La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoes Review

Climbing shoes come in different shapes, styles, and sizes. Moreover, they hold a wide range of features that varies between the types and manufacturers.

When speaking about manufacturers, no one should forget about the Italian brand, La Sportiva, that came up with the exceptional climbing footwear for the intermediate climbers, named Katana Lace.

The La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoe is a popular product for a wide range of climbers as it features a moderately downturned toe that offers a brilliant mix of comfort and performance. The footwear is often termed as the “best all-rounder” in the market.

You know why?

It’s definitely because of the extraordinary set of features it comes with that helps it with perfect edging and appropriate fit.

More details to follow as you go through this La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoes review article!

La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoes- The Overview


With a blend of materials, this La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing shoe is an ideal option for anyone looking for high-performance climbing footwear designed for every type of climbing.

The pair holds a slightly downturned feature with asymmetrical toe box and sticky rubber, making it an excellent edging option for bouldering, crack climbing, or vertical and overhung face climbing.

The Katana Lace Climbing Shoes come in different shapes and sizes, destined to offer a comfortable fit for a wide range of users.

Pros & Cons:

Durable designVery expensive
Exceptional fitCan be hard to find
Versatile productNot the best at the toe placement
Excellent edging
Strong lace
Proper grip
Highly sensitive
Great size variations

Feature Highlights:

  • Engineered with synthetic material
  • Features slip-lasted design
  • Comes with highly breathable tongue and lining for moisture management
  • Features slightly downturned toe and subtle asymmetry
  • Includes P3 midsole and Vibram XS Edge rubber for incredible edging
  • Features Lorica synthetic leather toe box for optimizing edging power
  • Features medium-asymmetrical toe box for great precision and sensitivity
  • Includes leather/Lorica upper and pacific lined forefoot for comfort

Product Details:

  • Dimensions: 14 x 7 x 5 inches
  • Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Material: Synthetic
  • Closure: Laces
  • Downturn: Moderate
  • Lining: Proprietary Material (Pacific)
  • Fit: Semi-Asymmetry
  • For: Men and Women
  • Designed to Serve: Intermediates
  • Sizes: 29 options
  • Colors: Yellow and Blue

Here is the La Sportiva Men’s Shoe Sizing Chart


Here are some of the features these La Sportiva Katana Lace Climbing Shoes are known for:

Design and Construction

This pair of climbing shoes have a synthetic material build mixed with some zig-zagging yellow lines. The upper is suede leather, and the tongue of the shoe is designed with a breathable fabric that offers the right amount of comfort and airflow.

Similarly, the stiff lower side rubber of the footwear does a valiant job of keeping its shape well and also has a perforation on the side, which helps with airflow too. The big rubber strap from the back of the heel is bonded to the internals of the footwear. It makes sure that the shoe keeps its downturned shape even though it doesn’t have a traditional liner.

Incredible Edging

The Katana includes a P3 midsole and Vibram XS EDGE rubber that makes it an incredible edging machine. With the slightly downturned toe, a semi-asymmetric fit, and some additional features, it performs well on a wider range of rock types and features. With that, the footwear can tackle much steeper sports terrain.

Besides, the more aggressive design helps for traditional climbing, allowing you to jam even in tiny cracks.

Heel Hooking

For climbers dealing with heels popping out of the shoe while heel hooking, this footwear is the right choice. This model comes with a low-volume heel designed for the people with small heels—typically, the heels that take up less volume.

Furthermore, the laces of the shoe let you tighten the footwear for an ideal fit so that you can be able to place a pinpoint heel hook every time.

Stiffness and Sensitivity

The sturdy Vibram XS Edge rubber of this climbing shoe is a great mixture of sensitivity and stiffness. The shoe feels like an extension of your foot and lets you feel exactly where your toes are on the rock. With the help of effective sensitivity, you can know where your toes are while cranking hard on the foothold, even if the foothold is small.

The shoe offers plenty of support for your feet without depriving you of sensation on the rock.


