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La Sportiva Katana Lace Vibram XS Edge Climbing Shoe


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    105 Reviews


    Cracks, slabs, and footholds.

    La Sportiva's Katana Lace Climbing Shoe might be one of the most versatile shoes out there. Sized appropriately, the Katana can jam up a finger crack, smear up a slab, or edge through an overhung sport climb. It styles a permanent moderate downturn—thanks to La Sportiva's P3 technology—and lower asymmetry for a balance between high performance and a comfier feel. Vibram's XS Edge rubber has a harder compound than Vibram's Grip, and it ensures long-lasting traction suitable for granite slabs, sandstone smears, and limestone edging.

    • Versatile shoe excels on slab, crack, and face climbs
    • P3 technology maintains a moderate downturn for life
    • Vibram XS Edge optimizes edging performance
    • Leather upper conforms to your foot shape for comfort
    • Lorica lacing system minimizes stretch for an exact fit
    • Item #LSP0165

    Tech Specs

    Upper Material
    leather, Lorica
    Vibram XS Grip
    Asymmetrical Curvature
    Claimed Weight
    [single] 8.71 oz
    Recommended Use
    Manufacturer Warranty
    1 year

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Only Shoe You'll Ever Need

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I LOVE my Katanas! I'm on my second pair (pair number one is still great after a re-sole, but I wanted a back-up option so that I never have to go without them.
    I climb all over Arizona on every kind of rock, and I always always pick these shoes. They're great in cracks, on edges, and even slab (don't fit too tight).
    The tongue is the most comfortable I've ever had on a shoe, the laces work great, and they break in perfectly in just a couple days.
    I'll probably continue to buy these shoes for as many years as I climb, and if they ever stop making them, I'll stock up.
    I'm female, size 9.5 street shoe, and wear 39.5. Purposely didn't fit them too tight. My toes get sore after a long multipitch, but I can wear them for long periods of time without taking them off at crags or the gym.
    Stop your search here, and just buy them already ;)

    Best Shoes For Finger Cracks

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I bought these shoes after falling in love with this beautiful finger crack in Squamish. I already own TC Pros and Miura VS, but neither of them felt right - so I decided to try out the Katana Lace. BEST DECISION EVER. I have now worn these shoes for a few months and on multiple climbing locations. They worked really well for me on climbs that require gear from .4-.75 BD. I did find them a bit painful in hand cracks, but they still perform well. My TC Pros and Miura VS I have in a 36.5 but I opted for a 37 in these. I feel like after about a month of use they stretched out a bit so I wish I had gone for the 36.5

    Great Aggressive Shoe

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    My favorite shoe for steep sport climbs. The edge is amazing for small face climbing as well. Not a super easy shoe to break in but definitely loosens up after use.

    My favorite climbing shoe!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I love the Katana Laces so much that I've bought multiple pairs just in case Sportiva decides to stop making them one day. I also love them enough that I'm writing a review about them.

    I own way more pairs of climbing shoes than I ought to and these ones consistently give me the very best performance. They're stiff, gently downturned, and perfect edging machines. If your project has technical footwork you can't go wrong with them. They especially excel at steep and vertical face climbing that require super precise footwork. I've sent my top sport and bouldering projects in them on granite, volcanic rock, and sandstone. They've become my lucky charms. Even the heel feels secure for me—there's a little bit of dead space that can be freaky feeling but not enough to blow any but the most finicky of heel hooks. Plus, they're COMFORTABLE. Ideal for less than 5 pitches but I've made it work for longer before. The little sock lining is such a nice touch—cozy and breathable.

    The only time I don't reach for these is for cave climbing when I find a very soft shoe with a more aggressive downturn (and more toe rubber) is helpful. Otherwise, these do it all. I'm told people love these for thin crack climbing too, which I could see working for shallow jams...but they're downturned enough that a day of secure footjamming is going to make you and your toe knuckles very sad. Trust me.

    Sizing: my street shoe is EU 36 and I have a wide-ish forefoot. I got these in a 35.5 and they're absolutely perfect—not bone-crushingly tight like I wear my bouldering shoes but tight enough for precise performance. They do stretch but not much in my experience.

