Gear review: The Tenaya Ra

Tenaya is a Spanish brand that gained a bit more traction in the last few years, but is still relatively unknown amongst climbers. There are very few shops that actually sell Tenayas which makes it really hard to get your hands on them. However, for climbers who’ve only tried the likes of 5.10, Sportiva or Scarpa so far I’d strongly advice to at least try Tenaya shoes on if you see them. They are worth it!

Tenaya is just somehow special. I’ve owned the Oasi before and I was impressed by its performance, but I fell in love with its comfiness. The Ra is no different. Unlike the Oasi, the Ra has only a very moderate downturn. It actually appears almost flat when you’re wearing it. It’s also a bit stiffer than the Oasi which makes for a great shoe on vertical face climbs. As I said before, the Ra is incredibly comfortable. It features a split tongue made from a thick, cushiony fabric that feels great on your feet. Two orange velcros make shure that you don’t slip out of the shoe and they do their job just fine.

The shoe fits my feet perfectly, I have no dead spaces anywhere and the heel sits really snug. The fabric on the toe box is some leather like synthetic which feels good on your skin and stretches around your toes. It contributes to the overall comfiness of the shoe. Your feet just feel amazing in them!

You might be wondering how the shoe is doing on the performance site of things, because comfiness was not really the thing you were looking for. I can tell you that the shoe performs very well on a wide range of terrain. As stated above, the shoe excels on small edges and the stiffness of the sole gives your toes a good support. The Vibram XSGrip rubber is very sticky and I never had problems slipping off of footholds. The durability of the sole also seems pretty good and I haven’t detected any excessive amount of wear. The Ra does not only perform well on edges its also quite good on slopier footholds and you can even climb slabs in them. The only area where the Ra wouldn’t be my first choice right now is on steep overhangs where you have to pull yourself in with your feet. It’s not that you couldn’t do that wearing the Ra, it’s just that there are better shoes for that. For most of the routes I try though, the Ra is the right choice and I find myself opting for this shoe a lot lately.

To conclude, I’d really like to highlight again how comfy the Ra is (or all Tenaya shoes for that matter), it climbs great out of the box and you can say goodbye to hurtful points of pressure and aching feet. At the moment, I like the Ra more than all my other climbing shoes and I just love how it performs on technical face climbs. If you’re looking for a precise shoe that supports you well on small edges and if you’re tired of performance shoes that hurt your feet a lot, I’d take a look at the Tenaya Ra. If you can’t find Tenayas in your local climbing shop and have to place an order online, I’d say you should size them about the same as your La Sportivas. I wear an EU 47 in street shoes and a 44 1/2 in the Tenaya Ra. That’s a very comfortable fit and I could size down a little more. For comparison: I wear a 44 1/2 in Katana Laces and a 43 in Solutions. The comfy fit on the Ra is ideal for me (they are still performance sized), but I’d opt for a smaller size on something like the Oasi.


One thought on “Gear review: The Tenaya Ra

  1. Pingback: I’m a shoe addict! | toclimb8a

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