11 best Tenaya climbing shoes

Based on reviews from 61 experts and 216 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Tenaya climbing shoes. Updated Apr 2020.

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If you are looking for rock shoes that exude quality, performance, and comfort, Tenaya climbing shoes are your way to go. Their aggressive shoes feel like an extension of your foot, maximizing your abilities. Thanks to José Louis Gallego, the founder of Tenaya, climbers will be able to enjoy the sport through their high-performing products. With your new pair of Tenaya rock climbing shoes, you will be treated to a lasting and consistent outdoor performance. 

Features that make Tenaya rock climbing shoes excellent

Best Tenaya climbing shoes

Best Tenaya climbing shoes - November 2019

Tenaya rock climbing shoes are equipped with technologies that enable outdoorsy individuals to explore technical slabs and excel in tricky indoor gyms. Here are some of the features the brand engineers incorporate into their products to create reliable Tenaya rock shoes:

RB Range X Technology

This Tenaya technology is developed to create a dynamic response when climbing. It provides an ideal balance between performance and comfort that will allow you to enjoy climbing as a sport. It brings responsiveness in almost all types of terrain, leading to superior performance.

SXR Dynamics

The SXR Dynamics, also known as the Movement Adjusting System from Tenaya, enhances efficiency in climbing performance. It incorporates the design elements in the sole and structure of the shoe that increases the precision when climbing indoors or outdoors. Thanks to the SXR Dynamics, the foot is able to work optimally during sends. 

Draxtor

Draxtor is a patented lacing system from Tenaya that permits quick adjustment. It utilizes double-backed straps that help remove tension on the Velcro fastener while providing a precise and comfy fit. 

Vibram

Vibram is an Italian brand that is known for their sticky rubber formulation. A common compound used in Tenaya rock climbing shoes is the Vibram XS Grip that also comes in various thicknesses. It helps optimize climber’s performance by maximizing friction and durability. 

Tenaya rock climbing shoes sizing tips

Sizing your climbing shoes may be one of the most crucial decisions you will have to make. In the rock shoe industry, there is no fixed rule that you have to follow to get the best fit. It is always preferred to have a feel of them, explore different sizes and do your research. So, how do you decide on your Tenaya rock shoes? Listed below are some tips that can help you in your shoe hunt. 

  • If you browse the Tenaya website, you will see their sizing recommendation based on the model you are looking at. It will not be 100% accurate, but it is a good start at predicting your ideal Tenaya rock shoe size. 
  • According to Tenaya, their offerings barely stretch. That said, it makes their products easier to size. 
  • As a general recommendation, your Tenaya shoe should approximately be 0 to 0.5 sizes larger than your average European shoe size. On the other hand, it is 0.5 to 1 size smaller than your average US size. 

Other things to consider when sizing your Tenaya climbing shoes

Volume

Volume is how your feet consume the interior of a shoe. It has a huge effect on how your Tenaya rock shoe will fit you. It puts into consideration the width of the foot, the arch type and heel angle, to name a few.

Stiffness

This factor plays a role in your rock shoe selection. The stiffness of a shoe is affected by the materials used and how it is constructed. Usually, stiff kicks are the go-to shoes of beginner climbers as it offers optimal support and excellent edging strength. Tenaya rock climbing shoes are rated from one to five, with five being the stiffest shoe. 

Sensitivity

Sensitive Tenaya rock shoes are those that have thinner soles. This design permits wearers to feel more connected to the ground, making their every move more responsive. The less rubber their gears employ between the rock and their foot, the more they can feel every nubbin, knobs, and dimples on different types of terrain. 

Symmetry and downturn

The shape of your Tenaya rock climbing shoes will also affect the size that will suit you best. Their offerings range from neutral (flat) to aggressive (extremely downturned).

Caring for your rock climbing shoes from Tenaya

Once you have found the perfect Tenaya rock climbing shoes for you, it is best that you know how to take care of them. Here are some of the tips that you can use that will help extend the life of your shoes.

