The distribution of the wall shear stress on the bed and sidewalls of an open channel receiving lateral inflow was obtained from experimental measurements of the distribution of the velocity in the viscous sublayer using a laser doppler velocimeter. The experiments were conducted in a 0.4 m wide by 7.5 m long flume. Lateral inflow was provided into the channel from above via sets of nozzles positioned toward the downstream end of the flume. Lateral inflow was provided over a length of 1.9 m. The results indicate that the local boundary shear stresses are significantly influenced by lateral inflow. The significant variation occurs near and around the region where the lateral inflow enters the channel. At various measurement positions along the lateral inflow zone, mean boundary, mean wall, and mean bed shear stresses were obtained and compared. The results indicate that the mean boundary shear stresses increase from the upstream to the downstream ends of the lateral inflow zone. The results also indicate that the mean bed shear stress is always greater than the mean wall shear stress, which are approximately 30–60% of the mean bed shear stress. The friction factor in the Darcy–Weisbach equation was obtained from both the mean boundary shear stress and from the equation describing the water surface elevation in an open channel receiving lateral inflow ~equation for spatially varied flow with increasing discharge!. The results indicate that the estimated friction factors from the latter approach are significantly larger. Also, the estimated friction factors from both approaches are higher than the values predicted from the Blasius equation which describes the friction factor for wide uniform open channel flows. They were also higher than values predicted from the Keulegan equation, which is an empirically derived equation for flow in roof drainage gutters. The study highlights the deficiencies in the existing equations used to predict friction factors for spatially varied flow and that further research is required to explore the distribution of boundary shear stress in an open channel receiving lateral inflow.