The climbing shoe is a smaller piece of equipment that you’ll need on the hiking trail, but it’s probably going to have the biggest impact on you when you’re on your adventure.
It’s going to affect almost every area of your climb, the main two being the actual support you have and the comfort you feel when you’re on the side of the rock face.
Even if you are an expert climber, you will most likely want to know all of the ins and outs about a certain pair of climbing shoes. With all of your experience you will be the one to tell what is going to be the best climbing shoe, but you will want to have solid knowledge beforehand.
Not only will this fundamental but in depth information save you from getting hurt or having to shorten your climb since you will know a lot of the flaws before getting your shoes, but how enjoyable the climb is actually going to be will be able to be known much more since you know the adventure was created by you and all the information that you found out beforehand. Continue reading to get a proper La Sportiva Katana Lace Review.
In Depth Guide of the La Sportiva Katana Lace Review
La Sportiva Katana Climbing Shoe Score
- Sensitivity – 8 out of 10
- Pockets – 8 out of 10
- Comfort – 9 out of 10
- Cracks – 9 out of 10
- Edging – 9 out of 10
How Well Does the La Sportiva Katana Climbing Shoe Actually Perform?
Even though the Katana Lace doesn’t have as many features as other shoes and is just a little bit simpler than most, the comfort level is through the roof.
Great at Edging
With a rubber made from Vibram XS Edge and P3 midsole, the Katana is extremely primed for edge climbing.
The fact that it is aggressively downturned really helps your edging in this shoe as well. Being able to have a very rigid structure will help you a lot while climbing so that you won’t have to use your foot muscles and leg muscles more than you need to.
It definitely gives you a greater chance of being able to get a great hold on the rock face than you would be able to without a rigid, downturned shoe.
It fits pretty asymmetrical which gives you even more ability to get a strong hold on to really tough ledges.
It has a great right angle edge that improves your ability further to get a stable footing on smaller edges. It uses that right angle as support rather than your own power.
However, a plus to having a shoe that isn’t so great at edging is that you will have the time and ability to practice your footwork and build up your foot muscles to be a much better climber.
Great at Crack Climbing
The aggressive downturn of the Katana, plus its awesome build make this climbing shoe really great at crack climbing.
To be fair, this climbing shoe is probably best for smaller cracks in the rock face and if the crevices are shaped a little awkwardly, forcing you to have a little more technique, the Katana is going to be the one that works the best.
If the cracks are a little wider and simpler in their shape, you may want a shoe that has a little bit of a wider base to the foot.
Also, if you can get a climbing shoe with a higher top when you are climbing in cracks that are wide, that would be preferable. If you’re going to be sticking your foot farther into a wider crack, you’re going to be needing as much protection of your ankle as possible.
Pockets Don’t Pose a Problem
The Katana has a pretty low profile, meaning that when you are attempting to stuff your foot into tough pockets on the rock race, this shoe is going to be able to get into the spaces much better than other ones.
Also, since it has a pretty rigid downturn, you are going to get a lot of support from the shoe while it’s in the pocket.
You aren’t going to get the best toe hooks because since it has that lower profile, there isn’t as much rubber at the top of the shoe for you to hook on to.
It also has a pretty great taper at the end. There are many pockets that are just too small for a climbing shoe to get into unless it has a decently tapered toe.
The Katana will be able to get into smaller, initially unsupportive pockets that other climbing shoes won’t be able to get into.
It has pretty medium stiffness when it comes to the midsole, so the sensitivity isn’t going to be as high as some other climbing shoes. That being said, you will get a good bit of sensitivity out of this shoe when you are climbing.
You aren’t going to be able to feel a ton of details in the rock and find all footing that you would like, but if you were able to do that, you would be wearing a very soft shoe, and probably wouldn’t be able to have enough strength to get a good enough hold on to those hard to feel surfaces.
But still, this shoe will allow you to climb all day because of the support it gives, but even so allow you to get a pretty good feel for the rock face.
Is the La Sportiva Katana Climbing Shoe Comfortable?
It’s Balanced Between Comfort and Support
It’s pretty much a half and half with this shoe. You definitely won’t be completely uncomfortable and you’ll still be able to do the majority of climbs for a good length of time that you want.
The leather upper is a big portion of where the comfort comes from, as you will be able to feel the shoe properly conform to your foot and give you a good bit of protection on the top of your shoe.
The tongue of the shoe is actually pretty well padded, so this will still give this aggressively downturned shoe more comfort.
