Review: Black Diamond Zone
Black Diamond Zone retails at $139.95 on the official Black Diamond website but you can find them as cheap as $94.95 on Amazon. For a mid-tier price, the Zone is an excellent choice for both beginning and amateur climbers.
I have experienced these shoes first hand and I can tell you right off the bat that these shoes run a bit small and hardly stretch out due to their overbuilt rubber soles. I would say either a half or whole size up from your everyday street shoes. The rubber soles, however, add a great amount of support and stability when climbing on small footholds, allowing for tight precise movement on flat or smooth walls. The zones also have a breathable knitted top section that is great for long sweaty climbing sessions. Overall a great bang for your buck buy.
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The sturdy, overbuilt, sticky fuse rubber allows exceptional edging and precision on the wall. The knitted upper section of the shoe lets in the air creating a cool climbing experience all throughout your trips. Double velcro strap design makes for an easy prep before the climb and stays strong during climbs. Due to the overbuilt rubber, the shoes a remarkably sturdy and will last a lifetime.
The heel hooking potential with these shoes is lacking a bit, there is a bit too much cup space for the average wearer and it tends to scrunch up the back of the shoe causing an unreliable hook. However, in the case that you do fill the backside of these shoes, we have heard that they preform great otherwise. Due to its heavy downturn, the shoe tends to be uncomfortable for climbers with more flat feet.
Look and Style
While everyone has their own preference in taste and style, I think the Zone is one of the best-looking climbing shoes on the market. The variety of colors gives a personalized feel and contrasts well with the dark bold midsole. The zone has a shape similar to many of its predecessors but its two-strap design and background color shades really catch the eye as a sharp-looking shoe (in my opinion).
All in all, the Zone has proven to be a great climbing shoe. If you are looking at a shoe that can handle hard climbing and keeps stable even on the smallest of holds you have found an obvious choice. The Zones won’t break the bank. for any flat-footed climbers out there, these downturned shoes are rough on flat feet so be wary before buying ad definitely give them a test run. Regardless of the shoe you buy, make sure you try it on to get the right size and fit for your feet. Happy climbing!
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