La Sportiva Miura ReviewMarch 24, 2014
- Excels on all angles and rock types
- Comfortable fit
- Unique lacing system that is exceptionally easy to tie and untie
- Angled, low-profile toe box great for cracks, and all types of edging and face climbing
- Long break-in period
- Laces can blow out early
For sport, trad, big walls — good luck finding a better-fitting, better-performing do-it-all-well shoe. Just expect a long break-in period in which the shoe feels too stiff and clunky.
The La Sportiva Miura, aka the “Bananas,” is a perennial favorite among climbers, so much so that if Sportiva ever stopped producing them, their Chiquita-brand colors would have to have to be retired in some kind of climbing shoe hall of fame. I’ve been through numerous pairs of the Miura, and they’ve been with me on everything from sport to trad, boulders to big-wall. I have a hard time imagining a better-fitting, better-performing do-it-all-well shoe.
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.
The lacing system on the Miura is an ingenious and unique system that allows these shoes to be easily cinched down or opened up. Just pull the laces from the ends and the whole shoe cinches down around your foot—no needling through each criss-cross. However, the laces also tend to blow out early. Expect to replace the shoe laces before you have to get your Bananas resoled.
This is a shoe that can be sized super tight for bouldering and sport-climbing, or loose for all-day wear. True Miura aficionados may own two or three pairs in an array of sizes for that reason.
Expect the Miura to stretch a half size.
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 and 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.
The low-profile toe box really comes into play for pockets, especially once the shoe is fully broken in and softens up.
The heel cup has a suction fit—no air pockets or dead space at all. It’s comfortable and my heel never slipped out of the shoe, even on the most demanding heel hooks. Toe hooking is adequate for all but extreme situations.
If I see a fearsome, hard-to-protect lieback corner crack, this is one of the first shoes that I would want to wear. The chiseled toe box adds a lot of security to your inner foot when foot-jamming in those situations. The shoe has great torsional stiffness for straight-in hand cracks, and there is enough sensitivity for finger cracks.
With a leather upper and a dentex lining, the Miura is extremely comfortable. The Miura doesn’t breathe super well—all-day wear will result in a sweaty foot. The slingshot rand cups all parts of your foot comfortably, with no hot spots and a perfect fit.
The Miura lasts a long time for a climbing shoe, so long as you don’t mind buying new shoe laces for it.