Outdoor Retailer is a biannual outdoor clothing and gear trade show that takes place in Salt Lake City. I had the opportunity to attend the show this year and see all of the new products set to be released for fall/winter 2015. I have my favorite companies I like to meet with while there, but truthfully, I love to roam at the show. There are booths upon booths of up and coming companies and I’m always keen to see what new brands are on the horizon.
OTZShoes are just one of those companies. I was lucky enough to walk by their booth and chat for a bit with their creative director, Ludo, about their unique product. OTZShoes are named after Oetzi, the oldest homosapien (iceman) found to be wearing shoes. Oetzi’s shoes were made of animal skin combined with dried grass. The modern day OTZ shoes are modeled after these but redesigned to match the technology and comfort of present day. I had to test them out for myself.
I took a pair of the OTZ linen shoes with me to Cuba to see how they would perform on the road. First though, I had to pick a color. With more than 25 different colors to choose from, I was slightly overwhelmed. I went with Viola, a nice soft purple, and once I received the shoes I knew I had made the right decision.
The shoes were tight at first and so I opted to wear them without socks. I found this was the most comfortable way of wearing the OTZShoes. Not to worry, as the cork footbed is naturally antimicrobial, and didn’t make my shoes stink whatsoever. Also this enabled the footbed to mold to my foot a bit faster than wearing socks would have. The arch support was solid, and the grip on the sole was equally strong. After a full day of walking around Havana, my feet felt great.
With its’ simple design, the colors are what makes the shoes pop. I loved the purple, as it made me feel ready for spring weather. Granted there are so many color choices to choose from, you could pick a color for each season. Finally, the breathability of the linen kept my feet nice and cool.
OTZShoes come in other materials besides linen such as suede, leather and shearling. Important to note of the linen material is that they are not suitable for rainy weather. I was hesitant to wear them on cloudy days because if it did rain they might get dirty and wet, even though they are easy to wash. So, they are strictly sunshine weather shoes.
What I loved:
- Bright colors and many of them!
- Comfortable, can wear them without socks.
- Work well as travel shoes instead of sandals-they pack down very small.
Not so much:
- Can’t wear them in the rain.
OTZ 300gms Linen Shoes can be bought here on the OTZShoes website for $80.