Weight: 7 oz / 234 g
Sizes: 32 – 46 (Half Sizes)
Size Tested: 45
Construction: Slip Lasted
Midsole: 1.1mm Laspoflex
Sole: 4mm Vibram® XS Edge
My Foot: Size 13 street shoe, medium-volume (relative to its Sasquatch-like size, anyway), lower arch, neutral gait.
Time Tested: 30 days of climbing over 6-7 months.
Test Locations: Clear Creek Canyon, Boulder Canyon, Eldorado Canyon, Shelf Road, Colorado; Vedauwoo, Wyoming.
I began my climbing career in 5.10 shoes, but had my world expanded when I was first introduced to La Sportiva’s long-celebrated lace-up Miura; I was looking for a sport shoe at the time, and found a deal on them. Given that I was living out of my truck, pricing was paramount, and a sale at a small shop in Idaho easily overcame my hesitation to branch out from the 5.10 universe.
I still buy and use 5.10 shoes, and am very happy with them in certain situations. No shoe is perfect for everything, and I’ll try to explain where I think the Miura VS excels, where it does not, and why.
The Miura VS is a more recent Velcro version of the Miura. Though they are very different shoes, they bear the Miura name and, because of this, it’s sort of impossible for me to discuss the VS without first mentioning a few important points about its lace-up cousin.
The lace-up Miuras have been the go-to for many types of climbers. Sport climbers size them down to take full advantage of the open toe box, and swear by them for their edging ability. The shoe is soft and conforms fully to the foot, and for this reason, some trad climbers have found that sizing up the Miura lace to a comfortable fit allows them to climb cracks well and still stand on dime edges where needed. (Many modern, high-end trad and big-wall climbs have been sent with the Miura lace.)
My years with the Miura lace fell in the former camp. I wore loose-fitting 5.10 Moccasyms for trad and cracks, and a pair of tight-fitting Miura lace-ups for my sport climbing endeavors. This is the primary reason for my switch to the Miura VS: the VS, for reasons that are discussed in greater detail below, takes the mechanics of the Miura lace that made sport climbers embrace them, and ramped them up a few notches.
When it comes to the technical footwork that sport climbers demand, the Miura VS is the Ferrari of shoes: they stand on miserable little edges I can barely see. They’re at their best on technical, vertical terrain or mild-to-moderate overhangs. Crisp edges and small ripples are easy to stand on comfortably, and I’ve used them with great results at Shelf Road, Clear Creek Canyon, and even Eldorado Canyon on occasion. Super steep climbing would not shut these shoes down, but those who do very hard, very steep routes might benefit from a slightly more aggressive downturn.
These improvements of the VS, however, come at the expense of climbing cracks and smearing. If you love the Miura lace, this may or may not be a big problem, depending on why you loved the original Miura in the first place.
On to some technical details….