While AT or tele boots are perfectly adequate for most climbs, if you’re keen, there are specialised climbing boots, which come as either high quality leather or plastic. Leather often better a performer, but it is colder to wear and has a tendency to get wet then freeze up. The cons of plastic are that they do not always fit perfectly and the liner has limited give for unconventionally shaped feet, so you risk a shocking trip if they do not fit well. Harness A harness is necessary if you are to use a rope (e.g. for pitch climbing or glacier travel). Most alpine climbers purchase a light harness without the usual padding and gear loops that characterise rock harnesses.