La Sportiva Katana VCS Climbing Shoe

(49) |
5 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
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.

Katana VCS Climbing Shoe


A synthetic leather that is constructed from extremely small microfibres for a water-repellant, breathable, and highly durable material.

5 product reviews

Average rating

Katana VCS Climbing Shoe
Based on 49 ratings
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.

A step in the right direction

After starting climbing just over a year ago I decided to upgrade the shoes I wear from a La Sportiva Tarantula size 12 UK to the Katana VCS 10 UK.
Although I found the Tarantula a good entry level shoe, as my grades have increased and the demand I make of the shoe has grown the requirement for something a little more aggressive as become my next step toward achieving my goals.
The first thing for me was the sizing. I tried many different shoes on, eventually settling on the Katana's in a UK 11, only to make an error with my order and end up with UK 10. On trying the 10's though, I realised that these were the right shoes for me. They fit like a glove with my heel filling the back of the shoe and locking into place nicely. I can heel hook in these without any movement of the shoe whatsoever. The Velcro strap works well tightening the shoe in a balanced way allowing you to finely adjust the feel of the shoe.
On the wall the edging is fantastic with very sharp lines and a good thickness of rubber. The rubber is very sticky and it gives you the confidence to push down hard on the smallest of footholds. I’m still braking the shoes in so there is a little pain on my big toes but I am confident that the shoe will eventually stretch the half size I require for a perfect fit.
If like me, you have very narrow feet and need the Velcro to get that tight fit feeling then I recommend you try on a pair of the Katana VCS.

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