Hands-on Gear Review

Astral Rosa Review

The Rosa is a fantastic choice for anyone that loves both flip-flops and sandals and wants everything together in one shoe.
By: Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 14, 2018
Price:  $75 List  |  $59.95 at Amazon - 20% Off
Pros:  Ankle strap, water resistant, durable, lightweight
Cons:  Contouring by toes is oddly placed, ankle strap can slip
Manufacturer:   Astral
80
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 14
  • Comfort - 25% 7
  • Support & Stability - 20% 9
  • Durability - 15% 9
  • Water Resistance - 15% 8
  • Traction - 15% 8
  • Style - 10% 7
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Top Pick Award

Our Verdict

The Astral Rosa is no ordinary flip-flop. This little gem converts to a full-on sandal by way of an extra webbing strap that threads through the main straps and around the ankle. This feature gave us fantastic traction and stability and launched what would have been a very basic flip to the top of the pack and into an award-winning position. We gave the Rosa a Top Pick for Hiking and Scrambling award because the versatility it provided meant we could easily be ready for anything. Water, uneven terrain, rocks — you name it. This fun shoe could easily become the only warm weather companion you'll ever need.

If you don't want to bother with an ankle strap but still want excellent support and traction, the Vionic Tide II is a must see. And if you'd rather have something more stylish and less sporty without sacrificing the happiness of your feet, our Editors' Choice Birkenstock Gizeh might just be a dream come true.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The Astral Rosa quickly became a favorite with our testing crew. It was almost unfair to put it up against a bunch of regular 'ol flip-flops because the additional ankle strap that converted it to a sticky supportive sandal was a game changer. If you're someone who can't decide between a flip-flop and a sandal because you love having both, the Rosa might be your new go-to for everything.

Performance Comparison


Should you get a flip-flop or a sandal? Get both all in one!
Should you get a flip-flop or a sandal? Get both all in one!

Comfort


The Rosa wasn't the most comfortable model we tested, but it was decent and didn't require any breaking in. Right away we were happily jumping from rock to rock through rivers and across trails.


This isn't an uncomfortable shoe by any means, but it's also not an overly cushioned or pillowy experience. The thick EVA footbed felt good right out of the box, though we did feel that the contoured ridge between the toes and the ball of the foot was poorly placed. It seemed to sit a bit too far back for several of our testers' feet, and we saw confirmation of this in other online reviews. It wasn't a big deal, 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.

If you don't care about having an ankle strap and would rather have more straightforward comfort, check out our most luxurious feeling flip, the OluKai Ohana. We also really loved our Best Buy for Sporty Adventures, the Base Camp Lite.

We loved the versatility of the Rosa - with the ankle strap or without  this was the perfect shoe to have along for every kind of adventure.
We loved the versatility of the Rosa - with the ankle strap or without, this was the perfect shoe to have along for every kind of adventure.

Support & Stability


This is where the Rosa was really able to shine — the ankle strap took this simple flip to another level.


To be fair, 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 this is a review on flip-flops. But with the strap, no surprise, it was 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 our sandals review, but we chose not to, and our flip-flop testers had no complaints about that.

With optional ankle straps  the Rosa was highly stable. Without the straps we found it to be much more insecure.
With optional ankle straps, the Rosa was highly stable. Without the straps we found it to be much more insecure.

We do want to mention though that, without the straps, the Rosa was not a particularly stable shoe. The footbed was a bit slippy if damp from water or sweaty feet, and the main straps were loose enough as not to provide much security. It was decent, but 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 won a Top Pick for Hiking and Scrambling award. We did also have an issue with the ankle strap loosening while hiking, which was annoying. But we found that if we cinched the little rubber ring up close to the buckle that this didn't happen.

Threading the straps correctly on these sandals had a slight learning curve. They have a little rubber ring (seen here sitting on the heel) that could easily get lost but that we found we needed to keep the ankle strap properly tight while hiking.
Threading the straps correctly on these sandals had a slight learning curve. They have a little rubber ring (seen here sitting on the heel) that could easily get lost but that we found we needed to keep the ankle strap properly tight while hiking.

The only model we found more stable and supportive was our Editors' Choice Gizeh. With its wide straps and anatomically contoured footbed that molds to your feet, it was pretty impossible to beat. The Tide II was also an amazingly supportive flip, as the footbed has built-in orthotics.

