I went to the climbing gym in Bozeman today to get out of Billings and try some routes put up by different setters. When I got to the climbing gym, the first order of business was climbing shoes. I had tried on the La Sportiva Otaki (mens) in a size 38.5 (M) EU last weekend when I was climbing with Lou and Leon. They fit well. I didn’t buy them, though, due to the employee at the desk telling me that he thought they ran a bit larger than average for a La Sportiva shoe. During the week, the size 38 (M) EU pair that I had ordered online came in, and there was no way that my feet were going into that pair of shoes. There was no room. Now, with the La Sportiva Katakis (the laced version of the Otakis), the shoes had run about a half-size larger than the average La Sportiva fit, and that’s been the consensus. As far as the Otakis go, I’m not sure that’s the case. Maybe it’s just my feet, but the size I would normally wear in the La Sportiva brand – 38.5 (M) EU – fit just a tad bit tight, which means they’ll break in to be the perfect snug fit that I will absolutely love to climb in! They are already halfway broken in after a day of bouldering in them, by the way. They feel good. When they stretch just that little bit more after a few more sessions, they’ll be perfect!!! So, depending on your foot, which is really what it all comes down to with any shoe, the Otaki may or may not run large. For me, they don’t. They fit just like I would expect any La Sportiva shoe in a size 38.5 (M) EU would on my feet. You’ll have to try them on for yourself, and I would definitely recommend trying on whatever shoe you are interested in buying if at all possible before buying it. I know this is very difficult sometimes (personal experience), but it will save you some heartache and money in shipping if you can manage to find a way to do it.
That’s the skinny on the fit of the Otakis. What about the performance? Excellent. That’s all I can say. Excellent performance. They’re easy to get on and off due to the two velcro straps, easy to adjust for a surprisingly precise fit, and just aggressive enough to be good all-around bouldering and sport-climbing shoes without being uncomfortable. They edge and smear extremely well. They also hook well. The Otakis can be worn for long periods of time without discomfort. I can imagine that the period of time that they can be worn without discomfort will only lengthen as they get broken in more. Time will tell, but that’s my prediction. They were a nice change of pace from my hardcore, more aggressive La Sportiva Solutions today. I rather enjoy the Otakis!!! They’re a comfortable performance shoe and that’s exactly what I’ve been looking for!!!