7 best Black Diamond climbing shoes

Based on reviews from 28 experts and 77 users. Learn how our rankings work or see our guide to Black Diamond climbing shoes. Updated Jan 2020.

  • Black Diamond
  • Gender Size
  • Sort 
  • View 
  • Brand 
    Show more
  • Features 
  • Construction  
  • Closure 
  • Fit  
  • Downturn  
  • Environment 
  • Material  
  • Lining  
  • Last Shape  
  • Level  
  • Stiffness  
  • Top 
  • Use  

Folks who wish to experience sending projects on a different level might want to give Black Diamond climbing shoes a shot. Owning a pair of these kicks, most of which are offered in both men and women’s versions, open up the gateway to climbs where comfort, security, and precise performance are pretty much glued together. Rock climbing shoes coming from this competitive brand come engineered with a blend of tradition and modern technologies, making them some of the most promising footwear products for climbing aficionados far and wide. So if variety is part of your vocabulary, consider adding Black Diamond’s climbing pieces to your collection.

The perks that come with men's and women's Black Diamond rock climbing shoes

Best Black Diamond climbing shoes

Best Black Diamond climbing shoes - November 2019

Comfort

Having the ability to climb in comfort is considered among the top priorities of many a rock climber. That ability is within arm’s reach in Black Diamond rock climbing shoes. The main culprit behind the all-day comfort promised by every pair is the brand’s Engineered Knit Technology. There is also the soft-flex midsole (seen mostly in their neutral offerings) providing even more cushioning. If you are a beginner who values comfort above all else, consider looking into Black Diamond’s neutral-to-moderate line-up of climbing footwear.

Weight

If lightness is something you are quite particular about, chances are you will not be disappointed in owning a pair of Black Diamond rock climbing shoes. Indeed, most of the pieces that make up their climbing portfolio do not venture outside the 250-gram mark (per shoe). This translates to freer movements and minimal restrictions for when you need to lift your foot above knee level.

Sticking power

Sending a wall or rock requires several disciplines, most of which involve footwork that have to keep you secure and not falling. That said, no matter how well you can slip your toes into pockets or hook your heels on ledges, your performance would be lackluster at best without the aid of that sticky rubber built into every rock climbing shoe. Fortunately for you, Black Diamond engineers gave most of their works highly-adhesive rubber rands and outsoles. They are made extra sturdy too, so jamming your feet into cracks would avail you not only adequate grip but also ample protection.

Sensitivity

Being able to feel where you place your feet during an ascent is quite essential in the world of rock climbing. Black Diamond is aware of this and thus engineered their offerings with sensitivity in mind. Case in point: they developed a kind of midsole that is minimalist in design with a moderate amount of flex. A responsive climb is also possible thanks to the molded construction of every shoe’s outsole.

Upper

When it comes to a snug fit, Black Diamond climbing shoes are worthy of attention. This is because a good bulk of their line-up comes built with an upper made of microfiber. Such pieces are designed to keep their form and never go loose, so getting air pockets in them over time is less likely. There are those that expand a little at key points, but they do so only to conform to the contours of your feet, resulting in a personalized kind of comfort.

Aesthetics

Even though fashion is hardly a thing in climbing, it is never a bad thing to be involved in send-attempts in style. While Black Diamond rock climbing shoes will not make your eyes glow with striking visuals, most of them are designed with svelteness in mind, leaning towards the smart-casual category. If you fancy a combination of grounded hues with a little bit of color in your gear, you will feel right at home with what this company has on offer.

Black Diamond climbing shoes fit and sizing guide

Climb-centric footwear products put out by Black Diamond come mostly in men and women’s variants, with a select few being unisex. They are offered in a range of full and half sizes. Most of these kicks allow for a secure and personalized lockdown using a hook-and-loop strapping system, while the remaining bunch offers a more straightforward approach to fit with a traditional lace-up closure. They run relatively true to size.

