Black Diamond Shadow Climbing Shoe

We’ve read the reviews across the web for the Black Diamond Shadow Climbing Shoe and summarize the results below:

Universal Ranking

PeakScore: 81 (out of 100)
User Rating: 4.1 stars 
Expert Rating: 4 stars

Number of Ratings Reviewed: 53

Pros & Cons

Reasons to buy:

User Reviews

  • Very sticky rubber that grips to a variety of surfaces.
  • Comfortable to wear for prolonged use.
  • Fuse rubber holds to slippery and slick holds.
  • Able to wear for an entire session without any reports of discomfort.
  • The knitted upper provides some breathability to prevent overheating.
  • Velcro strap aids in the customization and adjustment of fit.
  • Able to edge well due to the sticky rubber.
  • Sensitive and allows you to wrap your toes around the holds to provide a secure hold.
  • Able to smear well due to the softer rubber.

Expert Reviews

  • Lightweight material and feel.
  • Gives a precise feel while wearing.
  • Provides power and precision through the toes due to the bi-lateral tension rand.
  • The microfiber upper combined with the molded-rubber allows for a precise grip, while maintaining a snug and form-fitting shape.
  • Great fit and material for heel-hooks and toe-scumming.
  • The aggressive and downturned shape allows for performance on more complicated climbing routes.
  • Velcro strap aids in adjustability.
  • The rubber around the heel doesn’t stretch out over time.
  • 3D-printed and molded rubber and the Engineered Kit Technology uses wraps combined with printed rubber to provide optimal dexterity and flexibility.
  • Great for using on steeper sport climbs and bouldering due to the shape and material of the shoe.
  • Full rubber toe makes this shoe ideal for toe-hooking.

Reasons NOT to buy:

User Reviews

  • Not as good at edging as aggressive models are due to the shape.
  • These shoes are tedious to get on and off due to the snug and sock-like upper material.
  • The downturn reportedly flattens out quicker than other models.
  • Some reports of the rubber tension band tearing after use.
  • Some reports of the heel fit getting too lose over time.

Expert Reviews

  • Some reports of lack of sensitivity due to the downturned nature of the shoe.
  • Some reports of slack occurring on the friction strips on the toe box over time.
  • The shoe may be too soft and could roll during edging.
  • Not as sensitive as some other options on the market.


The Black Diamond Shadow Climbing Shoe is a lightweight, precise, and snug shoe that provides a balance between aggressive shape and flexibility, allowing for versatility to use on a variety of climbing routes. The ample rubber on the heel and the toe section allows for toe and heel-hooking, while the lightweight upper keeps the shoe breathable, and flexible enough to balance out the aggressive shape.


Note: User and expert rankings were reviewed across the web. Some expert reviews include these: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.