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Hands-on Gear Review
La Sportiva Miura - Women's Review
Cons: Costly, can be hard to break in
Bottom line: The Miura is an all-around technical wizard; from finger cracks to tiny smears and edges, they don't disappoint.
The La Sportiva Women's Miura has been a longstanding favorite for climbers looking for a versatile, yet technical climbing shoe. After their initial break-in period, which can take some time, the Miuras are very comfortable. They are made with a softer, more supple sole than our award-winning La Sportiva Kataki. We recommend the Miura to climbers who have been at it for a little while and want a high-performance all-around shoe. From smearing to edging, the Miura is a top-notch performer, especially for granite climbing. With their shape and cost, we suggest them as an upgrade shoe, rather than one for those just getting introduced to climbing. For a less expensive, first model that still provides the support and semi-aggressive fit check out the Butora Libra or the Mad Rock Lotus.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Miura has been a member of the La Sportiva quiver for over ten years. These shoes have incredible edging power, a slight downturn, and a sole versatile enough for both smearing and footholds that require precision. They excel at all styles of climbing, making them one of our favorites across the board.
The fit of the Miura can be all over the spectrum, depending on the size and the overall shape of your foot compared to the shoe.
What separates the women's Miura from the men's version, other than color, is the padded heel of the women's version. This makes the heel fit snuggly, and the shoe feels more secure overall. Some shoes, like the La Sportiva Kataki and the Butora Libra dug into our heels at first, which was a downside to their overall comfort. We've heard reports of men purchasing the women's specific model for the padded heel.
The unique toe box is another area that can either make or break the overall comfort of these shoes. There seems to be a lot of material in this area, so it can be hard to fill out the shoes entirely, even if they are sized small. For a more tight-fitting toe box, we like the Scarpa Vapor. This isn't typically a huge problem regarding comfort, but good to keep in mind when trying on the Miuras and breaking them in. The break-in period on a pair of Miuras that are sized small can be quite painful, but after some time, the shoes will start to feel more comfortable. With a leather upper lined with synthetic Dentex, don't expect them to stretch as much as something like the unlined La Sportiva Finale - Women's or the Evolv Kira, which are also unlined.
The Miura combines the edging ability of a stiff shoe with the sensitivity of a shoe with a soft sole. This combination makes them a great shoe for precise footwork, throughout the lifetime of their rubber soles.
Initially, the rubber is crisp, making them great for edging, much like the La Sportiva Kataki. As they break in more over time, the toe becomes more and more sensitive. This makes the Miura an incredible smearing shoe. A contender with comparable sensitivity is the Butora Acro Narrow Fit or the La Sportiva Solution. Keep in mind, though, that these two models are much more downturned than the Miura and may be less than ideal on vertical to less-than-vertical terrain. What makes the Miura exceptional is that it can perform well for different styles of climbing - all while maintaining their sensitivity.
In addition to having incredible sensitivity, the Miura is a powerful edging shoe.
La Sportiva's "powerhinge" technology wraps the entire foot in rubber and connects to the slingshot rand, giving the foot support, even when standing on small edges. The design is supposed to keep your weight into the wall more and on the toe, providing security on small holds. Though they are more downturned, we found the La Sportiva Kataki offered even better edging performance, earning the highest score, along with the Butora Libra.
These shoes are not the world best crack climbing shoe, though they work well for specific types of cracks.
Since they are downturned and reasonably narrow, the Miuras can be painful in cracks that require continuous foot-jamming (think Indian Creek splitters) - though if sized up, can offer comfort in cracks. But, for discontinuous cracks and places, like Yosemite, where footholds outside the cracks abound, the Miuras perform well. They also work well in finger cracks, since the toe is narrow and tapered. The best crack climbing shoe in this review, for continuous splitters, is the well-padded Five Ten Anasazi LV — Women's.
The asymmetrical toe box and slight downturn make the Miura a shoe that can hang on mildly overhanging climbs, but this award winner shines on vertical, technical walls.
When climbing super steep terrain, we preferred the La Sportiva Solution — Women's, thanks to their magical ability to stick moves. The Miura is stiffer than the La Sportiva Kataki, making for a more comfortable all-day shoe for vertical to steep climbing than these more aggressive models.
Ease of Use
As a lace-up model, these take a little longer to put on than slippers or Velcro 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, though they are a tad more challenging to put on than the Kataki.
This shoe shines when it comes to technical climbing on walls that are vertical or less than vertical. Great at edging, sticky enough for good smearing, and sensitive enough for precise footwork, it excels at climbs of a harder grade. We found the Miuras performed best on vertical terrain as opposed to steeper climbing. Worn tight, it is a performance sport climbing and bouldering shoe. Sized loosely, it's excellent for longer multi-pitch climbs.
This shoe is expensive. It is a high-end performance shoe made in Italy, which 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 to send your projects? 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.
For a technical wizard of a shoe, the La Sportiva Miuras are it! These are great edging shoes initially, but over time wear into a great shoe for smearing and small holds as the rubber wears down. We loved these shoes for vertical climbing with small holds. They also performed well on slabs and low angle cracks. These factors made the Miura a great shoe for granite climbing in places like Tuolumne or Yosemite Valley. The Miura is used by many as their secret weapon, whether that be for finger cracks, techy faces, or face climbs - many climbers turn to the Miura when they need a shoe that will perform.
— Jane Jackson
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