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Astral Rassler Review

- Tuesday September 30, 2014
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Ben Ghertner, WeStroke Team Member:

I started using Astral’s first shoes, the Brewers, shortly after they came out about two years ago.  I had never really liked any kayaking shoe very much before that.  They were all about the same, these flimsy, basically beefed-up kids’ water shoes.  I was pleasantly surprised when I first put on my Brewers.  These comfortable and cool looking shoes also were sturdy and had the best rubber I had ever encountered on a shoe that was not made for climbing.  Within a week I had sworn I would never use another shoe.

I kept that promise for quite a while, until one day while I was hiking with some friends at Linville Falls. I was jumping from rock to rock in my very worn Brewers, when they exploded.  Well actually I just landed funny and I ripped one of them apart. Anyway, I decided that I might as well try these Rassler things that everyone seemed so stoked on. 

When I first tried them on, I was intrigued by how much they felt like a boot.  In my opinion this was one of the only things lacking about the Brewers.  During long hikes to put-in or from take-out, the brewers offered no more support than a normal tennis shoe.  The Rasslers have offered a solution to that problem by incorporating ankle support to keep you from twisting an ankle or just straining a joint while caring an 100 pound loaded boat on those long portages that sometimes happen while expedition kayaking.

Ben Trail Astral Rassler
Click to see the gallery

The Rasslers have everything the Brewers have plus more.  They still have Astral’s amazing rubber that will keep you safe on those precarious portages.  Also they offer the trademark durability and high quality of every Astral product.  Along with all these great features you also are getting the wonderful customer service of Astral.  I recently sent in my warranty information on my Brewers and within 48 hours they had sent me an e-mail back.  So it only took about 5 months to replace my Brewers: 5 months for me to get around to e-mailing them and 2 days for them to get around to e-mailing me back.

As with all gear, there are things that I do not like about the Rasslers.  The main problem I have with them occurs when I am walking in sand or gravel.  They tend to fill up with it and then I have to take the shoe all the way off to empty it.  It is the same story with small rocks getting in them.  The other beef people seem to have with the Rasslers, are that they tend to be hard to put on.   The reason for this is that they are a sturdy high top shoe and this means that you never have to worry about them coming off in the river.  The worst is when you have a scary swim and after fighting for your life, you get to shore only to step on a blasted rock and put a hole in your foot because your “easy to put on” shoe has easily been taken off by the river.

After several months of using this shoe I am sure that it is my new favorite and am confident it will be yours too.  I rarely get an opportunity to use and review a piece of gear that is head and shoulders above the rest.  I definitely have a favorite boat, a favorite paddle and a favorite skirt, however all of those have a close second or third that I would not break a sweat about having to trade out for.  The Rasslers are not like that!  You would be hard pressed to get me to drop into a committing gorge with a different pair of shoes on my feet.

Click here to head over and check out a pair of Astral Rasslers for yourself.


Good to Know: 

-  You should probably order a half-size larger than you would wear in an Astral Brewer. So if you wear a size 11 with the Brewer, grab a 11.5 with the Rassler.  



-  Super sticky rubber that will keep you on your feet on those wet rocks

-  High top gives extra ankle support

-  More durable shoe like a boot

-  More comfortable than a real boot

-  Good for hiking not just kayaking especially if your going to hike through water

-  Drains well

-  Back folds down like the Brewers to make it a slip on shoe

-  Will not fall off while swimming



-  Sand and gravel get in them

-  You have to take them off to empty them

-  Takes a little extra effort to put them on

-  Drains well, so they are not the best for drinking beer out of…


Below is a video that I shot recently. Was really focusing on getting some great shots and the Rasslers saved my life at least 4 times while I was climbing around.

Check out a review of the Astral Brewers from

Categories: Review
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