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Gear Review: Astral Rassler

Gear Review: Astral Rassler

Gear Review: Astral Rassler

Value Rating: 8
Durability Rating: 7
Overall Rating: 8

Location of Test: Southeast, Northwest, Chile, Ecuador, Mexico, British Columbia
Duration: Several pairs over four years

Product Name: Rassler
Product Brand: Astral
Best Use: Water shoe, specifically creek boating
Sizes Available/ Specs: Available in green and black.
Limited sizing available at Next Adventure

Rassler Water Shoe

Astral Rassler Water Shoe


The Full Review

The Rassler is Astral’s most rugged whitewater shoe. It builds off the Brewer but adds more support and durability with a reinforced toe box and heel cup. With a higher cut the shoe offers much more ankle support than the Brewers. Most importantly the Rassler has Astral’s famous Gss Rubber.

Astral Rassler

To me footwear is a piece of safety gear. The same way I won’t kayak with people that don’t bring a throw rope, I don’t kayak with people that don’t wear good shoes. If someone comes out of their boat, having shoes that stay on their feet will greatly increase their ability to participate in their own rescue. Additionally it will also increase their ability to rescue other people. Say a group member washes into a portage and the only way to reach him is to hop out of your kayak and run downstream to throw him a rope. Having good shoes can make the difference in how quickly a person can make it there.

With Astral’s Gss Rubber, it’s not that I spend less time slipping and falling, it’s that I can move faster and with more confidence that I won’t slip and fall. If someone is in trouble I can make it to them faster with Astral’s shoes than I can with other types of shoes. To me this is a big deal.

The Good:

For me the biggest reason I use these shoes is the rubber on the bottom. In addition, I really like the amount of ankle support the Rassler gives. It's perfect for those longer missions or expeditions.

The Bad:

There have been some durability issues with the Astral shoes. The most common problem is for the stitching between the sole and the top of the shoe to come apart at the toes. I've found that a little bit of pre-emptive aqauseal can prevent this from happening.

The Bottom Line:

All in all, this is my go to river shoe for any run where I think I may hiking in or out, setting lots of safety, possibly going for some longer portages. The last thing I'll add is that if you find yourself spending more time in dirt or mud than rock you might want take a look at the Astral's Aquanaut shoes. They have the same rubber but a more rugged tread.


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