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Tenaya Indalo climbing shoe

Indalo

An all-around sending machine for narrow feet. Particularly good on tricky vertical and moderately overhung terrain thanks to a precise and supportive toe box.

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Summary

Overall
8.65
(3 reviews)
  • Edging - 8.5/10
    8.5/10
  • Smearing - 8/10
    8/10
  • Steep Terrain - 8/10
    8/10
  • Comfort - 9.5/10
    9.5/10
  • Sensitivity - 8/10
    8/10
  • Value For Money - 9/10
    9/10

Pros

  • Extremely comfortable
  • Pointed toe box for precise placements
  • A split sole that balances both smearing and edging 
  • Draxtor closure allows for good fit-customization
  • 100% Vegan

Cons

  • Not suitable for wide feet
  • A narrow forefoot but a high-volume heel is a strange combo
  • Straps are unnecessarily long

Best For: Diverse technical footwork indoors and out; pockets, edges, jibs, or cranking hard on heel hooks.

Like its older sibling, the Mastia, the Indalo is a shoe that oozes confidence on tricky footholds while retaining Tenaya’s famous combination of high performance and comfort. After 6 months of testing on the most insecure climbing surfaces I could find – slippy limestone, barely-there granite crystals, pesky gym jibs – it’s safe to say that the Indalo has got my seal of approval. 

At the surface level, the Indalo might appear to be a carbon copy of the Mastia, but delve deeper, and you’ll start to notice subtle differences. The most obvious of which is the last shape; it’s narrower and more pointed than its big brother, making it better suited to narrow pockets and lasering in on small features. Some standout features include the “Draxtor” closure, Tenaya’s signature closure that allows for a fine-tuned custom fit as well as an upgraded split sole that offers superior flex in the forefoot, allowing the shoe to adapt comfortably to smears, while still retaining its awesome edging ability. 

The Indalo is a worthy companion for narrow-footed climbers who enjoy a diverse range of bouldering and sport climbing. While its natural habitat is outside on real rock, it’s certainly no slouch in the gym either.

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the complete

Tenaya Indalo Review

Sam, our shoe guy, recently tested out the Tenaya Mastia and had A LOT of good things to say. Partly because of his incessant raving – but mostly because the baby blue uppers matched the rest of my gear fantastically – I decided to take the Indalo for a spin. Gearing myself up like I just walked off a Smurf set, I made my way up my maiden route, with my brand new Tenaya Indalos…and oh boy, they did not disappoint. 

Edging in the Tenaya Indalo

After six months of rigorous testing, the time has come to share my full Tenaya Indalo review. 

History

Building on the success of the Mastia, the Indalo was the next big thing to come out of the Tenaya workshop. It firmly sits in their Arial Pro line, joining the ranks of their other performance models designed for spicy boulders and sport lines. 

Both the Indalo and the Mastia were announced at the same time, but mysteriously, only the Mastia made it on the shelves in 2019. It wasn’t until 2022 that we Tenaya fans finally managed to get our chalky hands on this long-awaited shoe. 

The first thing you need to know about the Indalo is that it isn’t a new and improved sister of the Mastia, it fills a different position in Tenaya’s line-up. I admit that while many of these differences are subtle – almost pedantic – they do have an impact on how the shoe feels, and more importantly, performs.

The key differences between the Indalo and the Mastia are; 

  • A different last shape with a narrower forefoot and a more pointed toe box
  • The Draxtor closure system allows for fit customization while keeping the heel more secure. Removing the single strap/velcro hybrid has made the uppers more rigid when securely fastened, which adds extra support while edging.
  • A larger toe patch made of stiffer, textured rubber. This offers more protection and better friction on toe hooks (especially on sharp rock)
  • A smaller outsole that stops directly under the ball of your foot, paired with a softer split sole. This keeps the toe box feeling stiff but allows the forefoot to flex for smearing.
  • A shallower heel cup, with the rand sitting lower on the Achilles.

