Astral Rosa Review
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Astral Rosa quickly became a favorite with our testing crew. It's almost unfair to put it up against a bunch of regular ol' flip flops because the additional ankle strap that converts it to a sticky supportive sandal is a game-changer. If you're someone who can't decide between a flip and a sandal because you love having both, the Rosa might be your new go-to for everything.
The Rosa isn't the most comfortable model we tested, but it's decent and doesn't require much breaking in. With the help of the removable ankle strap, we found ourselves happily jumping from rock to rock through rivers and across trails.
While this isn't an uncomfortable shoe by any means, the footbed is rather hard. Unlike some of the other flip flops in our review, the stiff rubber does not offer the foot a cushiony experience. That being said, the thick EVA footbed feels good right out of the box, and other than allowing some time for the straps to soften up, the shoe does not need much breaking in.
Unfortunately, the contoured ridge between the toes and the ball of the foot is poorly placed for some folks. For us, it seemed to sit a bit too far back. This is confirmed in other online reviews as well. Not a dealbreaker, but something to be aware of; you'll probably want to try this shoe on and walk around in it a bit to make sure it's a comfortable fit for your foot shape. It is also worth noting that the straps, which become more comfortable over time, are narrow. Some of our reviewers felt that they dug into their feet a bit when they were fresh out of the box.
Scoring the Rosa in this category was a little tricky. If it didn't come with the ankle strap, it would have ended up somewhere in the middle, as the flip flop by itself is pretty basic and there's a lot of high-caliber options in our review. But with the strap, no surprise, this is one of the most secure models in our fleet. Ultimately we decided to award it high scores because — let's face it — it's a great design! Maybe it would have been fairer to put it in The Best Sandals for Women Review, but we chose not to, and our flip flop testers had no complaints about that.
However, the strap is not the only part of this shoe that offers support. The heel is slightly concave encouraging your foot to stay in place. The small toe ridge also offers support, but like we said, it's placed a little far back, so it's best for those with longer toes.
For the sake of transparency, we do want to mention that, without the straps, the Rosa is not a particularly stable shoe. The footbed is a bit slippy if damp from water or sweat. If you're going to be hiking around in the woods or on a riverbed, you'll want the ankle straps for sure. Those straps are the reason this shoe wins an award. We also had issues with the ankle strap loosening while hiking, but found that if we cinched the little rubber ring up close to the buckle this didn't happen.
Like support, this category is a bit of a mixed bag for the Rosa. With the ankle straps, it's fantastic because you are secured to the footbed and there's no worry of slipping off your shoe. Without the straps, however, traction is just so-so.
The Rosa has decent outsole traction, though it isn't the stickiest in our test suite. We wouldn't be sad if, in later iterations, Astral put more aggressive treads on these puppies.
The internal footbed traction is a bit underwhelming without the ankle straps — it feels slick when wet. With the straps, it's stable because you're attached, but less airflow does create a noticeably slimy feel when water gets between your foot and the shoe. We awarded a score in this category based on performance with the straps because if you're hiking or boating you'll surely be using them.
We may sound like we're repeating ourselves, but without the ankle strap the Rosa are rendered much less versatile, and with it we felt like we could take on the world. The fact that you can pick and choose, customizing this shoe to your activities, means it earned a high score.
The traction on the bottom of this shoe plus the ankle strap make these shoes great for boating. However, the footbed can feel slippery when wet so it is important to tighten that ankle strap all the way down. After walking around in a river, the footbed on the Rosa took 20 to 30 minutes to dry completely. This isn't a particularly impressive time, but we didn't feel that the shoe was any less comfortable when wet. If you're planning on strutting around on easy terrain the ankle straps can be removed, but you'll have to make sure you don't lose it or these flip flops lose their competitive edge. Overall, the Rosa is a tough and durable shoe that offers good traction, making them great for steep and loose terrain. If you need a pair of shoes to scramble up or down a trail or for an afternoon of rafting, then these are a great option.
For the right kind of sporty gal, this sandal can be dressed up with a cute summer dress or down with some yoga pants or hiking shorts, but regardless of what you're wearing, you're going to look outdoorsy. The Rosa comes in fun bright colors as well as neutral tones, which gives it a leg up in the style department. There is next to no platform or heel which makes this pair a great option for hiking around, but might not be your first choice for a night out on the town or a fancy dinner.
This sandal is a bit on the pricey side but well worth it when you consider what you get. Instead of paying for flip flops and sandals, the Rosa can give you both in one simple purchase. The materials are also durable, so this is an investment that will keep on giving for many seasons.
Our testers love the Astral Rosa — it's great in the water, stable on the trail, and grippy when it needs to be. While we feel some of the footbed contouring is awkwardly placed and don't like the fact that the straps sometimes slip, overall, wearing this hybrid is a joy. For anyone who wants one summer shoe that can do it all, this is a clear winner.
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