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  • Tenaya - Masai Climbing Shoe - Yellow/Red

Tenaya Masai Climbing Shoe


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    16 Reviews


    A favorite of top European climbers, now available in the US.

    When a route requires you to stand on delicate smears, micro edges, and shallow pockets all in the same pitch, turn to the best-selling Tenaya Masai Climbing Shoe. The ideal blend of stiffness and sensitivity allows the shoe to confidently perform on a wide range of angles and hold types while the proven Vibram XS Grip rubber sticks to the most marginal of foot holds.

    • Microfiber upper with a TXT-treated cotton lining provides a snug fit with minimal stretch
    • Lace closure is secure and can be cinched down for a precise performance fit
    • 2D PLT 10 midsole provides an ideal blend of stiffness and sensitivity for performance on a wide range of angles and features
    • Subtle down turn and a moderate last shape deliver power to the toe for edging without compromising good sensitivity and rock feel
    • Vibram XS Grip rubber allows you to smear, edge, and heel-hook with confidence
    • Item #TNY0002

    Tech Specs

    Upper Material
    TXT-treated cotton
    2D PLT 10
    Vibram XS Grip
    Asymmetrical Curvature
    Claimed Weight
    (single, approx.) 6 oz
    Recommended Use
    sport climbing, trad climbing, bouldering
    Manufacturer Warranty
    1 year

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Great All Around

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: Runs small
    • Size Bought: 10.0
    • Height: 5'11"
    • Weight: 153lbs

    I have used this shoe for several months now and love the shoe for edging and slabby stuff. There are some concerns with bouldery problems though.

    - Great edging and grip on slabs
    - Good fit
    - They look great (best shoe at the crag!)
    - Good feel for holds while not sacrificing shoe integrity

    - The heel stretches as the shoe lifes I have had the shoe twist on heel hooks
    - The sole is thin and wears more quickly than other shoes I have owned

    Boulder: 6/10 - No surprise here as it's not a super aggressive shoe
    Sport: 8/10 - weakness being the build of the shoe and questions about life
    Value: Definitely worth the price, especially if you get these on sale

    Good for everything but...

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: True to size

    Awesome shoe. Check it out.

    I got these for sports routes outside and in the gym. I'd been waiting for my old pair to die so I had a reason to try Tenaya, for the first time. So, I was really excited to finally give these a try. They have totally lived up to the hype, thus far.

    They are really comfortable, after about one day, which is practically right out of the box. I sized a half size down from my hiking boot size, which is men's size 7.5. The size 7.0 size is performing well, and I am still able to wear them comfortably for long routes. For multipitch trad, I would get these in a 7.5, which is my street shoe size, according to this size chart.

    These have good sensitivity, while still providing a solid platform for edging and toeing. The toe box is a bit bigger, like 5.10's. But, I don't have an issue with it. If it's laced properly, the heel hook will send.

    These boulder very well, in the gym. But, outside bouldering, though, I don't recommend unless the feet on the rock are big. On granite or tiny feet, you won't get the platform and shape you need. You can do it, but not well. Get a bouldering specific shoe. It's worth the money to have two styles, if you really want to send it. This photo of me below, is outside. I did send the problem, but it was a lot easier in my bouldering shoe.

    Good for everything but...

    Great toes, baggy heel

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: US11.5
    • Height: 6'2"
    • Weight: 180lbs

    I have asymmetric foot shape (big toe about the same length as the second toe), and slightly wide. The front part of the shoe fits great. All the praises about its edging ability is correct. My toes are together and powerful, there is no dead space at the front. It is also comfortable, I can wear them for 2 hours before my left foot start to get a little sore around the big toe. I think it stretches about 1/4 to 1/2 size.

    The problem for me is the heel shape; there is a large air pocket on both sides of my heel which hinders heel hooking ability. I consider my heels pretty normal, but this shoe is designed for those with large calcaneal protrusion (fat heels).

    The material doesn't breathe well so I often have sweaty feet, which is something I have not experienced in other shoes (Scarpa Thunder, Evolv Astroman and Shaman). Initially the heel band (the rubber rand that pushes just below the Achilles tendon) was a little tight, but it is now okay after about 2 months of climbing 2-3 times a week.

    Sizing: after wearing it for several months, 11.5 is good, which is also my street shoe size. I can probably fit into a 11 but do not want the pain. My other shoes sizes are: Scarpa Thunder and Evolv Shaman US12, Astroman US13.

