Black Diamond Momentum - Kid's Review
Compare prices at 2 resellers Pros: Breathable knit, comfortable fit, good edging
Cons: No heel adjustment, knit doesn't fair well in excessive crack climbing
Manufacturer: Black Diamond
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Black Diamond hasn't exactly entered the market and blown its competition away. The performance is good on face and slab, but they lack the steep climbing ability of some other elite kid's shoes, and the fabric upper make it a poor choice for those who do a lot of crack climbing.
Black Diamond did a great job of making a kid's shoe that can edge well. Assuming the shoe fits well (slightly wider) and is sized right, it shines on small holds due to the slightly stiffer midsole and the Neo Friction outsole. Sure, some higher-priced performance-based shoes outperform the Momentum, but at twice the price investment, that shouldn't come as a surprise.
This shoe can work well for crack climbing, having the stiffest sole of the group tested, a nice wide toe box, and the fabric does a decent job of padding the foot, but there is a caveat. The knit uppers can't take being stuffed in cracks over and over without getting a little fuzzy, but the occasional crack won't pose any significant problems.
Although this shoe is wider than most of the others tested, the toes narrow in such a way that it ends up being a relatively pointy shoe. That, combined with its stiffer sole, makes this a good choice for those vertical routes where you are on your toes, but the flat last holds back the performance when the pockets get steep.
This shoe has a relatively stiff 4.3mm sole that doesn't allow much for much sensation on the smaller holds, especially for the smaller lighter climbers. If sensitivity is important, other options have a similar shape and style but a much softer, more sensitive sole.
The knit uppers, microfiber footbed, wide toe box and flat last make this shoe super comfortable. We heard some reports that the knit could rub the bare-foot, but we didn't have those problems. The breathable knit keeps feet dry, and the comfortable flat last is excellent for long sessions on the rock. Although the shoe is the widest in the lot, it isn't the highest volume. The top of the forefoot is quite low profile, and the knit fits snug and feels great, almost sock-like. We recommend sizing up one full size for a good fit.
This shoe is best used as an all-around gym shoe and also works really well as a moderate outdoor cragging shoe.
While it is true that it's the most expensive of the flat lasted kids climbing shoes, it maintains a decent value if edging and/or gym climbing are your top priorities. Features unique to this shoe, like the knit top, add breathability. Durability is in question since this knit hasn't been put through the wringer, but time will tell, and it seems to be more durable than one may think.
The new Black Diamond Momentum is the kind of shoe that will work for most kids. For those who are looking to seek out lots of crack climbing or those that are working overhanging routes, we would recommend looking towards more specialized shoes, but for the average kid, these shoes will do the trick.
— Adam Paashaus