This story originally appeared in the October 2014 issue of our print edition.
With some of the best climbing shoes on the market coming out of Europe, American shoe brands definitely have something to prove, and California-based Butora has charged out of the gate with some of our favorite shoes of the year. The Sensa is a classic slipper design with a flexible, flat sole. One tester loved it for foot jamming on Melvin’s Wheel in Lumpy Ridge, Colorado, but also found the sensitivity and softness great for smedging (smearing + edging) on the dime edges of J Crack, also in Lumpy. Testers found the proprietary Butora rubber to be just as sticky as the name-brand rubbers of other shoes in the test: “From first wear, I never questioned the stickiness—especially because that first wear was on slightly damp granite!” A synthetic upper won’t stretch over the life of the shoe, so size accordingly. Super-awesome, far-out bonus: The price! “Don’t be fooled by that sub-$100 price tag; these shoes are truly high quality,” one user said. This two-man startup, run out of a garage, owns the factory where they produce shoes, and they intentionally keep overhead minimal so they can keep prices low. This shoe quickly proved itself to be on par with some of the best currently on the market. Full sensitivity means just that, and some users experienced foot fatigue and/or pain after wearing them for all-day routes. Like most classic slippers, it’s slightly challenging to get them off and on.
Slipper purists that don’t want anything fancy—just a sticky-rubber sock—will love the Sensa for its simple, straightforward design, not to mention the phenomenal price.
Review: Our Top 11 Rock Climbing Shoes