My favorite metal hooks are Susan Bates, hands down. I find them more ergonomic than Boye hooks due to the shape of the actual hook and its alignment with the handle.
There’s quite a range! Most yarns say on the label what hook sizes are most appropriate, as do most patterns. However, I personally don’t follow these guides all the time, because I find that they tend to make looser stitches than I like. There are also different methods of sizing: metric sizing and US sizing being the most predominant. It’s good to be familiar with both, so if I see a pattern that calls for a 5.00mm hook I can automatically say “OK, that’s an H-8, I think I have a couple in my collection” or vice versa. Click here for a comparison chart.
Another tip: the material your hooks are made of actually do make a difference in how you crochet. Plastic hooks are more flexible and so tend to make looser stitches than metal hooks do, for instance. Not a huge deal, of course, but a matter of personal preference, and there’s lots to choose from! Bamboo or wood has more of a grip, and therefore is perfect for slippery yarns like silk, whereas aluminum/metal hooks are more slippery and might fare better with wool blends. Bone or horn hooks are usually antiques and can be really fancy/expensive, although the one above was not.
One thing you can do to make your hooks more comfortable to hold is to get little grippies — like those things you put on your pencils in 3rd grade. They sell packs of different sizes at places like Michael’s, so you don’t have to search far, and they’re cheap.