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La Sportiva Katana Lace Vibram XS Edge Climbing Shoe


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    118 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?

    Stitching in the heel-the only flaw!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    My First climbing shoe was -La Sportiva Tarantula FriXion RS Climbing Shoe size 39, my shoes size. Great for beginners, no deal on 5.11's. Second climbing shoe was the La Sportiva Miura Lace Climbing Shoe in 38. It would smash the top of my big toe so I started taping it and wearing socks. While those were being resoled, I needed a back up pair. I went with La Sportiva Katana Lace in size 38. So comfortable! LOVED them! I had hoped that I wouldn't have to tape my big toes, but I still did. They're more aggressive than the Muiras with a more down turned toe, but on day 3, when I was doing more 5.11's, I noticed pain on the back of my ankle. The stitching which doesn't exist on the heel in the Muira's, has a zig zag pattern on the Katana's, and it was digging into my skin THROUGH MY SOCK and left a mark for an hour. I don't want a shoe project. I luckily was able to return them. The Muira's have padding in the heel, no zig zag stitching.
    I thought they were over-all a great shoe. I had great feeling in them, but they seem more comfortable than my Muiras in the same size. I think because of that, I prefer to climb difficult things in the Muiras-they're more supportive for me.

    Best Performing Shoes I Have Owned

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I own 4 pairs of climbing shoes. Climbed for years. Trad, Sport, Boulder, Alpine. I am a size 9.5 US. First Pair: Tarantulaces (42), then Mythos (41.5), then Genius (42.5), now Katana Lace (42). The first was my beginner shoe. The Mythos is my go to shoe for all day wear, particularly Alpine routes for low tech moves (high 4s, low 5's; i.e. Crestone Needle, Capitol Peak, etc). The Genius's are great for overhang boulder and steep sport, but not for anything approaching vertical. This is where the Laces came into play. The Katana Laces perform well on cracks, edging, stemming, slight overhang, face climbing, and even perform well in smearing. The slight assymetrical turn of the last and moderate downturn strikes the balance between comfort and performance. Regarding sizing, I did a lot of research to try to dial it in. These do not stretch as much as the Miura. I believe that shoes that fit too tightly invert the performance curve a bit. Downside from your street shoes 0.5 - 1.0. Half a size down allows you to break it into a comfortable fit within 2 weeks. For a full size down, plan on the breakin time taking double the timeframe, and plan on popping the heal out after a single pitch.

    Bottom line, these are all around performers that give you the feel of stick, stability and control (due to the stiff sole and the P3 midsole platform), but does not do so at the expense of sensitivity or flexibility. These do well on everything. They are worth it.

    After three pairs it's time for a change

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    They are amazing shoes. The laces let you tighten them as much as necessary. They edge very well. You can really get power right where you need it for your bouldering or sport project.
    So why three stars? The rubber on these wears out very quickly, almost by design. I've had three pairs of these since 2016 and two resoles during that time period. It's hard to justify the short lifespan of these and until climbers stop buying them that quality will continue to decrease.

    Until La Sportiva fixes the durability issues with these shoes they've lost this repeat customer.

    My pesronal fav

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    My best all around shoe! Long day multipitch, trad or sport, this shoe does it all. Bouldering is the only thing you would want to buy some specific show, but if you can only afford one pair, this will do it.
    Great edging power, flat profile still allows good smearing, comfy.
    Kills at technical vertical climbing!
    Tried some other modern shoes after, but the Katana Laces are still my favorite!

    My go to shoe

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Great all around shoe for climbing! I originally bought these shoes for gym bouldering and have ended up wearing them all over both indoors and out. The shoe is aggressive enough to keep your feet on the tiniest granite chips but still flat enough that you can feel your toes when you are done climbing. I bought my shoes two sizes smaller than my feet but after a couple runs in wool socks they fit like a glove. After almost a year and a half of wear and tear though the toes are in bad need of a resole. I would say that these shoes have worn slightly faster than I wanted but a bit of rubber and they will be ready for another season. If you don't mind the extra time to put them on I would also highly recommend the laces both for fit and longevity if crack climbing. My go to shoe for the send.

    Just bought my second pair

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    They fit a little more snug than the TC Pros in the same size. I wear a size 8.5 street shoe/hiking boot and the TCs fit me like a glove in size 7.5...very little to no time to break in. After breaking in they are all day comfort. The Katana Lace in the same size takes probably a good 30 pitches to break in, they really rub the back of my heel raw the first few pitches. La Sportiva fits a narrow(er) foot compared to 5.10, but my narrow(ish) feet absolutely love the way LS shoes fit. After the initial break in, the Katana Lace is a glove on my foot. Small edges, smears, a little bit of down turn to keep you hooked on steeper stuff. I just bought my second pair before my first has worn out and I'm breaking them in simultaneously so I can get the first resoled BEFORE they need it, hopefully so I can get a good 3-4 resoles before retiring. They're damn expensive, but this is by far the best fitting shoe I've ever worn and is great on everything. Will probably buy a third pair to add into the mix. TC Pros and Katana lace is all I need for all types of climbing.

    Love Them!

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    These are the best all around climbing shoe and they are really comfortable. I have a narrow low volume foot and the heel cup and toe box fit the profile of my foot really well. The lace closure also ensure a really precise fit. I am typically a 45-46 in street shoes and I wear a 44.5 in these guys. They fit like a glove!

    La Sportiva Katana Lace

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

    I bought these for my sister and she loves them. She wears a size 7 womens shoe and bought these in a size 38.5. She says they fit her feet tight but not enough to make her feet uncomfortable.

    Not for big feet

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    These shoes do perform well, there is no denying that. But for all the claims, of amazing comfort, if you need a wider toe box, these will make your dogs feel like they are crammed in a can of sardines. It's been tolerable for me, thought I've probably had a hundred plus hours in them now and am looking for a replacement. They have towed the line between tolerable and uncomfortable, but now I've had enough and want something that won't have me thinking about foot pain while I'm off the deck.

    Great for Just About Everything

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I've had pairs of Katanas for years now and have nothing but love for them. They can do just about anything from cracks, moderate slab, multi-pitch (if you take them off at a belay), aggressive overhang etc.

    The laces provide complete adjustment of fit and the tongue allows for easy on/off. Pair a pair of Katanas with the Mythos and you'll have the best two-shoe quiver around.

    Great for Just About Everything

    The best

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    The shoes are very comfortable and the laces are amazing for getting the tightest fit. The sole is a great stiffness for confidence on the smallest of edges. They are amazing all around shoes that I highly recommend.

    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)

    Unanswered Question

    I wear a size 13.5 to 14 men's street shoe. I currently have size 46 Finale's and they are comfortable enough for entire day at the crag. I'm looking to get a more agressive pair of shoes that are still fiarly comfortable. Would you recommend a size 46, or would that be too small since it is more aggressive than what I have now? Thanks for your thoughts!

    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.