The sport of rock climbing has evolved considerably throughout its lifespan. A huge part of this is the gear and technology that has become available to climbers. When it comes to climbing gear, the shoes you wear can have a tremendous impact on what you can achieve on the wall or rock.
But, with the enormous variety of climbing slippers, finding the perfect new shoe can be daunting. La Sportiva is a mainstay in the climbing shoe market, and La Sportiva shoes are worn by just about every professional climber out there. The Solution and Miura shoes are two of the brand’s most popular models. But which of these would be the right model for you, and why?
This article covers some of the major strengths and differences between the La Sportiva Miura and Solutions and who would get the most use out of them.
What Style of Climbing Shoes are the La Sportiva Solution and Miura?
An absolute machine on sport climbing, hard bouldering, and technical routes, La Sportiva’s Solution shoe is an aggressive, sensitive shoe perfect for advanced climbers. Steep climbing is another area where the Solution excels. Indeed, thanks to its downturned, asymmetrical profile and stiff sole, you can heel hook and execute toe hooks in the Solution with ease.
However, we anticipate that trad and crack climbing enthusiasts might struggle in these climbing shoes: their somewhat minimal build means the support they offer is less than stellar, which is crucial for longer sessions.
While boasting a downturned profile and high asymmetry upper, the Miura is a far more versatile and less specialized shoe than the Solution. It’s essentially a jack of all trades. While it doesn’t differ hugely from the Solution in terms of tech specs, it offers a fairly different climbing experience overall.
The Miura is more supportive and less sensitive than the Solution with a stiffer, less sensitive sole. It’s also more durable and more suited to longer trad routes than the Solution.
It’s also worth noting there that there are actually two versions of the Miura; the standard Miura lace-ups and the Miura VS. This article focuses on the standard Miura, whereas the La Sportiva Miura VS offers a substantially different fit and profile. For one thing, the Miura VS is more aggressively downturned than the standard Miura, limiting its versatility.
Also, rather than laces, the Miura VS uses three velcro straps. While arguably a more durable closure system than laces, velcro straps don’t offer the same level of adjustability. So, if you have a less common foot profile or want to ensure a tighter fit, the standard Miuras may be better for you.
Finally, like the Solution, the Miura VS also boasts La Sportiva’s Permanent Power Platform rand. This helps the shoe retain its high-performance shape after extensive wear. Additionally, the P3 System allows the toe box to provide more leverage for edging.
Key Differences Between the Solution and Miura
Fit, Comfort, and Volume
Thanks to their lace closure system, the Miuras offer greater flexibility in terms of fit than the Solutions. And while the Solutions aren’t uncomfortable by any stretch, their sensitive build means they do lack support. This can become problematic for longer climbing sessions. On the other hand, we found the Miuras to be supportive enough to wear comfortably for longer, multi-pitch climbs without issue.
Regarding volume, the La Sportiva Miura is a low-volume shoe that runs on the narrow side, while the La Sportiva Solution is a medium-volume model. As a result, while it’s not a guarantee, the Solution is more likely to be suitable for wide feet.
Both of these shoes use a stretchy leather lining and upper, which helps them to accommodate different foot profiles and shapes. However, stretching after breaking in is fairly minimal with the La Sportiva Solution. It has more rubber across its upper than the Miura. As a result of this, you probably only need to anticipate the Solution stretching by about a half size once worn in.
Build and Design
One of the main differences between the Solution and the Miura is the types of rubber that the soles use. While both the Solution and the Miura boast a rubber thickness of 4 mm, the Miura’s sole utilizes Vibram XS Edge rubber, while the Solution’s sole is made of Vibram XS Grip.
The softer rubber of the Solutions’ XS Grip sole makes the shoes stickier and more sensitive. This affords you more precision in your footwork by allowing you to really dig into each hold. The stickiness of the soles also makes smearing and dodgy holds feel securer and more attainable. However, as the name implies, the stiffer rubber of the XS Edge sole is great for edging. It gives you far more stability and is also considerably more durable than the XS Grip rubber.
Durability and Longevity
Both the Miura and Solution offer respectable longevity. As mentioned above, the rubber that the Miura uses for its sole is more durable than the XS Grip that the Solution utilizes. Conversely, the Miura’s laces are more prone to wear and tear than the Solution’s velcro strap closure system. Still, laces are easier and cheaper to replace than an entire rubber sole, so we’d argue that the Miura offers better durability overall.
Performance and Use in Different Climbing Styles
These two shoes offer vastly different experiences when applied to the same climbing routes and project. The La Sportiva Solution is a specialized, aggressive, sensitive shoe that shines on technical, more explosive routes and steeper terrain. It lacks the support you would need for longer climbs, making it less suited to multi-pitch trad routes.
While the Miura isn’t as much of a powerhouse as the Solution is, it’s easily the more supportive model. This takes some of the strain off your feet and legs, making it comfier for longer sessions. It also allows you to tackle a wider range of routes and terrain without encountering foot pump, which can definitely creep up on you in the Solutions.
Which Shoe is the Right One for Me?
Ultimately, your climbing style and preferences in terms of fit and comfort will determine whether the Miura or Solution shoe is better for you. We imagine that more advanced climbers will prefer the Solution thanks to its more specialized design and profile.
On the other hand, intermediate climbers or those who favor trad routes will likely enjoy the Miura thanks to its more supportive build. We’d also argue that the Miura is considerably more versatile in general. That’s because it’s less sensitive and more supportive than the Solution.
If you climb a range of different styles or are looking for a more durable shoe, the Miura is probably your best bet. We’d also argue that thanks to its superior longevity and versatility, the Miura likely offers better value for money for most climbers.