La Sportiva Katana Lace shoes

La Sportiva Katana lace review – All-round climbing shoes

The La Sportiva Katana Lace climbing shoes are one of the most popular all-round climbing shoes around. The first version of the katana lace was released way back in 2004, and the shoe still features the typical La Sportiva colors: black and yellow in the 2024 version. 

What to consider before buying the La Sportiva Katana Lace climbing shoes

What type of climbing do you do? If you do all kinds of climbing the Katana Lace shouold be perfect for you. If you mostly climb tough boulders or sport climbs and go to a lot of climbing competitions you might be happier with the La Sportiva Solution Comp.

Sizing: The official recommendation for a tight fit is to go down 0,5 to 1 size from your street shoe. A lot of people are using these shoes in their street shoe size, so if you are between two sizes, it might be a good idea to go with the larger size. 

  • Weight: 17.6 oz/ 500 grams
  • Materials: Suede leather, Vibram® XS Edge
  • Closure: Laces


  • Versatile
  • Good for crack climbing
  • Great for multi-pitch
  • Comfortable
  • Durable
  • Not the most affordable
  • Not the best shoe for really overhanging routes

How well the La sportiva Katana Lace shoes perform

Comfort: The Katanas are a really comfortable shoe when considering how well they perform. The shoe has a volume that is suitable for surprisingly different feet, as the lacing allows for a tight fit. The katana laces are designed for long days climbing and thats why they have to be comfortable. You can wear these shoes for a long time without getting numb or having to take them off all the time. The shoes are also padded so that you can jam them nicely into cracks without pain on the feet. 

Sensitivity: Considering how comfortable and stiff these shoes are it is surprising how sensitive your feet are while wearing them.

Competition style: The Katana Lace shoes perform quite well in competition style sport climbing, but they might not be the best choice for bouldering comps. That being said, the shoes work pretty well on very delicate slab smearing and in more gymnastic style moves, because of the flatter design and the P3 midsole. 

Edges: The sensitivity of the Katanas really shows when climbing on smaller edges. The shoes have a downturned toe part that really works well when edging. The Vibram XS rubber edge rubber is really sticky and you can have confidence not to get slips from even the smallest edges when wearing these shoes. 

Pockets: The same toe part and the asymmetrical design helps with pockets as well. The Katanas fit and stay in pocket holds really well. 

Hooks: The top of the shoe has a leather patch for toe hooking, but the shoe is not in its element in steep cave style boulder routes. The same goes for heel hooking as the shoe has a tight spine, but there isn’t that much rubber in the heel. 

Cracks: The place where these shoes really are in their element are in long crack climbs. They are thin enough to slip into smaller cracks, but comfortable enough to have you smiling through out the climb. If you climb mostly cracks you might want to consider the TC Pro shoes as well, as they have more ankle support. 

Alternatives for the La Sportiva Katana Lace climbing shoes

Before committing to the Katana lace shoes take a look at our review of the best climbing shoes article. In the article we recommend these shoes as well as the Katana Lace:

 So if you are looking for a shoe that you can use to climb anywhere around the world, or if you enjoy trad climbing or long multi-pitch routes you should be really happy with the La Sportiva Katana Laces.

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