When I climb in the gym, my habit is to boulder most of the time, and I do not take off my shoes (speaking of idiosyncrasies). This is mostly because I am too impatient to take them off and on all the time, though I also wonder if the guy next to me will think my feet smell like vinegar, and I hate how, because they were sweaty, they feel all cold and clammy when I put them back on. I am in my shoes 4-5 days a week, and, eventually, yes, they do smell a little, but nothing out of the ordinary….(I promise, I am pointing this out for a reason.)
It has been my experience that when a shoe heats up, whether from wearing it constantly (like I tend to) or even from just plain old hot weather, some shoes lose their integrity in the toe and through the arch, compromising the performance. This means that edging and staying on small footholds becomes markedly more problematic than usual. With the Women’s Miura VS, however, this is not the case. I should say that the lace-up was good in this respect, but the VS is even better.
A possible explanation for the VS’s awesomness in this respect may be Sportiva’s use of the “P3” technology (short for Permanent Power Platform) in the VS but not the lace. P3’s purpose is to help maintain the integrity of the shoe’s shape throughout the life of the shoe, but I think the P3 can also account for good performance during individual sessions. I suspect this might also be why I can wear the shoe way too long in a given session and they manage to remain stable and supportive without being painfully rigid like my fourth grade teacher.
A quick note of direct comparison between the two shoes: a sizing difference, as well as a price gap of ten dollars. If you are considering the switch from the lace to the VS, or vice versa, I found that the lace-ups seem to fit half a size bigger than the VS. I wore a 35 in the lace-ups while I wear a 34.5 in the VS.
As I pointed out earlier, there are some differences in the way that the two shoes are built (namely the more comprehensive Lapsoflex technology and the addition of the P3 system), and despite the fact that both shoes carry the name Miura, it is normal to expect some small variations in things like fit when there are variations in the technology of the shoe. The differences in technology may also account for the price difference. Women’s Miura: $160; Women’s Miura VS: recent jump to $170.
When I climb outside, I take my shoes off to protect the rubber from the dirt, not because they hurt. I like performance fit in my shoes, but I do not buy into the notion that shoes must hurt to do their job well. Performance fit does not have to mean toenail loss and the distraction of painful toes when climbing. Just like any good piece of gear, my opinion is we shouldn’t even know it’s there when we are in action. I should have the freedom to make a difficult move without thoughts about what I’m wearing on my feet.