Who should buy the Black Diamond Zone

The Black Diamond’s Zone earns a good reputation in the climbing shoe industry, thanks to its excellent climb-centric performance. It is a solid option if you:

  • Prefer a climbing shoe that aims to deliver on steep technical routes.
  • Prefer a climbing shoe that provides comfort and breathability. 
  • Prefer a climbing shoe that yields rock adherence.

Black Diamond Zone logo

Excellent traction on almost all types of terrain

A 4.3 mm Fuze outsole connects the user to almost all types of terrain. This sticky material is molded onto the shoe that gives maximum grip without adding bulk. 

Black Diamond Zone outsole

Excellent grip and friction

Extra grip and friction are provided by the rubber placed at the vamp for enhanced toe-hooking.

Black Diamond Zone outsole 2

Optimizes comfort and breathability

The Black Diamond Zone climbing shoe wears the brand’s very own Engineered Knit technology (with a partial lining on its interior) for its upper. It optimizes comfort and breathability.

Black Diamond Zone midsole

Secure fit

The vamp area of this rock shoe is designed with printed rubber for extra protection at the crags.

Black Diamond Zone laces

Easy to wear

Two pull tabs are attached at the back to assist in on and off and the dual Velcro system aids in managing the fit.

Black Diamond Zone heel

Black Diamond Zone vs La Sportiva Solution

The Solution from La Sportiva and Black Diamond’s Zone are climbing shoes made for different purposes. Shown below are some of the features that set these kicks apart.

Upper. La Sportiva’s Solution comes with a partially-lined upper made of high-grade leather and Lorica fabric. It sports a rand in the heel and toes sections, which aids senders when hooking. The shoe’s 3D-molded heel cup secures the user’s rearfoot. The Black Diamond Zone’s upper, as discussed in the content above, is made of Engineered Knit with partial lining, offering increased comfort and breathability.

Midsole. The Solution supplies support via its LaspoFlex midsole in the shoe’s toe zone. The men’s variant sports a 1.1mm-thick midsole while the women’s version comes with a thickness of 0.9mm. The component’s design enables senders to tackle tiny nubbins and pockets with a secure forefoot foothold. Meanwhile, the Black Diamond Zone features a soft-flex midsole that supplies optimum power and sensitivity for edging.

Outsole. La Sportiva equipped the Solution with a Vibram outsole to render traction on rocky surfaces. It is made of an XS Grip 2 rubber compound, a material that grants slip resistance and durability. The outsole’s 4-mm thickness grants friction without compromising sensitivity. On the other hand, the Zone’s 4.3 molded outsole offers maximum grip for toe hooking.

Application. La Sportiva crafted the Solution for steep terrain with overhanging routes. This aggressive climbing piece is also suitable for face climbing, sports routes, and bouldering.  Those who wish to use the La Sportiva Solution outdoors may employ it in an indoor setting too. The Diamond, meanwhile, is an all-around shoe perfect for both indoor and outdoor climbing.

Nice to know

  • Intermediate-to-advanced climbers looking for a more aggressive and Vibram-powered rock shoe may also look at the Solution from La Sportiva.
  • Outdoorsy individuals who plan on tackling trails and low-grade routes may consider the La Sportiva TX4. It is an approach shoe that may be used for these activities.

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 221g
Closure: Velcro
Downturn: Moderate
Environment: Indoor, Outdoor
Material: Synthetic
Lining: Lined
Last Shape: Asymmetric

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Teddy Dondanville
Teddy Dondanville

Teddy is a professionally trained Apprentice Rock Guide with the American Mountain Guides Association and a Wilderness First Responder with the National Outdoor Leadership School. Besides guiding outdoor rock climbing, Teddy also has years of experience in route setting and coaching climbing indoors. Through his guiding, route setting, and coaching, Teddy has experimented with climbing shoes for over a decade.