Published on: 09/02/2023The La Sportiva Miura VS is a performance shoe for hard climbing that excels at edging.
The Miura VS is best suited for hard sport climbing and bouldering — it does well on both technical face climbing and overhanging rock. The shoe is expensive and somewhat uncomfortable, meaning that beginner climbers or people looking for an all-day shoe may want to opt for a different option.
- High precision
- Amazing on tiny edges
- Excels at overhanging terrain
- Pointed toe box is good in pockets
- Great heel hooking
- Low performance in cracks
- Limited toe hooking
- Somewhat uncomfortable
The La Sportiva Miura VS is a high performance velcro climbing shoe. With a stiff sole and a moderate downturn, this aggressive shoe is excellent for some aspects of climbing and not so great for others. Climbers have been donning the Miura VS to send hard for over two decades.
Comfort is not where the La Sportiva Miura VS excels. These shoes are best suited for hard sport routes or bouldering where you can put on your shoes, try hard, and then take them off.
I wouldn’t wear my Miuras on any kind of multipitch. However, given that this is an high performance shoe with an aggressive shape, it’s not that uncomfortable. I can walk around the base of the crag with my Miuras on, and I’m usually able to wait to be lowered to the ground to take off the shoes, instead of desperately peeling them off my feet as soon as I clip the chains.
The La Sportiva Miura VS has a one-piece leather upper. This has a synthetic lining, which means the shoe can control stretch and maintain a tight fit. The bottom of the shoe does not have a lining, creating increased sensitivity. The Miura VS uses the P3 platform technology (1), which refers to stiff rubber that connects the toes, midsole, and slingshot rand. This helps the shoes maintain their shape and power long-term.
Men’s vs. Women’s version
There’s a men’s version and a women’s version of the Miura VS — the main difference is in regards to the type of rubber used.
The men’s Miura uses Vibram XS edge rubber while the women’s has Vibram XS Grip2. The first is slightly stiffer and more durable, which is designed to support the higher body weight that men tend to have.
Overall, your gender really doesn’t matter when selecting which model to purchase, but lighter climbers might find the extra stiff rubber unnecessary and prefer the women’s model for increased sensitivity. Also, the women’s version comes with a slightly lower volume.
Lace-up Miura vs. velcro version
The original model of this shoe is the La Sportiva Miura lace. While the Miura VS has three velcro straps, the original model has laces and is softer and less aggressive than the VS.
I prefer the original Miura for climbing in the gym. It stretches more than the velcro version, is less painful, and is better at smearing. However, the model with laces feels much less precise on small edges.
Fit, Foot Shape, and Sizing
The La Sportiva Miura VS has a high asymmetry fit, meaning that the big toe is not in line with the heel. Instead, the toe box curves inward. This asymmetry combines with the shoe’s downturn to put the foot in a powerful, hooked position which is great for pulling on pockets and pushing into footholds. However, the asymmetry does contribute to the shoe’s limited comfort.
The Miura VS comes in sizes ranging from a women’s 3.5/men’s 2.5 to women’s 13.5/men’s 12.5, with half sizes available. This shoe fits similarly to other La Sportiva shoes – I downsize the Miura VS one size from my street shoe size.
The La Sportiva Miura VS will stretch a bit – probably about a half size. Thus, it’s probably best to choose a pair that are a bit painful while you’re breaking them in. Otherwise, the stretching might lead to the shoes being overly roomy. Although the Miura VS fits my feet well, I’ve heard from other climbers that this model can be uncomfortable if you have wide feet – the shoe itself is on the narrow side. The velcro straps don’t give as much control over the fit as laces would.
The Miura is a fantastic shoe for some styles of climbing, but it’s not an all-around shoe. Let’s take a look at how the shoe performs for different aspects of footwork.
The Miuras’ stiffness, shape, and XS edge rubber make them one of the best edging shoes out there. With a pair of these on your feet, you’ll have the confidence to trust your toes on micro edges.
These shoes are not made for smears – they’re stiff and downturned. A softer, flatter shoe will outperform the Miura VS on this aspect of footwork. However, I find that the La Sportiva Miura VS can smear relatively well, especially compared to other aggressive shoes.
