I've had serious problems walking on such wet, slightly rotten(*) wood this weekend. It was extremely slippery even though I was wearing my hiking boots.

Wet rotten wood

As soon I applied pressure onto the food standing on these battens, it slipped away.

Is there something one can do about it? Maybe a special tread on the shoes or walking technique?

*) As Aravona pointed out in the comments, this surface might not be rotten but "have a mildew, moss, type organism growing on top of it (common on decking in your garden too, it comes off with a pressure wash)."

  • 1
    That wood may not necessarily be rotten, it looks however like it does have a mildew, moss, type organism growing on top of it (common on decking in your garden too, it comes off with a pressure wash)
    – Aravona
    Dec 21, 2015 at 12:26
  • Basically the problem is the same as walking on ice, so the answers given in outdoors.stackexchange.com/questions/8974/… might apply here as well. Dec 21, 2015 at 12:59

3 Answers 3


Fishermen use felt soled wading boots for wading through creeks and rivers on the slippery rocks, they give you the friction you need without damaging the surface you're walking on. They would work just as well on a slippery dock. You can buy them at any fishing store.

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I would treat this exactly like walking on ice: use the penguin technique, i.e. always keep your center of mass above your feet and take small slow steps.

Also see What's the best way to avoid slipping on ice?

  • 2
    At least unlike ice it's not so hard to fall on. The grip also doesn't seem to be as bad at least not over large areas. Parallel to the slats it's worse than perpendicular to them.
    – Chris H
    Dec 21, 2015 at 13:09
  • @fgysin I disagree with that answer cause I think the ice analogy is an overkill.
    – OddDeer
    Dec 21, 2015 at 16:13
  • Why would you say? Yes, a perfectly polished ice skating surface might be a tad more slippery than wet slimy wood, but the same principles still apply. Also you're probably not walking on such wood for great distances, so special gear is likely unfeasible unless you work in very special environments.
    – fgysin
    Dec 22, 2015 at 9:09

The special tread for walking on slippery wood is called caulk boots or cork boots. They have spikes that give good traction on wet wood.

enter image description here

  • 1
    They also tear the wood apart. If someone walked on my dock with a pair of those on I'd be ticked off.
    – ShemSeger
    Dec 23, 2015 at 20:05
  • 1
    Random thought: someone probably walked with a pair of these,on your dock when it a freshly fallen tree in the forest. Dec 23, 2015 at 20:31

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