Durability


With rubber soles and webbing straps, we knew this model was going to be hard to damage.


The Rosa is a highly durable shoe that will easily last you for many years. After putting this sandal through long dirty hikes in the desert walks through cold Colorado rivers, and tenuous muddy trails, we didn't see a lick of damage. For those of you Chaco fanatics out there, this is a comparable sandal. And for those of you that want to like Chaco's but aren't a fan of the strap system, this is a more straightforward approach with more versatility. No surprise, the Chaco Flip EcoTread was another high scorer for this category, as was the sporty Tide II.

Good materials mean good durability  no matter what activity you get into.  From water to mud to rocks  this sandal kept on looking like the day it came out of the box.
Good materials mean good durability, no matter what activity you get into. From water to mud to rocks, this sandal kept on looking like the day it came out of the box.

Water Resistance


Astral has the Rosa (called the Filipe for men) listed under their shoes for water. While the webbing strap takes a bit longer to dry than the rest of the sandal, this is a great option for river hikes, boating, rafting, and the beach.


After walking around in a river to thoroughly saturate this sandal, the footbed took just under 7 minutes to dry to the touch and about 15 minutes to be fully dry when weighted. The main straps were dry in 22 minutes, with the webbing ankle strap taking a half hour. These aren't the fastest times, but the take-home point is that — damp or not — this shoe felt great on our feet. Without the ankle straps we found it a bit slippy, so for true water adventures, we recommend strapping up.

The Rosa was clearly built for hanging out in and around the water. Wet or not it felt great on our feet.
The Rosa was clearly built for hanging out in and around the water. Wet or not it felt great on our feet.

Traction


Like support and stability, this category was a little bit of a mixed bag for the Rosa. With the ankle straps, it was fantastic, and we based our scores on this. Without the straps, it was just so-so.


The Rosa had decent traction from the sole, though it wasn't the stickiest in our test suite. The footbed traction was not particularly good without the ankle straps, but with them it was great. We choose to give high marks here based on how the shoe felt with straps. For some seriously great traction in another rugged sandal, check out the Merrell Around Town, which felt almost as sticky as a full-on hiking shoe.

All strapped up and ready to hike in the Rosa! With the extra straps we felt secure and sticky everywhere we went.
All strapped up and ready to hike in the Rosa! With the extra straps we felt secure and sticky everywhere we went.

Style


The Astral is cute and versatile but still pretty sporty looking, so it landed about in the middle of the pack for style.


For the right kind of sporty gal, this sandal can be dressed up or down with no problem. It's not the fanciest but does come in a couple of fun bright colors. If you're looking for something more chic but still high-performing, take a look at our Top Pick for Stylish Adventure, the OluKai Lala. This was the style favorite with the majority of women we asked. The OluKai Paniolo was another favorite, as was the Teva Olowahu, our Best Stylish Buy on a Tight Budget.

The Rosa is pretty sporty looking  but could still be dressed up a bit. We liked that we had so many options and that we could just flip the ankle straps over the top of our foot (as seen here) to have a flip-flop without fully removing the straps.
The Rosa is pretty sporty looking, but could still be dressed up a bit. We liked that we had so many options and that we could just flip the ankle straps over the top of our foot (as seen here) to have a flip-flop without fully removing the straps.

Best Applications


The Rosa is best suited for the true summer adventurer. If you're someone who likes to raft one weekend, climb the next, and backpack after that, this is a great choice. You can wear it as a simple flip-flop around camp and then strap up into a full grippy sandal for the day's activities. For the person who wants it all but needs to keep their pack minimal, here's your perfect match.

From the river to the trail  this sandal is great for the versatile summer adventurer and weekend warrior.
From the river to the trail, this sandal is great for the versatile summer adventurer and weekend warrior.

Value


This sandal retails for $75, a bit on the steep side but well worth it when you consider what you get. Instead of paying for both 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.

Conclusion


Our testers loved this sandal — it was great in the water, stable on the trail, and grippy when we needed it to be. While we felt some of the footbed contouring was awkwardly placed and didn't like the way the straps would sometimes slip, overall, wearing this flip-flop/sandal hybrid was pure joy. For anyone who wants one summer shoe that can do it all, this is a clear winner.

The Rosa made us jump for joy!
The Rosa made us jump for joy!

Penney Garrett

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Most recent review: May 14, 2018
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