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Recommendations for grippy soles?

Kanga

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Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I was reading the thread about accidents on the camino and it reminded me of the two spectacular falls I had on the Camino Portuguese, both cause by a combination of a slope, slippery wet cobblestones, and my beloved Ecco Off-Road sandals (like Yucatan).

I really don't want to go back to shoes, but with my very wide feet I can't find proper walking sandals with good grip in the wet. The usual brands (Teva, Keen, Chaco) don't fit me. The ones that do seem too flimsy. I suspect there are European brands that are not common here - we are dominated by the US products.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
I was reading the thread about accidents on the camino and it reminded me of the two spectacular falls I had on the Camino Portuguese, both cause by a combination of a slope, slippery wet cobblestones, and my beloved Ecco Off-Road sandals (like Yucatan).

I really don't want to go back to shoes, but with my very wide feet I can't find proper walking sandals with good grip in the wet. The usual brands (Teva, Keen, Chaco) don't fit me. The ones that do seem too flimsy. I suspect there are European brands that are not common here - we are dominated by the US products.
Have you looked a Merrells? They have some good sandals with Vibram soles.
 

Kanga

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Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
No, Merrells are too narrow. Imagine duck feet, narrow heels, wide splayed toes. And a high instep. Weird feet. Thanks Mum and Dad.

Plus Vibram can be quite slippery on hard cobbles.
 

peregrina2000

Moderator
Staff member
Salomon? They are not quite as wide in the toe box as Altras or Keens, but I was able to survive in them for years before I found Altras (whose soles are not terribly grippy).

I think Europeans in general have much narrower feet than my part of the world and on those occasions when I had to replace shoes while walking I remember being frustrated. The first time it happened I was in León and desperate. In a slight snooty outdoor store, I was almost prepared to pay more than 200€ for some fancy Italian shoes but in my heart I knew they would be too tight. So I just went to an athletic shoe store and bought some low Salomon hikers.

Do you wear men’s sizes? I made that switch years ago, too. Much more width in the toe box.
 

Kanga

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Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Yes, I'm wondering about some of the German brands. Also the Scandinavian brands - my husband loves his Danish shoes that have a splayed shape at the toes.

It is particularly sandals I'm after, hiking ones. The Eccos are perfect, except they have a very hard sole, great for distance, but, as I said, they slide on cobblestones. I have to walk very gingerly.

I may be asking too much. It stands to reason that anything grippy is going to be rather soft and would probably wear out on a long camino. Still, even if I could find something lightweight to take as a second pair I'd consider them.
 
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SabineP

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Yes, I'm wondering about some of the German brands. Also the Scandinavian brands - my husband loves his Danish shoes that have a splayed shape at the toes.

It is particularly sandals I'm after, hiking ones. The Eccos are perfect, except they have a very hard sole, great for distance, but, as I said, they slide on cobblestones. I have to walk very gingerly.

I may be asking too much. It stands to reason that anything grippy is going to be rather soft and would probably wear out on a long camino. Still, even if I could find something lightweight to take as a second pair I'd consider them.


Meindl might be a good choice for you.


My favourite brand Hanwag does not have sandals in their line.
 

henrythedog

Loved and fed by David
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 2017, 2018, 2019, Ingles 2018, (Madrid 2019 partial - retired hurt!) (more planned)
I think Europeans in general have much narrower feet than my part of the world

Many Europeans have much narrower shoes than your part of the world. The vast majority are still constructed around the ‘Italian last’ which presumes a narrow, stylish foot. Many years ago my favourite Zamberlan boots used to be made on the Italian last and struggled to sell in the UK, where we have wide feet to stop us sinking in the mud. Zamberlan switched to the ‘English last’ which is more actual foot-shaped.

As usual, I can offer some historic arcane detail, but no practical application.

I’d suggest you look at British or Scandinavian manufacturers to stand the best chance of buying foot-shaped shoes.
 

Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
The Xero Sandals come highly recommended, but i have not tried them myself since i'm using trailrunners.

Do you use trekking poles? Even a single pole can give you lots of stability on slippery parts of the way and they can be seriously light (mine are like 160g a piece)
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
The Xero Sandals come highly recommended, but i have not tried them myself since i'm using trailrunners.

Do you use trekking poles? Even a single pole can give you lots of stability on slippery parts of the way and they can be seriously light (mine are like 160g a piece)

Yes, I always use two poles, when out on the trail. But this was in town, and I'm not sure poles would have helped anyway. My feet just went sliding downhill like metal across ice.

I'm wondering if there is a compound I can try painting on the existing sandals.
 
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Anhalter

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2019 CF
Yes, I always use two poles, when out on the trail. But this was in town, and I'm not sure poles would have helped anyway. My feet just went sliding downhill like metal across ice.

I'm wondering if there is a compound I can try painting on the existing sandals.

I honestly don't think such a thing exists to paint on.
I am however positive, that sandals exist, that can handle wet cobblestone. My shoes definately can. Sadly, the company makes no sandals.
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Us:Camino Frances, 2015 Me:Catalan/Aragonese, 2019
I honestly don't think such a thing exists to paint on.
I am however positive, that sandals exist, that can handle wet cobblestone. My shoes definately can. Sadly, the company makes no sandals.
How about having sandals resoled with suitable soles made for boots or shoes. In @Kanga's case, larger boots.
 

amancio

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances, Norte, Primit, Salvador, Portug, Arag, Ingles, VdlP, Leban-Vadin, Fisterra, Invierno, LePuy
No grip like the one you get in ASICS gel fuji trabuco runners, it is something else, they are light, extremely comfortable, soft in the right places, they are the ones I use in the Sierra Nevada mountains (over 3000 meters above sea level). Series 6 and 7 already exist, but to me these have the best grip of all.
And this is said by a keen TEVA sandals user!
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
The Xero Sandals come highly recommended, but i have not tried them myself since i'm using trailrunners.
While they have a good sole, Xero sandals are a minimalist sandal and have no support.
 
D

Deleted member 43985

Guest
You may have luck with Lowa Renegade shoes (not the boots) as they come in W and WW widths and their soles are exceptionally soft rubber Vibram. The down side for me is that they only last one Camino because they are so soft I get a hole worn in the heel and they cannot be resoled. My wife does not have this problem leading me to believe my Doctor may be on to something when he told me “Don’t eat anything fatty”. I asked if fruit and veg were ok and he replied “No, I said don’t eat anything, fatty!” ;)
 
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lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
While they have a good sole, Xero sandals are a minimalist sandal and have no support.
All these different brands it is so confusing. That is why I have stuck with Brooks Cascadias and at night Toms loafers. I think the Toms weigh about nothing and when I had a blister (I have had very very few) I was able to wear them without a problem for about 8 -10 kilometers.
More importantly was that you I heard on the Camino Podcast this morning?????
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
More importantly was that you I heard on the Camino Podcast this morning?????
Yes. I haven't listened to it yet. I don't know if I'll be able to stand to hear my own voice! Hopefully Dave did a really good job of editing. 😄
 

lt56ny

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
CF(2012) Le Puy/CF (2015) Portugues (2017) Norte (2018) CF (2019) VDLP?
Yes. I haven't listened to it yet. I don't know if I'll be able to stand to hear my own voice! Hopefully Dave did a really good job of editing. 😄
You came out just fine. I know it sounds weird to hear yourself but enjoy your 15 minutes of Camino fame!!!
 

chinacat

Veteran Member
@Kanga

I know you’ve said that Tevas don’t fit you ... but my Teva Terra Fi (not the Lite) fit my broad shallow(ish), narrow-heeled foot well ... and that super grippy sole keeps me secure on slippery rocks on the beach. They’re the only sandals I’ve ever found that give me the confidence to walk on the rocks.

I wear Ecco (& Merrell) sandals as everyday wear in warmer weather.
(which is why I thought those specific Tevas might be okay for you.)

Salomon Speedcross sandals have a Contagrip TD outsole.
Salomon’s sizing is somewhat strange: their ‘in between’ sizes usually mean that the fit is wider, not that the shoe/sandal is longer.

I also find that the Chacos feel secure in the ‘thong’ design.
 
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Susan Watson

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2022
I was reading the thread about accidents on the camino and it reminded me of the two spectacular falls I had on the Camino Portuguese, both cause by a combination of a slope, slippery wet cobblestones, and my beloved Ecco Off-Road sandals (like Yucatan).

I really don't want to go back to shoes, but with my very wide feet I can't find proper walking sandals with good grip in the wet. The usual brands (Teva, Keen, Chaco) don't fit me. The ones that do seem too flimsy. I suspect there are European brands that are not common here - we are dominated by the US products.
Hi Kanga, I have had a similar issue finding suitable sandals for the Camino but fit different foot issues. I have just found a pair called Allrounder made by Mephisto. I bought mine in Perth (Western Australia) at Paul Carrol shoes. Not sure if Paul Carrol us in Sydney. Haven’t tried them on a Camino or hiking yet but they are very comfortable and the grip is the best I have found in a sandal other than the usual Teva, Keen etc.
 
