25 Days of Gear: Astral Donner

A versatile, water-ready trail shoe for side-canyon hikes or urban strolls

Photo by Marie Clark.
Photo by Marie Clark.

Does the paddler in your life already have all the purpose-built paddling equipment they need? The Astral Donner is an excellent shoe for paddlers who want a versatile piece of footwear they can wear day-to-day but still use to scramble around shore or as their camp shoe on multi-day trips.

Though not really a paddling shoe per se, the Donner easily finds its place on overnight paddling trips around camp or on extended hikes. It's still packable but more of a sturdy trail shoe than Astral's flagship Brewer. The Donner is super comfy and has no trouble sticking to slick surfaces. It comes with both male and female models (the women’s version is the Tinker). It's quickly become my favorite go-to shoe to wear around downtown but I've also worn it while scouting roadside gnar, hiking on muddy trails, or going for a jog. The Donner/Tinker will make a great gift for paddlers who want a water-ready shoe for daily use.

Astral Donner; $100 (www.astraldesigns.com)

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