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Gear Review: La Sportiva Miura Climbing Shoe

The La Sportiva Miura is an high-performance, do-it-all, “quiver-of-one” climbing shoe that edges really well, but isn’t the most soft or sensitive shoe, especially during its long break-in period. The Miura, aka the “Bananas” as they are affectionally called by aficionados, is built for all angles and rock types. It’s comfort, support and unique, speedy lacing system make this classic shoe appropriate for all types of climbing.

Tech Specs

La Sportiva Miura Vibram XS Edge Climbing ShoeProfile Shape: Minimal Downturn
Asymmetrical Curvature: High
Closure Style: Speed Lacing System
UpperFabric: Leather
Lined: Yes
Sole:  4mm Vibram XS Edge
Construction: High tensioned slingshot rand
Weight of Size 38: 8.43oz
Size Tested: 41.5

Tester Info

Street shoe size: 10 U.S.

Climbing Style

Grubb-2The Miura, aka the “Banana,” as it is affectionately known by aficionados, is built for all angles and rock types. Its comfort, support and unique, speedy lacing system make this classic shoe appropriate for all types of climbing.  It’s ideal for everyone from beginners to expert climbers.

Fit

The Miura is made for narrow to medium-width feet. While this shoe is highly asymmetrical, its relatively flat-lasted sole will provide comfort even for new climbers who aren’t used to wearing asymmetrical, high-performance shoes. The heel cup is low-volume, and in general there is little dead space in this shoe, in part due to a lacing system that allows you to cinch down the shoe around your foot as necessary.

The Miura has a long break-in period in which the shoe feels too stiff and clunky. Expect anywhere from one week to one month to break these shoes in, depending on how much you climb and how heavy you are. Expect it to stretch anywhere from one-half to a full size.

Durability & Construction

One of the biggest problems with the Miura is also one of its greatest features. The speed lacing system provides easy-on, easy-off access. In fact, I’ve never worn a lace-up climbing shoe that is easier to take on and off. The thick laces are super comfortable, never digging into the top of your foot.

That said, the laces tend to blow out early, especially if you’re in the habit of really cinching and pulling hard and fast. Gently pulling the laces seems to help with their lifespan, but expect to wear through your laces before you wear through your rubber.

miura_top-instep-sole

Performance

The narrow, low-profile toe shape lends itself to precision footwork, but the balance between sensitivity and stiffness is really what makes the Miura one of the best-edging shoes on the market. The shoe uses Vibram XS Edge, a slightly harder rubber that’s a bit more durable.

The Miura really struggles on smears straight out of the box. But as the shoe breaks in, I find it performs well enough to never think twice about standing on blank granite spoons. If I’m gearing up for a .5 to 1.5-inch crack/lieback corner, the Miura would be one of the first shoes that I would want to wear. The chiseled outer edge of the toe box adds a lot of security to your inside foot when you’re jamming/smearing in those situations. The shoe has great torsional stiffness for straight-in hand cracks, too and enough sensitivity for finger cracks.

Grubb-1

Review Summary

For edging and for crack climbing on granite and sandstone, it’s hard to beat the Miura. It isn’t terribly soft or sensitive, especially during its long break-in period; however, it’s an extremely comfortable, high-performance shoe with a long shelf life and a last that stands up to a few resoles. If ever there were such a thing as a “quiver of one” climbing shoe, this would be it.

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