A first pair of rock shoes should be fairly flat and comfortable. Beginner shoes will also have more support than some of the more advanced models so they'll help prevent foot pain and ankle problems. When you start climbing harder, it might be time to adopt a shoe with a more radical shape. Sharply downturned toes help deliver power where serious climbers need it most. Climbing shoe rubber comes in different varieties, ranging from stiff and solid to soft and sticky. The best choice depends on your climbing style and what your local rock is like. Hard rubbers are great for getting purchase on tiny edges, but if you'll be climbing granite and relying on friction a softer rubber is best. Soft rubber does wear out fast though, especially on beginner feet. Take a look at the individual product descriptions for the details on each shoe.