Since its release the La Sportiva Katana has received a bit of a cult following amongst climbers looking for 'one shoe to do it all'. Although the sole is of a medium stiffness it has a special 'prehensile area' under the toe - basically this means the sole is dished allowing the feet to grab holds in a more natural way. The innovative wrap-around closure system, large velcro patches and tensioned sling shot heel combine to give the Katana an inspiring foot-hugging feel straight from the box. With a less aggessively asymmetric fit than many technical shoes the Katana is a good option for those who have found more agressively shaped shoes to be too uncomfortable for extended use. As with most La Sportiva's the Katana is fairly narrow around the ball of the foot and tends to suit climbers with narrower feet better than those with wide feet.
If you're after a shoe that can handle the wide variety of rock types that British climbers typically climb on then the Katana could be a wise choice. Well suited to intermediate level climbers looking for a shoe comfortable and supportive enough for multi-pitch routes, and yet technical enough to cope with more advanced sport climbing, bouldering and indoor use the Katana is a great all-round rock boot.
Sizing your shoes
If you require some assistance sizing this shoe to your particular needs check out the following link to our Rock Shoe Sizing Guide.
Posted by Liam – 12th Aug 2011
These are great shoes - the rubber is xs-edge - so good for longevity and edging / small features. The toe-box is lined so they don't bag out. The heal and Velcro closure just work without fuss.
After about 10 pairs of 5.10 anasazi lace-ups, my feet finally cried "enough". I have spent the last 3 years looking for a pair of rock boots that come even close to the performance of the anasazi. These are definitely the best yet.
The asymmetric shape of the sole put me off initially, but the slightly longer big-toe area means the shoe is comfortable, whilst still being able to get loads of power on small features.
Posted by Andy Taylor – 26th Jul 2011
What a great shoe! In my view, short of the Andreas Boldrini shoes, La Sportivas are definitely the best shoes for the more advanced climber.
The heels are super snug and the fit is really good even for a wider foot like mine. I wear size 11 trainers and size 10 in these and they fit perfectly. In terms of durability, they started to wear through after 3 months of climbing 3 to 4 times a week.
Posted by Owen Lewis – 10th Sep 2010
An excellent climbing shoe. I have now used for around a year most weekends and it is still going strong. I have found them to be an excellent edging shoe and have been able to stand on the smallest of ledges very easily. However I have been finding it very awkward to smear in. Whether this is down to I just don’t have any confidence in a smear or it is due to the down turn nature of the shoe and having them very tight, prevents me from being able to flex my feet up very far, in order to get a larger surface area. Sizing is slightly different with these shoes. I have a size 7.5-8 foot but wear a size 6.
Even though I have the problem of smearing I do thoroughly love these shoes and would recommend them highly.
Posted by JJL – 10th Sep 2010
I'm on my third pair of Katanas and it's a love-hate thing, but mostly love. On the positive side, they have great friction and sensitivity. I have quite wide feet and a second toe that is the same length as my big toe - and had hunted for ages to find a shoe that suited this foot shape; the Katanas do. Given I only climb low E grades outside and 6s inside, I got a sensible, rather than crushing, fit and they are comfortable enough to wear all day on mountain routes.
Downsides are the rubber is quite soft and wears faster than some other shoes. A good reason to be precise in your footwork! The edges go quite fast but you'd want a stiffer shoe for edging anyway. They also stretch a bit over time - perhaps half a size and this means the two velcro tapes are less secur ein holding it on your foot.
My big fear is that they'll change/stop making them!
Posted by mark – 9th Sep 2010
the katana is perfect in all but one way... longevity.
the unlined leather moulds to your foot perfectly and stretches just enough to get a wicked fit, the toe box is snug and precise.
the heel does have a tendency to bag a little, but the rubber inserts avoid an negative effects of that.
the velcro fastening is effective and you can tailor the fit to your needs.
the downside; they do not last! the rubber looses its edge rather quickly, although this doesnt make it loose any edging performance straight away. the upper is also easily damaged and your expesive shoes lose their new look almost immediately.
overall an awesome shoe... but be prepared to replace often.
Posted by Unknown – 30th Jul 2010
As soon as I wore it I knew that this shoe is perfect for my foot. It fits like a glove (a tight glove to be fair), and offers excellent grip and sensitivity on surfaces. Maybe not great for long ascents, as they might be a bit tight on the foot, so be careful on the size. Not really my problem though, I tend to climb indoors or single pitches. After the first pair of Katana I had to buy a second one, I tried other shoes but found nothing like it. Only drawback the price, which is not exactly cheap.
Climb Ltd T/A Rock + Run, Unit 6, Shoreline Business Park, Sandside, Milnthorpe, Cumbria, LA7 7BF. UK.
Company Number 3252430 VAT Number GB378556010 Mail/Web Orders Tel: +44 (0)153 956 4540. Fax: +44 (0)153 956 4312.