Author Topic: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!  (Read 269 times)

gunwharfman

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Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« on: 16:51:20, 16/03/20 »
I know this has been written about before but I have two pairs of boots, one (Berghaus) for winter wear one (Salomon) for summer wear and both of them can be lethal on wet surfaces. All of my previous boots have been just as lethal. I had to walk a short distance downhill on tarmac on Saturday and in an instant, I was flat on my back! I didn't hurt myself, just a bit of surface scratches on my right palm. I always try to be careful when the surface is damp or wet and I've fallen over many times but I am still surprised how quickly it can happen.

SteamyTea

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #1 on: 16:57:10, 16/03/20 »
I slipped over on a wet rock because of the lack of grip from my walking shoes.
Got a broken pelvis out of it, and a broken DSLR (Pentax K2).
Was so bad I had to have a night off work.
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Z3man

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #2 on: 17:56:54, 16/03/20 »
Salomon Contragrip is lethal in the wet, it's not even very good in the dry.

I sent my Salomon Quest 4D 3 GTX off to Lancashire Sports Repairs to have a Vibram sole fitted and the difference was like night and day, they did a very professional job, it looked like they had been manufactured like that it was that good. Have a look on their website lots of info and prices on how to go about having them done.

I have never had a bad Vibram sole yet, they have all gripped very well in the wet.

WhitstableDave

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #3 on: 18:00:18, 16/03/20 »
I do most of my walking in shoes, but this is still a very relevant issue for me.

With regard to grip, I've found that some soles are much worse than others. And the worse by far are my Merrell Cham 7s that have this design...



This is one of the second pair I've had. These are almost worn out and now I'm seriously thinking about buying a third pair. The problem is this - they're terrible on wet (or even slightly damp) surfaces, but they're by far the most comfortable shoes I've ever had. So I'm almost certain I'll get another pair, but I'll only wear them on warm, dry days.  :)

(As I write this I see that Z3man has replied, so I'll just add that I rate my Salomon Sandford GTX shoes' grip as very good!) 

Z3man

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #4 on: 18:12:08, 16/03/20 »
WhitstableDave, do your Sandford's have the Contragrip sole.

WhitstableDave

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #5 on: 18:20:14, 16/03/20 »
WhitstableDave, do your Sandford's have the Contragrip sole.

Yes.  :)

These are the shoes I've used most over the past few months. They're comfortable, light, and the soles have lasted well. In fact, I've already bought a new pair for when the current ones wear out!

ninthace

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #6 on: 18:20:23, 16/03/20 »
Although boot grip will vary with tread pattern and material a bit of fieldcraft and technique can help an awful lot when it comes to recognising which areas are likely to be slippery and which are not and placing your feet appropriately.  Poles are a god send too when negotiating slippery surfaces.
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Z3man

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #7 on: 18:24:53, 16/03/20 »
Yes.  :)

These are the shoes I've used most over the past few months. They're comfortable, light, and the soles have lasted well. In fact, I've already bought a new pair for when the current ones wear out!


Interesting that, i have read quite a few reports about Contagrip being poor in the wet. Maybe not all Contragrip soles are the same compound then, they might change the compound for different styles.

pdstsp

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #8 on: 22:53:56, 16/03/20 »
I slipped over on a wet rock because of the lack of grip from my walking shoes.
Got a broken pelvis out of it, and a broken DSLR (Pentax K2).
Was so bad I had to have a night off work.


Just one night with a broken pelvis?

BuzyG

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #9 on: 01:09:42, 17/03/20 »
Different boots work on different surfaces. My summer boots worked great on cold wet Ben Nevis, but are hopeless on wet Dartmoor granite.  Strangely on Snowdon they were like limpets much of the time, on a. Cold damp day, as my son was sliding around in his boots.  My winter boots are much better on wet Dartmoor granite.  Though if you want ultimate wet grip on Dartmoor Granite, micro spikes are the best thing I have found. O0 .

SteamyTea

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #10 on: 08:09:58, 17/03/20 »

Just one night with a broken pelvis?
Yes.  Swapped 2 shifts, then went in because workmate was off on holiday, so had to cover him (think I may have worked more than usual the following week).  Sitting was fine, so I could drive, walking was alright if I used crutches.  Laying in bed was the really uncomfortable bit.
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kinkyboots

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #11 on: 09:50:44, 17/03/20 »
Poor grip level of soles is one of the compromises/penalties you make and can often pay when you choose to buy what would be considered to be budget level boots (~ 100 or less) however this can still happen with some more expensive boots.

These days a boot having a Vibram sole is not always the guarantee of quality and improved grip level it once was. Unfortunately Vibram do now make and sell some rubbish soles for the budget entry level market as well. The Vibram name is still seen as a major selling point on any boot specification and is used to it's full advantage by marketing departments.

You also have to take into account the manufacturing processes and levels of quality control used by some manufacturers and it's very important that you do your own online research and read as many actual user reviews as you can before deciding to purchase any make and model of boot.

Some manufacturers with poor quality control procedures and often pass boots where the releasing agent from the sole manufacturing process has not been thoroughly cleaned off and been left on the sole making them potentially lethal in wet UK conditions.

I wouldn't be surprised to learn some of the Vibram soles out there are actually manufactured under license in other countries and have nothing to do with Vibram other than the Vibram name being stamped on them (possibly Berghaus for example?). With the world being as it is these days I wouldn't be at all surprised if some of the so called "Vibram" soles out there turned out to be counterfeit.
 
The other thing to take into account is the market the boot was originally designed and made to be sold and used in. Merrell is one such example where their boots are primarily designed to be used in the warm dry conditions found in the USA not the predominantly wet conditions found in the UK.

The grip level of any boot can be improved to some degree by roughing up the surface of the soles with sandpaper. The obvious penalty for doing this is increased sole wear and reduced longevity. 
« Last Edit: 11:04:50, 17/03/20 by kinkyboots »

SteamyTea

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #12 on: 13:46:45, 17/03/20 »
I have only had one pair of boots with Vibram soles.  They offered no grip in the wet, were skittery on dry gravel and loose stones, and only lasted a few weeks.
If I see the name on the sole, I walk away from the boot.
The sad thing is they probably make (or their suppliers make) other branded soles that are the same mix.
I find StormGrip OK, decent life and I can walk on the Penzance granite slabs in the wet.  Metal drain covers are a different story.
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ninthace

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Re: Boots that don't grip when the surface is wet!
« Reply #13 on: 14:16:27, 17/03/20 »
I have only had one pair of boots with Vibram soles.  They offered no grip in the wet, were skittery on dry gravel and loose stones, and only lasted a few weeks.
If I see the name on the sole, I walk away from the boot.
The sad thing is they probably make (or their suppliers make) other branded soles that are the same mix.
I find StormGrip OK, decent life and I can walk on the Penzance granite slabs in the wet.  Metal drain covers are a different story.
IIRC my Altbergs have Vibram soles and are fairly grippy on most surfaces.  Earlier I mentioned fieldcraft, if a rock is in a situation where it is usually wet it will have an algal coat and nothing will stick to it but if it is usually dry, a decent boot should provide some grip even if the rock is wet.  Some rock types are better than others, metamorphic rocks of sedimentary origin (slate to you) can be the devil to grip on, limestone can sometimes be a swine when wet but brilliant dry, however I have never had trouble sticking to granite in my boots under most conditions.
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