    Great edging, sensitivity, and comfort

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: Runs small

    The Masai is a great shoe that shines in near vertical and slightly overhanging terrain. It provides great edging and sensitivity in the toe but also good stiffness. Some other high performance shoes have only one or the other. When sized comfortably for my foot, the heel has some room to move around but rand on the achilles keeps the foot locked in so it hasn't affected performance for me. I have 2 pairs now and resoled one with C4. Recommended.

    That said, for hard bouldering, significantly overhanging routes, and cracks I would choose another shoe.

    A note on sizing: Given some online recommendations I first bought these in a half size smaller than street size and they were unbearably painful to wear outside. To get my toes in a slightly curled position I sized 1 full size larger than my street size. This gives me a comfortable fit appropriate for performance and multi-pitch trad.

    All tools have their specific uses

    • Familiarity: I've used it several times
    • Fit: Runs small
    • Size Bought: 9
    • Height: 5'8"
    • Weight: 160lbs

    These are narrow profile shoes with soft sole and flexed forefoot (which allows for good smearing). Medium asymmetrical allowing for good edging.

    I like these shoes for specific usage; they hold edges really well. Dime sized edges at that.

    My climbing is a mix of bouldering (40%) and rest is mostly slabby long or multi-pitches, which is largely friction climbing and some edging.

    My street size is US 9.5, I wear 41.5 in la sportiva solution, 40.5 in Mythos and 41.5 in la sportiva tc pro. So I ordered size 9 Masai. At this size, the toe is bent, very slightly though. Good enough for bouldering and single pitch slabs or overhanging routes. they are extremely uncomfortable on the longer climbs or for extended use, once the feet swell up.

    The problem is also that the heel box is too narrow for my heel, and I am afraid, if I size up, the shoes may be too big.

    I suspect the Masai were designed by a woman for women. The whole shoe is narrow, toe box to heel box and the ankle sits high in these shoes.

    I really want to like them, but with my current fit they are good only for bouldering and single pitch overhanging routes.

    Masai make my feet sigh (with relief)!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 8.0
    • Height: 5'7"
    • Weight: 145lbs

    There’s nothing like the feeling of walking into the gym and seeing fresh routes. Especially ones that challenge. I have been climbing in a pair of La Sportiva Futuras for almost a year, but when it came time to replace the No Edge sole, I shipped them off to" Rock and Resol"e and pulled out my trusty ol’ TC Pros. Coincidentally, I switched from bouldering to top-rope, but still wrestle some pebbles, when my climbing partner isn’t around. In other words, I am climbing about 90% on the rope, and 10% on the boulders. I like the dime edges, the crimps, and the overhangs, but climbing my favorite features reminded me why I went with Futuras: my TC Pro toes kept slipping, and trying to crank down on 4 mm of rubber caused my feet to cramp up. Since I like the No Edge platform, and La Sportiva seem to fit my Morton’s toe, I thought the Genius would be the best mix between the TC Pro and the Futura.

    Enter my new personal gearhead, Emily Jenson. She suggested I look away from Italy and toward Iberia with the Tenaya Masai. I put my trust in Emily, and she turned me into Cinderella, floating in the ballroom.

    Which takes me back to the beginning of this diatribe. I walked into the gym the other day with my week-old Masai. A 5.10d with volumes, crimps, hooks, smears, and stems stretched 30 feet to the roof. Now I’m no pro – I typically work out on 5.10b’s and c’s, with the occasional 5.10d or 5.11a. If any route was going to test these Tenayas, it would be the one I was on, this morning. I’m happy to report they performed well, and as I touched the tape on the finishing mark, I knew it was the shoes. So thank you, Emily, for your sage advice. You’re the real Genius here.

    Masai are down-turned enough to hook into overhangs, but stiff enough to edge well on the dimes. They’re also sensitive enough to feel the holds and perfect that silent feet technique. My toes took about a week to acclimatize to the new toe boxes, but once they did, they are comfortable enough that I can keep them on through climbs and belays in a one-hour session. The material is soft, yet resilient. The yellow does stain easily, but I appreciated that since I don’t want to call out I’m wearing bright yellow bananas on my feet from across the gym. I climb mostly indoors, and these shoes have yet to kiss real rock. However, I have no doubt they'll grip the granite as well as they pull the plastic.

