Black Diamond Momentum Review
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Black Diamond Momentum
$99.95 at REI
$129.00 at REI
$89.00 at REI
|$75.00 at Amazon|
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|$108.95 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
|Pros||Durable, inexpensive, easy on/off||Comfortable design, respectable edging, low-profile toe, excellent price||Affordable, flat midsole is comfortable all day, well-balanced performance across many areas||Easy on and off, comfortable, "thin" profile||Comfortable all-day-long fit, breaks in fast, sensitive, good heel-hooking, great value, nice look|
|Cons||Not great at edging, uncomfortable for wider feet||Mediocre precision, subpar on the steeps, somewhat insensitive||Insensitive, imprecise fit, ineffective design for steep terrain||Stretch a lot, not great for edging||Loose fit, toes curl up out-of-the-box wears out fast, not best for extreme edging|
|Bottom Line||If the shoe fits, the Momentum is a fine choice for a new climber looking to save some money||Decent overall climbing performance at an affordable price make these a sold choice||An entry-level shoe ideal for beginners that comes at an awesomely low price||These shoes are great for hand cracks and training in the gym||A great shoe for beginners or those looking for a dedicated gym climbing shoe|
|Rating Categories||Black Diamond Momentum||La Sportiva Finale||La Sportiva Tarantu...||Five Ten Moccasym||Evolv Defy Black|
|Steep Terrain (20%)|
|Specs||Black Diamond Momentum||La Sportiva Finale||La Sportiva Tarantu...||Five Ten Moccasym||Evolv Defy Black|
|Upper||Synthetic knit||Eco Leather / microfiber||Leather/Synthetic||Leather||Elastic Synthratek synthetic upper|
|Rubber Type||Neo Friction||Vibram XS Edge||FriXion RS||Stealth C4||TRAX XT-5|
|Rubber Thickness||4.3 mm||5 mm||5 mm||4.2 mm||4.2 mm|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The BD Momentum is a beginner shoe designed to offer comfort, cost savings, and durability, but these benefits involve some performance sacrifices. Compared to the uber-popular Evolv Defy, this shoe is a little stiffer and feels narrower, likely because the knit upper stretches minimally. The neo-friction rubber is adequately sticky and super thick, 4.3mm, to ensure that they hold up to the early days of sloppy footwork.
If you can feel the edges through the thick rubber, then it's possible to some decent edging with these stiff, supportive shoes. Many of our testers are used to softer, more sensitive performance shoes, so edging in these clunkers took some getting used to. New climbers will want to pay special attention to their footwork, ensuring their toe is precisely on the most positive part of an edge. That's a little more of a challenge in a less sensitive shoe like this. Our wide-footed testers found it difficult to size these shoes for edging since the shoes felt tight, even before they tried a size the was short enough for their toes to be flush with the front of the shoe.
These shoes aren't precision crack machines, but the knit uppers did surprise us with their durability. The toe volume isn't as low as some of our favorite crack shoes, so they're not as useful for thin cracks as other shoes with a pointer toe that can sneak more rubber inside a small opening. If you have a narrow foot, climbing hands size cracks will probably feel fairly comfy, but wider feet will likely feel some pain while crack climbing in these shoes.
Performance with pockets is dependent on a shoes' edging prowess and the shape of the toe. A pointy toe on the end of a relatively aggressive shoe is usually ideal for pockets. These shoes are ok at edging, but the toe box is a blunt, symmetrical shape for comfort. They're fine for training in the gym, but when it's time to hit the road and make it count, we think other models can allow you to better utilize small features on overhanging terrain.
These shoes have a medium-stiff midsole that allows some flexion during lower angle slab climbing. As we mentioned earlier, the thick rubber can cause the Momentum to feel clunky and difficult to feel dime edges or divots that are key for sending difficult slabs. If sensitivity is what you're seeking, look for shoes with thinner rubber and a softer sole.
These flat lasted, symmetrically shaped shoes are comfy for the medium or narrow width foot. The split tongue and opposite opposed velcro straps make it easy to get them on and off, and if sized correctly, you should be able to wear these comfortably all day. Initially, some of our testers felt a pressure point on the top of their foot when standing on a lower angle climb with the shoe flexed, but this worked itself out after several pitches in the shoes. As with most velcro shoes, the buckles can sometimes position themselves between your foot and the rock while crack climbing, causing acute discomfort.
The Momentum definitely checks in as a budget shoe, and the knit weave and molded rubber feel like they will last, provided you aren't climbing cracks exclusively. Although our review highlights other models as Best Buy Award Winners, don't hesitate to select this option if it fits well and you're seeking a great deal.
We're excited to see what comes out of Black Diamond's entry into the shoe world. The BD Momentum is a solid entry-level shoe that supplies value, comfort, and decent performance.
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