There are dozens of choices for you, Jesse. Probably most important are the shoes. You want to start with a reasonably comfortable pair of rock shoes, then get into the tighter, less comfortable, higher-performance shoes as your feet get stronger and the nerve endings in your feet die off. Ha, ha!
Five Ten Spire shoes
Five Tens Spire shoes ($92; fiveten.com) would be one good choice. Theyre a good-performing shoe built on a semi-flexed last, meaning they fit more like a regular shoe than a hard-core rock shoe. And that means theyre fairly comfortable. Stealth rubber provides plenty of grip, and the lace-up design means you can tighten them for more support. La Sportiva Cliffs ($90; sportiva.com) also offer a comfortable, low-cut, lace-up design that wont have you crying for mercy after a few pitches in the gym. And, like the Spires, they are well-priced. Mad Rocks New Phoenix ($70; madrockclimbing.com) provides good rock-shoe features in an even more affordable package.
For a harness you want a clean design and good fit. Mammuts Focus ($45; mammut.ch) offers that at a great price. Its well-padded but not bulky and has ergonomically cut leg loops. Black Diamonds Alpine Bod ($35; bdel.com) is perhaps the quintessential light harness, but it might be too spartan for extended periods in a gym. Metoliuss Safe Tech Harness ($79; metoliusclimbing.com) might be a good one to start out with as its designed in such a way to minimize operator error.
Have fun, and climb safely!
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