Review: Tenaya Tarifa’s

Oct 18 • Gear • 5449 Views • No Comments on Review: Tenaya Tarifa’s

This was my first time wearing a pair of Tenayas. I felt like flatlanders must on their first visit to the Rockies. Sure I had heard of them and I had seen them in pictures, but damn, why had I waited so long to try them for myself?

Reviewed by Shaun Matusewicz

Retail: $165

The Tenaya Tarifa’s are like Cadillacs. Built to perform, but comfortable enough to cruise all day.  The Vibram XS Grip 3.5 mm rubber provides precise grip and edge control, while not being too stiff or thick for techy, overhanging terrain.

I got to test these in as a ton of different environments: dime pockets at Smith, all-day slab sessions at Squamish, Indian Creek splitters, greasy gym plastic holds, City of Rocks huecos and even Black Canyon choss. While they may perform better in some places (there are better slab shoes out there), I wouldn’t hesitate to take them out again in any of these places.

The big surprise here was Indian Creek.  Build for sport performance, I wasn’t sure how the Tarifas would do in a pure trad arena. The rubber toecap allowed me to jam my foot harder in .75 Camalot terrain, essential protecting my feet from the pain of the jam-twist-suffer combo that is so essential in this size range.


The one drawback is the cotton lining. It is supple and comfortable (almost like a built-in sock) and treated with TXT, but my shoes stank baldly after a month of heavy use. Gold Bond took care of the issue, but if foot odor is a serious problem for you, you may want to reconsider.

Bottom Line: A versatile, performance shoe, with one shortcoming.

The Tenaya Tarifa’s

Shaun Matusewicz is a Senior Contributor to The Climbing Zine.

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