Tenaya Tatanka Review

Tenaya is a Spanish shoe company that has been around since 1997. They pride themselves on making high performance climbing footwear, with a focus on comfort, which of course is all the rage in the shoe industry these days. Starting in 2013, they are being distributed in the US for the first time through Trango, with four models currently available in the States. I got a pair of the Tatanka’s back in March, and they quickly became my favorite all around shoe this past spring.

Upon slipping them on, they felt immediately comfortable. There were no hot spots that required breaking in, and they were good to go right out of the box. The synthetic leather stretches in the right spots while climbing, but doesn’t stretch out, meaning the shoe holds its shape over the course of its useful lifetime.

On slabs, the Vibram XS Grip rubber sticks like it’s supposed to, and offers purchase even when you don’t think your foot should stay. Smearing is also easy with these shoes, and I’m not one who is usually comfortable without putting my foot on a “real” hold.

The aggressive toe profile means you can really get purchase in any kind of pocket and allows you to pull with your feet when the terrain gets steeper. I’ve also comfortably climbed cracks with them, and the combination of comfort and performance has me choosing these shoes for almost anything I’ve been out climbing recently.

The only drawback I’ve found with these shoes is that they don’t edge particularly well once the holds get small. The shoe is soft enough that it tends to roll off of edges, meaning you have to “smedge” more than edge, which I typically find to feel less secure than a shoe that has more of a bite.

Regardless, this is a great shoe that excels at a wide variety of climbing. If you are primarily climbing steep edges you might want to check out the Masai instead, but for everything else, these are hard to beat.

Sizing Notes: I wear a size 12 street shoe, 43 in Sportiva’s, and 12’s in Five Tens. I got these in 44/10.5, which seems perfect. I could probably go down a half size if I really wanted to.

Retail is $150. For more information, check out the Trango website.

Disclaimer: Wait! Before you go handing over your credit card number, ask yourself, do you really need to buy more new stuff? If so, this product is worth a look. In the spirit of full disclosure, this product was provided to SplitterChoss.com for the purpose of reviewing. Don’t worry, though, our integrity can’t be bought!

5 Responses to Tenaya Tatanka Review

  1. Good to know, I just started getting into climbing and have been trying to learn all I can about shoes. Thanks.

    Tom July 16, 2013 at 4:56 pm
  2. Have you climbed in the Masai? They seem to be getting some very good reviews, like a Anasazi with a better heel is what I’ve read.

    Justin July 17, 2013 at 3:44 pm
    • I haven’t, but have also heard good things.

      BJ Sbarra July 18, 2013 at 10:29 am
  3. I second both the Tatanka and the Masai – both very versatile and very comfortable! Your review was right in line with what I’ve found from the Tatanka as well, and I also agree that for technical edging, the Masai’s can’t be beat.

    Cragmama July 22, 2013 at 5:20 pm
  4. heard good things about Tenaya, now to find some in China 😛

    YangshuoClimber July 31, 2013 at 9:40 pm
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