I go indoor climbing for a few times and I am planning to continue which got me thinking that I need to buy my own gear starting with buying a pair of climbing shoes. I plan to use them indoors but I want to try climbing outdoors and maybe some bouldering during the summer.
The first thing that you need to consider when getting a pair of climbing shoes is that it has to have a good fit. Do not listen to anyone’s recommendations until you have tried them and it feels comfortable. Get a pair that has a balance between durability and grip. Getting a pair of shoes that is ultra-sticky gives you a good grip because it can mold around the rocks but on the down side, it will quickly wear out because it is soft. On the otherhand, if you get stiff rubber, you sacrifice the grip.
A popular and good manufacturer for climbing shoes is Evolv. Their rubber is not the stickiest but it is durable which makes a good balance between stability and durability. They are also comfortable. A pair of it can last for more than 2 years of indoor gym climbing and the occasional outdoor climbs. Price wise, they are cheaper than other quality manufacturers and they resole your shoes at a low price. This is highly recommended for beginners because they have no need for the stickiest rubber when starting out. Beginner’s footwork is not accurate and tends to put a lot more wear than the advanced climbers who can maximize the benefits of a very grippy rubber.
Five Ten is also popular and is considered as one of the best rock climbing manufacturer. The rubber is outstanding but as a consequence, it tends to easily wear out.
Mad Rock has a lot of customers mostly because they are budget friendly. A lot of people are complimenting the stickiness of the rubber but they share the same problem with Five Ten. The durability is compromised when you focus too much on the grip ability of the rubber.
Lastly, do not get a beginner shoes unless you are not going to climb that much. It takes a only a few climbs to improve your climbing skills and soon, you will be climbing hard then, you will realize that you are using a pair of lousy shoes. Think about how long you want to be a beginner? Not for long, right? Then, get a pair of climbing shoes with an asymmetrical toe and something that will effectively support you when you start climbing aggressively.