Whitewater shoes have come a long way. While Tevas and Chaco’s have been around for decades and have proven their worth, the new style, a true “shoe” or “boot” have changed the game. The Astral Rassler 2.0 is one of these new breeds of shoes. A boot designed for the river, the Rassler 2.0 is light, comfortable, and offers a great grip while being in a completely soaked environment.

With the MSRP at $140, the high quality comes at a premium price, but for professionals in the field, I’ve found them to be one of the best yet.

Let’s dive in:

Toe and ankle protection

It’s a boot, which makes it hard to beat for toe and ankle protection. Sure, the possibility of dropping a comm box on your toes is still there, but it will hurt far less. For anyone prone to ankle rolling, I found that despite having a low to mid-cut heel it still provided enough support.


Astral’s grip is called G Rubber and it rocks. I haven’t done any lab testing (I’m just a simple river guide) but I found them to be sticky enough for me. Perusing through reviews and you’ll find that this is a common observance.


It has drain holes that work effectively for water. My biggest issue is it’s hard to clear small pebbles and sand that work their way in. This is a regular annoyance for boots like this and I don’t think there’s any real solution outside of being mindful of where you put your feet or reverting back to something like Chaco’s. Once you get something in there, you’re probably going to have to take them off to shake it out.

Fit, feel, and looks

Astral writes that they are “True to size” however plenty of reviews say it’s a narrow fit or too small. And by plenty I mean 22 reviews out of 55 describe this, so it’s a real thing. I’m a size 12 and found this not to be the case, so your mileage may vary. They’re comfortable to hike in too (wear socks obviously if you go this route) so they fit the multi-purpose checkbox. In terms of their “coolness”, I would rock them anywhere, but I might be the wrong person to ask.

One-year update 9/27/23

After one year the only wear and tear is that the back loops for pulling the shoes are both blown out. You can still pull on them, but they no longer have heel loops. I like these shoes a lot but the biggest downside is sand. If you are dealing with a river with sandy beaches you will get sand in these shoes that are difficult to get out of. The second negative is while they’re amazing once these shoes are on, getting them on, is an ordeal. You can’t just slip them on and then kick them off. It’s a process and requires you to be sitting down and paying attention.

I wear them without socks. I wear them for climbing rocks. I wear them on Class V swims (whoops!) and I wear them for throw-bagging big guys named Jim. Great for Trader Joe’s and hanging with your bros, the Astral Rassler is. A. Dazzler.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *