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Hands-on Gear Review
La Sportiva Miura - Women's Review
The La Sportiva Women's Miura is an amazing shoe for technical climbing, and it earns our Editors' Choice Award for being the standout choice for an all-around shoe. If we could only own one climbing shoe, this would be it. It is comfortable, precise, great at edging, and it is versatile enough for just about any style of climbing. This is a fantastic shoe for a climber who has been at it a little while and wants a high performance shoe to up their technique, but not the best shoe for beginners because of its high cost and slightly more aggressive fit. If you are looking for a first shoe, there are some less expensive options like the Evolv Elektra or La Sportiva Tarantulace - Women's. If you want a high performance shoe that is not as downturned, try either the Five Ten Anasazi LV - Women's or the La Sportiva Katana - Women's.
See our complete Women's Climbing Shoe Review to see how these compared to others.
RELATED: Our complete review of climbing shoes - women's
Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings
This classic shoe is an Italian masterpiece that has been sold by La Sportiva for over ten years. Is is an edging powerhouse with just the right amount of downturn to feel competitive without making your feet yearn for escape. Perhaps its best quality is its versatility: it excels at any style of climbing. We hope that La Sportiva continues to make this shoe for another ten years.
The main difference between the men's version of the Miura and the women's, besides the color, is that the women's version has a padded heel. This tightens the fit around the heel, allowing the shoe to fit more securely on women, who typically have narrower heels. Additionally, the padding adds a great degree of comfort. It feels plush and secure around the foot. We know a number of guys who have bought the women's Miura because they like the padded heel so much.
Sometimes these shoes bunch a little at the toe, which causes a painful crease above the toe knuckles. These shoes are a moderately downturned, so it leaves more volume for your toes to bunch in the front, if you select a bigger size where your toes are not as curled, this might be when the bunching occurs. We have heard a few people complain of this happening with Miuras. While our testers have noticed it a little on bigger pairs, but it wasn't a deal breaker for anyone.
With a leather upper lined with synthetic Dentex, don't expect them to stretch as much as something like the unlined La Sportiva Mythos - Women's.
The beauty of the Miura is that it is an edging machine, but still has an incredibly sensitive feel. Right out of the box the edges are crisp, but there is still plenty of sensitivity in the toe, and the toe only gets more sensitive the longer you own the shoes and the more they break-in. With Vibram XS Grip 2 rubber covering the sole, you can smear with confidence on rock of any texture.
We feel that the well-thought out design of this shoe can help improve your footwork, which boosts confidence, and increased confidence can make you climb better. A shoe that makes you climb better!?! We will stop just short of making this lofty claim, but if any shoe can, it would be the Miura.
Edging is what these shoes do best. With a stiff platform, you can stand on tiny features in these shoes and feel like you are on something larger.
The Miura uses a technology that Sportiva calls the "Powerhinge." This connects the rubber rand, which wraps around the whole foot, to a hole cut in the outsole of the shoe. When the toe is weighted on an edge, the weight of the climber stretches forward from the heel towards the toe. The hole in the sole only allows the shoe to only stretch in the back half, leaving the toe in place on the surface of the rock. This means you can paste your foot on small edges, stand on them with your full weight, and still feel secure.
Though downturn isn't very comfortable when jammed into cracks, the downturn on the Miura isn't extreme, so it isn't too painful. The Miura isn't the most ideal candidate for sustained and continuous foot-jamming like would be found on the sandstone splitters at Indian Creek, but for granite cracks in places like Yosemite and Tuolumne where the crack is often discontinuous and there is a lot of edging and smearing that takes place outside the crack, this shoe is ideal. The toe can be securely turned into the crack when needed, but the shoe still performs on all other features of rock as well. This is what makes this shoe work well for long alpine climbs as well as single pitch projects: it tackles any type of terrain with the same ferocity.
With an asymmetrical fit, this shoe has just enough downturn to make it aggressive on overhanging climbs. The slightly curled toe sinks into pockets and pulls you towards the wall. It is not nearly as downturned and aggressive as the La Sportiva Solution - Women's, but is more so than the La Sportiva Katana - Women's. If you primarily want a shoe for steep sport climbing and bouldering, the Solution is a better option and an incredibly comfortable aggressively downturned shoe. However, the Miura holds its own in steep terrain and is more versatile when things get less than vertical.
Ease of Use
As a lace-up shoe, these take a little longer to put on than slippers or Vecro models, but the advantage of laces is that they allow for a slightly more customized fit. You can make them tighter in the forefoot and looser around the ankle, or vice-versa. We think these laces cinch quickly compared to other lace models, and don't think the ease of use is greatly reduced by the lack of Velcro.
This shoe shines when it comes to technical climbing. Great at edging, sticky enough for good smearing, and sensitive enough for precise footwork, it excels at climbs of a harder grade. This all-around shoe is so versatile, it can be used as your secret weapon for any type of climbing. Of our female testers, multiple of them own multiple pairs of the Miura in different sizes. Worn tight, it is a performance sport climbing and bouldering shoe. Sized loosely it is a great all-day multi-pitch and technical crack climbing shoe.
This shoe is expensive. It is a high-end performance shoe made in Italy, and that drives the price up. However, it is an amazing shoe for just about any style of climbing, so we would say it is worth it. One of our testers has a concept he calls "Cents per Send," meaning even if you have to spend a lot of money on climbing shoes, if they help you climb better, then you are essentially only spending pennies for every climb where you succeed. Is it worth a few cents for a few letter grades? We think so. We are more than willing to spend a little more on a shoe that will take us up challenging pitches and that we will love for a long time.
This is our favorite women's climbing shoe, hands-down. It performs well in all of our metrics and for any type of climbing we hope to do. It can be either an all-around one-quiver shoe or reserved for hard sends. The level of downturn and moderately high asymmetry is just perfect for most climbers for most applications. It earns our Editors' Choice award for this unmatched versatility and the incredible level of performance, from right out of the box all the way through the third resole.
Other Versions and Accessories
La Sportiva Miura VS - Women's
La Sportiva Miura and La Sportiva Miura - Women's
La Sportiva TC Pro
— McKenzie Long
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: July 14, 2015
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