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best type of shoes for walking on smooth wet rocks

  • 07-07-2015 9:25am
    #1
    Closed Accounts Posts: 2,743 ✭✭✭ blatantrereg


    I've been walking on smooth rock exposed because the river is low. When it's wet it's quite slippy. Converse fared okay, even with worn down soles. Didn't trust them though because they can be slippy. Switched to my hiking boots the next day, which have hard rubber Vibram soles. Saw Vibram soles recommended in a couple of places discussing the same thing - they were disastrous in my case. Great for muddy conditions, definitely not suitable for wet smooth rock though.

    Boat shoes would seem to make the most sense (if they're designed for purpose and not for style, I'm guessing it might be the latter with most). So I'm thinking fairly flat soft rubber soles might work the best- maybe Converse are a good choice. Basketball courts are similar sorts of surfaces I guess. Fairly short route; just a few km, so support and ruggedness not too big a deal.

    Any experience/insights?


Comments

  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,917 ✭✭✭ BarryD


    After a while you tend to be suspicious of wet rock as the grip varies a lot. Depends too on type of rock - granite usually has good grip, limestone would be slippy. Rock that is regularly washed clean by fast flowing water mostly affords good grip but you can be easily caught by rocks that have algae etc. growing on them, which your foot will shoot off. In the old days, people wore nailed boots - standard leather soles with various nails like clinkers hammered into them. I reckon they'd be your man for regularly walking on wet rock, though they'd wear down. You can probably still pick up such nails if you look around on the web.

    Then there's rocks in winter which just look wet but are covered in a thin veneer of ice - particularly tricky when hopping across a stream!


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,982 ✭✭✭✭ Alun


    Not that I fully understand why anyone would want to do such a thing in the first place, seeing as the only bad falls I've ever had while out hillwalking have been when stepping on rocks while crossing rivers, but I'd say the main problem would be one of contact area. Walking boots would have soles with varying degrees of rigidity, and would have 'knobbly' tread patterns for grip on grass or soil or rougher, more grippy rocks which work quite well in these circumstances. On the smoother boulders like you'd find in upland streams though, such soles would work against you and you'd have very little surface area contact between boot and rock.

    One possible idea, and I have no personal experience of these at all, would be to try some of the 'shoes' on offer here ...

    http://www.barefoot.ie/

    Vibram "five fingers" are the only ones I've heard of myself, but there are others there that seem very similar. The advantage of most of these would be that there's no rigid sole as such, and I'd imagine that this would mean your foot would mould itself to the shape of the rock better and therefore provide more grip.

    Again, this is pure conjecture on my part, but seems worth a try.


  • Registered Users Posts: 3,422 ✭✭✭ vandriver


    I don't even know why I'm replying on this thread,seeing as I wouldn't walk to the shops!But I do remember awful useless info,and I vaguely recall felt being the best thing for slippy rocks.

    Slinks back to motors


  • Moderators, Sports Moderators Posts: 11,205 Mod ✭✭✭✭ hmmm


    Wading boots seem to come with felt or a special type of vibram soles, so maybe vandriver is on to something :)

    I'd ask in an angling store.

    e.g. http://www.cabelas.com/category/Mens-Wading-Boots/103896180.uts


  • Registered Users Posts: 20,982 ✭✭✭✭ Alun


    Also I'd be trying to find out what people into stuff like canyoning and coasteering wear on their feet as they'd have similar problems.


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  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,743 ✭✭✭ blatantrereg


    vandriver wrote: »
    I don't even know why I'm replying on this thread,seeing as I wouldn't walk to the shops!But I do remember awful useless info,and I vaguely recall felt being the best thing for slippy rocks.

    Slinks back to motors
    That's interesting and has pointed me in the right direction I think, which is to look at what grips are used on waders. I won't get felt soles though because apparently they are a primary means of didymo being spread, which is also called rock snot - a name which describes why it's not a good thing to spread. (Felt soles are banned in the USA for this reason, in fact.)

    Not sure what type of rock it is. Dark and smooth. Not granite anyway.


  • Registered Users Posts: 312 ✭✭ Gasherbraun


    For what it is worth I use both Vibram soles and also a shoe with a sole made from a product called 'stealth rubber' and I find the stealth rubber excellent on wet rock. I think it is a proprietry product of the US manufacturer 5:10 and available on a lot of their footwear.

    As other have said though best to avoid the the wet rock if possible!


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,769 ✭✭✭ my3cents


    I walk across wet rocks everyday, I wade two streams and walk on wet seaweed covered rocks on the sea shore walking the dogs and cheap soft toe wellies seem to be as good as anything. Some rocks will be so slippery when wet nothing will grip on them, a few falls and you get to know which ones are to be avoided.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,917 ✭✭✭ BarryD


    See http://innovation-for-extremes.net/gear-timezone/icons/tricouni/ and note

    "Nails took slime, lichen, wet rock, moss, seaweed and verglas in their stride and indeed held their own in Scotland for some years."


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 9,769 ✭✭✭ my3cents


    BarryD wrote: »
    See http://innovation-for-extremes.net/gear-timezone/icons/tricouni/ and note

    "Nails took slime, lichen, wet rock, moss, seaweed and verglas in their stride and indeed held their own in Scotland for some years."

    I don't think the OP is doing a historic reenactment?


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  • Registered Users Posts: 331 ✭✭ fergusb


    What we use in Canyoning which does involve walking on lots of smooth wet rocks are shoes like this:
    http://fiveten.com/products/footwear-detail/14987-canyoneer-3-yellow

    They are neoprene upper for warmth and protection, and with a Vibram rubber sole.


  • Closed Accounts Posts: 2,917 ✭✭✭ BarryD


    my3cents wrote: »
    I don't think the OP is doing a historic reenactment?

    True, but you can still buy hob nailed boots - I'm not sure where you could get 'tricouni' nails now. But I seem to recall that places like the Great Outdoors sold these sort of things back in the 1970s - so not that long ago at all.


  • Registered Users Posts: 136 ✭✭ W1ll1s


    These guys have some good Canyoneering gear.

    http://www.bergfreunde.co.uk/watersport-shoes/for--men/


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