    Miura VS - 34 (performance)
    Testarossa - 34.5 (performance)
    Mythos - 34.5 (comfy)
    Katana Lace - 35.5
    TC Pro - 35.5 (comfy)
    Evolv Agro - 37.5 (performance)
    FiveTen Blackwing - 37.5 (stupid tight)

    Hope this helps someone make the good decision to pull the trigger on these. Seriously, you won't regret it!

    Great All Around Shoe

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    This shoe has worked great from boulders to slab. They have a flat enough sole for great smear ability but stiff enough to edge on the smallest toeholds. If you cant decide what type of climbing you will be doing these are a great middle ground with stellar performance.

    Outstanding Shoe

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 42
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 165lbs

    I was amazed by how comfortable and versatile this shoe is. In general La Sportiva fits my foot well but the lining and lacing on these allows for an incredibly comfortable fit. You could definitely size them down a half size but I prefer to have a comfortable fit. I initially wanted this show for the gym but after several climbs outside. (Stemming, crack, slab, and overhanging face climbs) this is my go to pair for just about anything at the crag.

    An exceptional shoe

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 42
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 138lbs

    After climbing on my Oxygym's for a few months and starting to feel like I needed to get a more serious shoe that would help me progress, I bought a pair of the Katana Laces. It took a few tries to find the right fit, but I eventually settled on a size 42. They're comfy enough that I can wear them at the gym without needing to take them off between routes, but definitely a performance fit.

    I have a narrow foot, and with the laces, I can get them nice and snug. It's also nice to climb in them unlaced while I warm up so my feet can get a little break.

    The only annoying thing is that the tips of the laces have fallen off on both of my shoes. Aside from that, I really have no gripes and would recommend this shoe to anyone who's looking for a great all around shoe that will excel in any discipline it is used for.

    Just be ready for people to start coming up to you at the crag and asking how you like them because they're thinking about ordering a pair themselves.

    Size comparison:
    Katana Lace: 42
    TC Pro: 41.5 (Performance fit aka real tight)
    Guide Tennies: 42.5
    Street Shoe: 10 (Nike running shoes)

    Climbing Dreams Come True

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Height: 5'9"
    • Weight: 125lbs

    Feedback from relative: "I absolutely love this shoe! It has an amazing edging ability, but it can also smear very well and jams in cracks quite nicely. I wear a 9.5 street shoe and wear size 42 for my five ten moccasym shoes. I thought I would size this shoe down to 41 to have it be a performance sport climbing shoe. I could probably have dealt with the pain if I only intended to do short sport climbs with it, but found that I really liked how well it could smear so I got a size 41.5 instead, which is a perfect fit. It is a great all around shoe, and I feel comfortable wearing it for multi-pitch climbs (if I pop the heel off on the belay). Best all around shoe I've tried, and though it is more pricey then other shoes, it is well worth it."

    Trust the edge!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    I am beyond stoked to lace them up on a regular basis. They are super sticky when I need them to be, they hold an edge and pretty darn well and are quite comfortable considering how aggressive they are. Worth every penny!

    Favorite shoe

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Height: 5'8"
    • Weight: 160lbs

    I love this sticky son of gun. It's great for both trad and sport. I find mine quite comfortable and can wear them on long routes as well. The lacing is key. I dig how much control I have over the fit.. Well made shoe. Worth the $$

    Great all around shoe

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Size Bought: 42.5
    • Height: 5'6"
    • Weight: 135lbs

    These shoes are amazing. I've had them for a year now, climb 4 times a week and they edge just as good as the day I bought them. They're still just as aggressive as when I first got them too. Their shape holds up really well. They're the perfect amount of aggressiveness for an all around shoe. Aggressive enough for bouldering but not too aggressive to the point where the're completely uncomfortable to have on for multi pitch climbs and smear really well too. When I need a new pair of shoes I will definitely be getting another pair of these. I wear a size 9.5 and the 9.5 in these (42.5 in Euro sizing) fits well. My toes are a little scrunched but they stretched out a little after you wear them for a few days.

    They HOLD!

    • Familiarity: I gave it as a gift but have feedback to share
    • Fit: True to size

    Feedback I received: This is my second pair of these guys. I needed another pair while my firsts were getting resoled. I knew I had to go with another pair of these. After the initial breakin period, 2-3 climbs, they feel pretty good. Not house slipper comfortable but they are performance rock shoes so it's expected. I can climb in them all day but they for sure come off once I'm off the wall. They hold a great edge, rubber is pretty sticky, leather upper is pretty burley, the tongue is soft and breathable. Solid all around shoe.

