Astral Rassler; $125(www.astraldesigns.com)
With the rigidity of a good trail shoe, lightness and breathability of a solid paddling shoe, and the sticky sole of both, Astral’s TR1 mesh can go anywhere you need it to. Hucking Gorilla? The shoes will fit your creek boat just nicely. Hiking the 2-mile trail(ash) down to California’s Forks of the Kern River? This shoe’s alter ego is the hiking boot. Want to stand out at the next new beer launch in your downtown? Rosa Red and Sprout Green will be the pop of color you need amid the earth-toned shoes out there. Unless you’re at Catawba in Asheville, N.C.; then you’ll just look like every other boater in Astral shoes. There might be a reason for that.
BONUS: If you lived in the Southeast the last year, you picked up another nasty habit. Thanks to the drought that plagued us over the winter (and still does), paddlers throughout the region have been off the river and onto the mountain bike trails. Fortunately, you don’t have to shell out more money after paying the pretty penny of a new bike – and new parts, then replacement parts, and better wheels, and…you get the idea. The TR1 mesh has more of the rigid sole needed to keep foot placement secure on the pedal. What’s more, it’s got a better grip, ventilation, and drying capabilities for crossing streams (or falling in them when you don’t make the ride across on your bike) than anything else on the market. That said, it’s not going to protect your toes from a rock or even the pedals than the standard mountain bike shoes. Overall, though, a great transition shoe from the boat to the bike.
The article was originally published on Canoe & Kayak
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