I have waited 15 years to speak on this topic finally. I have not because I have never had a water shoe. I can say felt “just right”. That has since changed since my feet first slipped into a pair of Astrals. Astral is a company that has focused on extreme kayaker equipment like lifevest and footwear. While they have several different shoes, my favoirte for Costa Rica is the Brewer 2.0.
My issues with other water shoes have always been one of the following problems. They either slipped on rocks, were clunky for travel, smelled after one week, looked too much like an all-terrain monster truck, or in my case with bad ankles, had me rolling my ankles too often. I was never able to find a shoe that solved all of these issues until the Brewer 2.0.
The Brewer has the basics mastered, doesn’t slip on rock and drains water perfectly. Astral also has a secret sauce, a little something called G15 rubber. Astral use to use a rubber called 5-10 but when that was bought out by addidas Astral decided to make their own. The G15 rubber has turned out better than anything on the market. It’s slightly softer than other rubbers you find in Chacos and Keens, allowing it to grip much better. Along with their secret sauce, they also put little slits, which is referred to as siping. It doesn’t sound like much of a difference, but they got it right.
The Brewer is great for traveling. The sole is thin, and the heel folds down. You can squeeze them in almost anywhere. They are very light at only 7.8 ounces.
Probably the most important is the anti-stink of the Brewer 2.0. I have done everything possible to try and get them to stink, and you just can’t do it.
If you are looking for a shoe with style, then Astral sits at the top. Nobody even comes close. I wear mine to the office, airport, and pretty much everywhere. Some people say that it doesn’t have toe protection like the Keen, but after wearing the Brewer for three years, I still have all my toes.
The final reason I love Astral’s Brewer 2.0 is that they make every effort to design shoes as if you were walking barefoot while not feeling like you are barefoot. You are close to the surface and do not feel like you are on a platform. This helps those people with bad ankles.
There you have it. Astral’s Brewer 2.0 is the best water shoe in our opinion for adventuring in Costa Rica. You can expect to see everyone wearing Astrals here at the POC. We love them so much we even sell them on the site. If you want a pair, they run $110 and pick them up at our POC Shop on the site or visit www.astraldesigns.com.