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Bufo V-Machine Shoe Review


Bufo V-Machine, $80

  • Steep rock: 4.5 Star
  • Face climbing: 1 Star
  • Long routes: 1 Star
  • Upper: Synthetic, unlined
  • Rubber: 3.8mm Utopia PDS 2

There's a minimalist school of thought when it comes to steep-rock shoes. Ideally, the argument goes, you'd take a can of liquid rubber and spray-paint your feet. The V-Machine fits like this. Its soft sole and wrap-around upper, basically two overlapping flaps, are sure to please those who like a simple shoe that allows them to really feel the rock with their feet. Despite its seemingly basic design the V-Machine is engineered to banana your foot when you size it right (i.e. tight), giving big-toe power when the angle gets steep. Climbers with slim feet liked this shoe while those with wider feet found the forefoot narrow and the heel cup shallow. My right foot is wider than my left, and I never felt like it was fully seated and locked into the shoe.

Steep-rock performance; fits narrow feet; inexpensive.

- Shallow heel cup.

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