    Wonderful Shoes

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 43
    • Height: 6'1"
    • Weight: 185lbs

    If you have heard or read hype about these shoes, it is true. These shoes are truly a secret weapon. They fit like a snug street shoe yet perform like a shoe three sizes down. My previous shoes were the old velcro katanas that I had resoled a few times over 12 years and many climbs. Those were 41.5. I wear a 44-45 in street shoes. They worked awesome but were never comfortable to keep on very long. The Katana Lace can stay on as much as I want and yet still edge and hold on small features. I really like the laces feature when compared to the velcro of the original Katana. It offers a custom fine tunable fit. I should not have waited so long to upgrade to these shoes but stoked now that I have them. These shoes do it all! They really are worth the price tag.

    Awesome Shoes!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 43.0
    • Height: 5'7"
    • Weight: 179lbs

    I had been renting the La Sportiva Oxygym shoes at my local climbing gym, climbing 5.8's and 5.9's and bouldering VB-V2 pretty comfortably, but wanted a shoe that would help me tackle those 5.10's and harder boulder problems. After researching and reading many reviews I decided to go with these. The Katanas have been amazing! I climb 3-4 hours each session, at least twice a week. First off you need to understand that these shoes are aggressive and it will take some time to get used to, but it will pay off. In the first month of wearing them I would have to take them off after every climb to belay, because of how they felt. In the 2nd month I would try to keep them on as long as I could tolerate, sometimes climbing/belaying a few routes before removing. Hang in there, because you adapt to them and by month 3 they were feeling pretty good. 8 months later I keep them on most of the time I'm in the gym. I've been bouldering a lot the past 3 months too (V2-V4) and have no issues with them. Structurally, after 8 months they are still sound, no rips or tears and the grip remains good, but keep in mind I've only been using these at the gym. They've helped me get to the next level, but you can't rely only on shoes to do the work. My normal shoe size is 10.5 and the 43.0 feels perfect. I don't lace them up as tight as I can and I wear socks with them. I hope this review helps!

    Good shoes

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 170lbs

    Big fan of these. The comfort is great, but probably looking to buy something a little stickier (5.10) and a little less down-turned. My pair of Katanas lasted me over a year (I've heard that they really stepped up the build quality on the lace compared with the velcro)

    Great shoe

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Height: 6'1"
    • Weight: 175lbs

    This shoe is great. Picks up on the micro edges and has some pretty good smearing ability. The toe is more downturned than in the pictures but tends to flatten after a few sessions. Really pleased with the performance of the shoe. Love the tongue that wraps snug around your foot before its even laced.

    Best Shoes!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Best climbing shoes for everything!! Seriously these things are super versatile with a slight downturn but still forgiving enough to smear on slabs too. They DO STRETCH. Plan for roughly a half size of stretch- so I think half a size down from your street shoe will be perfect. They will feel tight and a little uncomfortable at first but after about 10 pitches or so you will start to have them broken in. I've climbed about 100 pitches in mine and I sized down 1/2 size from my street shoe. At first they were uncomfortably tight. From pitches 10 to about 80 they felt perfect, and now honestly they seem like they might be a tad bit big. It seems like they have stretched even a bit more than I was expecting. Not sure if I would go down another half size but it could be possible...

    Best shoes out there though- seriously you will love them!!!!

    Very aggressive great shoe.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 37.5

    I have used these shoes while bouldering and they are really well for small foot holds especially. I also have worn them a couple times sport climbing but my feet were in pain the whole time since they are so aggressive and tight. I bought mine a size smaller then my last climbing shoe and I wish I would have kept my 38's. I thought they would stretch more then they have and they don't loosen up to much.
    These shoes have taught me how to use my toes more since it has a strong aggressive down turn to the shoe. They definitely seem more like a bouldering shoe but if I went a size up I think I would use them also in sport. When I first got them they were tight on the back of the ankle but that loosened up and they are now easier to get on and doesn't have as much pressure at that part of your ankle. I definitely like these shoes if you want a very aggressive shoe with laces.

    can these shoes work for beginners?

