Gear Review: Astral Rassler
Astral has been putting some great water shoes out in recent years. The very popular Rassler caught my eye.
Sand and small rocks can really take a toll on feet while on the river. Toss in being wet all day and after a few days your feet are hurting. I find that a high top shoe helps keep that debris out and gives a little extra support for walking on uneven terrain and slippery rocks. The very first thing I noticed was the Rassler's ability to keep small rocks, sand, and grit out. Walking in and out of the water while loading up and getting ready is when most of the debris gets in. Scrambling at a scout or going on a hike is another great time to collect rocks in your shoes, but this shoe excels at keeping you going without having to dump stuff out. The shoe has a higher profile that helps limit what can get it, and the small drain holes along the sole are big enough to drain water fast, but small enough to keep stuff out.
The very first thing I noticed was the Rassler's ability to keep small rocks, sand, and grit out.
Another awesome feature is the rubber on the bottom of the Rassler. This is some seriously sticky rubber. I can walk and scramble on wet or dry rocks with confidence, while only being a little cautious when I see the really slimy moss covered rocks that typically send you to the ground.
When buying river shoes it is important to think about what else you will have on your feet. Do you wear socks? What about a drysuit? Barefoot? Some people have two pairs of shoes, one for when it is drysuit time and another when it is warm out. I spend a fair amount of time in my drysuit so I got a half size bigger than I usually wear and they fit great. However, when I don't have anything else on my feet they are a bit big and feel a bit sloppy.
This great river shoe offers excellent ankle support, keeps debris out, and sticks to everything. I recommend them to any one looking for kayaking, rafting, or any water activity footwear and want a little more support and coverage than a sandal. This shoe was also great as a light hiking shoe, allowing me to walk on anything. This shoe can be worn on the river or trail, and still keep you looking cool when out and about in town.