  • In between climbs, avoid walking barefoot as it can collect dirt. 
  • Before you set your foot on the next boulder problem, make sure that your pair of rock shoes are clean, especially the rubber (sole and rand). This will provide you with maximum friction on your ascents. 
  • When done for the day, hang your rock shoes on the pack (using the pull tabs at the back) instead of keeping it in a plastic bag. In doing so, the shoe will be able to breathe; thus, preventing odor development.
  • Clean the interior of your Tenaya rock climbing shoes using a damp cloth. It will help remove sweat and accumulated dirt.
  • Remove stains on the exterior by spot cleaning the affected area. Be careful not to saturate the area, to not compromise the integrity of the material.
  • You can also use deodorizing foot powders (do not put too much) that can help keep an odor-free environment.
  • Do not put your Tenaya rock climbing shoes under extreme temperatures. If drying, let them dry naturally. Exposing them to high heat may damage their integrity; thus, shortening their usable life.
  • If you want to extend the life of your rock climbing shoes, resoling is also a good option. You should keep in mind though, that if you plan to have your rock shoes resoled in the future, do not wait for the sole or the rand to be completely worn out. If you do, it will cost you a lot more. Replacing the rand is much more difficult than just replacing a portion of the sole. Resoling also takes time, which is affected by the cobbler’s availability and distance. With all that said, some climbers prefer to have another set of rock climbing shoes should they send their current pair to a cobbler. 

Frequently asked questions

What is the best Tenaya rock climbing shoes for me?

This question depends on your preference. Tenaya rock climbing shoes cater to a wide audience, both newbies and experts, thanks to their construction methods and materials. To help you decide, try to wear different models (those that you are likely to choose), so you get a feel of them. Their highly aggressive shoes work well in steep and technical climbs, giving you an excellent smearing and edging performance. Moreover, the brand has all-around shoes that work well in many types of terrain.

I ordered the wrong size of Tenaya rock climbing shoes. What is the return policy?

According to the company, returns and exchanges are accepted as long as the item to be returned is still in good condition, including all the tags that come with it. The request, however, must be within 30 days upon receipt.

To proceed with the return, ensure that all items are placed in the box along with a copy of the slip and a note explaining the reason for the return. If you want to exchange it for a different product, it will be helpful to include the size, color and style of the item you prefer. Should it be more expensive than the item you currently have, one of the brand’s representatives will contact you. Keep in mind that refunds will be processed within one week of receipt of the returned item. 

Are there vegan Tenaya rock climbing shoes?

Yes. Most Tenaya rock climbing shoes are vegan-friendly. According to the brand, a number of their offerings come with a synthetic upper and full cotton lining. 

Where can I buy rock climbing shoes from Tenaya?

For your information, Trango is the US distributor of Tenaya. In addition to that, you can also purchase Tenaya rock climbing shoes from various authorized retailers. 

Do Tenaya climbing shoes stretch?

Tenaya indicates that their rock shoes barely stretch at all. With this, it will be easier to determine what your ideal size should be.

How do I prevent my Tenaya rock shoes from developing a funky odor?

Before you can address this issue, it is important to know the reason why your rock shoes smell. Odor results from bacteria that thrive on sweat and dirt that build up in your shoe. This is the reason why it is important that you clean them after every use. Here are some tips that can help you prevent having smelly shoes:

  • Before climbing, make sure to wash your feet. Do not make it a habit to wear your shoes with dirty feet. As you already know, accumulated dirt and sweat usually cause unwanted odors.
  • After your climb, fully open the shoes and let them air out. 
  • If odor is already present,  spray the shoe’s interior with tea tree oil mixed with water.  Tea tree oil is effective against fungal infections and can help kill odor-inducing bacteria.

11 best Tenaya climbing shoes

  1. Tenaya Iati
  2. Tenaya Inti
  3. Tenaya Masai
  4. Tenaya Oasi
  5. Tenaya Oasi LV
  6. Tenaya Tanta
  7. Tenaya Tarifa
  8. Tenaya Tatanka
  9. Tenaya Ra
  10. Tenaya Mundaka
  11. Tenaya Mastia
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