    I have noticed my heel hooking is much improved over other shoes. The narrow profile and heel cup conform well to my feet with no dead space and no foot fart sounds. Also, I am able to use my big toe better than I have with La Sportiva shoes. The Masai seem to drive power down toward my toes without compromising fit or getting sloppy.

    The tongue is a comfy neoprene, and the lining makes the shoes soft and supple on the inside. My feet seem to breathe well, and I have not felt them overheat. While the TC Pros feel as nice as $180 shoes should, the plasticky tongue is a real pain that these Masai avoid. These shoes really feel fit like socks on my feet.

    It’s amazing what a difference a slightly different last makes. Looking at overhead pics of Futuras, TC Pros, and Masai, it's all about foot symmetry. My big and second toes are much more prominent than my other toes, which shorten in length considerably. The joint at the base of my big toe and head of the foot is not prominent, and it is fairly straight from big toe to heel. In other words, my foot symmetry closely matches the asymmetry of the Masai and the Futuras, rather than the TC Pros, which probably explains the difference in fit and performance! So take a good look at your foot profile and the shoe symmetry to see what shoe last will make your feet last. On the wall, that is.

    I wear 41 in street shoes, 8.5 in Adidas Sambas, 41 in Scarpa Crux approach shoes, 40.5 in TC Pros, and 39.5 in Futuras. I tried on 7.0, 7.5, and 8.0 in Masai, and felt the 8.0 fit the best. Inside the shoe they list 40¾ as the equivalent European size.

    Teddy Joe,

    Thank you for your thorough review and for the run read! It was a pleasure getting to know you and I am so happy we found a shoe that performs well in all conditions, and fits your foot. What perfection!

    The Tatanka's are built specifically for Morton's Toe, so if you decide to get a more aggressive sport and bouldering specific shoe, try that one first.

    Happy Sending!

    Awesome all rounder

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size
    • Size Bought: 44

    I got this shoe for a 22-pitch 5.11 behemoth. I've also bouldered quite a bit in these shoes. My impressions: This shoe is super sweet for slabby stuff, does alright on steep terrain, and is probably a really good crack shoe if you size it large enough (unlike me). Just two things for thought, the toe kinda points up, I'm not sure what the purpose of that is, but it keeps me from being really confident on steep stuff. Second thing, these shoes were comfy enough for me to wear for a 10-hour climb after only a week of climbing in them, but the back of the shoe has a habit of rubbing on my Achilles tendon and making it really really tender when it's warmer outside, so be aware that it's a possibility. Overall though, I love these shoes!

    Wizard shoes!

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: Runs small
    • Size Bought: US 10
    • Height: 5'10"
    • Weight: 148lbs

    These shoes are phenomenal. That's all I can really say. In fact, I'm going to repeat my previous statement because of how good they are. These shoes... are phenomenal.

    I didn't think it was possible to find a pair of shoes that was comfortable and so high performing. Where it's dime-edging on a face-climbing, gingerly pasting your way up a technical dihedral, dancing or grunting your way up cracks of varying size or even ridge-riding in the alpine, these shoes do it all.

    I got a US Size 10 initially, and while they worked, I was eventually able to size down to 8.5 for cragging/single pitch shoe, and 9.0 for an all-day/multi-pitch shoe. These shoes do not stretch that much, so size 'em down as small as possible when you first get a pair.

    I'm a size 9.0 in Five Ten (Anasazi VCS, Blancos) if that helps determine sizing.

    EDIT: 2 years later.

    I've been rocking the Masai's for 2ish seasons and they are my go-to shoes now for serious Tech-9 granite face-climbing routes here in the PNW Cascades. The heel cup is baggy on very aggressive heel hooks. That is the only detriment of wearing these shoes.

    One thing I'd like to mention is that the canvas is not the most durable so any form of crack-climbing involving foot jamming will ruin the shoe over time. Otherwise, amazing shoe with highly sensitive rubber.

    Just a dash of stoke in the alpine

    Rapping off of the North Early Winter Spire in the North Cascades after sending the West Face. These shoes were phenomenal when it came to all that the W Face had to offer. Cracks, slabs, faces? These shoes do 'em all while still remaining comfortable and stylish.