Are you all set to snag a pair of Black Diamond climbing shoes? Shopping is fun, but not all the time, especially when it comes to climbing footwear. In general, size matters more in shoes than other types of apparel, so you need to be extra vigilant in getting your selected pair in the right size. In light of this, be a wise shopper by taking into account the following fit and sizing tips:

  • Do your shopping well past lunchtime. This might sound absurd, but your feet swell and expand as you use them, particularly in the afternoon or early evening. The increase in size is marginal at best, but it is enough to make you purchase something quite ill-fitting if ignored. Consider rock climbing shoes that are snug from the get-go but not too constrictive.
  • Get a feel of your preferred climbing shoes. The ideal fit you should get in your next pair of Black Diamond climbing shoes should be comfortably tight. They should not yield unbearable pain. Your heels should remain in place with no presence of air pockets. If the store has a climbable wall for testing, do a few mild ascents to check for slippage and fit inconsistencies.
  • Consider the other closure system. If you can’t seem to get the right fit in a shoe with Velcro (hook-and-loop) straps for a lockdown system, perhaps a lace-up kind would suit you better.
  • Work your way up the sizing hierarchy. Do not be shy to test-fit shoes in several different sizes. A good practice is to try on a pair in three sizes: your actual size, a half size smaller, and a half size bigger. Fit them from the smallest to the biggest. You can switch half sizes to full ones if you prefer.
  • Be brave but smart when shopping online. It is a fact that in online retail, buyers need to shell out cash (or credit) first before getting their hands on whatever they purchased. This is also true of rock climbing shoes, and as such, you will not be able to test them before making that purchase. That said, online transactions need not be scary, especially if you take note of the following:
    • Shop only at trusted online retailers, if the brand site itself is not an option.
    • Go with the store with a generous return/refund policy, especially under which you are allowed to order at least two pairs of climbing shoes (each in different sizes). The idea behind this is to give yourself the ability to choose the better-fitting one. Once all has been said and done, send back the other for a refund.
    • Work with the brand’s sizing chart to help you get the best possible fit out of your next Black Diamond rock climbing shoes. Note: Your street shoe size may not be the same as your climbing shoe size.

Qualities that set Black Diamond rock climbing hiking shoes apart from the competition

History

Founded on the 1st of December 1989, Black Diamond (also known as Black Diamond Equipment), has since made strides in manufacturing quality climbing merchandise. Their expertise in shoemaking has also developed over the years, making them among the top brands that offer some of the best rock climbing shoes for men and women.

Pricing

When it comes to pricing, Black Diamond’s roster is a spectrum. A pair can be anywhere between $90 and $200 depending on the model. Most of their neutral offerings flounder around the bottom end of the scale, while BD's more aggressive pieces take the top end.

Notable technologies

  • Fuse. This is Black Diamond’s proprietary outsole technology. Its entirety is made of heavy-duty rubber. It is engineered through a specialized printing and molding process to give every shoe enhanced grip in and around a variety of rocky features.
  • Engineered Knit Technology. Black Diamond climbing shoes built with this piece of technology grants the user a sense of flexibility with zonal support and a breathable kind of comfort.

Frequently asked questions about Black Diamond climbing shoes

Are Black Diamond climbing shoes vegan?

The brand has not claimed anything that confirms or denies having produced vegan climbing shoes. That said, most of their offerings may not be vegan since they come with footbeds made of genuine leather. Some even have leather parts on the upper.

Are Black Diamond climbing shoes good?

The verdict is all up to you. What works well for others may not be as impressive for you. If you wish to know if a pair of climbing shoes from this brand can inspire you, try one of their entry-level neutral offerings.

Do Black Diamond climbing shoes stretch?

A good number of Black Diamond climbing shoes do not stretch as their uppers are made chiefly of microfiber. However, there are a few that do stretch, but only in parts and just so the feet can have a comfortable fit.

7 best Black Diamond climbing shoes

  1. Black Diamond Shadow
  2. Black Diamond Zone
  3. Black Diamond Focus
  4. Black Diamond Momentum
  5. Black Diamond Momentum Lace
  6. Black Diamond Aspect
  7. Black Diamond Zone LV
This shoe has recently been added to RunRepeat. There are still not enough reviews for us to assign it a CoreScore.
CoreScore
A score from 1 to 100 that summarizes opinions from users and experts. The average CoreScore is 78. More...