When I first began climbing, I bought a beginner shoe, the Evolv Elektra. A very flat, roomy toe box, and comfortable shoe. It is a low performance shoe and not meant for technical climbing such as edging, pockets, and precision. The Elektra is more of a “slab shoe” which are used for slab climbing, where the rock face is at an angle of less steep than vertical. This type of rock surface creates dropped heals, butt out, calve muscles working and a lot of friction. Hence, a flatter sole for friction.
Here’s the thing, when you are beginning to get into the sport of climbing, a lower performance shoe is all you need. Don’t be the chum that goes and buys the most aggressive, expensive shoe. You will not be comfortable and you will hate it. Your feet will hate you and possibly hate the sport and perhaps even be chuckled at.
It is important that you build technique and strength before you invest in a high performance shoe. When you are getting into climbing, an aggressive shoe is not what you should focus on. An aggressive climbing shoe comes with…you guessed it! More aggressive climbing. Climbers progress into a state where they can with stand more foot pain, sounds cool huh? It gets better, an aggressive shoe is going to morph your foot into one hell of a squished, squared, toenail-less foot. You like that huh? Just wait until you sit around with your friends having a contest on who’s feet reek the most.
Since there will not be a lot of skill as a beginner climber, you truly wouldn’t be using the full capability of an aggressive shoe, or understand the proper use of such said shoe. I climbed on my beginner shoe for far longer than I should have. I’m speaking a few years too long. I definitely had graduated from my shoe, but was being cheap. I started getting frustrated with being held back by my shoe, so my cheap self bought a pair of the La Sportiva Testarossa shoes which made me a 5.16 climber. There I go, being all dramatic again.