Tenaya Rock Boots – A Quick Look

Tenaya is a small rock shoe manufacturing company based in Barcelona. The company was founded by Jose Gallego, a big wall climber based in Yosemite. Tenaya is actually the name of the valley that ‘El Capitan’ (the most famous big wall in the world) is in.

They have been making rock boots for over 15 years and have a fairly big following in Spain and several other European countries such as Italy, Switzerland, Germany and Austria. They even ship to places as far flung as Japan, India and New Zealand.

The Tenaya Masai

They make a small range of boots that should cover all the needs of any climber from beginner to world class athlete. Performance, comfort and quality of manufacture are foremost in the minds of the designers at Tenaya and as such you will be buying in to a great quality product that won’t let you down.

Sponsored athletes include the likes of Ramon Julian, Iker Pou and Josune Bereziartu – world champions and elite level climbers.

At present they don’t have a UK website but here is a link to the spanish one.  In the near future there will be a website in English with a bit of content from some of the England based sponsored climbers.

Taunton Leisure will be stocking two boots out of their range. The Masai and the Ra.

The Tenaya Masai:

The Masai is their best selling shoe and firmly placed as an all-round performance shoe. It’s made up of a synthetic “low” or “no” stretch outer and lined with a treated cotton to reduce stretch and smell.

The boot is soled with Vibram XS Grip rubber, the original one, not the XS Grip². This is no bad thing as this rubber while not quite as sticky as the new one easily makes up for it in its excellent durability.

The rand of the boot is fairly traditional in shape with just a small amount over the big toe. The quality of the rand appears to be good, grippy and slightly thicker than some other boot manufacturers.

So how about the fit?

The boot is relatively narrow and low volume. It has a less asymmetric, straighter shape than the Ra. The toe box is quite pointy to aid precision foot placement. The heel cup is quite narrow and shallow to eliminate dead space / movement.

On the sizing front I wear the Masai in a uk 9 which is about half a size smaller than I would wear a Five.Ten Anasazi Velcro or Verde. I wear a 43 in a Scarpa Vapour V or Force and 42.5 in a La Sportiva Katana. I generally size my boots for performance but not for a painfully tight fit.

What about the performance?

This boot is fairly flat across the sole so in theory it should be really good at slabby and vertical terrain. The sole is relatively supple even on first use and the pair I have been using for the last six months have softened a bit more but not to the detriment of edging power.

I have been using them up on Dartmoor for bouldering and routes and on the limestone down in Torbay; and at Chudleigh where they perform very well in all disciplines. The heel is an extremely secure fit and with the extra adjustability of a lace-up, you can really tighten the boot up nicely for extra security when heel hooking.

If I was to liken them to another boot that I have worn it would be the old Five.Ten Anasazi Pink; they are very similar in fit and performance, with the major differences being that they are a little softer initially and the heel cup actually fits me quite well as opposed to the old Anasazi.

These are definitely my “go to” boot for most of my climbing endeavours, they might struggle to have the performance of a down turned shoe on steep sport routes but for everything else they really work well for me and I will definitely be buying another pair when these have worn out.

They are also a really good price!

Size range starts at 6.5 UK and finishes at 11.5 UK

The Tenaya Ra:

I haven’t had chance to try the Ra outdoors yet, so I can’t give you too many details other than it is a slightly more asymetric shape with more of a down turned profile so it should be well suited to steep terrain.

They are still a slightly narrower fit than most of the boots we stock and even though I have a reasonably wide foot, they are still a great fit and super snug around the heel.

They have a larger area of rubber over the toe so will be better for toe hooks than the Masai. A Velcro closure makes getting them on and off easier and helps a lot if you want to purchase them tight for extra performance.

They seem to be a little roomier than the Masai so I think most people would size down half a size for the same fit. Size Range starts at 4 UK and finishes at 10.5 UK.

With their different fit to all the other models we keep, they are a great addition to our range and we think they are going to be a hit, so come in and try a few pairs on. All the staff at the stores are looking forward to seeing how popular these boots are going to be.

We look forward to seeing you soon.

Happy Climbing,

Nick B

Exeter Store.

3 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    These shoes are good not only for their value for money but also for their quality. I felt such comfort that I didn't expect such high performance. Awesome.

  2. Thanks for your feedback, 'Anonymous'.If you liked our article we'd ask you to click the +1 button as well as share on your social network of choice. We'd be hugely grateful! Kind Regards, Luke Taunton Leisure online

  3. Anonymous says:

    Great article – very informative. thanks.

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