La Sportiva Miura VS ReviewPrice: $175 List | $139.14 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Excellent edging, stiff, excellent in pockets
Cons: Uncomfortable, not the most sensitive
Bottom line: This is one of the stiffest shoes out there and is a secret weapon against tiny edges.
Manufacturer: La Sportiva
The Miura VS belongs in the world of tough climbing, where it can use its diamond hard edges and almost absurdly asymmetric shape to power down on invisible features. For it to perform in this capacity, it must be sized tightly, and by tight we mean painfully. When pushing the grades, sometimes you have to sacrifice comfort. To wear these shoes for more than a pitch or two, we'd have to cut off a few toes. It also has to be right for your foot, try these puppies on before you buy. For an entirely different feel in a high-performance climbing shoe, check out our Editors' Choice award winner, the La Sportiva Genius. It relies on a soft midsole and "No-edge" technology to use small holds instead of stiffness.
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Miura VS is a function specific shoe and does a few things, like edging, incredibly well. The P3 midsole lets you power down through your toes on the tiniest of features. It edges well on all sides of the toe, enabling you to turn your hips into the wall and significantly increase your reach. The down turned toe sucks the foot into the rock and works well even when the climber is stretched out. Few shoes even come close to the edging ability of the VS, leaving it in a category to a large extent by itself. This model is the stiffest shoe we've ever worn that wasn't board lasted. For a softer shoe that still edges like a champ, check out our Top Pick for narrow feet, the Tenaya Tarifa; it's incredibly sensitive.
You can get away with climbing a few cracks in this shoe, but it will probably hurt. This shoe is not designed or intended for use in cracks, as the triple buckle system gets in the way, and suffers some wear and tear when jammed into hand cracks. The toe is low volume and pointy though and can gain purchase in thin cracks and pods, so it's not bad for trad bragging, it's just not our first choice for long days on the big stone. For all day missions, the less aggressive La Sportiva TC Pro is more appropriate. Or have a look at our current Top Pick for all day comfort, the Five Ten Quantum.
This shoe is meant to do a couple of things, and pockets are one of them. The edging power and pointy toe make great use of pockets of all sizes. The steeper, the better. The Miura VS hooks into pockets with an ease that belies the discomfort of wearing them. Only the Tenaya Tarifa and the La Sportiva Genius rival this shoe on pockets.
You won't paste your toes on Braille up the rock in this shoe. You will stand on invisible features and crank. The Miura VS makes up for feeling a little like a brick on your foot by being an edging machine. There are times when you'll miss being able to feel the rock, but this is still an incredibly adept climbing shoe. After some breaking in, they felt more sensitive than the La Sportiva TC Pro, the Scarpa Instinct VS, and the Evolv Shaman.
If you size these shoes tight, they're gonna hurt, and there's no getting around it. Our lead tester went up a half size from his normal La Sportiva sizing before he could comfortably climb a full pitch in these shoes. The low volume toe that can fit in thin cracks presses down hard on the top of the big toe, and it hurts if you size down. The buckle can also be an issue if the shoe isn't sized just right. One of our testers felt the buckle pushing hard on to the top of his foot whenever he flexed his foot into the smearing position. The La Sportiva Katana Lace is a similarly fitting shoe, with a more comfortable lacing system on the top. The Butora Acro is nearly as stiff as the Miura VS, but it's a touch wider, and much more comfortable.
The Miura VS is a super high-end sport, and bouldering shoe, and you should use it as such. In fact, it is far from a single shoe used to climb everything. When it's time for long pitches of technical edging (like in the middle of El Cap), these puppies will do the trick and won't let you down. You will want to keep some comfy all day shoes in the haul bag, like a pair of Five Ten Quantums.
This shoe does as advertised, and climbs hard. Its value is in how you use it. Our current Best Buy Award winner, the La Sportiva Skwama, will keep you on your toes for $10 less. If you want a shoe that will let you climb at your limit, then the Miura VS is an excellent option. It is durable, but it loses some of that phenomenal edging ability once it's worn in.
Though the Miura VS is a great shoe, we'd look at the La Sportiva Genius, the Tenaya Tarifa or the Butora Acro for performance and comfort if we were going to buy a shoe specifically for hard sport or bouldering. Like all things climbing, and in particular, things that go on your feet, it has to work for you. In the pursuit for the perfect-for-you-fit, this pair is worthy of consideration.
— Matt Bento
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