We added the P3® technology to one of our most successful climbing shoes to produce a veritable edging machine! This is the first tubular construction climbing shoe that gives you the performance of a lined shoe with the comfort of an unlined shoe. Coupled with the new Vibram® XS Edge™ compound, this powerful, slightly asymmetric, slightly downtuned all around shoe excels in every type of climbing scenario.
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|Weight|| 247 g|
Single : 247 g / 8.71 oz
European sizes 33-46, including half sizes.|
La Sportiva Shoes are built on European half sizes which are smaller increments than US half sizes.
|Best Use (Highest Performance)||
Sport / Face|
|Last Details|| Shape: Arched (technical)|
Construction: Slip Lasted
Last : PD 55 This means the last has a pointed toe, it is arched and has medium asymmetry.
|Upper Material||Leather / Lorica®|
|Midsole Material||1.1 mm LaspoFlex with P3®|
|Sole Material||4.0 mm Vibram® XS Edge™|
|Footbed Lining|| |
Pacific (forefoot and back)
Vibram® XS Edge
This shoe is stiff enough to prevent your foot from fatiguing on the big days, and takes to cracks better than many specialized shoes. From Smith Rock to the Alabama Hills, the Katana can handle any sport route you throw it on. If you're looking for super high-end sport climbing shoes, it may fall a little short for you. For everything else, this shoe will easily do the job, which is why it wins our Top Pick Award for an all-around shoe.
The shoe takes a while to wear in, and does stretch a little with use. We sized ours a full size down, and have been happy with their fit after the wear-in period.
Overall, these shoes aren’t specialized for any one sort of climbing, and may not necessarily be the game-changing shoe for sending that project you’ve been working on all season. There are definitely other shoes that are more specialized and more aggressive that would give you a performance advantage over the Katanas. But for me, just venturing into some harder grades and more focused on improving strength and technique than projecting anything V-hard, these shoes are just about perfect.
I think Sportiva has hit a home run with these shoes, as they offer the perfect blend of comfort and performance. They have become my favorite shoes for warming up, as well as climbing on any terrain that isn’t steep. It’s also worth noting that while I have no experience with the Katana Velcro, the word on the street is that the two shoes have very little (if anything) in common.
I tested the Katana Lace on limestone and sandstone of all angles and slipperiness, and was pleased with its versatility as well as the Vibram XS Edge rubber’s stickiness. The asymmetric Katana Lace is slightly down-turned, which gave the sensation of a performance shoe but managed to retain the comfort of a flatter shoe without those performance features. La Sportiva’s proprietary randing system, the P3 (Permanent Power Platform), tensions the rubber and maintains this shape through the lifespan of the shoe. The shoe is just plain comfortable, employing some nice padded cushioning atop the foot. I could easily wear these shoes all day.
I climbed in the Sportiva Katana Lace on all sorts of rock, from granite to limestone to sandstone, and came away with a glowing opinion of the shoe.
It is an excellent all-around shoe, but it is not ideal for everything, and I would not recommend it if you’re looking for a shoe for bouldering and sport climbing, first and foremost.
I found the Katana Lace to be a good sport / bouldering shoe, but a phenomenal trad / crack-climbing shoe.
For super long routes, free climbing big walls, etc., I’d probably reach for something with a stiffer sole that allowed for less strenuous stances, but for climbing straight-in cracks, the Katana Lace is currently as good as it gets.
Overall I have been impressed by how often I turn to the Katana Lace for trad climbing. I expected this to be a sport and bouldering shoe but it has been making the tours around Yosemite including some time spent on El Capitan. While it is not as sensitive for small holds as the Miura or designed for endless jamming like the TC Pro, the Katana Lace holds its own. The stiff toe box reduces foot fatigue and helped me put extra weight on foot holds of all sizes. I even appreciated the stiffness kneebaring at the Jailhouse where I usually prefer to wear Testarossas.
The Katana Lace is a sleek, sharp all-around weapon, especially excelling on edges and smears. I tested the shoe on limestone and sandstone of all angles and slipperiness, and was pleased with its versatility as well as the Vibram XS Edge rubber’s stickiness. Another upgrade, the asymmetric Katana Lace is slightly down-turned, which gave the sensation of a performance shoe but managed to retain the comfort of a flatter all-arounder. Sportiva’s proprietary randing system, the P3 (Permanent Power Platform), tensions the rubber and maintains this shape through the lifespan of the shoe.
La Sportiva added a P3 midsole and laces to its super-popular Katana (Velcro) to produce the Katana Lace, an edging master that one tester said fits “like a glove.” The stiff slip-last is slightly asymmetric and slightly downturned, creating a comfortable performance shoe for all angles except super steep. Synthetic lining and an upper blended with leather and Lorica give the Katana Lace a low-stretch fit while still conforming to your foot. A 4mm Vibram XS Edge sole hikes slabs, thin faces, and cracks. The Katana Lace received superior marks for all but its heel, which one tester described as “baggy” – they’re average for hooking. As with most La Sportiva shoes, the Katana Lace tends to fit narrow-to-averagewidth feet.