The Katana is one of La Sportiva’s most famous and well-known climbing shoes in its lineup. And it was not just because of a good name or anything, but the Katana was truly an excellent performer and was very distinct from all the other shoes in that category. However, just when I thought that this was the best La Sportiva could come with, they decided to launch the Otaki, and it goes without saying that it is equally or in some extent even better than the Katana. To help you get a better idea and picture of what this shoe possesses, I decided to bring to you the la sportiva otaki review. So let’s go ahead.
What Does It Feel Like?
Fit and feel of climbing shoes is something of a very contradictory issue as many people tend to have different opinions on it. Nonetheless, I have talked about that in other places and is not a topic for today. However, something that you cannot really sacrifice on when it comes to climbing shoes is the comfort, they have to keep you comfortable on your climbs. Now coming to the Otaki, this shoe is very different in terms of comfort with the other climbing shoes of this category on the market, because this will cater very well to comparatively all feet types. At first few wears I found that the spacious toe box gave a decent amount of support to the width of the foot. Now, I would personally call this a semi-aggressive shoe and as result, the fitting on the front might not be extremely tight or anything, but it will surely be enough to keep your forefoot well alert in situations. The downward shape of the shoe will keep its form intact, even if you wear it for many years it won’t fall back to a flat shape. Another thing that contributes to the comfort of the shoe is the upper. The synthetic laser cut reduces bulk and ensures that you are wearing a climbing shoe that’s lightweight.
The time I unboxed this shoe, the thing that first caught my eye was its heel area. It was very different and later after testing the shoe, I find out that it had something very significant to do with the performance as well. The rubber on the heel is very thick and is probably the hardest part of the shoe. The reason why most climbing shoes tend to have hard rubber in the heel area is to increase the power abilities of the shoe so that it becomes easier for the climber to get up a rock, same was the intention in this case as well. However, this is capable of doing much more than that. If you notice then you will see that there is a strip located there and it’s not just there for show. What it does is provides a more stable and rigid platform for the shoe, so that your feet do not slip off or anything while climbing.
The attention to detail given here is excellent and deserves good ratings. Despite its bulky stature, the heel does not feel heavy or overpowering at all. Because it is very snug and comfortable it allows for the shoe to provide you a more snug fit, so that your feet stay locked. Starting from the build to the overall construction of the shoe is just top quality. You won’t be disappointed with that. In addition to the build and comfort, the velcro straps are situated at a very good position so it not only allows tension to spread out but will also provide a locked-down fit.
Ability To Edge:
Keeping the looks, build and comfort aside, the significance of a climbing shoe won’t be fully justified unless and until it performs where it’s supposed to be. And edging is a key determinant of a climbing shoe’s performance. When it comes to that, the Otaki will have no problem whatsoever in acing it. This shoe has something called p3 technology that helps for a downturned performance fit for slicing and dicing where needed. To put it into simpler words, the shoe has a sort of insert that is placed under the toe box. And it is placed there because it helps to maintain the downturn form and stability of the shoe that I mentioned before. However, it is not only that. The insert along with the asymmetric last helps to provide a good grip and power so that you can edge comfortably on the smallest of blocks.
A significant thing that seems to be of average stature on this shoe is that there aren’t many extra rubber patches or coatings of any sort here. While this might give the shoe a bit of a minimal and clean look, it goes without saying that it does affect the traction of the shoe. However, thanks to the velcro straps you won’t face much of a problem in hooking on to deeper blocks, no matter how tight the corners might be, thanks to the hard and grippy rubber on the shoe. The shape of the shoe will also help you to stand stable on terrain that is overhung or vertical. The sole of the shoe hits the sweet spot in shape and will surely serve well on all conditions. However, you might not find it immensely sensitive.
- The shoe maintains it’s downturn shape throughout.
- Well made and high quality.
- Very good hooking and edging capability.
- The velcro closure straps provide good fit and adjustability.
- Lacks sensitivity.
Take a look at the shoe:
I had a lot of fun in testing and trying the La Sportiva Otaki. It might not be a revolutionary shoe, but the way in which it mixes everything to give you the best outcome possible is just excellent. A great thing worth mentioning about the shoe is its versatility. Be it face climbing or occasional crack climbing, the La Sportiva Otaki will be able to handle it all with sheer ease.