La Sportiva Katana Lace

Having had the same pair of climbing shoes for about three years, I recently decided it was time to treat myself! After a fair bit of testing, the La Sportiva Katana Lace was the best fit. I looked at a whole range of shoes and found for me, lace up shoes tend to fit better. I have quite narrow feet and often find with the velcro shoes I get a gap between the arch of my foot and the shoe. In the Katana Lace, this was no problem as I found they supported the foot really well. I think this can be put down to the tongue of the shoe being attached to one side, meaning as you tighten the laces the shoe draws closer to your foot supporting it where it is needed most.

Compared to my last shoes these are much more technical with a more downturned profile and toe position. This is ideal for more precise footwear but initially meant a lot of pain as my toes were certainly not used to this pressure! They have taken a bit longer than expected to wear in but I am finding they are getting more comfortable the more I climb in them. However, if you buy these shoes and are going to be out all day climbing it is certainly worth taking a different pair of shoes to descend climbs in – these are not comfy for walking! 

So far I have found the shoe is a great all-rounder, compared to most shoes your foot in a relatively flat position, so this is great for cracks and longer days out trad climbing (once worn in!). There is not too much room in the heel, which I like and I have found although the majority of the pressure is sent down the toe it holds well on heel hooks.

So what’s the verdict?! I think these are a good hard-wearing pair of shoes – although they take a while to break in, once you have got past this, they are a versatile shoe and a good step up for someone looking to move on from the entry level selection.
Good fit on narrow feet
Good toe control
Durable rubber
Relatively expensive
Not the most comfortable for walking between routes