100 use days later.
Durability is a concern for any water shoe as many are notorious for
lacking it. After ~100 days of use my Rasslers are holding up well.
I've hiked over twenty miles in them during the course of the season.
Initially I was concerned with how stiff the heel area is, but provided
I've worn socks that has never been an issue, although I'd suggest
starting with thick socks if the shoes are not broken in. I can say
that these are the best river shoe I've used. Good durability, good
traction, fast drying and they don't fall off. A few small improvements
could be made but nothing glaring.
This is the shoe the Astral Brewer
should have been, and it's the best river shoe
on the market. It's basically a high top brewer with slightly stiffer
sole, so read on below for the Brewer review. However there are two
issues with the Rassler.
The heel loop. The good news is that
there is one this time, the bad news is it's too small. We all have
different needs in life. I've never needed to put a carabiner through
the heel loop of a pair of shoes. I use the heel loop to pull the heel
of the shoe on, especially when wearing a drysuit. Unfortunatley the
heel loops on the Rasslers are just
large enough for a carabiner. As high top shoes they are a pain to put
on with a
drysuit, you really need to loosen the laces not just at the top but
down through the mid section. Imagine the ease of winter snow boots
and you get the idea.
It's a great day use kayaking shoe marketed as an expedition shoe. Sure
it would be possible to hike into Upper Cherry the Rassler. I've done
it in sandals. Just because it's possible doesn't mean it's a good
idea. While in every other aspect the Rassler is a better shoe, for
pure hiking shoes like the 5.10 Savant have more to offer with a real
insole, EVA rubber and stiff plate under foot. Thankfully like the
Brewer these are light enough that I'll be hiking in real shoes and
using these on the river.
I'd like to see whoever wrote this
marketing pitch carry my boat into the Middle Kings and report back on
how they work for his "true love":
Rassler was designed especially for our true love, hiking in deep to
run the gnar. The Rassler provides enhanced foot support, reinforced
wear zone and draining uppers. We stiffened our Natural Balance™
midsole to control foot fatigue and power through Cali's granite
fields. Incredibly light and with unmatchable STEALTH outsoles. "
Astral Brewer Review