The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

La Sportiva Miura Review

This durable shoe can excel at the sport crag as well as on all-day excursions on long crack routes.
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Price:  $165 List | $100.36 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Great edging, versatility, durable
Cons:  Not the best at anything, laces not durable
Manufacturer:   La Sportiva
By Thomas Greene ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Sep 18, 2014
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76
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#12 of 28
  • Edging - 20% 9
  • Cracks - 20% 8
  • Comfort - 20% 6
  • Pockets - 20% 8
  • Sensitivity - 20% 7

The Skinny

The Miura is the AK-47 of the La Sportiva arsenal, 10 years on the market and still holding its own against more modern designs. The Miura's terrain recommendations — overhanging sport routes, bouldering, gym climbing and technical face climbing — hasn't prevented it from becoming a staple for some big names, sending big walls free.

Cosmetic Change Since Tested
La Sportiva changed the look of the Miura since we tested it. They added some geometric graphics by the laces, which you can see in the image above. The changes are slight, and Sportiva confirmed with us that there are no updates to the functional design of this classic and beloved shoe.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Miura's Vibram XS edge rubber 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. 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 the Anasazi VCS or other La Sportiva models.

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

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 soles 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.

Edging


For years, the Miura set the standard for edging shoes, all of its iterations an improvement on the last. They have a decently down-turned toe, but its real edging power is derived from the XS EDGE rubber of its sole. It doesn't have the P3 midsole of the Miura VS, so you'll have to do a little more heavy lifting yourself to get the same results when edging. This difference in midsole doesn't seem to contribute to foot fatigue, but is noticeable on the really hard stuff. For a more complete edging package check out the Sportiva Miura VS, though not nearly as comfortable or as capable on a variety rock, it is close to the top among edging shoes.

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 it was originally designed for. It has been around for a while though, and a lot of shoes have come out in the last few years that are worth considering if you're looking to make the transition into trad. The La Sportiva TC Pro is specifically designed with trad climbing in mind, and does decently, though not quite as well, on sport too. 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.

Pockets


The Miura is great, but not perfect on pockets. Though not as steeply down-turned as many contemporary high-end sport shoes, they still lock into pockets and let you pull yourself into the rock. It only feels less than amazing when compared to more modern designs, such as the Solution or Evolv Shaman. This shoe is incredibly versatile, but don't expect it to thrive in very steep terrain like its cousin the Miura VS.

Sensitivity


This shoe cranks on small features that you can't even feel, which is good and bad. All the hard rubber encasing your toe lets you push down hard, but significantly diminishes the sensitivity of the shoe. The Five Ten Team will let you feel everything on the rock at the expense of the shape and function of the shoe. Some good compromises are the La Sportiva Katana Lace and the Five Ten Anasazi VCS, both great all-arounders with a sensitive side.

McKenzie Long using the smear power of the Miuras.
McKenzie Long using the smear power of the Miuras.

Comfort


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

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

Best Applications


Wear the Miura where you want. This shoe thrives on both sport, and trad. How you size them is what matters: tight for sport, comfortable for trad. They are a great shoe for climbers with very specific goals in mind who need a shoe that can tackle a variety of terrain. Hence their use on big walls.

Value


Depending on how you use them, you may only need one shoe for all your climbing. If this is your quiver-of-one climbing shoe, then the value increases considerably. Used purely as a sport shoe, and being 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 Solution, Futura, or Shaman as a pure high-end sport climbing/bouldering platform. It also lacks the function specific design that makes the TC Pro so good on the big days. But it still does both styles of climbing so well that it could easily stand in on your harder sends with minimal compromise. This shoe is still being used by cutting edge climbers around the world, a testament to it's versatility and longevity in a rapidly expanding sport.


Thomas Greene