    Any shoes can technically work for beginners, but I personally would recommend a more comfortable shoe for your first pair. These are a more aggressive shoe and will have a slight downturn to the toe where as a beginners shoe is going to be more flat and comfortable. One such beginner option would be the Tarantulace form LaSportiva. Either way you are going to be getting a great shoe! Please feel free to contact me directly with any questions.


    Expert Gearhead

    Office: 1-800-409-4502 ext. 4689

    How are the sizing of the Katanas compared to the Miuras?

    I found this article online comparing the two.

    i tried to use it as a gauge as to whether to buy these or the miuras, but I think I'm screwed since I wear a US 14 sneaker, and I tried the max size 46 Katana, and my toes were in colossal pain and went numb after about 5 minutes of wear+sock trying to get them to stretch. I took em back.

    Unanswered Question

    How do the KL fit in comparison to Scarpa Vapor Vs? I have a pair of Vapors in size 41.5 and they have remained quite snug even after I broke them in (I take them off as soon as I have finish climbing because they are so snug). I am looking for a more comfy multi pitch and crack shoe and the KL seems like a good option. How should I size them?

    How should my toes fit in the Katana Lace? Will they be flat are have a slight curl. I'm starting to venture into trad and my Futuras are tortuous. I heard the KL might be the ones to go for.

    I love them for trad, they totally kill it in granite cracks. I went for a "comfort size" to make sure my toes laid flat, but I still didn't lose all performance in the heel. My sizing was: street size 39.5; Futuras 38; Katana Lace comfort fit 40; Katana Lace performance fit 39.5.

    How can I get mine resoled? Do I send them into La Sportiva or Vibram?

    Best Answer


    There will be companies that specialize in resoling used climbing shoes. There are companies like "Rockandresole" and Rubberroomresole" that you can ship your climbing shoes off to.

    Shoot me an email anytime you have questions!

    Jared D.

    Expert Gearhead


    Unanswered Question

    I'm looking for these as my 2nd pair of climbing shoes, but I'm having issues figuring out my size, since I haven't found them in stores to try them on. I currently use La Sportiva Oxygyms in size 41, and for the most part, they feel fairly snug but comfortable, allowing me to climb in them for hours without feeling the need to take them off. That being said, those shoes are made from a synthetic upper that stays pretty much the same size, even after about a year of use. Should I look at the Katana Lace in the same size, or perhaps go a half size smaller to account for the inevitable stretching? Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.

    Anyone use these for thin cracks (fingers/thin hands)? How are they?

    Hey Jerome, I have used these in Indian Creek and a few fingers to hands granite splitters around Boulder. They work incredibly well for this. While I prefer my TC Pros for the more burly hands and above, these perform exceptionally well in small pods and face relief as they have a bit of a dagger like toe and can really cam well. I will say, however, that they do not smear exceptionally well and the outside edge of the shoe is a bit strange if you're used to something more like the Miura Lace or TC Pro as it is very rounded, much like the Testarossa.

    How often do you guys restock sizes?

    Wear a 42.5 in the Genius and love them
    Looking to pick up a pair of the katana laces in 42.5 as well

    Unanswered Question

    I bought a pair of these a while back as my first performance shoe and went way too tight - 44.5 (my street size is 13). The shoe stretched and the padding made it ok everywhere except the toe box, which was excruciating any time I weighted it even after several months. I'm actually now thinking of getting a pair for comfort/multi pitch, so I'm not sure whether a 45.5 will be big enough. I wear 45s in Miuras and they are super tight/aggressive...good for sport routes, but I took them up a 2 pitch and started losing sensation in my feet at the belay station, lol. Any idea when/if 46s will come in?

    I am looking at the katana lace. I have 46 tc pros and 45 futuras. I am wondering what size for a more sport/aggressive fit? Anyone know


    I've sized these the same as my other La Sportiva bouldering shoes, and been happy. I suggest sticking with the same size as your Futuras, as they are a pretty similar fit. This will curve your foot less than the Futuras (but way more than the TC pros). So, it's possible you could be happy with a 44.5, but I think 45 is the best first guess.

    With that said, I will get you a return shipping label, if you think the 44.5 would be better.

    More questions? Let me help!

