La Sportiva Kataki Climbing Shoe

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La Sportiva Kataki Climbing Shoe Review Facts

The La Sportiva Kataki Climbing Shoe focuses on comfort and high performance with the asymmetrical curvature and differentiated lacing closure. It is a strong shoe for edging that is precise with a stronger point of the toe and an S-Heel for secure hooks. Best for rock climbing and bouldering, this is a good sticky shoe for precise footwork and steep edging.

The upper material is microfiber and suede leather with a sock liner of comfort. It combines a LaSpoFlex midsole with P3 and a rubber grip outsole with a low-profile toe box. This is for increased effectiveness when climbing. Featuring great aggression, this sole can be resoled easily to keep it in top shape. You get two large pull tabs on the heel to make getting this gear on and off simple and quick. Good for beginners and those with experience, the Kataki is a combination of the previous Katana and Otaki shoe models from La Sportiva.

If you want to check what other models are there on the list of the best climbing shoes, make sure you read this guide.

Editor's Pros & Cons

Focuses on comfort and high performance

Strong for edging that is precise

For precise footwork and steep edging

Best for bouldering and rock climbing

Good for difficult climbs that are short

Ideal for both indoors and outdoors

Resoling is easy

High-performance, aggressive, and versatile


Sizing can be a problem - big too small

May take several climbs to break in well

Might have to try several pairs for the right fit


La Sportiva has several models of climbing shoes for women that seem very similar in appearance, design, and features. A person could get easily confused when a company takes a model, makes some changes, and then puts that new version out there for sale too. The La Sportiva Kataki could be more confusing than others because it is not just an improvement of a model but a combination of two previous products with upgrades of its own.

It is a combination of the comfort of the Katana and the aggression of the Otaki model. The name even combines the two titles to form a new name. Katana + Otaki = Kataki. The user can perform multiple moves such as projecting overhangs, fitting in the tight cracks, and being able to wear them all day comfortably. It is close in design to the Otaki model but differs with a closure system of lacing for obtaining a custom fit.

Key Features

-Asymmetrical moderate curvature
-Microfiber and suede leather
-Pacific lining and differentiated lacing
-Toe box of the low profile
-Two pull tabs on the heel
-Patented construction of the S-Heel
-LaspoFlex midsole with P3 build
-Sticky for overhangs


The La Sportiva Kataki focuses on comfort and high performance for the user with a comfortable sock liner and upper material of microfiber and suede leather. It has a Pacific lining and differentiated lacing closure so the fit can be as tight or as loose as you want it. In general, climbing shoes must be at least snug if not a little uncomfortable on the feet, so there is no movement of the foot in the shoe when climbing.

The importance of how a climbing shoe fits goes well beyond the comfort level because it has a great bearing on performance too. A climbing shoe can be comfortable but loose enough for you to not perform well on the rocks. It has to be an ideal combination of both comfort and fit for it to be at all effective.


Another important quality you want to have in a climbing shoe is flexibility. The several precarious climbing situations you will be in whether you enjoy outdoor or indoor climbing will demand that you be able to change about your footing to handle the different situations. Having the proper footwear to do this is crucial in you being able to handle the circumstances. For more info on handling difficult circumstances, check the guide on a climbing harness.

Tight cracks are accomplished with the La Sportiva Kataki toe box of the low profile. It has a stronger point of the toe than previous La Sportiva models or the two that inspired this version. This is a slip-lasted strong shoe for edging that is precise. Advanced climbers want and need the form-fitted shoes that will allow them to scale the walls and boulders like a cat.

The La Sportiva Kataki gets you very close to this level with the proper skillset and experience backing. There are two large pull tabs on the heel for ease in getting this product on and off. Also, since the sole is 3/4 thick, resoling is not only possible but probable.


So much was in the product description and online in customer feedback about the heel of this women’s climbing shoe that we decided to have a whole section for it. La Sportiva calls it the new S-Heel. You can hook everything with this patented construction that makes heel maneuvering so great. This technology is visible when you look right at the bottom of the outsole.

It is the round yellowish circle under the heel that we are talking about here. This one aspect is responsible for precise performance and technical work of the heel on most all-terrain. It makes heel hooks secure and is excellent for micro-edge toeing in at the same time.

Not to take away from this feature but the perfect fit of the heel cup takes away any heel deformation in situations of high torsion too. These qualities work well together to make such a well-balanced and high-performance shoe possible for women.


