An example of rising prices

I was thinking about my La Sportiva Katanas.  When I bought my first pair of Katana Laces three years ago, they cost me $165.  That was the same shoe that now costs $195 and some change.  I’m not sure if the company that makes them decided they were a higher-end shoe than they had previously thought, or if tariffs are that much higher, or if inflation has just pushed the prices up that much more than what we were looking at in 2016, but something – maybe many things – have driven the price of my first real all-around climbing shoes (and great ones, at that!) up $30 into a price range that is arguably out of many people’s price range!  It could be materials, too.  Maybe materials are harder to get a hold of, or are more expensive, or are in higher demand.  I don’t know, and I don’t pretend to know, what any of the reasons are.  It could just be that somebody – several sombodies? – want to make more profit off of these climbing shoes.  All of the above could be in play, honestly.  Now, $30 doesn’t sound like much, but when you stop to think that I bought a second pair of the Katana Laces the other day and they are the same exact shoes as they were three years ago, that’s a lot of money for my beloved Katanas!

The La Sportiva Katana Laces are well worth the money, though.  As I mentioned earlier, they are a great all-around performance climbing shoe and they are and always will be some of my favorites.  They are becoming prohibitively expensive, however, as are some of the other great climbing shoes out there, and I don’t believe that an all-arounder should be priced above or equal with specialized shoes such as the La Sportiva Testarossas or the Scarpa Instincts or the Scarpa Furias or the La Sportiva TC Pros.  Something in the pricing scheme here just isn’t right!  I know the Katana Laces are fantastic shoes!  That’s not what I’m debating here.  What I am trying to point out, though, is that a great all-around climbing shoe should be priced with people’s financial access to it in mind, especially when up against the likes of other climbing shoe manufacturers who will undercut prices to sell more shoes.  More shoes equals more money for the competitor if you make your all-arounder too expensive to purchase!  So, I guess what I’m really saying is that La Sportiva needs to rethink how much they’re charging for the Katana Lace climbing shoes, and keep the needs of their customers in mind while they’re doing it.  Great climbers need great climbing shoes, and you have to make a great shoe available to a potential great climber.  A bit part of that is pricing, and these companies have all the control in the world over their MSRP.  I might even write and tell them about it!  I would encourage you to do the same if you feel so inclined.  Have a great day, climb, and enjoy your favorite climbing shoes!  Updates pending…

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