    Emily Jenson

    Expert Gearhead


    I'm looking at the katana lace as a potential shoe for multi pitching. My current shoe is an evolve shaman in a US8/EUR41. I wear a 7.5/8 in street shoes (typically vans and Adidas respectively). I was wondering what size I should order for a comfortable but snug fit for extended use.

    Best Answer

    i use these for multipitch and I went down a half size since it will expand a bit. After 2 weeks, they were comfortable but not too loose. I wear a 10.5 street shoe and got a 10 (or the EU equivalent of a 10).

    Will there be any 40.5s, 41s arriving soon?


    We have a bunch of 40.5's and 41's coming into stock soon. Would you like me to watch inventory on that for you?

    Shoot me an email anytime you have questions!

    Jared D.

    Expert Gearhead


    I currently have Mythos. Should I buy the same size as my Mythos (which have really settled down and are comfortable for me) ?

    Best Answer

    Hey Welshguy,

    I would get the same size, but expect the shoe to feel much different than the fit of the mythos. These are more aggressive and asymmetrical so they are going to feel a little smaller than the mythos in the same size. Also these will not stretch as much as the mythos do.

    If you want to talk more about sizing or try on a few different sizes please contact me at the info below and I would be happy to help you out.

    Dan Gates

    Expert Gearhead


    I wear size 12 street shoe I had a pair in 44.5 and they were very aggressive fit for me. Its unfortunate the toe rubber chipped on the first slab climb I made. been waiting almost 4 weeks for La Spotiva to get back with me about warranty. Probably will not buy another sportiva shoe because of this hassle on warranty.. they run small

    Thanks Wes & Dan. My issue is that I have hobbit feet (wide) and take 44's in Mythos. They have stretched and fit really well now but I'm after a more aggressive shoe for edging and small toe holes. Lace-ups are what I want so that I can finely adjust the fit. Maybe a 45 would be better since the stretch in these shoes are a lot less than mythos ? Realistically I think I need to demo these shoes before committing to buy.

    my Katana laces did not stretch at all. but be ware I think they have delaminating issues of rubber. and warranty well thats another topic. I replaced my katana laces with the tenaya tarifa drop one size for comfy tight fit or 1.5 for agressive

    If your mythos are staying on your foot, then I would definitely NOT recommend the same size - made this mistake going to KL from Nagos, and now I have a pair of $160 shoes collecting dust in my closet. Mythos are super soft leather shoes that stretch a TON. KL do not stretch much, the P3 and stiff sole are actually designed to prevent this...go up at least 1-2 sizes, and if they hurt right out of the box, send them back!

    Are 44.5 or 45 gonna be in stock soon?


    We have a bunch of 44.5's and 45's that should be arriving shortly. Let me know if you'd like me to watch that for you and let you know when they get to us?

    Shoot me an email anytime you have questions!

    Jared D.

    Expert Gearhead


    I wear an 8 in street shoes (nike, adidas) and a 9.5 in rental shoes (so with socks). what size should i get in these?

    Best Answer

    Go a full size down from your street shoe. I wear a 10.5 (Vans, Nike) and I use a 9.5 for a tight but comfortable fit. For a performance (toe crushing fit) go down 1.5 sizes. Never wear socks with your climbing shoes, it's akin to wearing a life vest with your surfboard.

    Any idea when you might get size 43.5 - 44 in? Is there anyway of sending a notification when they do?

    Hey Joseph T.

    Thanks for your question. It looks like we have both of those sizes on order to come in mid-August. We have quite a few coming in so check back on the site then!

    Let us know if you have any other questions!

    Are there any plans to restock the bigger sizes? NOBODY seems to carry anything bigger than a 43 and I heard something about a Dock Worker's strike, but that seems to have ended. I bought a pair of 44.5s and loved them but had to give them up because they were too painful. Wanted to get a 45.5 or 46 but they've been out of stock for about 4 months....

    Best Answer

    We do have a few 45 and 45.5 on order. I would imagine they wouldn't take long but I cant make any guarantees. Wouldn't hurt to chat with one of the gearheads and leave them your info so they can follow up with you if they find anything.

    How much will these shoes stretch, because I have one foot that is a half size smaller than the other. Also I wear like a 44.5 in the evolv pontas II does anyone know what that would equate to in the katanas?