Precise and Form Fitting
First off: I wear a US 8 in Pontas (performance fit, but not crazy tight), and an 8.5 in the Optimus. I wear around a 8.5/9 street shoe.
I bought an 8.5 in these and I'm glad I did. At first, they seemed way too tight, but they felt great when I took them climbing. They are narrow in the toe box, so my pinkie toe gets pinched, but they're leather so I think they'll stretch out nicely. My other toes are not that bunched up at all and I can wiggle them freely.
These shoes are incredibly form fitting. The middle strap really pulls the shoe into my arch. When I press on a very small foothold, I feel like my whole foot is driving into the hold and not just my big toe. I'm a fan and I will be using these for bouldering until they stretch a little bit more, in which case I'll probably start using them for general cragging as well. I would love to check out some of the lace-ups.