< Go to Climbing Shoes - Men's
Hands-on Gear Review
La Sportiva Katana Review
Cons: Expensive for its level of performance and abilities
The La Sportiva Katana is a solid gym, sport climbing and bouldering shoe. It stands out for its unique Velcro closure that has circles you can't miss. It also has a unique single-piece tongue that wraps around the entire top of your foot whereas most have a split tongue that joins in the middle. These are pretty comfy for a Velcro shoe. They are medium stiffness so they are okay for standing on edges but not an edging machine like the La Sportiva Miura VS. I found that even when I got them a little big, they were not comfortable on lower angle granite routes. They are comfy for a performance shoe but are not to be confused with an all-day comfort shoe like the La Sportiva TC Pro. The TC Pro gives much more support on edging and just standing around all day. On the Katana the rubber is very sticky and soft. Overall, it is a solid performer and ideal for sport climbing, cragging and gym climbing. That said, since they are not that cheap at $150, I would probably lean toward either the La Sportiva Solution if I wanted high performance or the La Sportiva Mantis or Mad Rock Flash if I wanted to save cash or was just starting to climb. Chris McNamara
RELATED REVIEW: The Best Men's Rock Climbing Shoes
Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Katana is very comfortable and easy to get on and off. The big Velcro circles give you some options of how to tighten down the shoe. The large tongue wraps around the top of the foot and means there is not seam up top. This is a very soft shoe so you really feel the holds on overhanging routes.
We found this shoe was halfway between being a great all around shoe and a performance shoe. It does not have great support so was not ideal for standing around on long lower angle leads or multi-pitch climbs like most all around shoes. At the same time, it does not have the edging performance of most high end shoes like the Miura VS. It uses the less stick Vibram XS Edge rubber (it seems a sensitive shoe like this should come with the Vibram XS Grip) which is stickier.
This shoe is priced like a high performance shoe. We would rather spend a little more money and get something like the Solution or Miura. Or, go the other direction and get a shoe that performs as well for a lot less money.
La Sportiva Katana - Women's
La Sportiva Katana Lace
— Chris McNamara
You Might Also Like
The Best Men's Rock Climbing ShoesFeet come in all shapes and sizes and so do rock climbing shoes. To narrow down the choice, we researched the market...
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: June 28, 2015
Where's the Best Price?
*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.
Other Gear by La Sportiva