Sizing

To all my wide-feet friends, you’ll be disappointed to hear that the narrow and low-volume toebox make this model naturally better suited to narrower feet (the Mastia is much better for feet that sit on the wider side of the spectrum).

I have a narrow forefoot and Egyptian-shaped toes, so the shoe fits me perfectly. But that’s not to say it wasn’t a challenge to find the right size. After a few failed attempts I settled for the EU37 – just one EU size down from my street shoe size.

Tenaya Indalo sizing
Downsize by 1.5-2 EU sizes for the optimal fit in these shoes.

After the break-in period, I concluded that I probably could have done with half a size down. And yet – even now – I haven’t noticed this affect the shoe’s performance. No edges rolling of small holds, heels popping, or baggy uppers. 

And this is exactly the reputation these Spanish shoe-making connoisseurs have whipped up over the last decade. A disturbing level of comfort that doesn’t compromise performance. 

So when it comes to the Tenaya Indalo sizing, my advice would be to start by dropping a 1.5 EU size and take it from there. Your toes should be gently curled in the Indalo, not tightly crimped as with other performance shoes. All the normal rules apply for identifying that perfect fit (no air pockets, hot spots, or baggy uppers when pressing on the front edge). Check out our climbing shoe sizing guide for the full rundown. 

Comfort

I’ve spent many a sleepless night pondering why these shoes are so damn comfortable. When I compare the Indalo to my trusty La Sportiva Skwamas (which are both 37EU) the difference is pretty shocking. Both offer a comparable level of performance, yet the Indalo feels closer to my fluffy house slippers than an average performance shoe.

How is that even possible? The way I see it, a few clever things are happening here. It starts with the low-volume forefoot which holds your toes to be in a more neutral resting position, as opposed to forcing them in a tight crimped shape. 

Most aggressive shoes (especially the softer ones) rely on this crimped position to generate maximum power to your toes. The Indalo, however, uses a stiff toe box that takes the brunt of the force, as well as its moderate shape, huge slingshot rand, and active toe rand, all contributing to that comfortable and supportive experience.  

La Sportiva Skwama vs Tenaya Indalo
Both shoes offer similar performance but with a very different fit.

Other minor design characteristics contribute to the Indalo’s superior comfort. The Draxtor closure allows you to dial in that perfect, foot-hugging fit (although the excess straps are slightly annoying). The lined heel discourages stretch in the back of the shoe, while the unlined forefoot helps the front mold nicely to your foot shape. The mesh tongue is a nice touch too, helping keep the shoe breathable on those hot and sticky climbing days.

Performance

The Indalo is what we like to call an all-arounder; it’s a shoe that isn’t specialized for any single type of terrain.

Edging

Edging in the Indalo
An all-around performer, with a fondness for edging.

Don’t expect the edging of the Indalo to be of the same caliber as edging-specific models like the Masai or Tarifa – because it’s not – but for a non-specialized shoe, it certainly holds its own. 

In fact, in the all-arounder category, it’s up there with the best of them. The reduced outsole size, 3.5mm of XS Grip, sits unyielding under your toes with the help of a 1.8mm midsole, offering plenty of support on small jibs and features. 

Climbing shoe asymmetric shape
A moderate downturn with a highly asymmetric curve.

The narrow and pointed-toe box is also well suited for edging, with an asymmetrical curve focusing power over your big toe, allowing you to laser in on the tiniest footholds with surprising confidence. 

Smearing

Comfort with the Indalo

Tenaya has struck a balance between smearing and edging by pairing that stiff toebox with a moderate camber and a soft slip sole. The moderate camber, as opposed to an aggressive one – means you’re not fighting the tension of the shoe to make sufficient contact with the wall.

And that split sole – that area under the arch of your foot – flexes nicely on terrain where friction is the name of the game. Sure, it won’t smear on the same level as a super-soft specialist shoe, but for an all-around performer with a preference for edging, it doesn’t completely forsake its smearing ability.

