La Sportiva Nago ($99)
First things first, a climber needs a good pair of climbing shoes. If you're a beginner who's ready to invest in your own pair (and not stick your feet into sweaty rentals every time you go to the gym), these Nago shoes from La Sportiva are a perfect place to start. Vibram (the makers of the Five Fingers minimalist shoes) soles mean the shoes are extremely responsive as you get accustomed to feeling out different footholds.
Our reviewer said: "It took me a little while to get used to them, and I had to wear them a few times to break them in, but I could feel a positive difference between these and the ones you rent from the gym. They felt sturdier and more comfortable after a couple of wears."
Available at Sportiva.com