Acopa Chameleon, $98
All-around vertical to overhanging
Medium asymmetric; medium to wide width throughout; medium volume
Summary: A chameleon is a small lizard capable of adapting its skin color to blend with its surroundings. The Acopa Chameleon is an unlined leather Velcro slipper capable of adapting quite well to just about any kind of rock. While it doesn’t shine in any particular aspect of sport climbing or bouldering, this shoe delivers solid performance in any gymnastic rock medium, with a good blend between edging and smearing. The Chameleon also received kudos for its fit system. “I could wrap the arch around my foot for a precise foot without having to really reef down on the upper strap,” noted one tester.
The shoe sports a generous amount of rubber, but lacks the sexiness of the compression-molded heel cups and toe rands so trendy today. That’s okay, according to Acopa designer John Bachar. “The rands and heel look pretty unexciting, but they’re designed to work,” he says. “If I need to heel hook with the outside of my heel, the last thing I want is some fancy designed shoe with no rubber on the side of my heel.” We agree with you, John — there’s no reason a rock shoe shouldn’t have a fully rubber-covered heel. By the same token, the Chameleon could use just a little more rubber over the toe box for extra security for toe hooking.
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