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La Sportiva Katana Lace Vibram XS Edge Climbing Shoe


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    96 Reviews


    Open up new foothold possibilities.

    Focus precision footwork onto tiny holds with the La Sportiva Katana Lace Vibram XS Edge Climbing Shoe. Combined with the more customized fit that lace-up shoes offer, the slightly asymmetric, slightly down-turned Katana creates an all-around comfortable shoe with aggressive qualities for tougher climbing.
    • Permanent Power Platform and molded 3-D heel cup help the shoe hold its down-turned shape so you can attack the steepest routes day after day
    • Tubular construction mixes the performance of a lined shoe with the comfort of an unlined shoe
    • Speed lacing for a precision fit in half the time
    • Vibram XS Edge rubber provides crazy grip for technical edging, is resistant to deformation on razor-sharp edges, and won't creep when you're smearing
    • Perforated, breathable tongue keeps your foot cool on hot days
    • Item #LSP0165

    Tech Specs

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

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    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.

    Great Shoes.

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Size Bought: 40.5
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 135lbs

    These shoes are great, they were my first more aggressive shoes and they were perfect for what I needed. I do a lot of gym climbing and these really helped me progress through the grades in a way that my other shoes (tarantualce) couldn't. I have narrow feet and these work perfectly, something I've noticed with most Lasportiva shoes. My tarantulaces were 40.5 and I got the same size and they worked like a charm. There was a bit of a break in period with the outside of the foot area im assuming becasue of the p3 system. 10/10 would recommend.

    Best Shoe I have so far

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 42
    • Height: 5'11"
    • Weight: 185lbs

    I've always been a 5ten guy and never bought anything else. I'm a big fan of their products and never thought I needed to stray from them.
    I did some research on the technologies La Sportiva has every year and decided that I'd give them a try. These are the shoes I ended up keeping and couldn't be happier. The rubber is super grippy, the angle is aggressive but not overly so, and they're pretty comfy.
    My only problem I've had with the shoe is that they're kinda narrow for a wide foot. When I wear these shoes the sides of my feet will hurt before anything else does. I will still be buying these shoes and this brand, but I do think that they have a narrower shoe then other brands.
    I'm a street size of 9-9.5 street size and I bought a 42.

    Perfect jack of all trades

    There are better quiver shoes for certain routes, but if you don't want a gigantic quiver of shoes the katana has everything covered. I've used them on granite and sandstone friction slab, crack climbing, long alpine routes, edging the nubbins at smith, and vertical to moderately overhanging sport. They excel at granite trad, the thin toe profile makes jamming thin hands and pods on finger cracks excellent. With the stiffer sole you can really torque them in well.

    I went a half size down from my street shoe for a fit that left my big toe curled with the shoe, but no knuckling. It's a much looser fit than I typically had used, but the edging has been quite good due to the downturn and stiff sole. If I was not jamming I would go down one size.

    42 street (measure 26.5cm)
    40.5 TC pro (performance fit)
    41.5 techno X
    39.5 python

    Photo is on the offwidth 5.9 pitch of the gendarme on the complete north ridge of Mt Stuart.

    Perfect jack of all trades

    My Favorite Shoes Yet

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

    I've been climbing for close to a decade, have owned at least 20 pairs of shoes, and these are by far my favorite all-around shoes.
    I own two pairs of these shoes in different sizes. Sized with curled toes, they edge amazingly, smear surprisingly well, can kind of hurt to jam hand sized cracks in(because of the knucked toes), and generally are ok to wear for an hour or more at a time. Sized with flat toes, they still edge very well, smear great, jam comfortably and powerfully, and can be worn all day if I pop the heel off at long belays. I wouldn't recommend aggressively downsizing these shoes as they don't need to be sized tight, and they don't stretch much at all.

    They're not particularly sensitive shoes, but high performance edging shoes usually aren't. If you like TC pros, the Katana Laces have every bit as much edging power, with a slight bit of downturn, a thinner profile toe box(great for thin cracks!), a really nice neoprene tongue, and a better fitting heel(at least on my foot).

    I've climbed in these shoes all over the west, including Yosemite, City of Rocks, Smith Rock, Indian Creek, Squamish, and they haven't let me down yet. If I'm not climbing something that requires a specific shoe(for example, TC Pro in wide cracks, or something with C4 for tricky smearing), I'm most likely wearing my Katanas and psyched on it.

    Subtracted 30 years

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: True to size
    • Height: 5'8"
    • Weight: 162lbs

    I'm 65. I've resigned myself to climbing at a lower level than I did 30 years ago. That is, until I got my new Katana lace-ups. Today I did two climbs I haven't been able to do in 30 years. I was standing easily on edges I couldn't ever see! Look out 5.11d!!!

    A nice aggressive do-all type shoe

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Size Bought: 43
    • Height: 6'0"
    • Weight: 180lbs

    I scored a pair of these and wished I picked them up long ago. They feel like they were made for my feet. I struggle to find footwear that fits just right and these fit great.

    For me they have that tight performance fit without pain. Which is the perfect combo. But these are good for harder trad lines, a day of sport cragging and bouldering. So if you're after a do-all type shoe that is a mix of performance and comfort this is one I'd call a nice happy-medium of the two.

    Here is a run down of shoe sizing for me to give greater context to fit.

    Street Shoe - 10 Men's

    Boulder X's - 43
    (tight in the toe box width-wise)

    Katana's - 43
    (performance fit but not as tight as my Sharks)

    TC Pro's - 42.5 / 43
    (depending on if I want comfort fit or performance fit)

    Mad Rock Sharks - 10.5
    (tight performance fit)

    Tarantulace - 41
    (Gym fit, not tight, not loose)

    Evolv Addicts - 10.5
    (a little big but meant for longer hours/slab)

    Butora Sensa's - 10
    (a little snug)

    Solid performance

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: Runs large
    • Size Bought: 43
    • Height: 5'9"
    • Weight: 160lbs

    My street shoe size is 10 and I went with the same size (10/43). Too big but wearing socks worked for me. Honestly, I like wearing socks so I didn't bother with an exchange. If you don't like wearing socks you should size down at least half a size or a full size depending on how long you plan to keep your feet in them. Without socks, I would go down a half size. 4 pitches and I wanted to take them off.... thin socks and street shoe size. The Evolv Luchador Lace is a much cheaper shoe and seemed to perform just as well. Food for thought.

    All around great shoe but on slab and crack I would go with something less aggressive.

    poorly built

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 10

    So these are quite honestly the best performing shoe I've ever worn. However they started delaminating after only a couple of uses; the toe rubber of the right shoe started separating from the rand. That said these things are climbing machines. They climbing everything really well. There is enough down turn to let them toe in on roofs and boulder problems with out being too aggressive to climb technical slab and face routes. These were my dedicated outdoor shoes because I feel that the vibram edge rubber is lacking when in the gym in terms of stickiness but it is awesome on real rock. The speed lace system makes tying these a breeze. Great shoe but la sportiva needs to fix the construction flaws 170 dollars is a lot to pay for a shoe that starts breaking down after only a few uses. I really wanted to buy another pair but couldn't justify spending that money again for fear that they'd fall apart I recently replaced these with the 5.10 Verdon lace up which I love and they offer the same performance plus I prefer the stealth rubber.


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

    This is the shoe I've been using for bouldering and sport for about 6 months and they're still going strong. I have a wider foot and the Katana fits me very well. I have them sized pretty tightly, so anything more than one pitch and they become very uncomfortable.

    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?