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.
Should you get a flip-flop or a sandal? Get both all in one!
The Rosa isn't the most comfortable model we tested, but it's decent and doesn't require much, if any, breaking in. Right away, we were happily jumping from rock to rock through rivers and across trails.
While this isn't an uncomfortable shoe by any means, it's also not an overly cushioned or pillowy experience. The thick EVA footbed feels good right out of the box, though the contoured ridge between the toes and the ball of the foot is poorly placed. It seems to sit a bit too far back for some people's feet, and 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.
We love the versatility of the Rosa - with the ankle strap or without, this is an almost perfect shoe to have along for adventures.
Support & Stability
This is where the Rosa is really able to shine — the ankle strap takes this simple flip to another level.
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.
With the ankle straps, the Rosa is highly stable. Without, it's somewhat insecure.
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, and the main straps are a bit loose. 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 a Top Pick for Hiking and Scrambling 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 that this didn't happen.
Threading the straps correctly on these sandals has a slight learning curve. They have a little rubber ring (seen here sitting on the heel) that can easily get lost but that we needed to keep the ankle strap properly tight while hiking.
With rubber soles and webbing straps, this model is hard to damage.
The Rosa is a highly durable shoe that will easily last you for many years. After putting this sandal through many obstacles on long dirty hikes in the desert, 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 bit more straightforward and versatile approach.
Good materials mean good durability, no matter what activity you get into. From water to mud to rocks, this sandal keeps on looking like the day it came out of the box.
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 footbed, this is a great option for river hikes, boating, rafting, and the beach.
After walking around in a river, the footbed on the Rosa took just under seven 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 is clearly built for hanging out in and around the water. Wet or not, it feels great on foot.
Like support and stability, this category is a little 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 traction from the sole, 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 also 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.
All strapped up and ready to hike in the Rosa! With the extra straps, it's easy to feel secure and sticky wherever you go.
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 chicer but still high-performing, take a look at our Top Pick for Stylish Adventures, the OluKai Lala. This was the style favorite with the majority of women we asked. The OluKai Paniolo is another favorite, as is the Crocs Sexi Flip, our Best Fashion-Forward Buy.
The Rosa is pretty sporty looking, but can still be dressed up a bit. We like that there are so many options and that you can just flip the ankle straps over the top (as seen here) to convert to a flip flop without fully removing the straps.
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 doesn't have a ton of closet or pack space, here's your perfect match.
From the river to the trail, this sandal is great for the versatile summer adventurer and weekend warrior.
This sandal is a bit on the pricy 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 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.
The Rosa makes us jump for joy!