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Hands-on Gear Review
La Sportiva Miura VS - Women's Review
Cons: Looser fit around the ankle, seam inside rubs on big toe, expensive
The Women's La Sportiva Miura VS is a solid shoe with a confusing name. Since they have the same name, it seems reasonable to think the Miura VS will fit and feel just like the La Sportiva Miura - Women's, but with Velcro. Wrong! They are completely different shoes. The Miura VS has a more aggressive fit, distinctively more down-turn, and climbs more like the even more aggressive Five Ten Blackwing - Women's than the Miura. These shoes and the Blackwing are more specialized for sport climbing or bouldering, while the Muira is a more versatile all-around technical shoe. If you are looking for a specialized tool for aggressive climbing, our favorite is the La Sportiva Solution - Women's, but if you love the edging power of the regular Miura and want something slightly more aggressive and quicker to put on, the Miura VS is a good choice.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
Though it bears the same name, the Miura VS has a completely different fit than the lace-up version. The VS model has the addition of a three-tab Velcro closure and a more downturned last. Made in Italy, these shoes are leather with a synthetic lining on the upper, and they are unlined underfoot.
Where the Miura VS differs from the Miura is not always favorable. The fit in the heel and around the ankle is much looser, and there are several female climbers we have polled who love the Miura but can't wear the Miura VS because it doesn't fit their heel at all. Our main tester had baggy pockets around the ankle, but her heel stayed in the shoe more than it did in the Five Ten Blackwing, which also has a loose heel cup.
Another difference, but this time a positive one, is the extremely comfortable, foot-hugging, sweat-wicking tongue. Even though the fit of the Miura VS is a little looser around the ankle, the amazing padded tongue makes up for this, giving the shoe an overall snug feel.
The downturn on the Miura VS is more aggressive, which is nice for steep climbs. But where the shoe turns down there is a seam on the inside that runs across the big toe and rubs uncomfortably. After a few days of frequent wear both of our tester's big toes had the skin painfully ripped off. Eventually, she developed a callus so it wasn't painful anymore, but this could be a strong factor in convincing someone not to buy them. Male testers have reported this same complaint about the Men's Miura VS. Overall, the comfort of this shoe is lacking.
These well-made shoes smear well. They feel sensitive in the toes and grip the rock when you want them to, and they get even more sensitive the longer you use them.
Even though the Miura VS is an entirely different shoe than the regular La Sportiva Miura, it does still have the great edging, precision, and durability of the Miura. The additional down-turn makes this shoe and even more solid performer when it gets steep.
For technical and difficult cracks, these shoes are great. They are not as aggressively down-turned as the Five Ten Blackwing or La Sportiva Solution, so they are still adequately comfortable for the occasional foot-jam. For climbing sustained Indian Creek style cracks, something flatter than this shoe would be more comfortable.
The downturn in these shoes directs your toes into pockets big and small, and allows you to pull yourself into steep faces with your toe and hold your body there.
Ease of Use
The 3-tab Velcro closure is a great feature, making them easier and quicker to put on than the regular Miura, and eliminates the annoying shredded the laces that happen from repeated crack climbing.
Since these shoes are on the aggressive side, they are better suited to sport climbing and bouldering. Get the La Sportiva Miura if you want an all-around technical shoe that can be used for any climbing.
The Miura VS is pricey, $10 more expensive than the regular women's Miura, but they don't work as well in as many situations. If they fit your foot well, they can be worth the cost because they do perform well. Just be warned that these are the least comfortable shoes we tested, and they take some time to break in.
These shoes perform well, but lack in comfort. We have climbed many pitches in these shoes and have relied on them in many desperate situations and came away satisfied. However we have a hard time recommending such an expensive shoe when it is so uncomfortable right out of the box.
— McKenzie Long
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Most recent review: October 19, 2015
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