The best water shoes for hiking are going to be the Astral TR1 Mesh shoes. Now while they don’t seem like they’re going to be good water shoes, Astral has been known in the water-recreation community for quite some time with their top-of-the-line personal flotation devices. It would only make sense that the other gear they make for water would work well too.
Astral TR1 Mesh General Thoughts
So in terms of the quality of the Astral TR1 Mesh shoes—these are really top-notch. The materials feel really well put together, and I haven’t seen any seams or glue coming apart.
In the last 4-ish months I’ve used these predominantly on the dry trails, and only about three times in the water. But let me just say- these are much better in the water than on the dry land for sure.
Before I get too far I wanna give some details about this shoe if you’re not yet familiar.
Details about Astral Shoes
Astral makes a handful of different shoe styles for men and women. They were originally a life jacket company, so they haven’t gotten too far from their aqua-based roots.
While they still do that, in 2012 they started making shoes because they couldn’t find river shoes with a good amount of grip.
I fish, so something I could wear in the water was important, but I hike more, so a comfy trail runner style was also essential.
The TR1, which is for Trail Runner, is turbo ventilated, ultra-light, and their proprietary sticky G rubber outsoles help you move confidently through dry and wet surfaces. That’s according to the website.
Quick Astral TR1 Mesh Specs
The uppers are ripstop 2D mesh with TPU overlays at the top and heel cap. This will give a little more protection from any bumps along the way. They also have drainage holes in the front to release water.
The midsole features a top shank to reduce foot fatigue. No huge arch inserts on these either.
The outsole features that G15 high friction rubber and the lugs are 5mm.
The weight of the shoes is about 301 grams in my size nines.
These are indeed lightweight shoes. But when hiking in the Texas heat I noticed the ventilation pretty quickly as well. The front and top of the shoe are where I felt the breeze which was a really nice feature.
As I hiked in them more on dry trails I did wish I had a bit more cushion in this shoe.
It started to feel a bit flat for the rocky terrains I frequent. The lugs are sizable, but the cushion between ground and foot left a bit to be desired.
Then something else started to happen, and this may be just me being nit-picky now, but the shoelaces kept coming undone. – yes I know I could just double tie, but I don’t always like to have my laces that tight. So again. Bit of a nit-pick. There were a few times when I had to stop my hike to re-tie my laces multiple times. I think that for hiking and water sports more grippy laces would be ideal.
Ready for Water
When I utilized them for water the first time it was probably not the best condition. I was walking over exposed river rocks that had a bit of algae on them. These soles are grippy, but don’t let your guard down. Slippery rocks are gonna be slippery wearing even some of the top rubber soles.
It wasn’t until I start wading in the water while fishing that these really came into their own. There are sections of the San Marcos river that are low enough to just walk around in and do some fishing. These let plenty of water out, and my feet felt really secure walking along the river bed.
Even in sections of quicker current, these held on to the rocks underneath. I’ve worn my Chacos under the same circumstances, and I didn’t feel as confident even with the Vibram sole.
So These are really just really good fishing shoes that you can feel comfortable hiking in to get to your final destination.
The price point is on par with most good trail running shoes. The TR1 shoes run about $125 and come in a variety of colors. The color of my pair is called Storm Navy.
Do you own a pair of astral shoes? Let me know what you think of them in the comments below.