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trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Don't discount all Merrells. I have tried Merrell sandals that were wide and some that are narrow. I think that it depends on the style. They don't make the sandals that I wore on my 2019 Camino any longer, but these have the same sole as those that I wore. I didn't wear them on cobblestones, but I wore them in the rain on the Norte, and they performed well.
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
I love Mephisto but haven't found any that I think would stand up to a 1,000 km hike. The Merrells look possible, I'd have to find some locally to try them I think.
 

uncletim

New Member
Year of past OR future Camino
May '19, Oct 19
I slipped and fell walking out of Tui in '19. I was wearing Merrell hiking shoes, do not think they had Vibram soles? not sure that matters. I really hope I can go back and slip this year! lol

Altra is going to make the the Lone Peak 5 in wide, I have a friend that wants to walk his first Camino this year and he is 4E, he will be looking also. I like a wide toebox.

Not sure about sandals.
 

Raggy

Veteran Member
Year of past OR future Camino
2021
You may have luck with Lowa Renegade shoes (not the boots) as they come in W and WW widths and their soles are exceptionally soft rubber Vibram.
I was about to mention this. I am not a wide footed pilgrim. (I have elegant Italian feet on the ends of my inelegant Celtic legs), but I've heard from Mahdi du Camino that the Lowa Renegade wide sizes are the best for him and others with that shape. He wears them laced with a wide-foot lacing, which is something you might consider too:
 

camino.ninja

Active Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances 5 6,16,17,18,19,20
Primiti+Salvador 19
Portug. 17,18,20
Catalan 17
Norte 17
Plata 18
I was reading the thread about accidents on the camino and it reminded me of the two spectacular falls I had on the Camino Portuguese, both cause by a combination of a slope, slippery wet cobblestones, and my beloved Ecco Off-Road sandals (like Yucatan).

I really don't want to go back to shoes, but with my very wide feet I can't find proper walking sandals with good grip in the wet. The usual brands (Teva, Keen, Chaco) don't fit me. The ones that do seem too flimsy. I suspect there are European brands that are not common here - we are dominated by the US products.

I used to walk in "Ecco Off-Road" and really liked them. Now I'm using "Teva Float 2". They have better grip, better cushioning, and they are lighter as well.

And then last year Teva made a new model called "Teva Strata Universal". They have Vibram Megagrip soles, it's wider and also as heavy as "Ecco Off-Road". I can not find them on their website, so they might be sold out until new season (March / April). But you might be able to find them online. But I would try the "Teva FLoat 2" first. It is the one I think most people will find perfect.

Best
Andy
 
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Paladina

old woman of the roads
Year of past OR future Camino
CF, primitivo & del norte (2017); VdlP/Sanabres, ingles etc (2018), Mozarabe etc (2019), tbc (2020)
I really don't want to go back to shoes, but with my very wide feet I can't find proper walking sandals with good grip in the wet. The usual brands (Teva, Keen, Chaco) don't fit me. The ones that do seem too flimsy.

Instead of replacing your otherwise ideal sandals, have you considered bringing a cheap pair of studded ice cleats, preferably the lightweight thong-type design that attach with cord or rubber bands? Failing that, try using a pair of old socks big enough to pull over your sandals when you approach a slippery surface. Had I followed my own advice when walking across an icy section of the road earlier this week — in Vibram-soled boots! — I would not have fallen flat on my back.
 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Do you wear men’s sizes? I made that switch years ago, too. Much more width in the toe box.


I switched over to men’s sizes 20 years ago. I normally wear an 11 womens wide shoe and couldn’t find anything to allow for the extra width and extra space needed for long haul hiking, day after day, For 30 years, I have been wearing various Vasque models. Unfortunately, Vasque is going the way of many companies, with previous low - below the ankle models, being comprimised because sole support is being reduced to lighten their weight. The newer constructions do not provde the kind of support and durability that is needed for hundreds of miles on paved roads.

@Kanga I read your post with personal interest. Your observation regarding the Vibram soles being slippery on certain kinds of stone, is shared. However, for me, the support it provides on most surfaces has outweighed the fewer surfaces that are slippery with it. If there is a better option out there, I would like to know as well.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
Plus Vibram can be quite slippery on hard cobbles.
Vibram makes different soles for different conditions. A sandal meant for hiking and rafting would probably be a good choice.

 

Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
Vibram makes different soles for different conditions. A sandal meant for hiking and rafting would probably be a good choice.


