gomi is designed for all-around performance. As such, it has a softer midsole and a more neutral shape for comfort and versatility.

Where to Buy It?

We buy most of our stuff from REI.com. Their service is great, and it’s a co-op, so they treat their employees well and answer to their members, not shareholders.

Note: we receive a commission when you buy through us. This keeps our team of writers/climbers going!

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