Great Heel Cup
The heel cup does a great job of fitting really well to your heel. It sort of sucks your heel in and allows for a really great, sock like feel.
Laces Give Comfort
The laces on this climbing shoe really give you the best option for comfort being that you will be able to adjust the shoe much better to fit to your foot than other climbing shoes.
Does the La Sportiva Katana Climbing Shoe Have Good Fit?
Break in Period
The best way to get the most fitted climbing shoe is to size down your climbing shoe from what your normal walking shoe is. You may have to try a couple of different sizings to get the right fit for your foot, but you should probably start out with about a half of a size down.
With the Katana, you’re going to want to choose a size and stick with it for a couple of weeks of climbing, as this shoe does conform a certain amount to your foot, and only then will you be able to figure out if you got the perfect size for your climb.
Each time you climb, definitely tighten your laces to fit your foot as well as you can because since it does eventually conform to your foot, you want to make sure the shoe doesn’t relax too much during your climb.
Lower Profile Heel Cup
Some heel cups are too high for the shoe to fit your foot really well because there is too much room for your heel to stay in one place.
But with the Katana, the heel cup is actually high enough to still give support, and also low enough to suction cup itself to your heel and not give your heel too much room to slip around and cause you to lose stability like some other climbing shoes.
Not the Best for Wide Feet
If you are looking for a shoe that will perfectly fit your wide foot, this shoe may not be the best one for you. It definitely doesn’t affect wide footed people as other climbing shoes do, they still may always be a bit snug.
Does the La Sportiva Katana Climbing Shoe Have Good Value?
The Katana is going to allow you to do a variety of climbs and not just go on the climbs, but excel in most of the areas you need the most.
You won’t have to have a large variety of climbing shoes meeting different needs since this one checks a lot of the boxes off for you.
Since it is such a useful shoe, it’s going to cost you. However, the money saved from not having to buy several different climbing shoes to get your experience up to par.
You can still find other shoes that are around or even a little bit less expensive that have similar performance, but the cost would only be different, for most of them anyway, of about $10-20 dollar, and the Katana still performs a little better.
Pros and Cons of the La Sportiva Katana Climbing Shoe
- Hard to locate
- Not very affordable
How does the La Sportiva Katana Climbing Shoe Compare?
1. Katana VS Genius
The La Sportiva Katana is much better at crack climbing than the La Sportiva Genius. Its support is more so built for smaller cracks, but you can still jam your foot into a wider crack in a pinch.
You’ll be able to feel the rock face a little bit more with the Genius climbing shoe however. It’s a softer shoe and with it you’ll be able to find even more ledges and supportive surfaces than you would with the Katana.
Also, the Katana is actually going to be a little more comfortable even though normally a softer shoe like the Genius Would typically be the more comfortable one. It conforms better to your foot and is super adjustable as well so it makes the Katana that much more comfortable.
2. Katana Vs Solution
The La Sportiva Solution is pretty great at pocket climbs and is also pretty sensitive.
The Katana comes in right behind this climbing shoe in both of these areas so they are one of the most similar shoes to compare.
However, your comfort level is going to be better with the Katana being that the Solution is a lot more aggressively downturned than the Katana. And while it gives it a slight edge in performance, it decreases the comfort to below where the Katana is at.
3. Katana VS Futura
The Katana is better in almost every area when stacking it up against the La Sportiva Futura except for pocket climbing and sensitivity. Even then, the Futura only scored a point or so above this Katana.
So if you are much more focused on pocket climbs and how sensitive your shoe is and you don’t much care for anything else, the Futura is probably your best bet for a climbing shoe.
However, if you need to be comfortable and great at edge climbing and crack climbing, the Katana will most likely be your go to climbing shoe.
4. Katan Vs Solution Comp
The Katana is going to have higher comfort and be better at crack climbing than the La Sportiva. It’s not a huge gap between these two shoes in both of these areas, but it still is large enough to be noticeable.
Where the Solution Comp takes over is its sensitivity and how well it performs in pockets. Its softness is just a little bit higher than the Katana and has a good bit more rubber at the end of the shoe that is tapered downwards to give better purchase when the shoe is jammed into a crack.
What’s the Verdict on the La Sportiva Katana Lace Review Climbing Shoe?
The Katana performs really well in a lot of areas, particularly edging, and with its middling downturn it provides great comfort with a good bit of support.
It’s also cheaper than some other climbing shoes that have the same or only a little better performance aspects, and even when compared to shoes of similar price range, it performs a little bit better than they do, not by a large margin but it still has great value for money because of this.