Maileewrote a review of La Sportiva Katana Lace Vibram XS Edge Climbing Shoe on November 22, 2017
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!