katana lace by la sportiva review

Basics of the Redesigned Katana Lace by La Sportiva: A Climbing Shoe Review

La Sportiva’s flagship technical/edging/high-end all-around shoe, the Katana Lace, has undergone a significant redesign for 2022. The new version features a narrower heel and an updated heel pattern made with recycled rubber. In this article, we’ll dive into the details of this revamped climbing shoe and explore its pros and cons.

A Closer Look at the Katana Lace Redesign

The revised Katana Lace shoes boast a blend of materials in their uppers, with leather in the forefoot and screen-printed microfiber in the back two-thirds. The tongue is constructed from breathable, perforated mesh. The shoes maintain a mildly downturned and mildly asymmetrical shape. It’s worth noting that there are two versions available: the stiffer “men’s” version with a full-length 4 mm XS Edge outsole and the softer “women’s” version with a split sole and a 4 mm XS Grip 2 outsole.

Pros of the Redesigned Katana Lace

1. Incredible Edging and Micro-Edging

  • The Katana Lace excels in edging and micro-edging, offering consistent stability and support even on tiny holds.

2. Pointy Toe for Precision

  • The pointy toe of these shoes is excellent for seams, thin cracks, pods, dishes, and pockets, providing very precise foot placements.

3. Solid Build and Durability

  • With a stiff 1.1 mm full-length LaspoFlex midsole, these shoes are built to last, showing improved longevity and resole-ability.

4. Redesigned Heel for Enhanced Performance

  • The redesigned heel offers a form-fitting and responsive fit, making it ideal for hooks and heel-toe cams.

5. Durable Laces

  • The burly laces of the Katana Lace hold up well to abrasion in cracks, ensuring they last through challenging climbs.
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Cons of the Redesigned Katana Lace

1. Stiffness

  • These shoes are on the stiff side, which may result in reduced sensitivity and require a longer break-in period. Additionally, smearing ability is somewhat compromised.

2. Pointy Toe Not for Everyone

  • The long, pointy toe of the Katana Lace may not be suitable for climbers who prefer a different style. Some users may find it uncomfortable or distracting.

3. Sizing Changes

  • Some climbers have reported slight sizing changes, so it’s advisable to consider coming down approximately half a size for a precision fit, unless you plan to use them for multi-pitch or all-day trad climbing.

Our Thoughts on the Redesigned Katana Lace

The new Katana Lace is a remarkable climbing shoe that excels in edging and micro-edging. It offers a level of stability and precision that’s hard to beat, making it an ideal choice for climbers who value these qualities. The shoe’s construction feels robust, suggesting it will maintain its precision and endure resoles for longer than its predecessor.

These shoes are well-suited for various climbing scenarios, including thin face climbing, technical slabs with micro holds, cracks up to hands or fists, and all-day trad or multi-pitch climbs. Even if you opt for a larger size for comfort, the Katana Lace will still provide enough stiffness to gain traction on small face holds. However, it’s important to note that these shoes are not ideal for bouldering or gym climbing.

Size, Weight, and Price

  • Size Reviewed: N/A
  • Weight: 17.4 oz/pair (M’s size 9)
  • Price: $210
  • Brand: La Sportiva

In Conclusion

The redesigned Katana Lace by La Sportiva is a formidable climbing shoe that caters to the needs of climbers seeking exceptional edging and precision. With its sturdy construction and improved heel design, it promises long-lasting performance. However, it’s essential to consider your sizing preferences and climbing style before making a purchase.

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For those looking to elevate their climbing game with a shoe that excels in edging and stability, the Katana Lace is a strong contender.


1. Are the Katana Lace climbing shoes suitable for beginners?

  • While the Katana Lace offers excellent performance, it is better suited for experienced climbers who prioritize precision and stability. Beginners may find them too stiff.

2. Can I use the Katana Lace for both indoor and outdoor climbing?

  • Yes, you can use these shoes for both indoor and outdoor climbing, but they are particularly well-suited for outdoor climbs that involve edging and small holds.

3. How do I choose the right size for the Katana Lace climbing shoes?

  • It is recommended to consult La Sportiva’s sizing chart and consider coming down half a size for a more precise fit unless you plan to use them for multi-pitch or all-day trad climbing.

4. Are the Katana Lace laces durable?

  • Yes, the laces on the Katana Lace climbing shoes are durable and can withstand abrasion in cracks and demanding climbing conditions.

5. Can I use the Katana Lace for bouldering?

  • The Katana Lace is not the ideal choice for bouldering due to its stiffness. It is better suited for climbs that require precise foot placements on edges and small holds.

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