Informative article, trecile. I will be on the lookout for ....
“Graphene Enhanced rubber compound “ just launched by inov-8 is so interesting. By adding durability without impacting on grip levels it opens up the potential to have, say, stickier approach shoes or mountaineering boots, which don’t wear out in double quick time.

In the meantme, I will stick with Vibram As it appeas to be best option for durability and various surfaces...but one does need to be careful on smooth Surfaces.
 

trecile

Camino Addict
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés (2016 & 2017), Norte (2018), Francés-Salvador-Norte (2019), Portuguese (2019)
In the meantme, I will stick with Vibram As it appeas to be best option for durability and various surfaces...but one does need to be careful on smooth Surfaces.
But, there is more than one type of Vibram sole. The sandals that I wear that are made for a variety of activities, including water activities have a grippier sole than others. It's a trade off between long wearing and grippiness.

My Merrell sandals (now discontinued) are considered a water sandal.
 
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Marbe2

Active member
Year of past OR future Camino
2015-2019 walked all or more than half of CF 7 times... CP recently cancelled by Covid 19!
But, there is more than one type of Vibram sole. The sandals that I wear that are made for a variety of activities, including water activities have a grippier sole than others. It's a trade off between long wearing and grippiness.

My Merrell sandals (now discontinued) are considered a water sandal.


I have been using all around Vibram sole shoes, as the article describes, with pretty traditional tread, though I know there are various patterns. The newer models of my favorite Vasques shoes are now using megagrip soles which grip better on harder surfaces but are not as supportive, and will wear out in training even before I get to the Camino. i am really having difficulty finding another option. And it’s not like I can walk into an REI store and try shoes on.😀
 
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Camino Chrissy

Take one step forward...then keep on walking..
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My Hoka One One's were excellent and grippy on wet slippery rocks on the Le Puy route in 2018.
Not sure how the newer models perform.
Screenshot_20210113-201925~2.png
 
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Portugues (2015)
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Have you looked a Merrells? They have some good sandals with Vibram soles.
Understand, there are Vibrams and there are Vibram Megagrips. Not the same. After DH's accident in 2017 (broken leg), we will never walk again in regular Vibram soles on the Camino. The Megagrip is slip resistant. in 2018 we returned and even walking in a running stream on broken marble trail surface, we didn't slip. It's worth looking into the type of sole before buying.
BC
 
Year of past OR future Camino
Norte (2017-18)
Portugues (2015)
Frances (2014)
Yes, I'm wondering about some of the German brands. Also the Scandinavian brands - my husband loves his Danish shoes that have a splayed shape at the toes.

It is particularly sandals I'm after, hiking ones. The Eccos are perfect, except they have a very hard sole, great for distance, but, as I said, they slide on cobblestones. I have to walk very gingerly.

I may be asking too much. It stands to reason that anything grippy is going to be rather soft and would probably wear out on a long camino. Still, even if I could find something lightweight to take as a second pair I'd consider them.
My feet are not unusually wide, I don't think, but I love my Teva hiking sandals...I don't hike in them, but I wear them around town, and in the shower and to dinner on the Camino...they don't seem to be slippy.
BC
 

Kanga

Moderator
Staff member
Year of past OR future Camino
Francés x 5, Le Puy x 2, Arles, Tours, Norte, Madrid, Via de la Plata, Portuguese, Primitivo
Anyone tried the HokaOneOne Hopara sandals? They are on sale here online and look interesting. There seem to be two model numbers but I can't see the difference between them.
 
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palmah

Member
Year of past OR future Camino
Frances (Spring 2010), Frances (Spring 2016), Portuguese (May 2018)
I was reading the thread about accidents on the camino and it reminded me of the two spectacular falls I had on the Camino Portuguese, both cause by a combination of a slope, slippery wet cobblestones, and my beloved Ecco Off-Road sandals (like Yucatan).

I really don't want to go back to shoes, but with my very wide feet I can't find proper walking sandals with good grip in the wet. The usual brands (Teva, Keen, Chaco) don't fit me. The ones that do seem too flimsy. I suspect there are European brands that are not common here - we are dominated by the US products.
We were with friends a couple of weeks ago and they mentioned "approach" shoes used to (you guessed in), as you approach a rock climb. I had never heard of them but they are supposed to be very "grippy". I googled "approach sandals" and came up with this: They look a little thin soled but supposed to be "sturdy":

 

Canuck

Veteran wanderer
Year of past OR future Camino
?
Look at the grip on these babies:


As for width???
 

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