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Shoes for slippery wet cobblestones

Slippery cobblestones:
I have worn Birkenstocks on cobblestones as well as my Sketchers, but I dont think they will be ok if the cobblestones are wet. Any suggestions?

Posted by
6603 posts

I think any good pair of gym shoes with a rubber sole will be fine. I wear Oboz shoes in Europe and I've never had problems walking on slippery pavements (cobblestones or not) with them. But that goes for other shoes I wear at home. Just make sure it has some traction on the sole.

Posted by
2426 posts

Look for shoes with Vibram soles. A number of companies have them, though not every shoe in a line has them. My favorite brand, Asolo, has a few, and I've felt the soles are more grippy then other shoes I have worn.

Posted by
49 posts

Rieker Liv 34. These have angled soles going in opposite directions. I have used them on icy cobblestones and in the rain with good results. You can order them from Zappos.

Posted by
488 posts

I'm worried about this as well. While I've managed the cobblestones on relatively flat places in Italy in the rain, I'm worried about going to Umbria and Portugal next spring since it's apparently all hills. My best idea so far is my hiking shoes since they have a pretty good sole and they're water proof, but I'll follow along to see what others suggest.

Posted by
271 posts

I was just thinking about this! I have a pair of Aravon Stridarcs that I got several years ago (haven't worn them a lot) that are waterproof and very comfortable, but the comments above got me thinking about how slip-proof they are. I emailed the question to a store that sells them, and was told that they aren't slip-proof. So maybe they don't get to go to Portugal. I'm thinking of ordering the Rieker shoes to see if they're comfortable for me. Elle Gee, have you found them to be waterproof?

Posted by
225 posts

I wore Birenstocks in Lisbon. They were fine but we didn’t have rain. The cute sandals were never used. I used a pair of Go sketchers last year in Colmar and they were good. I have had good luck with Merrels hiking shoes but they are so heavy.

One thought. If the shoes are waterproof, they might not be breathable.

Posted by
488 posts

I generally take a pair of sneakers as well as my hiking shoes, so breathability (is that a word?) isn’t a concern since I can switch out depending on the forecast, and flat or nearly flat walkways don’t concern me, but slipping on a wet hill does worry me.

Posted by
519 posts

I bought a pair of Cariuma Therma "Sole 100% slip-resistant, natural rubber" for Edinburgh and London in December as I was told they were ally were slip resistant. They were great on the ice, compacted snow and wet stones. I didn't realize how good until I switched shoes and started slipping everywhere. They have other shoes in a tennis shoe style with a similar sole.

Posted by
4162 posts

I'm a KEEN fan myself. I always wear mid-height hiking boots like these Terradora II ones, regardless of season. I got mine from REI and Amazon. I used the link I did because it shows the colors better than Amazon does. I have an older pair of Terradora boots without the II/2 in green.

My other colors are the Canteen/Andorra (as close to a neutral color as I can tolerate) and the Majolica/Tapestry, a very nice blue that I wore on my trip to Ireland and Wales last summer. These KEEN boots are 100% Textile and Synthetic and are both breathable and waterproof. They have good support and the height has kept me from turning my ankle on more than one occasion. I'd never buy leather ones due to the weight.

Please note that I also bought a pair of the Rhubarb/Jam ones last year. I loved the color, but they just didn’t fit me as well as the others. They were too narrow. It turned out that they were made in a different factory in a different country. Having granddaughters with narrower feet, I passed them on.

Everytime I recommend these boots I also recommend Sockwell socks. Other women recommend different brands and I've tried some of them, but they just don't work for me. I get the Over the Calf, Moderate (15-20mmHg) Graduated Compression ones. The support helps keep me on my feet on trips and the fiber content -- 32% Merino Wool, 31% Bamboo Rayon, 32% Stretch Nylon, 5% Spandex -- keeps my feet dry and warm or cool as needed. It doesn't hurt that these socks come in a variety of colors and designs. Here's the link to Sockwell where you can read about all the kinds socks they have for specific foot issues as well as order them. You can also order them from Amazon.
Your timing with this question is perfect for 4th of July sales and Amazon Prime Day. 😉

Posted by
2 posts

I wore LL Bean Trail Model Hiker 4 shoes on my October 2023 trip to Scotland. I added SuperFeet arch supports to keep my Plantar Fasciitis from returning. The shoes are water proof and performed exceptionally well on this trip across all types of terrain. We also trecked through rain and sleet. I never lost my footing. I did use the shoes for my regular exercise walks for 3 months prior to the trip. The shoe is a bit heavy for all day wear. I brought a second pair of regular shoes (Hartjes Mary Janes) with a good sole to wear to dinners.

Posted by
2 posts

I have always been a Danner fan however, for less than half the cost, believe it or not, New Balance, 608AB5 Slip Resistant Cross Training shoe/ Walking shoe is performing very well. Leather uppers can be treated with either Scotchgard Outdoor WaterShield or many other products widely available thru Amazon. I live north of Seattle so have plenty of opportunities to test in rain. Just sayin.......

Posted by
3162 posts

In fall and winter I have Merrell’s Jungle Mocs.
They’re like wearing tractors and I’ve even worn them out on light snow at home.
After 19 years, mine are hardly showing any wear.
I just bought a new pair to wear in a few weeks in the UK and Brussels……however, they don’t look quite as well made…..hmm.

Posted by
734 posts

I live in Birks all summer, lots of cobbles here and we arent short of rain! Not a problem at all

Posted by
6342 posts

After slipping and sliding so much on the South Italy tour this year, I bought a pair of SAS Alpine ankle boots. https://www.sasshoes.com/womens-alpine-non-slip-lace-up-boot/2230.html?dwvar_2230_color=013&cgid=womens-boots#start=1

I liked them very much, and didn't slip or slide even once on our recent trip to Lisbon and Porto, even in the rain.

The boots were very comfortable, but heavy. They weigh twice as much as the other shoes I wear, also SAS. And the fit is a bit different: one reason I always (almost) choose SAS is because I wear an 11 Wide, a size not easy to find. These boots fit excellently, but were wider in the heel than my other shoes, enough that my foot would slip in the boot. I did find that wearing heavier socks and lacing the boots as tightly as possible helped. Exchanging them for a standard width was not an option, because they fit perfectly in every other way.

I do recommend these; even though they are short I definitely could appreciate the ankle support, and, as I said, I never slipped on the cobblestones, even in the rain.

Posted by
206 posts

I wear Oboz Bdry low hiking shoes and they seem more grippy(proprietary material design) than Vibram, both are better than shoes without any claim to prevent slipping.