Cragmama "Not all who wander are lost…" JRR Tolkien

The NEW Tenaya Oasi: Comfort + Performance = Climbing Shoe Perfection!


It’s been almost a year to the date that I traded in my La Sportiva Miuras for a whole fleet of Tenayas – Tatanka for overhanging terrain, Masai for technical edging, and Ra for everything in between.  To be honest, I’ve never looked back.  My experience with the product as well as the company has been nothing but top-notch, so I’m thrilled that Tenaya is adding yet another great shoe to their line-up!  

At this point I’ve done a wide variety of demo’s – at the New, at the Red, and at various climbing gyms across the Southeast.  And by far the most common question I get is this: “Why doesn’t Tenaya have a more aggressive, down-turned option?”  My response in the past has always been to steer those folks in the direction of the Tatanka – it provides me with plenty of power and precision through both heel and toe on steep rock, and for me personally, is the best-fitting shoe I’ve ever had.  

But I know a lot of folks very much prefer a more down-cambered shoe, especially for getting horizontal on boulder problems and cranking out over steep, pocketed roofs.  So the next time I get posed that same question, I’ll have just the shoe to put in that person’s hands – the Tenaya Oasi!  

What Tenaya Says:  The Oasi will radically change how you think about down-turned shoes.  It’s down-turn and down-camber are ideally suited for steep climbs, but you will immediately notice the edging and smearing performance as well – a true distinction.

What Cragmama Says:  I’ve always shied away from severely down-turned shoes because the fit is always so unnatural…but the Oasi’s are so comfortable I can keep them on during my entire gym session without sore toes.  Plenty of support underneath the forefoot allows for a very powerful toe without making my toes feel crunched up.  The heel cup fits very snug and comes up higher than my other shoes, but without digging in at the back of my heel.  There is rubber almost all the way to the back loop, leaving nothing to blame but technique if you fall out of a heel hook!  


Note:  While the Oasi’s edge and smear very well for a down-turned shoe, they still probably aren’t the best shoe for a low-angled, Stone Mountain friction-fest.  In the (paraphrased) words of Clint Eastwood:  “A shoe’s got to know it’s limitations.”  However, if your Oasi’s turn over the lip of a roof only to find 15 feet of dime edges between you and the anchors, they’ll certainly know what to do!

Sizing:  Like all Tenayas, the Oasi’s are synthetic and will not stretch – aside from some conforming to the shape of your foot, the fit you have in the store is the fit you’ll have on the rock…even 6 months later.  It’s definitely worth noting that the sizing on the Oasi’s seems to run bigger than the rest of the Tenaya line.  For example, a performance fit for me in Ra is a 5, whereas my new Oasi’s are a 4.5 (and to be honest could probably even go a half size smaller if I wanted them really tight!)

I am now more than ever convinced that Tenaya offers the best collection of climbing shoes on the market (and the fact that my shoes were free has no bearing on that statement, as this review, like always, expresses my honest, unbiased opinions).  The addition of the Oasi to the Tenaya line-up is the final piece to their climbing shoe puzzle.  So if you’re looking for some new rubber for upcoming fall projects, give these shoes a try!  You can order them directly from Trango, or if you’re a Charlotte local, you can try before you buy at Inner Peaks.  Since these babies just officially became available a week ago, I can’t offer any sort of discount…but I CAN offer a Tenaya t-shirt to one randomly selected reader!  All you have to do is leave a thought about climbing shoes in the comments section below – what’s your go-to shoe on the steeps?  How many shoes do you typically carry in to the crag?  Do you stick with one favorite brand of shoe or do you have a hodge podge?  And for anyone that’s had a chance to take their Oasi for a test spin, please chime in as well!  T-shirt winner will be announced on Friday, September 13th, so best of luck!


16 Responses to “The NEW Tenaya Oasi: Comfort + Performance = Climbing Shoe Perfection!”

  1. Josh

    I thought the Oasi were really comfortable and I liked them as soon as I tried them on. My only hang up with them was the stub of rubber at the tip of the toe. It seems to preclude being able to edge exactly on a point. Have you noticed this? Does it end up working well on rock?


    • Erica

      Josh – I haven’t really used my Osai in the gym much, but on real rock, I have had zero issues with edging. I will say that when I first started using them I was a little hesitant to trust them on technical sections of climbing – they didn’t “feel” as secure as I was wanting them to. But eventually I figured out that they are completely trustworthy – while they may not feel as solid on a dime edge as my Masai, I’ve not once had a foot pop off an edge or a smear, so they definitely are doing their job! Hope that helps…Thanks for commenting, and I’m glad you find them as comfortable as I do!