As this shoe is not overly aggressive, it is a comfortable choice for wearing for the whole day. With the great design, this footwear keeps your toes from getting beaten up in cracks. Furthermore, it has enough rigidity that makes sure you don’t feel like you are on your metatarsals while standing flat. It is a performance shoe that manages to hold comfort at a maximum on the difficult days.


This climbing shoe offers a comfortable fit. Though the footwear is designed for a medium foot, it can also fit a broad range of foot shapes because of the laces it comes with. As the heel is slightly slimmer, the sizing depends on your foot shape.

The downturn of the footwear retains its shape, and the Katana Lace does exceptionally well at adapting to the shape of your feet over the first few sessions and in the long term.

Great Performance

Often termed as a workhorse of a shoe, this footwear features a less aggressive shape that can perform perfectly well in cracks as well as steep walls. It consists of a highly breathable tongue and lining for excellent moisture management. Plus, the slip-lasted design aids in improved sensitivity and less stiffness for better overall performance.

Likewise, the tech fit and asymmetry are enough to increase the shoe’s holding power on overhanging terrain.


You have to face no durability issues with this pair of climbing shoes. Even if you use the footwear for about 1 or 1.5 years, you don’t have to resole it. Besides, in this entire time, the laces hold up well, and the sole maintains its stiffness and stickiness. Additionally, the toe box continues to edge precisely.

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Other Options Worth Exploring

Five Ten Hiangle Climbing Shoe


  • Designed with 100% split grain leather
  • Includes single-strand velcro closure system
  • Comes with Stealth C4 4.2 mm rubber outsole
  • Features stiff thermoplastic midsole
  • Features unlined leather upper with half size-stretch
  • Features aggressive downturned toe

La Sportiva Finale Climbing Shoes


  • Features leather upper for a soft and comfortable fit
  • Includes tensioned heel rand for high-end performance
  • Includes 5mm XS Edge Rubber outsole offering a solid grip
  • Comes with the Powerhinge to support the underfoot
  • Features a slip-lasted design
  • Features moderately downturned toe

Evolv Defy Climbing Shoes


  • Designed with synthetic material
  • Features Teardrop MX-P 1mm half-length midsoles that add edging power without sacrificing flexibility and sensitivity
  • Includes high-performance 4.2mm TRAX high-friction rubber soles
  • Comes with hook-and-loop straps for easy on and off
  • Includes new antimicrobial mesh to eliminate odor
  • Features flexible and durable synthetic suede uppers to resist stretching
  • Features an asymmetrical toe profile for comfort and sensitivity
  • Comes with a slip-lasted design
  • Includes dual heel loops to ease entry


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

To be honest, the Katana Lace climbing shoes’ toe hooking abilities are just par. Your toes won’t get beat up when pulling a toe hook, but some users have claimed that they would like to see a thicker rubber patch over the toes. Overall, the footwear is by no means bad at toe hooking, but it’s not the best one either.

Yes, you may have to deal with some smell issues with this climbing shoe. However, it is manageable with some efforts. Firstly, you can put some powder in them to capture some of the moisture that helps to lessen the smell.

This climbing shoe falls in the middle between performance and comfort, which makes it the right choice for the climbers with some expertise in climbing. It could work for the novice climbers as well, but we recommend that you seek something more on the comfort side if you are new to climbing.

Our Opinion

Overall, the Katana Lace by La Sportiva can be termed as an edging machine that retains this incredible ability no matter the type or steepness of the climb. It performs exceptionally at smearing, too, even though it is slightly aggressive footwear.

Besides, the shoe fits you best if you have a low-volume heel, and you will even love them more if you prefer laces over velcro straps. The product is better suited to longer pitches because of the stiffness as well as comfort and breathability.

Though the product is not designed for bouldering, it does pretty well, especially on technical boulders with small feet. The pockets and overhung footholds may test the limit of this footwear, but it excels in any challenge.

If you require an all-around high-performance shoe, have a low-volume heel, and fancy the customization that laces afford, grab your purse and buy this product already!

You might also want to read the review article on La Sportiva Oxygym Climbing Shoe.