Introduced in 2019, the Mastia is a member of Spanish manufacturer Tenaya’s most aggressive line of shoes, which they call Aerial Plus. The Mastias are priced just below the top of the line Indalo model, a newer shoe that offers a little more power and performance.
Designed with a medium downturn and asymmetry, and built on a wider last than most Tenaya rock climbing shoes, the Mastia feels incredibly accommodating for a high-performance climbing shoe upon first impression.
Although Tenaya touts the edging power and strength of the Tenaya, in reality it leans more toward the soft shoe side of the spectrum.
- High-performance for higher-volume feet
- Ideal blend of feel and support
- Vegan material
- Versatile pick
- Sloppy fit on narrow feet and heels
The Mastia is a medium-to-high-performance shoe best suited for intermediate to expert climbers looking for a climbing shoe with diverse capabilities on a wide range of terrain. It strikes a good balance between sensitivity and support, so the Mastia is effective on steep overhangs and technical face climbing alike. With a moderately aggressive profile and generously wide toe box, these shoes also hit high marks for comfort.
Tenaya’s upper end shoes have always had a reputation for offering a higher level of comfort relative to their elite performance, and the Mastia goes even a step further with its relaxed fit. The single strap velcro system is highly adjustable, so you can crank it down more toward the front or the back depending on need.
The Tenaya Mastia uses an unlined, low-stretch microfibre upper with only synthetic materials. Like other climbing shoe models in the Aerial Plus line, it has a two-piece midsole that Tenaya doesn’t really offer much information about. However, we can guess from the shoe’s performance that this component provides more rigidity and support right under the toes and is absent under the midfoot to maintain high flexibility and feel while smearing.
A thin synthetic insole absorbs moisture and offers some texture underfoot, while the padded, full tongue helps the shoe’s comfort and lets in a little air.
Tenaya Mastia Women’s Version
Tenaya does not offer a women’s model of the Mastia. If you want lower-volume Tenaya climbing shoes with similar performance attributes, try the Indalo or Iati unisex models. The Oasi LV was specifically designed to better accommodate a woman’s foot.
Fit, Foot Shape, and Sizing
As mentioned, the Mastia has a higher volume than other Tenaya performance models, along with a wider, more rounded toe box. This makes it one of the top choices for wide-footedhigh-performance climbers seeking a shoe with a high performance ceiling.
The rounded shape of the toe box also seems better suited for feet that don’t have a markedly larger big toe, although no reviewers ever complained about this from a comfort standpoint. The extra width seems to accommodate a large variety of foot shapes.
And the generous volume also spurred most reviewers to downsize the Tenaya quite a bit. The consensus among more experienced users is to go 1.5 to 2 US sizes down from your street shoe size, and maybe 1/2 size down from other Tenaya models, if you already own a different style.
The Mastia is a fine edging shoe for experienced climbers on the lighter side of the spectrum, even though it’s a pretty soft shoe. If you have strong feet and calves the moderate forefoot support gives you a good platform to hold smaller edges.
A couple of drawbacks do limit the Mastia’s edging prowess, however. Some heavier climbers reported that the 3.5 mm XS Grip2 rubber on the sole tends to roll off of micro holds when maximum pressure is applied. The broader, rounded toe of this shoe also doesn’t focus power on a single point like some shoes with pointer toes and more pronounced asymmetry.
The combination of sticky XS Grip 2, a split sole construction, and minimal stiffness in the arch and midfoot area make the Mastia a stellar smearing partner on any surface. From sandstone slabs to slick indoor volumes, the sole’s pliability and the rubber’s stickiness team up to give you total confidence in your grip at any angle. It’s a little tiring (and perhaps uncomfortable depending on your sizing) to pad up a long, continuous pitch of smearing, but your shoes will be totally up to the task.
It’s hard to complain about anything in the Mastia’s heel or toe hooking performance, assuming your foot fits well. The deep, molded heel cup was deemed to be the best fitting and most secure that many reviewers have ever experienced for heel hooking. Even those with thinner ankles who found the heel a little baggy still felt fairly confident that the heel wouldn’t slip.
The sticky rubber reaching up the instep and covering the toe is not as extensive as a bouldering specific climbing shoe, but it never seemed lacking or caused any complaints on tech-y, toe hook intensive moves in the bouldering cave or elsewhere. The soft midsole and split sole makes it easy to curl your foot upward and feel natural and secure as you grasp.
Depending on how you fit the Tenaya Mastia climbing shoe, you may find it fairly tolerable using a variety of crack climbing techniques. If you downsize too much and your toes are highly curled inside the shoe, you won’t like toe or foot jams, but if your foot is flat in the shoe you can easily style short pitches of hard crack climbing. The more difficult and technical, the more the Mastias will rise to the occasion.
Best Uses for the Tenaya Mastia
This is another great rock climbing shoe that suits the type of climbing pursued by most of the people I know: moderate to hard sport climbing and bouldering, outdoors and in the climbing gym.
Outside, the Mastia’s adeptness at smearing and edging makes it ideal for vertical to overhanging face climbing on granite, sandstone, and conglomerate rock. It’s blunt toe makes it less ideal for pocketed limestone, and you may find support lacking on long, sustained multi-pitch routes. Other than that, Tenaya has made another awesome, highly capable all-arounder that might be the only shoe you need.
Although the Mastia is a little more sturdy than the latest crop of indoor and competition specialist shoes, it can hold its own for the average gym climber. Most of us don’t actually need a featherweight, ultra-soft, sticky marshmallow of a shoe to climb our favored indoor routes and problems.
You can use the Mastia’s just about anywhere if you have the skill and experience to manage using soft, high performance shoes. The only place we really would recommend against is long, rugged multi-pitch or high-elevation alpine routes where you might want a shoe with beefier materials and build.
Durability, Resoling, Sustainability, and Animal Welfare
The Mastia’s are made with high quality materials and excellent craft, with no signs of undue wear after a few months of regular use.
The fairly thin 3.5 mm sole will wear out at the toe first, most likely, but that’s the same as all other performance shoes that use Vibram’s softest XS Grip2 rubber. The Mastia is resoleable when that happens, so they should last for years of use for the average climber.
Tenaya uses no animal products in the Mastia’s fabrication, so this model is vegan-friendly.
Tenaya Mastia Review Conclusion
If you’re a seasoned beginner looking for a pain-free path to the higher levels of climbing difficulty, the Tenaya Mastia may be your new best partner. Adept at almost everything, and elite on steep, hard face climbing, it’s also a potential one-quiver shoe for the advanced to expert sport climber and boulderer.
|5.8 oz/164 g
|Indoor, Outdoor, Bouldering, Sport
|Vibram XS Grip 3.5 mm
|Double midsole GI 1.8 y TST 150
Where to Buy It?
We buy most of our stuff from REI.com. Their service is great, and it’s a co-op, so they treat their employees well and answer to their members, not shareholders.
Backcountry is also a decent option with a large selection and excellent availability.
Note: we receive a commission when you buy through us. This keeps our team of writers/climbers going!
Chris Sharma, First ascent of Trick or Tree 8b+ / 5.14a
Tenaya (retrieved on 09/02/2023)