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Astral Webber and PFD Sandals Review

- Tuesday July 19, 2022
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Being huge Astral footwear fans, including the BrewerJunction, LoyakHiyakRassler, etc, we were excited to receive their latest models, the Webber and PFD, early to test and give our feedback. Unlike those others shoes though, these were something very different... sandals. While not our normal go-to type of active kicks, they are for a lot of people and we were very curious to give them a go. We gave different models to various members of our team to collectively gather their thoughts across a variety of activities. Read on to hear our impressions. 

The first obvious thing to improve on in regards to other company's sandals is an area where Astral always excels, traction. To accomplish this, they added the super sticky G Rubber™ and Flex grip of their Loyak water shoes to both models. We found the traction to be quite good, although not quite as grippy as some of their other models like the Brewer. We tested this thoroughly by using the sandals while hiking on wooded trails, climbing around on slick river rocks, rafting, etc. As one of our team (a raft guide on the White Salmon River) put it, "they are much better than Slickos. That’s what we called Chacos on the Chattooga River." Enough said... lol

As far as comfort goes, both models of sandal performed well. They have Astral's Balanced Geometry™ with 13 mm thick 75C closed cell EVA foam for the midsole and 100% recycled polyester canvas uppers. What does that mean exactly? Well, I was quite surprised by the level of comfort delivered by a pair of sandals. They seem to cup the foot well, offer more cushion than the Loyaks and the canvas is comfortable against the skin. Around town, on trails and rafting, both models were very nice on the foot with all day comfort. This even seemed to increase the more we wore them in. In addition, the PFD version has what Astral refers to as a "Thwart Pad", which provides additional comfort while wedging under raft thwarts. This does indeed work as advertised and would definitely be the model I'd choose for anyone that frequently rafts. Was one of my favorite features for sure. 

Astral Pfd Sandal River Hike Review
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For adjustability, both the Webber and the PFD have large Bluesign-approved PFD-grade buckles for their straps that give you peace of mind regarding durability. That being said, our team collectively thought the buckles could be a bit smaller and at first, that large size coupled with the rather small amount of leftover strap, made them a bit difficult to adjust. However, this did improve significantly after they broke in some and loosened up. The PFD model has extra adjustability with a back strap that can be unhooked and attached in two different spots to allow you to really dial in the fit. It also gives you the ability to slip your feet in and out without having to adjust the main straps, which we found was very useful. This is aided by a pull tab on the front lip on that model.

Now obviously, looks are subjective and these were no exception with their rather burly and purposeful appearance. Opinions amongst our team and others varied from "they look really nice and technical" to "they look like Dad slippers" and everything inbetween lol. We all collectively agreed that the large buckles and straps were the most devisive in this area. They definitely attracted attention amongst active people, whom seemingly all were very interested after seeing them. IMHO, I liked the extra little details on the PFD vs the Webber, like the different color stitching, logo, etc that helped elevate the looks. 

As a raft guide on Section IV of the Chattooga River over 30 years ago, Phillip Curry, founder and CEO of Astral, learned firsthand the demands of the river and the gear needed to thrive in and out of the waters. Since that time, Curry has thought about how he would design a sandal that would be secure and stable and could stand up to those demanding days as a raft guide on the water. We think he has succeeded and they have made the new go-to river sandals, while in true Astral fashion, have made them great for around town and on the trail as well. If you are an active sandal loving person, especially if your activities frequently take place on and/or around the river, you are really gonna want to check these out. You can find them in stores now or on the Astral website.


  • Great traction taken from the proven Loyak's G Rubber™ and Flex grip
  • Very comfortable and lightweight, with a shoe-like fit 
  • For rafters, the Thwart Pad on the PFD model is a really nice addition when jamming your foot under raft thwarts.


  • Buckles and straps could possibly be smaller 
  • Looks are subjective


  • True to size (for half size, size up) 


  • Uppers: 100% recycled polyester canvas
  • Midsole: 75C closed cell EVA foam (13 mm thick)
  • Outsole: Flex Grip™ outsole with Rubber™
  • Foot to Ground Distance: 16mm
  • Weight/shoe: M9 = 8 oz (227 g)



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