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La Sportiva Miura VS - Women's Review

A technical climbing powerhouse, perfect for crimpy limestone lines or long granite free climbs
Editors' Choice Award
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Price:  $185 List | $175.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Great edging shoe, precise, versatile
Cons:  Specific shape can cause discomfort for some, expensive
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 4, 2020
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87
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#1 of 20
  • Comfort - 25% 8
  • Sensitivity - 25% 9
  • Edging - 15% 10
  • Cracks - 15% 8
  • Pockets - 15% 9
  • Ease of Use - 5% 7

Our Verdict

The La Sportiva Miura VS is a stiff, aggressively shaped edging powerhouse. These shoes allowed us to stand on incredibly small holds, while their aggressive shape, with a slight downturn, makes the Miura VS a master of precision. These shoes were our weapon of choice on the technical, gently overhanging limestone of Siurana. We also found the Miuras to compete with their lace-up counterparts, the Miura Lace, on vertical terrain, since the two share incredible edging power. The Velcro model is much more downturned than the lace-up version, and a bit stiffer, making it great for the steeps. These shoes are best used for technical face climbing on vertical to gently overhung terrain. Techy limestone, granite edging, and bouldering are the best uses for the Miura VS.

There are a few downsides to the Miura VS, especially when it comes to fit. These shoes take a while to break in, and we found them to be downright painful at first.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

With a stiff platform and an aggressive shape, the Miura VS are masters of precision, shining in the realm of technical climbing.

Performance Comparison


Jen  shown above  climbs exclusively in the Miura VS - from techy granite trad routes to steep limestone sport climbs.
Jen, shown above, climbs exclusively in the Miura VS - from techy granite trad routes to steep limestone sport climbs.

Comfort


An entirely different shape from their lace-up counterparts, the Miura VS is more or less an entirely different shoe, with its own intricacies in terms of fit. The Velcro version of this shoe has a more padded tongue, which we loved. It also has a slightly wider last than the Miura, which helped our wide-footed lead tester break the Velcro model in faster. As opposed to the majority of Velcro shoes on the market, the Miura VS has not one or two but three Velcro tabs to help fine-tune the fit. Our lead tester appreciated this, because the three straps help accommodate their wide, oddly shaped feet. Another positive aspect of the VS is its versatility. These shoes can be sized down for a less-comfortable but high-performance fit, making them an impressive edging shoe. Or, they can be sized up a tad, making them perfect for all-day free climbs.

We had trouble getting the Velcro straps to lay flat on the Miura VS  which created a void on the top of our foot. Though it looked strange  this didn't affect the shoe's performance.
We had trouble getting the Velcro straps to lay flat on the Miura VS, which created a void on the top of our foot. Though it looked strange, this didn't affect the shoe's performance.

We did notice that there were a few gaps across the top of the tongue, which makes these shoes look like they aren't sized properly. These issues with fit were probably a result of having a wide foot and didn't affect the overall comfort of the shoes. Our lead tester has worn these shoes in both their performance fit size and a half-size up, and found that both options are comfortable, depending on what you are trying to get out of them.

Sensitivity


Though they are stiff, the Miura VS is an incredibly sensitive shoe. The P3 technology, combined with the Miura VS's fairly aggressive downturn, means that all your standing power transfers to the tip of your toe. This, combined with Vibram's XS Grip2 rubber, allowed us to trust our feet and feel the texture of the rock through the soles of the Miura VS. From limestone smears to slippery basalt foot chips, these shoes were sensitive enough to smear, but stiff enough to stand on small holds. This combination of stiffness and suppleness makes for an impressively sensitive shoe — perfect for precise footwork.

The Miura VS is both stiff and sensitive  making it a precise shoe for technical climbing.
The Miura VS is both stiff and sensitive, making it a precise shoe for technical climbing.

Edging


Hours spent toeing in to tiny footholds on a gently overhung wall is the Miura VS's ideal day. These shoes are made for edging; with La Sportiva's Slingshot rand and Powerhinge technology, the Miuras pull you into the wall by forcing your weight into the toe. Their downturn was not an issue on vertical terrain because their stiffness allows the Miura to hold shape, even when standing on a vertical wall.

The Miura VS is an edging pro  much like its lace-up counterpart.
The Miura VS is an edging pro, much like its lace-up counterpart.

The technical abilities of these shoes in terms of sensitivity transfer into the realm of precise edging because of their combination of a stiff last and a soft, sensitive rubber.

Crack Climbing


If you are trying to send your technical, thin crack project, the Miura VS might do the trick. If long, red Camalot splitters are what you seek, a softer, less aggressive shoe might be a better place to look. The Miura VS can stem and edge like a boss — skills that come in handy on hard trad routes; their ability to climb straight in cracks is less than ideal. For that, look a less aggressive model. In the Miura VS, rather than splitter desert towers, seek out a technical, every trick-in-the-book Yosemite-style crack climb instead.

Pockets


With their downturned shape, the Miura VS toes into pockets with the best of them. Their sensitivity and edging prowess come in handy in steeper terrain, especially when paired with their aggressive shape. These shoes perform better on overhanging terrain than their lace-up counterpart, the Miura. Though the VS did well on pockets, we actually preferred a softer shoe for pocket climbing, since we were able to cam our toes in. Perhaps we are just trad climbers at heart…

Toeing in on steep pockets in the Miura VS. The combination of stiffness and downturn makes these shoes a pocket master.
Toeing in on steep pockets in the Miura VS. The combination of stiffness and downturn makes these shoes a pocket master.

Ease of Use


With three Velcro straps instead of the usual two, the Miura VS is a bit more time consuming to get on and off than most of the Velcro models we reviewed. That said, these three straps make it easy to fine-tune their fit and adjust the Miura VS to the desired tightness.

Once broken in  the Miura VS are a great shoe for any terrain  especially the sweet  sweet limestone of Catalunya.
Once broken in, the Miura VS are a great shoe for any terrain, especially the sweet, sweet limestone of Catalunya.

Value


Like most of the top-level shoes in this review, the Miura VS cost a pretty penny and are definitely an investment. Their edging ability, sensitivity, and overall design make them a fairly versatile shoe.

The Miura VS is a great all-arounder  which makes them a good value in our eyes.
The Miura VS is a great all-arounder, which makes them a good value in our eyes.

We know some women who climb strictly in the Miura VS; from long free climbs in Yosemite Valley, to sandstone bouldering, to European limestone. This is a testament to the Miura's ability to climb well in a wide range of disciplines.

Conclusion



Steep and techy bouldering in the Miura VS.
Steep and techy bouldering in the Miura VS.

The La Sportiva Miura VS is an all-around technical master. We recommend these shoes for any form of hard climbing — from sport climbing to bouldering — where the difference between sending and failure could be as simple as a botched foot placement. The Miuras can edge on granite razor blades and toe-in on slippery limestone pockets with ease. Though they can be painful to break in, the Miura VS will perform with the best of them.


Jane Jackson