Verdict from 9 experts and 25 user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Based on many pro reviews, the Tenaya Masai is one of the most comfortable shoes for climbing.
  • It renders outstanding edging performance, especially on slabs, according to a couple of testers.
  • Some critics mention that the Masai feels very well balanced in terms of comfort and performance.
  • The virtually zero break-in period of this Tenaya rock shoe is a delight to a considerable number of owners.
  • Its sensitivity earns the approval of a lot of users. They add that it smears well. 
  • Several wearers declare that the Masai from Tenaya handles different types of terrain excellently. 
  • A reviewer finds its no-stretch upper quite pleasing. 
  • Plenty of narrow-footed climbers appreciate its superb fit.

2 reasons not to buy

  • Its rubber becomes less sticky after a few months of use, a verified purchaser claims.
  • The Masai from Tenaya has a poor heel-hooking ability, a product tester says.

Bottom line

Climbers looking for a do-it-all shoe may find the Tenaya Masai fascinating. It handles various types of terrain confidently, feels well balanced, and renders ground sensitivity. It is also warmly received for its readiness out of the box and edging performance.

Despite these positive points, it has still earned a couple of drawbacks. Everything considered, the Tenaya Masai is a likable pair of rock climbing shoes.

Tip: see the best climbing shoes.

Good to know

-The Tenaya Masai belongs to the Balance Pro Line that aims to provide high performance when sport climbing on light projects and overhangs. It offers a comfortable feel, thanks to its synthetic upper with a TXT-treated cotton lining. 

-A TST multi-layer stretch tex insole sits atop its medium-stiff midsole to create a balance between comfort and support. It has a Vibram rubber outsole that bites into the tiny nubbins and footholds. 

-The brand’s very own SXR Dynamics system is also incorporated in the Masai. Taking into consideration the shoe’s design elements and overall structure, it gives wearers responsiveness and precision.

Downturn. The Tenaya Masai has a moderate downturn. This slight curvature allows climbers to succeed in every send, regardless of the terrain type.

Applications. This all-around Tenaya rock shoe is ideal for multi-pitch trad routes. It is designed to work in extreme bouldering, sport, and trad climbing.

This Tenaya offering is a unisex rock climbing shoe. It has a lace-up closure that helps in fit customization. 

Masai is shaped using a narrower and more asymmetrical last. Its heel has a low volume that yields a snug fit at the rearfoot. Additionally, the shoe’s lining will keep stretch at a minimum.

Midsole. Featuring a 2D PLT 10 midsole, Tenaya’s Masai renders underfoot support and comfort. It is topped with a TST multi-layer Stretchtex insole, enhancing performance. 

Tenaya equipped this climbing gear with its very own SXR Dynamics. This feature makes the shoe more responsive. It also helps enhance power and precision. 

Outsole. Tenaya Masai uses a Vibram XS Grip outsole. Its 4 mm-thickness renders ground adherence on various rock surfaces. It is configured to work in both warm and cold temperatures

The upper of this vegan-friendly rock climbing shoe is made of microfiber and its interior is lined with TXT-treated cotton. Together, this combination of materials helps promote comfort. A sturdy rubber rand wraps the base of the upper, rendering a more durable look.

The gear’s closure system employs a round lace that passes through nine sets of punched eyelets. The pull tabs placed at the back of the shoe assists in a convenient on and off.

The Masai and Oasi are shoes built by Tenaya for different climbing disciplines. Shown below are some of the characteristics that set these two Tenaya offerings apart.

Downturn. The Tenaya Oasi sports an aggressive downturn. This kind of shoe shape grants precision for senders who wish to gain a secure foothold on tiny nubbins and microedges. On the other hand, the Masai’s moderate downturn offers optimum performance without sacrificing comfort.

Application. Tenaya designed the Oasi as a rock climbing shoe for vertical and overhanging routes. It can also be used for bouldering sessions. Meanwhile, the Masai is an all-rounder that can be used for trad, sport, and bouldering climbs.

Upper. Both the Oasi and the Masai feature a vegan-friendly microfiber upper with a TXT-treated cotton lining to limit stretch and create a comfortable in-shoe environment.

Midsole. Both the Oasi and the Masai are equipped with a TST multi-layer Stretchtex insole for added comfort underfoot. The former, however, features a midsole made of GI 1.8 and TST 150 while the latter features a 2D PLT 10 midsole.

Outsole. While the two rock shoes are equipped with a Vibram XS Grip outsole, when it comes to thickness, the Masai wins by 0.5mm. Both provide friction on virtually all types of rock surfaces. The Masai, however, is engineered to work on both warm and cold temperatures.


How Tenaya Masai ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 27% moderate climbing shoes
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Top 30% Tenaya climbing shoes
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Top 15% indoor climbing shoes
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The current trend of Tenaya Masai.
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