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Black Diamond Momentum - Kid's Review

The comfortable kid's model is a new option with good edging performance and great breathability
Black Diamond Momentum - Kid's
Photo: Black Diamond
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Price:  $60 List | $59.95 at Backcountry
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
By Adam Paashaus ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 27, 2020
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 9
  • Edging - 20% 8
  • Cracks - 20% 6
  • Comfort - 20% 7
  • Pockets - 20% 5
  • Sensitivity - 20% 5

Our Verdict

The Black Diamond Momentum - Kids is a great new offering to the kids' climbing shoe market. The 4.3mm Neo Friction molded out-sole has good friction and pretty good edging ability making it a tremendously well-rounded shoe. Instead of the typical leather or synthetic suede uppers, they use their Engineered Knit Technology, which allows for excellent support and a much higher level of breathability. The flat lasted, neutral shaped, Momentum makes a great new option for any new climbers and would be a good choice unless steep bouldering or crack climbing are the primary uses.

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Pros Breathable knit, comfortable fit, good edgingSuperb edging, great crack shoe, great on steep rockAdjustable heel strap, breathability, single pull adjustmentDurable, comfortable, High quality constructionGood price, comfort, easy on/off
Cons No heel adjustment, knit doesn't fair well in excessive crack climbingLacks comfort for all day climbingFabric is less abrasion resistant than synthetic or real leatherNot great on small holds, runs quite largeSingle lace tension strap can wear out quickly, adjustable heel sacrifices heel hooking rubber
Bottom Line If you are looking for an incredibly breathable shoe with best in class edging performance, this may be your shoeAn all around powerhouse, this shoe can do just about anything well, from steep sport routes and boulders to techy slabs and cracksA great kids shoe, packed with a ton of great features that help it perform well in almost every type of terrainThe Piki is one of the more durable shoes in our roundup as well as being comfortable and a decent performerThis all-around shoe has good performance on beginner to intermediate climbing terrain at a great price
Rating Categories Momentum - Kid's Evolv Ashima Evolv Venga Scarpa Piki La Sportiva Stickit
Edging (20%)
8
10
8
5
6
Cracks (20%)
6
8
8
9
7
Comfort (20%)
7
6
8
7
7
Pockets (20%)
5
9
8
6
5
Sensitivity (20%)
5
7
7
5
6
Specs Momentum - Kid's Evolv Ashima Evolv Venga Scarpa Piki La Sportiva Stickit
Style Velcro slipper Lace-up Velcro slipper Velcro slipper Velcro slipper
Upper Engineered knit Leather Polyester Mesh Synthetic Leather
Width Options None None None None None
Lining Micro fabric Unlined Agion Antimicrobial Unlined Unlined
Rubber Type NeoFriction TRAX High Friction TRAX SAS Vision Frixion RS
Rubber Thickness 4.3 mm 4.2 mm 4.2 mm 4 mm 3 mm

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.

Performance Comparison


While the kids Momentum performs okay on the the textured rock, it...
While the kids Momentum performs okay on the the textured rock, it didn't have the best sensitivity.
Photo: Adam Paashaus

Edging


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.

The kids Momentum did a pretty good job at edging in most cases...
The kids Momentum did a pretty good job at edging in most cases, having more stiffness in the mid-sole than the others we tested.
Photo: Adam Paashaus

Crack Climbing


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.

A random crack every now and then won't pose much of a problem but...
A random crack every now and then won't pose much of a problem but the fabric may not hold up well to repeated crack climbing.
Photo: Adam Paashaus

Pockets


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.

The toe shape on the Black Diamond is pretty tapered, considering...
The toe shape on the Black Diamond is pretty tapered, considering the extra shoe width, and does a decent job of getting into pockets.
Photo: Adam Paashaus

Sensitivity


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.

Comfort


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.

Testing session at Pilot Mountain, NC.
Testing session at Pilot Mountain, NC.
Photo: Adam Paashaus

Value


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.

Conclusion


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