The La Sportiva Kataki footwear is sturdier than the previous Otaki model with the Grip2 Vibram XS sole. This gives the user the hold needed for those breath-stopping moments when you are hanging in the balance. Used with the LaspoFlex midsole with P3, this rubber grip sole makes for a good foundation for the foot in all situations of climbing.

The ¾ sole certainly makes resoling easy. Experienced climbers usually purchase more than one pair of climbing shoes of the same model when they find that Cinderella perfect fit for themselves. This is for resoling purposes. You do not want to stop climbing when your shoes are being resoled, so you get more shoes and rotate them in acquiring new soles put on.

There is one issue that we want to mention that primarily affected the current rating of this footwear for women online. It has a sticker embedded in the sole of the shoe that makes it slippery for some people when climbing. The mentioning or purpose of this feature was not disclosed in any product information that we could find on seller websites or even the manufacturer.

However, it has caused some women to return their shoes. That is because it hurts their performance and overall safety on the rocks. It does not bother everyone because many users did not mention it in their reviews.


Since one of the new features to this product line is the laces, you can now make the laces as tight as you need them for a good fit. Due to the way that they attach to the shoe with such a large portion of the lace in the wide loops, you have more control of how they feel on foot. A few ladies that have large feet commented that the laces could be short.

This makes them not long enough for tying in the configuration they wanted, such as around the foot and such. We also noticed that a couple of people with large feet could not get a size to fit them because they did not go as high as they needed. To wear such an innovative shoe, they were wearing the largest size sold and painfully breaking them in each time they climbed.

This can be excruciating for the feet with a long break-in time with feet that are bigger than the regular size. Even with medium-sized feet, a few buyers found that it may take several climbs to break in this model well. On the other hand, some were able to wear this version right out of the box for long periods with no problems.

As with any item that must fit the human population, size is going to be a significant issue. There is no advice to give for sizing with this product since some found it too small and others said it was too big. The consistence quality we did find was that if the shoe did not fit at first, then customers had to return the different sizes several times to find the one that fit the best.

Amazon and La Sportiva are great for understanding this and will work with you on returns very easily. Just know that stretching of ½ a size is expected with the flexible leather upper. Do not be too quick to send back a pair that is just a bit too tight. Work with them and give them time to stretch.


We briefly mentioned the lacing of this product earlier, but this is where the wearer has total control in how the footwear conforms to the foot and how snug. Unlike other closure methods of Velcro and such the lacing system will make the shoe bottom tight which is good. This is what makes it such a high performance and versatile piece of climbing gear. The rear and front differentiated lacing makes for an ideal dialed-in fit that you will love. It is this stability that can make even a beginner seem like a pro on the rocks.


Made for women, the La Sportiva Kataki is ranked #13 in Amazon’s assortment of climbing shoes for women. When buyers shop for a climbing shoe, they not only look at the features, reviews, and capabilities of the footwear but also the price. For the economical price of the Kataki, it is a fabulous shoe to have.

Honestly, some women did not care for the quality of this model and thought the general build was not up to par for their preference. This is okay because not every shoe is for every person. You must find the best climbing shoe that has the cost you can afford with the features that you need and like the best.


Climbing shoes must have some amount of traction to provide a good grip on the boulders and rocks you will be scaling. The La Sportiva Kataki has patented P3 technology for a performance fit that is downturned for dicing and slicing where needed. It has an aggressive profile and a moderate curvature that is comfortable and effective for where you want to go. The long-term aggression with P3 construction is a continuation that buyers like that is present in this line of climbing shoes from La Sportiva.


Best for rock climbing and bouldering both outdoors and inside, this climbing gear is a right sticky shoe for overhangs and challenging climbs that are short according to customers.It is not the best for smearing or slabs but is made for precise footwork and steep edging. Several people found that it is not versatile for other tactics than technical climbing for sport.

As you try on and experiment with many models of climbing shoes in your activities, you will discover what some shoes offer for your particular likes and dislikes in climbing various places. Many climbers eventually have a nice collection of footwear that they can use for any type of surface and situation. Only then will you be able to determine exactly what the La Sportiva Kataki can offer to your climbing style and performance.

Bottom Line

As you search for the perfect climbing shoe that will give you the best performance and efficiency in scaling the rocks and boulders you want to conquer, consider the La Sportiva Kataki and what it has to offer. Some found issues with the sizing and the fit, as it may need a good break-in time depending on the size you purchase. You may even have to return several pairs of various sizes before finding the exact one that works for you. It joins the aggression you want and the customized fit you crave into one form-fitting model that is effective for indoor and outdoor climbing.