Hands-on Gear Review

Astral Filipe Review

These flops have serious staying power. Strap them to your feet and forget about them.
Astral Filipe
By: Matt Bento ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 10, 2018
Price:  $75 List  |  $74.95 at Amazon
Pros:  Lightweight, great for hiking
Cons:  Extra straps can get in the way
Manufacturer:   Astral
84
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 14
  • Comfort - 30% 8
  • Versatility - 25% 9
  • Durability - 25% 9
  • Style - 10% 6
  • Traction - 10% 9
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Top Pick Award

Our Verdict

The Astral Filipe is the SUV of flip-flops. It cruises up loose and rocky terrain and sticks to smooth rock slabs, all while being light and packable. The Filipe has a removable strap that runs over the top of the foot, around the back of the heel and through the thong strap, locking your feet in place better than many sandals we've worn. Is the strap system an unfair advantage in the flip-flop category? Is this flip-flop a sandal in disguise? Who cares! When the straps are removed, the Filipe is still a great flop, with good traction, comfort, and durability. If you're the type of climber or boater who takes their flip-flops where no sane person would go without sticky rubber approach shoes, these are the flops you've been looking for.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

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These are designed for water sports  but their sticky rubber and heel strap makes them great for the mountains.
These are designed for water sports, but their sticky rubber and heel strap makes them great for the mountains.

Performance Comparison


The Filipe takes high marks in all our flip-flop metrics. Style (the most subjective) is its Achilles' heel. It's only bested in comfort by the Editors' Choice Award-winning OluKai Ohana's super soft footbed, but the Filepe equals the Ohana in versatility and traction. The Filipe is one of the lightest models in our line-up, making them well suited for carrying on backpacking trips when you want a comfy pair of camp shoes or are faced with stream crossings.

Fast drying materials and sticky rubber tread make stream crossings a piece of cake.
Fast drying materials and sticky rubber tread make stream crossings a piece of cake.

Comfort


The footbed is a synthetic leather with a slight rise under the arch and a ridge that runs underneath the gap between your toes and the rest of your foot. There are folks out there that feel any texture or bumps under their feet are uncomfortable, but none of our testers were bothered by the ridge. In fact, we found it useful for "grabbing" with our toes on steeper terrain. With the straps in place and cinched tight over the top of the foot and behind the heel (we call this "Four High"), the flop is equally comfortable. The straps become a comfort issue when they are on the flop and not properly on your foot. If you just step into the Filipe like you would a normal flip-flop while the straps are on, you'll be stepping on the straps, and the loose ends will be flapping all over the place. That's okay for a quick jaunt from the tent to the loo, but not for any serious walking. You can all slip your foot under both of the straps. The other strap configuration we found was to step on the strap where it's supposed to go over the foot and only cinch the strap down around the heel (our tester's like to call this "4 Low"). The back strap adds some extra stability by itself, and we could still get the flops off and on as a hands-free operation, because let's face it, we love flip-flops because we're lazy.

Don't dig the extra straps? Good news: they're completely removable.
Don't dig the extra straps? Good news: they're completely removable.

Versatility


These flip-flops can go anywhere. While they're not as classy looking as the OluKai Ohana, the Filipe doesn't have any bulky padding or loud colors and is just as comfortable on the dance floor as it is boulder hopping across the stream. The removable straps really put these flops over the top in terms of versatility. Our climber testers are always looking for lighter weight footwear for walking off Tuolumne Domes, off the chief in Squamish or even some of the long descents in Red Rocks. With the straps on, the Filipes are grippy, stable, and confidence-inspiring. While they can't protect your feet from snakes or cactus, they take up way less space on a harness than even the lightest approach shoes. The weight savings really adds up on long multi-pitch climbs. Astral is perhaps best known for their awesome PFDs, and the Filipe was designed with paddlers in mind. The straps make the flops stable and secure enough for short portages over wet and rocky surfaces. Again, in this situation, a closed toed shoe might be a better choice. Always use good judgment and flip-flop at your own risk.

These were the only flops our testers liked to wear down the steep approach trail to the Owens River Gorge.
These were the only flops our testers liked to wear down the steep approach trail to the Owens River Gorge.

Durability


The sticky rubber outsoles of the Filipes are thicker and more durable than the Hari Mari Scouts and the Reef Draftsmen, but not quite as heavy and burly as the soles of the Chaco Flip ECO or the Chaco Marshall. For our purposes, we think this flop is an excellent balance between weight and durability, and we didn't encounter any durability during our time with these flops. Astral's warranty covers manufacturing defects but doesn't repair your busted flops like Chaco will.

The extra straps are hardly noticeable when you're wearing long pants.
The extra straps are hardly noticeable when you're wearing long pants.

Style


The synthetic leather uppers don't have quite the same look as leather flops like the Rainbow Premier Leather Single Layer, the Hari Mari Scouts, or the Reef Draftsmen. With the straps on, they look busy, but with the straps removed, they have a simple look, more like the classic Chaco Flip ECO. The Filipe is available in Navy/Green, Black/Pewter, and Navy/Brown. These Flops run small compared to Chaco, Olukai, and Hari Mari. A size 9 fit our lead tester perfectly, 9 ½ being his usual shoe size.

Astral uses its own proprietary sticky rubber. We found that these flops had the best traction of any we tested.
Astral uses its own proprietary sticky rubber. We found that these flops had the best traction of any we tested.

Traction


Astral used to slap Five Ten Stealth Rubber on all their footwear and call it good, but Adidas bought Five Ten and snatched up all the Stealth for themselves, so now Astral uses their own proprietary rubber called G Rubber. We didn't have any stealth rubber flops to test these against, but these flip flops outperformed most flops on wet rocks and slabs. The tread lugs are the perfect depth, getting just enough traction in dirt, while still allowing for loads of sticky rubber to make contact with rock slabs. Sometimes with a sticky rubber flip-flop, the rubber sticks to the rock, while your sweaty foot slides right out of the slimy footbed. The strap system on the Filipe completely eliminates the foot slippage, allowing our testers to take full advantage of the Astral Felipe's gripping powers.

A unique entry in the flop review  these kicks are the lightest of the bunch.
A unique entry in the flop review, these kicks are the lightest of the bunch.

Best Application


Designed by boaters and water folk, the Filipes excel in boating situations like kayaking and sailing, keeping you safe on slippery surfaces and remaining on your feet if you go for a swim. Our climbing testers love them as "descent flops", clipping them to their harnesses and walking off the back of granite domes or down sandstone gullies. While not as dressed-up as the OluKai Hiapo, these flops aren't going to draw any unwanted attention to your dirty feet.

Value


At $75, these aren't bargain flops, but if you're anything like our testers, you wear flip-flops every day that it's not snowing, so a quality flop won't go unused. If you're on a budget and want some thongs you can wear forever, take a look at the Chaco Flip ECO. It takes home our Best Buy Award and is super durable, but not as comfortable or as versatile as the Filipe.

Conclusion


We raised a skeptical eyebrow or two when we took these flip flops out of the box and saw the straps hanging everywhere, and thought we'd never love a flop that required our hands to put on. We love being proved wrong, and a couple months in the Astral Filipe did just that. The straps are useful, versatile, and are no gimmick. Remember, the staps are easily removed. These flip-flops have widened our range of flip-flopping, and earn our Top Pick for Hiking.

Matt Bento

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Most recent review: May 10, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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