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La Sportiva Miura Review

This durable shoe can excel at the sport crag as well as on all-day excursions on long crack routes
La Sportiva Miura
Photo: La Sportiva
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Price:  $165 List | $165.00 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros:  Great edging, versatile, durable
Cons:  Not the best at anything, laces are fragile
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
By Thomas Greene ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  May 5, 2021
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#19 of 29
  • Edging - 20% 8
  • Cracks - 20% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Steep Terrain - 20% 7
  • Sensitivity - 20% 7

Our Verdict

The Miura is a longstanding benchmark in the La Sportiva climbing shoe arsenal, on the market for more than two decades but still holding its own against newer modern designs. The Miura's terrain recommendations — gently overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing, and technical face climbing — haven't prevented it from becoming a staple for several big names sending big, varied walls. The Miura might not necessarily stand out in any one climbing category, but it could be a versatile choice for versatile climbers looking for a shoe that can handle different climbing disciplines.

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La Sportiva Miura
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La Sportiva Miura
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $165.00 at Backcountry
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$185.00 at Backcountry
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Check Price at REI
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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70
64
Star Rating
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Pros Great edging, versatile, durableVersatile, stiff, durable, comfortableExtremely precise toe, extra heel sensitivity, comfortable for an aggressive shoeComfortable design, respectable edging, low-profile toe, excellent priceAffordable, flat midsole is comfortable all day, well-balanced performance across many areas
Cons Not the best at anything, laces are fragileExpensive, limited sensitivityPricey, tall toe box, too narrow for some feetMediocre precision, subpar on the steeps, somewhat insensitiveInsensitive, imprecise fit, ineffective design for steep terrain
Bottom Line This durable shoe can excel at the sport crag as well as on all-day excursions on long crack routesThis stiff shoe is an all-day crack climbing workhorse that also performs well on edges and slabsAn ultra-high-end shoe that could put you on the podium of your climbing competitionDecent overall climbing performance at an affordable price make these a sold choiceAn entry-level shoe ideal for beginners that comes at an awesomely low price
Rating Categories La Sportiva Miura La Sportiva Katana... La Sportiva Solutio... La Sportiva Finale La Sportiva Tarantu...
Edging (20%)
8.0
10.0
9.0
7.0
6.0
Cracks (20%)
8.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
7.0
Comfort (20%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
Steep Terrain (20%)
7.0
8.0
10.0
6.0
5.0
Sensitivity (20%)
7.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Specs La Sportiva Miura La Sportiva Katana... La Sportiva Solutio... La Sportiva Finale La Sportiva Tarantu...
Style Lace Lace Velcro Lace Lace
Upper Leather Leather/Lorica Leather / microfiber Leather / microfiber Leather/Synthetic
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Lining Dentex Pacific (forefoot and back) Pacific, lycra Unlined None
Rubber Type Vibram XS Edge Vibram XS Edge Vibram XS Grip2 Vibram XS Edge FriXion RS
Rubber Thickness (millimeters) 4 mm 4 mm 4 mm 5 mm 5 mm

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Vibram XS Edge rubber on the La Sportiva Miura is hard. It edges like a razor blade and effortlessly holds the down-turned toe in pockets. When new, the hardness of the rubber makes the shoe feel very stiff and imprecise, especially to lighter climbers. However, the patience to learn how to climb in this shoe is rewarded, particularly after they've softened up. Expect a longer than normal wear-in period, compared to many other La Sportiva models.

The sizing of this shoe depends on where you want to take them: size them ultra-tight (2+ sizes down from your street shoe) for your sport or bouldering projects, or just a half to a full size down for all-day adventure routes. They're so good we'd almost consider buying both sizes.

The lacing system is slick, completing an easy-to-slip-on package that provides a secure fit with minimal fiddling. They're also durable, with a tough upper and a sole that will outlast the brilliant color — as well as your first set of laces.

Performance Comparison


Taking the Miuras to the beach, CA.
Taking the Miuras to the beach, CA.
Photo: Thomas Greene

Edging


For years, the Miura set the standard for edging shoes, all of its iterations an improvement over the last. They have a decently down-turned shape, but their real edging power is derived from the XS Edge rubber of its sole. It doesn't have the molded P3 midsole like the other popular La Sportiva models, so you'll have to do a little more heavy lifting to get the same results when edging. This difference in the midsole doesn't seem to contribute to foot fatigue, but it may be noticeable on the really hard stuff.

Crack Climbing


This shoe is a beast, protecting your foot from all the damage you're trying to do by jamming and twisting it in cracks. The Miura has taken to the big days on big walls as well as it has to the hard sport and bouldering that it was originally designed for. It has been around for a while, though, and many shoes have come out in the last few years that are worth considering if you're looking to make the transition into trad. Depending on what margin of advantage you're looking for, the Miura will do the job almost anywhere.

Smith Rock edge testing, Smith Rocks, OR.
Smith Rock edge testing, Smith Rocks, OR.
Photo: Lyra Pierotti

Steep Terrain


The Miura is good but not great on overhanging terrain. It's not as steeply down-turned as many contemporary high-end sport shoes, but the narrow toe can still sneak into pockets and shape lets you pull yourself into the rock. It only feels less than amazing when compared to the most aggressive modern designs. This shoe is incredibly versatile, but don't expect it to thrive in very steep terrain as well as a shoe specifically engineered for that purpose.

Sensitivity


This shoe cranks on small features that you can't even feel, which is both good and bad. All the hard rubber encasing your toe lets you push down hard but significantly diminishes the sensitivity of the shoe. On the other hand, the sole's stiffness provides support, which reduces foot fatigue on long, less-than-vertical pitches.

McKenzie Long using the smear power of the Miuras.
McKenzie Long using the smear power of the Miuras.
Photo: Luke Lydiard

Comfort


The Miura has to fit your footwell and be sized appropriately to wear all day. After breaking them in, these shoes can be very comfortable. Expect a reasonably long wear-in time, though. If you size this shoe for its originally intended purpose — hard sport climbing and bouldering — it won't be a wear-all-day shoe. Sized a half size to a full size down from your street shoe, it can be very comfortable on all-day routes. The Miura can be tricky to fit to your foot because it probably won't feel immediately comfortable no matter how you size it.

The flatter fit of the original Miura (left) makes them a better...
The flatter fit of the original Miura (left) makes them a better all-arounder and generally more comfortable than the Miura VS (right).

Value


Depending on how you use them, you may only need one shoe to meet all your climbing needs. If this is your quiver-of-one climbing shoe, then the value increases considerably. Used purely as a sport shoe and not nearly as comfortable or as adaptable as many other high-end shoes in this application, they won't do it all. They are durable, easily resoled, and a known quantity in terms of performance.

Conclusion


The Miura falls behind the several specially-designed shoes when it comes to pure high-end sport climbing or bouldering. It also lacks the flat sole and high-top upper that make some trad shoes so comfortable on the biggest days. But it still does both styles of climbing well enough that it can easily stand in on your harder sends with minimal compromise. This shoe is still being used by cutting-edge climbers around the world, which is a testament to its versatility and quality in a rapidly expanding sport.

Thomas Greene