Katana Lace vs. Miura: Which Shoe Is Right for You?
|La Sportiva Katana Lace||La Sportiva Miura|
|0.5-1 sizes smaller than your street shoe size (in US Men’s sizes)||1-1.5 sizes smaller than your street shoe size (in US Men’s sizes)|
|Normal-width feet, low-volume heels||Narrow feet|
|Vibram XS Edge||Vibram XS Edge|
|Leather/Lorica (synthetic leather)||Leather|
|La Sportiva Katana Lace review||La Sportiva Miura review|
The Katana Lace and Miura are two powerhouse climbing shoes made by La Sportiva. They both are high-performance lace-ups with similar designs and functions so it can be easy to wonder how they compare when reviewed side by side.
Here is that very comparison. We’ve determined that they are made for different types of feet (more on that here) and certain design features make them perform slightly better or worse at certain types of climbing (more on that here). However, the Katana Lace and Miura are each amazing shoes so it’d be hard to conclude that one is overall better than the other.
Before going down the rabbit hole of this comparison, keep in mind when reading this that the Katana Lace and the Miura are both great climbing shoes, and either would be a solid choice for your next pair.
Katana Lace or Miura: Which One Is Right for You?
After conducting in-depth reviews of both of these shoes and then researching the differences between them, here are our recommendations for which shoe to get:
- Best for narrow feet: Miura
- Best for normal-width feet: Katana Lace
- Best for low-volume heels: Katana Lace
- Best for all-around climbing: Either one
Or, if you think neither of these shoes are right for you, check out some of our other popular climbing shoe buying guides:
Both shoes stretch but the Katana Lace stretches less than the Miura since it has some synthetic leather in it. For a performance fit, we recommend you get the Katana Lace 0.5-1 sizes below your street shoe size or the Miura 1-1.5 sizes below your street shoe size (in US Men’s sizes).
For more sizing help, you can read the reviews posted by others on REI to see what sizes they got:
The La Sportiva Katana Lace and La Sportiva Miura are incredibly similar climbing shoes. In terms of performance, they are both all-around shoes that could easily be the only pair you own. They edge, smear, and hook as well as any climbing shoes on the market.
Both are great for vertical sport climbing and crack climbing and good (but not the best) at super steep bouldering. The Katana Lace, due to its P3 Midsole (discussed below), is arguably slightly better for climbing overhung terrain. Alternatively, the Miura is arguably slightly better for multi-pitch routes and pure vertical climbing since it is more comfortable.
They look quite similar, have similar lacing systems, and come with the same rubber (Vibram XS Edge). Both are rated exceptionally well by everyone who reviews them (including us) and you can’t go wrong picking either as your next pair of climbing shoes.
Given their similarities, you have to dig deeply to find differences between these two shoes. We dug, very deeply, and learned that the main differences are which types of feet these shoes fit best and the presence of something called a P3 Midsole. These differences combine to make the shoes perform slightly differently at certain types of climbing.
The Miura is designed to fit narrow feet well. The Katana Lace, on the other hand, is designed to fit all types of feet well. So, if you have a narrow foot, go for the Miura. If you have a normal-width foot, go for the Katana Lace.
Additionally, the Katana Lace has a low-volume heel which means it fits people best who have smaller heels. If you have had issues in the past with your heel slipping out of your climbing shoes while heel hooking (or in general), then you probably have a low-volume heel and the Katana Lace will fit your foot well.
Lastly, the Miura has a narrower toe box which makes it better for jamming into pockets.
The P3 Midsole, present in the Katana Lace but not in the Miura, is a climbing shoe technology that maintains the shoe’s downturn over the course of its life. (P3 stands for Permanent Power Platform.)
Since the Miura doesn’t have the P3 Midsole, it loses some of its downturn over the course of its life. Out of the box the Miura is more downturned than the Katana Lace, but as you wear it its downturn decreases and the shoe becomes flatter.
Meanwhile, the Katana Lace has the P3 Midsole so it keeps its downturn over the course of its life. Despite how flat it looks in the product photo above, the Katana Lace is a decently aggressive climbing shoe, and it ends up being more downturned than the Miura once the Miura has flattened out, making it slightly better-suited for overhung terrain.
Here are the downturns of both shoes, side by side. The Katana Lace is on the left and the Miura is on the right. Both shoes have been broken in already.
Types of Climbing
The presence of the P3 Midsole makes the Katana Lace arguably slightly better for bouldering and steep and overhung climbing.
The Miura’s narrow toe box makes it better for jamming into pockets.
The Miura loses some of its downturn once broken in and becomes less downturned and more comfortable than the Katana Lace. For these reasons, it is arguably better at multi-pitch routes and pure vertical climbing.
NOTE: I don’t mean to make it seem like the Miura loses its entire downturn and becomes a slipper-like climbing shoe, because it doesn’t. As you can see from the picture above, it still has a downturn even after it breaks in. The downturn is just not as extreme as when you first put on your Miuras, and this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Many climbers enjoy the comfort that comes with the break-in.