Gear Review

Gear Review: Climbing Shoes

Company: Acopa

Product: Merlin

Merlin is a fictional wizard notably featured in The Legend of King Arthur.  Merlin’s most extraordinary powers include prophecy and shapeshifting.  Such is the case with Acopa’s classic shoe, known also as the Merlin.

Being that these beauties are lace-ups they will be your go to shoe whether you’re just warming up or hoping on the project.  Depending on your goals, this shoe will serve as a shapeshifter indeed.  As for the prophecy…well, with the magic of the Merlin’s I can foresee lots of comfort and lots of sends coming your way!

The Merlin’s are a diverse precision shoe known for delivering sensitivity on anything from cracks, to faces, to overhangs.  It’s often the case that what a shoe gains in precision it loses in comfort, but that is not an issue for these shoes.  

Right out of the box, the Merlin’s feel like a slipper. I was impressed with their comfort to that point that I thought they couldn’t possibly live up their stellar reputation. I was immediately shown to be wrong.  If anything, they surpassed my expectations as they stuck in every position from edging to heel hooks.

These are my first pair of lace-ups, and I’m kind of disappointed that I haven’t gotten on the lace-up train sooner.  The diversity that the Merlin’s offer by simply adjusting the laces is enchanting!  Leave the laces loose and you are loving life in these fully cotton-lined classics that can serve as an all-day shoe.  Tighten up these charmed puppies up and they can stick the gnarliest heel and toe hooks on the most aggressive lines.

Aside from all the technical aspects of the Merlin’s, I have to add that this is without a doubt the single most beautiful shoe I have ever seen.  Right out of the box you can’t help but notice what handmade master craftsmanship looks like.  It felt like I was looking at the Rolls Royce of climbing shoes.  The seams, the stitching, the rubber edges, the inner lining, even the pull loops have a feel of true expertise in artistry.  Acopa’s attention to quality is totally impeccable and impossible to miss!

Of course, the Merlin’s are lace-ups, but if laces aren’t your thing, then I’d still recommend taking a look at the Acopa line of shoes because they have options for every climber.  With the Acopa rubber and handcrafted superiority, every pair in every style will indubitably blow you away! 

One more point of interest is that Acopa will allow you to design your own shoe.  Yep, that’s right, pick the style, the size, the rubber, pick the colors.  The design tool is open for any would be cobbler to mess around with, and see what kind of frankenshoe they can create, Once you’ve finished your masterpiece, they can be delivered to your doorstep in a matter of weeks.

Acopa might have the richest history of any shoe company.  Their story is filled with everything from hope to tragedy to resolve.  Their ups and downs are lessons in the preciousness of life and the value of determination.  They are a fantastic group with an unmatched reputation for excellence.  Throughout their entire journey they have held to their values and goals of being a company run by climbers for climbers!

With the magic of the Merlin, whether your next route is run-out, or you have to Cam-A-Lot1, you are guaranteed three things…comfort, style, and sends!

Recommendation: High Performance

Specs: Cotton Lined, Original Acopa RS Rubber, Best Fit: Medium to Wide Feet, Medium Camber

MSPR: $189

Web-Site: ACOPA

  1. This may be the best pun of my life. I thought of it before I even started writing this review, and felt giddy about using it the entire time. It was a real challenge waiting until the last line to use it!

12 Replies to “Gear Review”

  1. Thanks for the review. I had never heard of this company, so after reading your post, I consulted professor Google to see if they make shoes for power walking. It looks like that’s a no. It’s always fab to find the right shoe for your chosen activity. I’m using Hoka’s right now and they’re pretty good but not quite the amount of arch support I need if I exceed 6K, so am always on the lookout for new brands that may address this.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I need to try some Hoka’s sometime I am looking for the right shoe for walking too. I have been pretty tied to Asics, but if there is something better out there, I really need to find it! Thanks for the recommendation!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I have an good friend who climbs at 80, but not quite 90 Oneta. I’d be pleased to give you some pointers sometime though if you’d like. That would be amazing!


      1. Yes, indeed, I can’t step over a garden hose with confidence. I admire those of you who started taking care of your bodies at a young age. I can still walk a mile without a rest. I don’t push it though. Just keep my heart going. Blessings.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. It really is unbelievable how pretty the they are. This isn’t even their nicest shoe, they have a shoe called The Legend that’s even prettier.

      Liked by 1 person

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