Astral Brewess Shoe

Amphibious water shoe with frog-footed grip

astral brewess

Hiking through the gorge to the cathedral. Photo: Matthew Christie

Astral Brewess Shoe

($99.95, astraldesigns.com)

Review by Charli Kerns

The Astral Brewess is the ultimate Grand Canyon shoe. It’s versatile beyond belief and became my most valued piece of gear in the Canyon. The Brewess is the women’s version of the popular Astral Brewer, featuring the same specs that make the Brewer one of the highest-rated paddling shoes on the market.

This amphibious shoe features a breathable mesh upper, with fast-draining sidewalls and a silt dump at the heel. This combination allows the Brewess to perform well both in the water and on land. In the Grand Canyon I spent my days alternately paddling and hiking, meaning my shoes were always in varying stages of wet and dry. In these conditions, heel cracking becomes a serious risk. A lot of my crew members suffered from blisters and cracked heels, but I was able to just put on my Brewess shoes in the morning and wear them until I finished my work at camp that night. My feet stayed comfortable and free of blisters and cracks throughout the whole trip.

The G14 Rubber Outsole gripped onto rocks like frog feet, allowing me to scramble to scout, hike, and just goof around. The only rocks the Brewess shoes could not stick to were the Zoaraster Granite and the Vishnu Shist, but whoever could create the sole to stick to those 1.6-billion-year-old smooth rocks would win the Nobel Prize for Physics or something. The narrow profile of the shoes ensure the right fit for women’s feet, keeping feet securely in the shoe during hikes and scrambles. Pair these up with Chaco’s lightweight UpdraftX2 women’s sandal for around camp, and you’ve got perfect comfort the whole trip.

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