I've been looking for a flat, stiff ish trad shoe. At the moment I've got katana laces, but to be honest find them a bit too stiff on anything other than fully edging terrain, my other shoes are the unparallel rise vcs which are a bit too soft on most things other than smeary terrain.
Im therefore looking for a flat(ish) stiff (ish) shoe somewhere in between those two. Scarpas kill my heels so I'm narrowing it down to the unparallel up lace, or the rise pro. Has anyone got any thoughts on the stiffness between the two? I don't have any shops to try them on.
Any other suggestions for shoes a wee bit softer than the katana laces?
I haven't used them myself but friends who have them say the rise pro's are mega stiff, so unlikely to be what you want if you're looking for something with a little softness..
Perhaps the Tenaya Masai?
I've got rise vcs and up lace so can offer a comparison between them.
Fit and stretch is similar, both quite comfy from the start, I have them in the same size. I feel up lace are better all round fit, especially in the heel, I find rise slightly baggy in the heel.
Lace are stiffer but not ridiculous and have softened quite a bit with wear.
Build quality great, especially in comparison to recent 5.10s.
The Sportiva Kataki lace sounds like a less stiff version of the Katana lace so should fit your requirement perfectly. I’ve found them to be a great performing and confortable all round cragging shoe. I’m on my second pair
I think the UP Lace are stiffer than the Katanas, though flatter and a good shoe. I find both shoes good for smearing and edging. Perhaps the Katanas feel half a degree more flexible, precise and sensitive? I've found the UP lace good on grit crystals and small rhyolite smears, though. And they're comfortable.
Both shoes can climb a lot harder than me, anyway
I've had similar problems with a pair Scarpa instinct laces but having worn them down I have had them resoled with softer rubber (Vibram XS edge to Vibram XS grip 2) and it has completely changed the feel of the shoe for the better. They have a stiff midsole so retain the support but it has made them so much more confidence inspiring on the polished limestone smeary edges I climb on locally.