Hooking in these shoes is a mixed bag. They have ample rubber on the heel, and heel hooking feels secure. However, they’re not great for toe hooking, as they don’t have a rubber patch over the toe area. If the type of climbing you do requires a lot of toe hooks, you might want to consider a shoe like the La Sportiva Solution, which does have this above-toe rubber.
These are not crack climbing shoes. The downturned toe makes them extremely uncomfortable to jam in, especially in hand cracks. They do a little bit better in thin cracks where toe jamming is required, but I still find that they are too stiff and not flat enough to ever be my top choice for a crack climb. Definitely not trad shoes (unless you’re climbing finger cracks where only edging is required).
I like the La Sportiva Miura VS for climbing outside, and personally I don’t wear mine indoors. My favorite thing about this shoe is that while it excels at edging, it can still smear decently. This can be hard to find – many shoes that edge well don’t smear well, and vice versa. Let’s take a look at some of the best uses for the Miura VS, and some other things it can do relatively well.
- Steep terrain: Given that pockets and heel hooks are strengths of the La Sportiva Miura VS, it’s a brilliant shoe for steep climbing, such as overhanging sport routes or boulders.
- Technical face climbing: These shoes are made for high-end edging and thus they perform exceptionally on vertical walls with small footholds.
- Granite and limestone: I’ve found that the performance of the Miura VS depends on rock type. They’re great for granite and limestone climbing, as they stick well to highly textured rock types.
- Intermediate and advanced climbers: These shoes are a great choice for relatively experienced climbers who are looking to up their footwork game.
Besides the best uses listed above, the La Sportiva Miura VS does relatively well in the following contexts.
- Gym climbing: The VS does well indoors — it provides power and can help with heel hooking and other techniques. However, many gym climbers may prefer a softer shoe that can smear better or one that has rubber to protect the foot for toe hooking.
- Slab: The Miura VS does OK on slab, especially if there are some edges or crystals to stand on. However, softer shoes such as the classic Miura will have better friction on pure slab.
- Sandstone: On smoother rock types such as sandstone, you probably won’t feel limited by the Miura VS. It’s a powerful and precise shoe, but a softer option might work better on sandstone climbs.
- Beginner climbers: These shoes might work fine for beginners, but many newer climbers will be able to climb just as well in something more affordable and more comfortable.
Durability, Resoling, Sustainability, and Animal Welfare
This is a shoe with good durability. I tend to wear out shoes relatively fast, but I can climb frequently in the La Sportiva Miura VS for at least a few months before sending them in to get resoled.
On that note, this is a great shoe to get resoled, as the leather lasts for a long time. The first pair of Miura VSs that I had I bought used, and I’ve resoled them twice since then.
One thing I like about buying climbing shoes from La Sportiva is that the company makes sustainability a priority. The Miura VS is made from 100% recycled material, and the company is working towards reducing their carbon emissions. La Sportiva produces most of their shoes in Italy, though they also have some production facilities in China and Vietnam.
If you’re looking for a shoe made without animal products, La Sportiva is a tricky brand to buy from. They make most of their climbing shoes, including the Miura VS, with animal-based leather. However, they’re making progress with the release of vegan versions, like the Skwama Vegan.
The La Sportiva Miura VS is versatile, but it’s not for everyone. If you are an intermediate or advanced climber looking for climbing shoes that will support technical footwork, a pair of these shoes is a good investment.
If you’re looking for all-day comfort, this particular shoe is not the best choice. And if you’re a beginner climber, you might want to consider more affordable options — the Miura VS costs more than many other climbing shoes.
|Weight||9.1 oz/258 g|
|Sole thickness||4 mm|
|Activities||Indoor, Outdoor, Bouldering, Sport|
|Experience level||Intermediate, Advanced|
|Outsole||Vibram XS Edge (men's), Vibram XS Grip2 (women's)|
|Midsole||LaSpoFlex 1.1 mm, P3 system|
Reference: La Sportiva ‘s official website
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