Having climbed for a year now, I now own to pairs of climbing shoes and will do a quick review on them. I have fairly narrow feet.
Scarpa Techno Climbing Shoes (Women’s)
My first pair. I didn’t really know how to choose climbing shoes back then and I just bought the cheapest pair at MEC. It does stretch out quite a bit, and has become fairly loose; the soft leathery bits now feels almost floppy. The hard rubber has gotten quite worn out after only 9 months of wearing it 2/3 times a week mostly in the indoor climbing gym. But this could be attributed to me scraping the walls constantly the first 6 months.
I would recommend this shoe to beginners, and for long climbs as it is quite comfortable and loose. The soles are not sticky and I personally wouldn’t climb anything higher than a 10d with these shoes if I was ‘on-sighting’.
La Sportiva Katana Rock Shoes (Women’s)
My new shoes. Compared to the Scarpa Techno; these shoes are very tight and do start to get noticeably uncomfortable after climbing in them for more than 20 minutes. However, I love them. They have a very nice grip, and its just tight enough that your toes aren’t screaming in pain but you can grip on to the holds very well. The rubber is quite strong and thick so it seems like it won’t get warn out as fast as my other pair. I find it also performs a heel hook very nicely.
I have not had the change to try these shoes at the crags, but I am definitely looking forward to it! I would definitely bring a backup pair for the easier or multi-pitch climbs.