The La Sportiva Kataki is a well-designed performance shoe that is already becoming, like the Miura, a classic. It fits like the Miura, but with a better, nearly full-rubber heel, which, with the help of the tensioned-heel rand, makes it excellent for heel hooking. This shoe will perform best when edging on the steep or the vertical, which is what it was designed for. However, it’s a fine all arounder and would perform well on all types of plastic. The lacing is unique—there are four rows clustered up front, for a tight fit around the toe; further up, the spacing widens, making it easier to tighten and put on, an important part of a low-volume shoe. Also, thanks to the suede uppers and microfiber tongue, the laces won’t dig into the tops of your foot. With a 1.1 mm mid-sole, it has the Sportiva standard, balancing that soft feel and mid-sole structure for project days or laps in the gym.
Rock and Ice vigorously tests all gear it reviews for either 50 days or 50 pitches. This is a time-consuming process and limits the amount of new equipment we can present to our readers. Every year hundreds of new products hit store shelves, and most of these aren’t reviewed due to our stringent selection and review process. To better keep you more up to date on what is new, we present First Look. Gear in First Look has not been field tested, but is gear we think you’d like to know about as soon as it is available. Some of the gear will be reviewed using our 50 days/50 pitches criteria, in future print and online editions of Rock and Ice.