Maybe you’re thinking about leaving your gym behind, about trading a dungeon filled with ellipticals for a vast space filled with… fake rocks? You wouldn’t be alone. Indoor rock climbing gyms are gaining in popularity — the Outdoor Industry Association of America documented in its 2017 Participation Report that nearly 5 million Americans went rock climbing at least once during that year. The number of available places to do so has also increased; Climbing Business Journal reported that 43 new gyms opened in 2017, a growth rate of 10 percent. One can’t ignore climbing’s presence in the 2020 Olympics either.
The point is, rock climbing is growing, particularly indoors. But going to a climbing gym still poses a barrier to entry that other fitness routines don’t. For one, there are terms to know, and it isn’t always a solo activity like running on a treadmill (someone has to belay you). There’s also the specialized gear. You can rent it at most facilities, but if you’re seriously considering purchasing a membership at a climbing gym (or you can’t abide the thought of shared shoe stank), then you should also think about picking up a pair of climbing shoes.
Black Diamond, a company well-known for its climbing hardware, released its first climbing shoe in the fall of 2017. Called the Momentum, the climbing shoe features an engineered knit upper, much like Nike’s Flyknit shoes. Black Diamond implemented the tech to make the shoe as comfortable as possible, which, when combined with its friendly, flat profile, make it ideal for beginner climbers. The shoe is currently on sale at Backcountry for as much as 27 percent off in select sizes and colors (use the dropdown menus to see which are discounted).
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