Steep Terrain

Roof climbing in Tenaya Indalo
The Indalo feels solid on the spicy stuff, but it’s not the best steep shoe out there.

Moderately overhung faces are the natural habitat of the Indalo. All its stand-out features offer you the tools to excel on this type of terrain; that laser-precise toe, a bomber 3D- heel cup with a “friction lock” that prevents it from crumbling when cranking hard, and a toe patch that provides buckets of friction on both rock and plastic. 

But for the same reasons why the Mastia isn’t ideal for roof climbing, the Indalo begins to struggle the spicier the lines get. There’s no curvature to the sole or spoon dip under the toe box. It’s just a flat-shaped sole on a moderate last – a design that inherently means it struggles to pull pockets on severely overhung walls. 

That’s not to say the Indalo can’t throw down on a spicy boulder – because it can – but you’ll find yourself relying more on exerting excessive downward pressure to avoid cutting lose instead of “hooking” holds like you do in the Evolv Shaman or La Sportiva Solution.

Gym Climbing

The Indalo’s effectiveness in the gym solely depends on the type of climb you are working on. If it’s a crimp fest on a techie vert boulder, or insecure movements on a 45 wall then the Indalo is the man for the job.

But if you spend your days working smeary-centric volumes with poor handholds, or hooking pockets in the boulder cave, there are better shoes out there for the job. The stiffer forefoot won’t mold to diverse volume shapes like a soft gym shoe.

Durability

The Indalo has certainly proved to give you a good bang for your buck. I’ve dragged them across a huge range of rock – including some seriously rough granite – and climbed in everything from tropical to near-freezing temperatures, and they took it all like a champ. 

Interestingly, I experienced the heel lining peeling that Sam mentioned in our Mastia review. I don’t think this affected the shoe’s performance and it didn’t cause any unexpected heel slips. Has anyone else had this problem? If you’ve got history with the Indalo, please drop a review below. I would love to know if this is a common issue with this shoe.

the

Community Reviews

We’ve had our say, and now it’s time for you to have yours. If you have a history with this shoe, then please leave a review! The climbing community needs your wisdom.

2 thoughts on “Tenaya Indalo”

    • 8.5/10
      Edging - 8.5/10
    • 8.5/10
      Smearing - 8.5/10
    • 9/10
      Steep Terrain - 9/10
    • 10/10
      Comfort - 10/10
    • 8/10
      Sensitivity - 8/10
    • 8/10
      Value For Money - 8/10

    Very well made shoe, ty for the review. Please tarifas next for the review! 😀

    • 9/10
      Edging - 9/10
    • 8/10
      Smearing - 8/10
    • 9.5/10
      Steep Terrain - 9.5/10
    • 10/10
      Comfort - 10/10
    • 8/10
      Sensitivity - 8/10
    • 8.5/10
      Value For Money - 8.5/10

    I think the Indalos are great shoes! I have generally mid to narrow feet, and the indalos feel like a great fit, although I did have to downsize a lot (42/43 street shoe -> 39.5 indalo). The toe pulls fantastically on overhangs, whilst retaining the ability to smear well. The heel is also fantastic; I have really flat feet and have had trouble finding a heel that doesn’t leave a gap at the bottom, but somehow the fit (perhaps because of the draxtor system that I played with a lot) makes the heel stay on regardless of how hard I pull on it.

    I will always have somewhat of a qualm with vibram rubber since it’s less sticky than other compounds I have tried (Stealth C4 on the Hiangle pros and Trax SAS on the phantoms), but it isn’t terrible since it fits well. The pull-tabs are also rather ridiculously small; I’m not sure which human could fit two fingers in them, and given that I have downsized quite a lot it’s quite a struggle to get them on.

    Overall, this is a great shoe! I wish it was easier to get on, but the fit is great, they are comfy and they perform great on a lot of different terrains. Glad I bought them.

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