So you've rented your rock climbing gear a few times and have now decided to invest. But how exactly do you choose between the many harnesses, shoes and carabiners on the market today? Well don't you worry. I'm about to break down exactly what a climber needs when starting out indoor climbing.


Getting Started: Basic Gear

Shoes: A good pair of rock climbing shoes are essential to the sport. They allow the climber to feel and balance on small footholds and assist with performing toe jams and heel hooks. A proper pair of shoes will fit your feet quite tight, probably uncomfortably at first, but will quickly stretch out and form to your feet. I personally use Evolv Women's Elektra . They're a nice starting shoe as they don't have much of an arch to them and the toe is a little less pointed, allowing your feet to adjust to being squished into a tiny shoe. The laces are nice as they allow me to get the shoe a little tighter even as it stretches out, although they make getting the shoe on and off a bit of a pain. If you're a more advanced climber and looking to upgrade your shoe I have heard great things about the La Sportiva Miura VS Climbing Shoes.

Chalk: Climbing chalk provides grip on smooth or wet holds and of course keeps sweaty hands dry. If you only plan on bouldering you could get away with just buying some loose chalk but it you plan on climbing some routes (or just prefer a chalk bag) I like the Evolv Andes Chalk bag as it is both adorable and easy to reach into.

Harness: I think this one is fairly self explanatory. A harness keeps you from falling to your death. A proper fitting harness should sit above the hips and not require a whole lot of adjusting in the waist and legs. If you're not sure about the fit you can always ask folks at your local sporting goods store or climbing gym and they should be able to help. I currently use the Black Diamond Women's Primrose Speed Adjust Harness and I'm quite certain I will love it until its dying day.

Belay Device: There are two main belay devices: the ATC and the GrigriThe ATC is more lightweight (and consequently cheaper) but I've found the Grigri balances the weight a bit nicer. I have used both and found them equally effective, so it's really just a personal preference. Sometimes the belay device comes with a screw gate (locking) carabiner but otherwise you'll need to buy one of your own.


That's really all you need for climbing in your average gym.

Good luck and happy climbing!


 *Note: The links used above are affiliate links, which means that I may get commissions if you decide to purchase anything from . I only recommend products that I use and love myself, so I know you’ll be in good hands.