La Sportiva Katana Lace

The classic Katana Velcro slipper has undergone a makeover with the addition of laces and the P3 rand to produce the Katana Lace, a high-quality, multi-purpose climbing shoe that, as I have found over a few months of testing, excels in all situations.

By Rock and Ice | November 4th, 2013

La Sportiva Katana Lace | $145 | 

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The classic Katana Velcro slipper has undergone a makeover with the addition of laces and the P3 rand to produce the Katana Lace, a high-quality, multi-purpose climbing shoe that, as I have found over a few months of testing, excels in all situations.

Katana aficionados are going to find a lot to be excited about with these new upgrades. First, the Katana Lace is much more adjustable, allowing you to better dial in the fit by cinching down or loosening the laces. Though the shoe doesn’t stretch very much, its overall volume will expand a tad, and this adjustability is nice to have over the shoe’s long life.

The Katana Lace is a sleek, sharp all-around weapon, especially excelling on edges and smears.

With a slip-lasted “tube construction,” the Katana Lace felt like it was lower volume compared to other La Sportiva shoes that I’ve worn, especially the heel cup, which was tight on me. With a pointed, narrow toe box and a small(ish) heel cup, the Katana Lace really caters to folks with thinner feet.

The Katana Lace is a sleek, sharp all-around weapon, especially excelling on edges and smears. I tested the shoe on limestone and sandstone of all angles and slipperiness, and was pleased with its versatility as well as the Vibram XS Edge rubber’s stickiness. Another upgrade, the asymmetric Katana Lace is slightly down-turned, which gave the sensation of a performance shoe but managed to retain the comfort of a flatter all-arounder. Sportiva’s proprietary randing system, the P3 (Permanent Power Platform), tensions the rubber and maintains this shape through the lifespan of the shoe.

Finally, the shoe is just plain comfortable, employing some nice padded cushioning atop the foot. I could easily wear these shoes all day.
Andrew Bisharat

• All-around shoe for trad and sport routes.
• P3 rand maintains slightly down-turned, asymmetrical shape.
• Slip-lasted tube construction makes shoe great for lower-volume feet.
• 4mm Vibram XS Edge rubber is long lasting and sticky.
• Sizes: 33-46 (with half sizes).

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