CGR reviewer Katie reviews the latest performance climbing shoe from Spanish company Tenaya
Designed to achieve the highest levels of performance, the Oasi is exceptionally comfortable yet offers incredible precision and responsiveness, making rock climbing feel easier and more intuitive.
Value for money *****
Six weeks ago I received the Tenaya Oasi to review, a top end precision climbing shoe worn by non other than Alex Magos, well I could probably stop the review there…but I won’t.
I’ve been pretty keen to try this shoe since it was first brought out; Tenayas fit me well, slim fit and a low volume heel; the Oasi has a higher heel but it doesn’t seem to be uncomfortable in the way other shoes are.
I’ll start with the sizing simply because it’s a little mad! Now my shoe size is smallish a size 4uk and the smallest I’ve gone in a climbing shoe is 3.5uk in the Scarpa Instinct, but the Tenaya Oasi’s have taken me one further; I’ve been wearing them in a wopping 2.5uk! This is not because I like to crush my feet, they just size them big. So just bare that in mind, general rule with them is to go one size down from normal tech shoe size. This is not the case for other Tenayas so don’t go with this as a rule for all.
Sizes go from 2-13uk with mid sizes as well.
Next up is the lacing system, technical name Draxtor PAT system , we’ll call it Velcro. There are two thin Velcro straps that diagonally fasten across the front of the shoe. It’s an okay system, nothing really mind blowing, they seem a little flimsy so I’m not sure how they’ll last but right now they’re solid. As the straps are quite thin you have to make sure you strap them up properly or they just come off.They can also be used as slipper so the lacing is optional really.
The material they use is Microfiber, with a cotton lining, so little stretch or smell should occur; they have a lycra tongue which feels nice and snug when on.
The sole is Vibram XS Grip 3.5mm which I find a really great combo; not to soft not too hard, long lasting and sticky enough when it counts. Thin enough to feel what you’re doing but with structure thanks to the SRX dynamics (sole adjusts with movement, tightening up etc).
The shoe itself fits like a glove, I’ll be honest in saying they’re blumin’ hard to get on, but when they are they feel like a perfectly formed precision sock, and they’re as light as a feather (340grs).
The heel is incredible, it doesn’t budge an inch, and this isn’t because the shoe’s really tight, it just fits amazingly well, and that’s all I want from a good heel, I want to trust it, with the Oasi I don’t even think about it, It’s a bit like going bare foot and knowing your heel isn’t going to slid away because it’s attached.
The toe is just as good, I’ve used the word ‘precise’ quite a lot in this review already, and I’ll probably use it more, as it’s the perfect word to describe them. Great edges and a comfortable toe box, my toes have been a little uncomfortable but the shoe is wearing in well and it’s only been 6 weeks, so I’m expecting good things to come.
I’ve been wearing the shoe indoors and out to get a good feel for it, and it seems an all rounder. I feel super confident indoors on small foot holds and I’m loving them on the steep stuff outside. They’re only slightly down turned so are a bit more flexible on different angles.
Come on you say, there must be a down side to these shoes, maybe the price? Hmmm not really, at around £100.00 the Tenaya Oasi is as competitive as any other climbing shoe, and if someone can onsight 9a (not me) in a shoe that doesn’t costs the world and lasts longer than 4 sessions, then that should sell it for most.
Conclusion, if you haven’t already guessed, is they’re mint, well done Tenaya, a great shoe, please don’t change it!
Right 9a here I come….or maybe I should try 7c first.