  2. I absolutely love my low-volume Shamans. They fit my foot super well but do stretch despite being synthetic. In general I like la sportiva better than evolve though because their shoes hold up better and don’t smell as bad, which my parents appreciate 🙂


  3. I am a La Sportiva girl myself…my Cliffs are my trad shoe, either Cliffs or Katana lace up for gym or slight overhanging pitches or bouldering, and Solution when I am really pushing it. I am enchanted by the notion of a comfortable slightly down turned shoe with a narrow heel (my only complaint of La Sportiva) so will have to check out these Tenayas you rave about!


  4. Sarah

    I have the Cadillac. La sportive mythos. Lol. I’ve had them for years and they’ve maybe stretched out from climbing with big fat pregnant feet? I’m not sure. Maybe my technique is getting better and my grade is starting to need more aggressive shoes (ha! Not!).
    Whatever it is, I’m sort of on the hunt for a more a more aggressive pair. Quietly. Sneakily. Because the mythos are the most expensive shoes I’ve ever bought and I think, gosh shoes aren’t really going to help me that much. <<<truth.
    But yeah, I'm goi to keep these in mind when I think about upgrading the caddy. Maybe it's like needing a caddy with a hemi? 😉


  5. Скальники просто супер очень долго ждал из зи границы,советую всем не пожалеете)


  6. Annalissa Purdum

    Quick question for you… I won a gift certificate for a pair of Tenaya Oasi at the Rocktoberfest in Red River Gorge, but I didn’t get a chance to try on a pair of demos. How do they fit, size wise, compared to the Miura’s you used to wear?


    • Erica

      Annalissa – congrats on winning the gift certificate! My Oasi’s ar a 4.5, and my old Miuras were a 36 (I’m sorry I don’t remember the US size, but they were the women’s lace-up, not the velcro – the velcro version actually wouldn’t fit my foot, there was too much excess fabric around the straps.) I hope that helps!

  7. Annalissa Purdum

    Thanks Erica! That helps alot!


  8. Jae

    Hi Erica!

    I’m looking into buying the Oasi and your review has pretty much pushed me over the edge! I’m buying these!

    I’m just not entirely sure about sizing since these will be my first pairs of Tenaya’s. Could you help me out? Normally I would go to a store to try them on but there aren’t any in the Netherlands that sell them yet so I’ll have to buy them online.

    What is your normal streetshoe size? Us w or eur?

    Thanks a lot!


    • Erica

      Hey Jae!
      Stoked you’re gonna try out the Oasi’s – I’m sure you’re gonna love ’em. Street shoes I usually run about a 6 or 6.5 in US women’s sizing (I think in euro sizing that’s a 36/37?) As I said in the review, they do run a little bigger than the rest of the Tenaya line (I’m a 4.5 Men’s in Oasi, but a 5 in Ra and 5.5 in Masai). I hope that helped? Sizing climbing shoes can be really tough when you can’t try them on.

  9. Jae

    I’m a size 6.5 as well so I guess UK 4.5 would be a perfect fit.

    Thank you so much for your help!
    And just read on your blog you’re soon expecting your second, congratulations!


  10. Matt

    When can we expect another shoe demo here in Charlotte? Pretty excited about getting some new shoes and would like to try some out in the Tenaya lineup!


    • Erica

      Hey Matt,
      Glad you are psyched on Tenaya! I am not sure when the next demo will be – I actually just had baby #2 (she’s 17 days old today!) so it may be a while before I’m able to pull one off. Do you climb regularly at Inner Peaks? If so, they carry a pretty wide range of sizes of the Ra, Tatanka, and Oasi. My guess is that they wouldn’t mind letting you try them out for a bit in the gym to make sure you had the size right? Hope that helps!

  11. Matt

    Congratulations on the baby! I go to Inner Peaks quite a bit, but my foot is rather large so they don’t keep any sizes even remotely close to what I need. Guess I’ll just wait it out for the next demo.


    • Wes

      Matt go to Gear Coop I just ordered 3 sizes of Tarfia I wear a 12 street shoe in mens and ended up going with a 11.5 I could of gone down to 11 but why Im trying to have fun I will get them on the rock this weekend and post back how a comfy fit preforms. I have had so many tight shoes and can’t really tell the difference. gear coop offers a lifetime warranty on there stuff yeah really check them out. rock them for a week or two and if you are not feeling it return then they will pay to ship them back.


Leave a Comment Life is in the conversation.


Your email will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

“Not all who wander are lost.” —JRR TOLKIEN