La Sportiva Miura VS Review
La Ligne Noire (8a+), Bionnassay, Chamonix.
Photo: Lukasz Warzech
Friday, 22 April 2016
Total transparency: La Sportiva started supporting me earlier this year. They’ve asked me to write a quick review of their Miura VS shoes, and I happily obliged: for three months I’ve been edging, smearing, hooking and falling off in their shoes, and I’ve been really impressed with the fit, performance and rubber. Check out my thoughts below.
Of course, the fit of a rock shoe is highly individual - it’s a personal choice and the size of the shoe makes a big difference. It’s great that La Sportiva have slightly different shapes and fits throughout their rock shoe range, because they recognise that each shoe has a slightly different purpose and end use. Over the years, I’ve worn every major climbing shoe brand and was pleased with how well the Miura VS’s fit straight out the box - a nice surprise. These fit me really well, with a wrap-around toe box and no extra space around the heel. I also like the balanced stiffness - not too soft and not too firm... just right.
Obviously a shoe designed for bouldering is going to be slightly down-turned, and an all-day trad shoe is going to be flatter and more comfortable. Some people have big feet (you know what they say about big feet…), some people have thin feet; it goes on. It’s down to personal preference and foot shape. What’s important is how they fit you.
One thing to note - the La Sportiva sizing is slightly different to a few other brands, so make sure you try on a few pairs before you buy, obviously.
The Miura VS’s are a high performance shoe, meaning you should pull them on for your big send: trad, sport, bouldering… they do it all. With a really strong edge, I can confidently stand on micro granite crystals or limestone crozzles, and they hold their position on polished smears.
I tried on several pairs of La Sportivas and found the Miura VS to be a precise and comfortable fit, which is exactly what I’m looking for.
I like my shoes to mould my toes into an ‘ever-so-slightly’ crimped position, whilst still remaining comfy, so I can generate as much power as possible through my feet. The Miura VS’s allowed me to press hard through the toes and confidently stand on small footholds, which is particularly important when onsighting a trad route - there’s a lot of hanging around and standing about, fiddling in gear.
I tried the same rock shoe (Miura VS) in a larger size, and was pleasantly surprised. It fitted well as an all-day shoe, with enough stiffness and support to cope with long belays, and I could probably go up a size again and wear them with a sock - perfect for crisp alpine granite? I wonder if Pete and I should have done this for our recent winter ascent of the Walker Spur on the Grandes Jorasses?! We took rock shoes but it was too cold to pull them on without socks.
The triple velcro fastening allows the shoes to be as tight as you like them, and is a relief when you quickly want to pull them off at the end of your long lead. It’s also ideal if you’re at the climbing wall and are quickly pulling your shoes on and off all the time.
I like the bright yellow colour, and it made me really notice (and therefore think about) my feet a lot. By thinking about my feet, I could focus on my footwork and technique… a nice little subconscious nudge from La Sportiva: think about your feet!
I think this is something often ignored in rock shoe reviews, but is absolutely vital. It’s no good having a great shoe if it wears out after a few days. I’ve got to admit, after climbing non-stop for three months (in between some Alpine shivering in my La Sportiva Baturas and Spantiks) I’ve found the rubber has held up well, particularly around the toes. Everyone knows Vibram and their high standard of soles, and the XS Edge rubber on the Miura VS is top notch.
Oh, and guess what. They don’t smell after a few months of use. Nice.