First of all I think the La Sportiva Otaki is one of the best all round Blue Mountain sandstone shoes. Perhaps even better than the La Sportiva Muria VS, this is what I’ve been on now for the last few years.
The shoe itself is most accurately described as the combination of the Katana and Muria VS. It has the similar asymmetric curve to the Katana series but with a much more aggressive downturned and supportive mid-sole similar to that of the Muria VS. This shoe incorporates the new La Sportiva S-Heel (stability heel) technology; this is designed to keep the heel stable while pulling hard on it. After using it in the NSW state boulder Competition I found that this new technology won't crease, move around or fold over like some softer heeled shoes, and despite it being a slightly stiffer heel construction it still gives a lot of sensitivity to make sure of those placements. It basically gives the rigidity of the Solution heel while not being as bulbous, but being closer fitting and more sensitive.
In the lasportiva range I tend to vary from EU41 in the Katanas to EU39.5 in the Testarossa, the Otaki’s fit within this size range at EU40 (that’s EU4.5 sizes than my street shoe size). This meant that the initial break in period (2-3 weeks) was a bit painful on the toes but no worse than the Muria VS. The toe box provides confident edging and precision placements thanks to the Vibram XS Edge rubber, speaking of the toe box, in my opinion it fits similar to the Muria VS although may be a bit narrower.
I am mainly a sport climber and I purchased these as a replacement to my 3 yr old Muria VS, and like the Muria VS they are designed for the world of harder overhung sport routes. The Vibram XS Edge rubber means that its edging ability is amazing; however the stiffness of the shoe does mean that smearing in these shoes is uncomfortable. I have also had a few bouldering sessions in these shoes and they performed!!! The heel stuck every placement and unlike some other shoes I’ve had it was very comfortable to just sit on the heel and shake out in some of those longer roofs.
Versatile, Good fit, amazing edge ability, heel hooking is a breeze, stiff??
Smearing is uncomfortable, can’t wear for long periods, stiff??
Steeper sport climbs and bouldering.
Ben wants to get away He wants to fly away. Yeah yeah yeah But seriously. Ben loves rocks. When he's not climbing them, he's studying them. When he's not studying them, he's selling gear to climb them. When he's not selling gear to climb them, he's climbing them. And so on...