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HomeOutdoorConstructed for Girls, Nice for Anybody: La Sportiva Katana Laces Climbing Shoe...

Constructed for Girls, Nice for Anybody: La Sportiva Katana Laces Climbing Shoe Overview

An up to date model of a basic, the ladies’s La Sportiva Katana Laces is a shoe that continues to excel on numerous terrain from slabs to overhangs, with improved edging and heel hooking capabilities.

The Katana Laces has been a tried and true climbing shoe. It’s the shoe in my quiver I discover myself reaching for essentially the most usually, as they excel in so many kinds of climbing and forms of rock. My confidence routinely will increase when I’ve them on. La Sportiva has up to date the basic with a males’s and ladies’s model, giving the shoe some markedly completely different qualities. 

Whereas the previous Katana Laces got here in a single unisex model, the brand new Katanas are available a males’s and ladies’s model. The ladies’s mannequin incorporates a new design and shade scheme, with a glossy white and black look plus a break up sole for extra precision and flex for lighter climbers.

Briefly, this up to date Katana Laces continues to be my favourite all-around climbing shoe. It had elevated efficiency in skinny cracks and small edges, justifying its excessive price ticket for extra skilled climbers who can profit from these talents.

I examined the Katana Laces round numerous areas in California, from the steep granite present in Lee Vining Canyon to the finicky knobs of Tuolumne Meadows, and took them up multipitches exterior of Bishop. They carried out nicely on this terrain, and I do know they may preserve doing in order I transition to climbing pocketed limestone later this season. 

La Sportiva Girls’s Katana Laces Match

The sizing of the brand new ladies’s Katana was noticeably completely different from the earlier mannequin. The brand new shoe incorporates a longer, thinner toebox that may make you wish to dimension down a half dimension out of your previous match in case you are searching for optimum efficiency. When you have lengthy and slim ft, this toebox may be a fantastic match and will not require you to dimension down.

For these with wider ft, nonetheless, the longer toe would require you to dimension down for a similar longitudinal match because the older model. The up to date match was harking back to the La Sportiva Kataki with its low-profile toebox. 

La Sportiva women's Katana Lace
As with all footwear, it is best to strive a pair of those on if in case you have the chance; (photograph/Miya Tsudome)

One other noticeable and extra welcome replace to this shoe is its heel development. La Sportiva has lastly up to date its heel design to make for a narrower, tighter-fitting heel for improved heel hooking efficiency. Gone is the rubber bulb on the underside of the heel that all the time felt prefer it held an excessive amount of air. A narrower strip of rubber hugged the heel from the midsole, permitting for elevated sensitivity.  

Katana Laces Efficiency

The Katana has all the time excelled as one of many finest all-around climbing shoes. Its mildly aggressive form was at dwelling on steep single-pitch routes, smearing on granite slabs and toeing in on small cracks. This shoe carried out exceptionally nicely along with being extremely snug.

Sized barely bigger, it could be a superb multipitch shoe that will provide you with confidence on lengthy routes. Sized smaller, you’ll be capable to stand on essentially the most diminutive edges or pockets in your single-pitch challenge. 

La Sportiva Women's Katana Laces
Anybody ought to try the ladies’s Katana in the event that they’re searching for a extra delicate shoe with a softer midsole than the boys’s model; (photograph/Miya Tsudome)

The Katana Laces remained a wizard at a wide range of kinds of climbing and was a veritable edging machine. Its break up P3 midsole mixed with 4mm Vibram XS Edge rubber allowed lighter climbers to face on the tiniest edges with precision and energy.

The Katanas have all the time been and stay to be a really stiff shoe. However the break up midsole on the up to date ladies’s model offered just a little extra flex and sensitivity than the boys’s model, which anybody may benefit from if that’s what they’re searching for. 

I’ve all the time liked the Katana Laces simply as a lot for crack climbing as I’ve for face climbing, and the brand new Girls’s Katana Lace was no completely different. The thinner toebox labored exceptionally nicely for jamming, permitting me to slide the forefoot simply into small cracks.

The pointier toe allowed for precision on finger cracks, very similar to the La Sportiva Kataki, and made the up to date Katana Laces an much more versatile shoe than earlier than. For cracks hand-width dimension and broader, nonetheless, I might go for a stiffer, flatter shoe with ankle safety just like the La Sportiva TC Professional for extra snug jamming. 


The Girls’s Katana Laces struck the right stability between efficiency and luxury. These sneakers usually are not aggressively downturned and didn’t really feel like vice grips on my ft. As an alternative, their delicate downturn and asymmetry made them snug to climb in out of the field, relying on how they had been sized.

Different, extra aggressive sneakers wanted longer break-in time earlier than I felt like I might decrease off a route with out preemptively taking my sneakers off, however not so with the Katana Laces.

The tongue is a bit thicker and softer than the older mannequin however remained breathable, and the thick polyester laces allowed me to dial within the match. Not all climbing sneakers need to really feel painful to ensure excessive efficiency, and that’s a part of what made the La Sportiva Katana Laces such a standout mannequin.

La Sportiva Katana Laces Sensitivity

The Katanas have been, and nonetheless are, stiff sneakers. This stiffness is a part of what made them so dependable for standing on small footholds but in addition made them take some time to interrupt in, and there was all the time the tradeoff for sensitivity.

Whereas my confidence was excessive whereas standing on the within fringe of the shoe, I lacked that confidence whereas attempting to face on the entrance of the shoe or smear on small footholds. The sharp fringe of this up to date model took a while to get used to, and I needed to observe steering my huge toe straight onto small holds.

This might change as the sting softens up a bit after use, but it surely was a markedly completely different high quality from the earlier model, which climbed remarkably nicely straight out of the field. 

La Sportiva women's Katana Laces on granite
Footwork is important for technical granite pitches, and the Katana Laces had a great stability of energy and sensitivity; (photograph/Miya Tsudome)


The brand new Katana Laces for girls nonetheless stays a improbable all-around shoe for intermediate to skilled climbers. Whether or not climbing lengthy multipitches on the granite partitions of Yosemite, tall pocketed routes in Smith Rock that require exact footwork, or bouldering within the Buttermilks in Bishop, these sneakers can do all of it.

The La Sportiva Katana Laces is a wonderful alternative for every part in addition to very steep routes and boulders that require a extra aggressive downturn for pulling energy or rubber on the higher for elevated toe-hooking capabilities. The ladies’s Katana Laces is a wonderful alternative for any gender that will profit from a bit extra sensitivity from the break up sole.

These sneakers are a few of the costliest available on the market, so I don’t suggest them for newbie climbers. However this shoe received’t disappoint those that worth stiffness and edging precision and are keen to shell out the money.

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