La Sportiva Katana VCS Climbing Shoe

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6 reviews |
The La Sportiva Katana VCS is the brand's highly popular all-round climbing shoe, ideal for an intermediate to advanced climber who wants one pair that will perform... Show more >
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La Sportiva Katana VCS Climbing Shoe

The La Sportiva Katana VCS is the brand's highly popular all-round climbing shoe, ideal for an intermediate to advanced climber who wants one pair that will perform in any environment. The La Sportiva Katana VCS carefully balances its shape and flexibility with the Vibram XS Edge rubber to achieve the perfect collaboration of comfort and performance whilst sport climbing, trad climbing, bouldering, and on technical faces. Opposing hook-and-loop straps mean you can achieve a glove-like fit, and breathable, moisture-wicking synthetic leather keeps your feet cool and dry on warm, labour-intensive days. This shoe is perfect for edging, but it also has the sensitivity you need from an all-round shoe.

Sportiva have used three different materials in the shoe to achieve maximum comfort: the upper part of the shoe is Lorica, a water-repellent and breathable fabric; the front lining is Pacific, a stretchy material designed to provide more comfort to to the toe knuckles; and in the back is Dentex which is still stretchy but with better moisture management than Pacific.

Compared to the La Sportiva Katana Lace, the La Sportiva Katana VCS is narrower and will suit people with narrow feet better. La Sportiva also recommend fitting the VCS slightly on the loose side, but bear in mind that its lined interior will stretch up to 1/2 a size.

Tech specs

Upper material
Suede Leather
Closure type
Sizing and fit
Narrow Foot
Yellow / Black
Green / Blue
Tangerine / Tropic Blue
0.45 kg (Size 40 EU)
Medium Asymmetry
Sole material
Vibram XS Edge
Sole thickness
Moderate Downturn


Katana VCS Climbing Shoe

Vibram XS Edge™

Rubber compound built for maximum performance on micro holds and extreme edging. This formula uses an improved plastic deformation resistance that ensures the utmost stability, rigidity, and support on footholds in hot or cold weather, as well as generally increasing durability.

6 product reviews

Average rating

Katana VCS Climbing Shoe
Based on 52 ratings
I'll be honest.

Truth is that I can't really rate this shoe in terms of performance because i returned it as it created discomfort on my right big toe. But this was only because of old injury I carry on my toe and gives me trouble with many climbing shoes. The overall fit is on the narrow side but still felt like wearing a glove especially on the heel.

Not great on limestone slabs

Overall the rubber feels too stiff, at least for limestone, my feet started skidding a few times in these shoes even on quite reasonable smears. And yes, I do think this was mainly because of the shoe as climbing the same routes in different shoes I didn't have the same problem.

The perfect all round shoe

I am now on my 6th!!!!!!!! Pair of these shoes. They are simply the best all round climbing shoe I have ever used. The edging is awesome along with the quality of the rubber. The confidence this shoe gives me with my feet placement or smeering is absolute. Very comfortable fit, which matches up with my normal shoe size means I have complete faith ordering online. The rubber does wear down quite quick but with the Epic pricing it is definitely my 1st choice shoe.

Good but tight at first

A mate of mine loves these shoes, and has had several pairs so far. When I was out for a new pair I thought I'd try these as a safe bet. I'd previously had the la Sportiva Tarantulas. Compared to the Tarantulas the Katanas are quite tight. For my size they were very tight at first but appear to be easing off now after a few weeks use. It's true that these are good for clinging on to small edges. Time will tell how long they last, but my mate's ones are lasting 3-4 months, mostly regular indoor wall climbing. When they go it tends to be the tip of the toes that rub through the rubber first. Can't complain overall for the EpicTV price I paid...

Great all-rounder

The Katana is an all-rounder with medium assymetry and a neutral profile. This is my second pair of rock shoes, having upgraded from a pair of (now) worn-out Tarantula's.

The Katana is a significant improvement over the Tarantula for sports climbing as it offers:
a stickier sole - making it easier to trust your feet; and
sharper edges - making it easier to leverage the tiniest of footholds without slipping off.

If you're primarily into slabs or hardcore bouldering, however, you should probably look elsewhere.

I ordered the same size as I use in Tarantula's (UK 9, normally wearing UK 10) and found the fit to be snugger all over, while remaining reasonably comfortable in climbing terms. They are a good fit for my feet, but the Velcro straps are longer than I would have preferred, sticking out over the edge of the shoes. The bottom strap is made to be trimmed down, which is great, but the top one is unfortunately not, which means it could get undone if you jam your foot in a crack.

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