    Just a dash of stoke in the alpine

    My next purchase

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: Runs large

    First off I am syched out of my mind to buy this shoe. I tried them on and they are comfy! The heel is fairly shallow compared to most shoes, I cant wear most fivetens cause their heels are too deep so I loved that this heel fit me! The rest of the shoe is awesome! Roomy enough to be comfy but not too much so it loses performance. The laces are good for a nice custom fit. The sole of the shoe is medium stiff so its a good all around shoe. I wear a 8 in anastazi vcs a 8.5 in teams and a 8.5 in evolvs new slipper and 7.5 in the python but I wore a 7 in the masai, so there is a wide range for sizing options. The 7's were tight but comfy I probably could go another half size smaller if I wanted to get crazy but 7s felt good and I usually like my shoes tight.

    Rises to the challenge.

      I've had the Masai's for half a year now and can honestly say that they equal or surpass other shoes in all aspects. As others have said, the edging power of these shoes is crazy. That, combined with the excellent comfort and durability, make Tenaya my new go-to brand.

      Master of Sport!

        This is the best shoe for all around use out there! It has the comfort of an entry level shoe. This means long pitches and days at the gym working boulder problems are no problem for the Masai's wearability. They preform great in cracks. I spent a day doing easy trad and sport pitches on North Table Mountain in Golden, CO, and I discovered that these excel at jamming in all sizes of cracks. They are also good at edging. I mean, unless I am at a 60 degree incline (in which case I prefer my Blackwings), these are truly amazing for edging. The price tag is also reasonable. Wait, didi I just say it? Did I say that I found a shoe that excels at both cracks and edges while maintaining entry level comfort and a relatively small price tag? Yes I did. The paradox has been broken!

        Technical Masters

          The Masai is my go-to shoe for long route when I need comfort and support without sacrificing too much precision. I worn these for a summer of sampling some of the best granite in North America: Grand Tetons, Index, Squamish, and the Bugaboos. They are stiff enough to keep my feet from wearing down over hundreds, even thousands, of feet of climbing, yet sensitive enough to smear up stemming corners and glassy slabs. Even sizing them for a bit of comfort, I was able to climb hard granite pitches (up to 12+) with confidence in my feet.

          Edging MASTER

          • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

          These things stand on dime edges like no other shoe I have worn. They're on the stiff side of things, but definitely not crazy stiff. I think what makes them so good at edging is that they don't have ANY slop. There is none of the typical feeling that the shoe is kinda rolling around your foot a few milimeters when you have to really stand on an edge. They have a pretty narrow fit, but even my average width feet felt comfy in them. If you have a low volume foot, these would definitely be a good fit.

          Unanswered Question

          I have a longer second toe, so in most shoes it’s tough to down size at all while maintaining comfort, as my second toe gets destroyed haha. I’m wondering if this is the shoe you would recommend for my foot shape. I have tried on my street size and a half size down. While both are comfortable, the smaller size curls my second toe. My concern with this is comfort during crack climbing, otherwise I don’t think it will bother me. What are your suggestions?

          So I wear a 8.5 in moccasyms (my first shoes) and am wondering how these fare on slabs? I have been doing some slab climbing and the moccasyms have understandably not been the best edging, so I am trying to get a shoe that would complement the moccasyms.

          Best Answer

          The Masai is meant to be a greatly versatile shoe. It should smear as well as it edges and heel hooks, which is pretty solid.

          If I can help answer any other questions, or help you find the right size, feel free to contact me up, directly.

          Emily Jenson

          Expert Gearhead


          I am a street shoe 10.5. what size tenaya masaifor the best fit? Do they run small,big or true to street size? Thanks

          It really depends on your tightness preference, but here are some tips. I wear an 11 street shoe and a 9 is the smallest performance size i can fit into, but for comfort while multipitching I go up to a 10. A 10.5 works, but that's when i start to notice the decrease in performance. In any case, they come highly recommended!

          Sizing Question... Ive been trying on...

          Sizing Question...

          Ive been trying on shoes trying to get an idea of size to order a pair of Tenaya's

          La sportva Mythos - 41.5

          La sportva Mirva - 42

          5.10 Anasazi Verde - 9.5 (couldn?t get the dragons on at that size though?)

          What size would you say?

          My regular sizing: US Street 9.5

          La Sportiva Mythos 41

          La SPortiva Solutions 41 or 41.5 (bouldering versus longer sport climbs)

          While Masai is US 9. But my use for Masai is on long slabby climbs, where comfort is critical.

          How much do these stretch over time? I...

          How much do these stretch over time? I wear a size 12.5-13 street shoe. What size should I get for a comfy all-day multipitch fit?