Your first pair of climbing shoes (on sale at this site) will likely be like your training shoes. Chances are, you’re going to be beating them up pretty badly. Most shoes wear about due to the rubber getting worn down by constant contact with the climbing wall or rock. So what kind of shoe should you get as your first pair? Well, if you don’t want to have to replace your shoes 6 months down the line, it’s probably a good idea to get one with thick rubber. You won’t be able to feel the foot holds as well but until you improve on your footwork, it won’t make too much of a difference.
As for cost, you should be able to find decent shoes for under $80. For now, just forget about brand and go for something you can afford to abuse. The most important thing when it comes to buying shoes for climbing is how it fits. Too loose and you’ll have issues on smaller foot holds as well as heel hooks. Way too tight and your feet will be hurting too much. The shoes should definitely be tight but not to the point where you need another person to help take the shoes off.
There are 3 types of shoes that you can get: Lace, strap, and slip-on. The ones with laces can give you a better fit but since climbing shoes can be quite tight, you’ll have to take them off every 20 minutes or so and having to untie and retie the shoes can be a hassle. The slip-ons are great in terms of snugness but putting them on and taking them off can be a real pain. The Velcro straps are probably the best in terms of ease and adjustable tightness. These are the ones that I personally prefer.
The best thing to do is to go to stores such as REI and try on a variety of shoes and sizes to see which ones fit your feet the best. You can ask the workers there for advice. From my experience, they have been very helpful as well as very knowledgeable. The prices at REI may be a bit higher than you want to spend so if this is the case, go their to test shoes in order to know what brand and size is right for you and then go online to find the best deals.