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Astral Rassler 2.0 - Women's Review

Good option for foot and ankle protection, but didn't grip wet surfaces well
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Astral Rassler 2.0 - Women's Review (The Astral Rassler 2.0s were comfortable even with a lot of layers.)
The Astral Rassler 2.0s were comfortable even with a lot of layers.
Credit: Monica Nigon
Price:  $150 List
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Manufacturer:   Astral
By Monica Nigon ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Mar 14, 2024
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 11
  • Comfort - 25% 8.0
  • Traction - 25% 5.0
  • Warmth - 15% 8.0
  • Versatility - 15% 6.0
  • Sensitivity - 10% 5.0
  • Durability - 10% 8.0

Our Verdict

We reached for the Astral Rassler 2.0 on a canyoning mission where we were concerned about twisting our ankles while navigating a rocky stream, and while they didn't disappoint in foot and ankle protection, the Rasslers struggled a bit when it came to traction on those same slippery rocks. They were quite warm, both in bare feet and with layers, but really shined when we jammed our dry-suited foot into it. They were excellent on a rafting trip down the Colorado River, showing pretty good traction on a sandy beach and a flat side hike.
REASONS TO BUY
Durable
Offers higher ankle support
Warm
REASONS TO AVOID
Poor traction on hard wet surfaces
Inflexible

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Bottom Line This is a great water shoe with adequate ankle support for side hikes, though it struggled on slick wet rocksWith stellar traction and comfort, we reached for the Xtratuf Riptides when navigating slippery terrain in all sorts of temperaturesThere's no match for the Salomons when it comes to comfort, whether in the water or hiking on landFor the avid kayaker, the flexibility and traction in this model is unparalleledThese shoes are an excellent beginner's water shoe, but probably won't hold up on rougher excursions
Rating Categories Astral Rassler 2.0... Xtratuf Riptide - W... Salomon Techamphibi... Astral Loyak - Women's DLGJPA Lightweight...
Comfort (25%)
8.0
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
Traction (25%)
5.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
6.0
Warmth (15%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
7.0
Versatility (15%)
6.0
7.0
8.0
7.0
6.0
Sensitivity (10%)
5.0
6.0
6.0
8.0
6.0
Durability (10%)
8.0
8.0
7.0
5.0
4.0
Specs Astral Rassler 2.0... Xtratuf Riptide - W... Salomon Techamphibi... Astral Loyak - Women's DLGJPA Lightweight...
Measured Weight (lb per pair, US size 8) 1.13 0.94 0.55 0.87 0.44
Drainage Features Holes in outsoles Mesh on upper Mesh on upper, holes on sole Outsole is draining Mesh on upper, drainage holes on sole
Removeable Insole? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Footwear Closure Laces Drawcord Quicklace Laces Drawcord
Available Widths Medium Medium Medium Medium Medium
Upper Materials Hydrophobic recycled polyester canvas Synthetic mesh Synthetic, textile Hydrophobic canvas Synthetic mesh
Midsole EVA EVA, TPU EVA 7mm thick, 45C closed cell EVA foam None
Outsole Nonmarking G.ss rubber Rubber Rubber Flexi-grip, G15 (Astral tech) Rubber

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Astral Rassler 2.0s are the only water shoes we tested that had any ankle support whatsoever, and for that matter, one of the only water shoes on the market to feature such a design. This made them great for navigating a rocky stream where we were concerned about twisting our ankles, and protected our feet when jammed under a raft thwart.

Performance Comparison


astral rassler 2.0 for women - we went rafting and on canyoning mission to test the astral rassler...
We went rafting and on canyoning mission to test the Astral Rassler 2.0s on the metrics that matter most.
Credit: Monica Nigon


Comfort


The Rasslers scored high in comfort due to the cushiness and padding of the ankle and foot. We loved the extra support in the ankle and found the width to be excellent for the tester's average feet. They were a bit more comfortable with neoprene socks but worked with neoprene socks and a drysuit as well.

The Rasslers excelled on a shorter side hike but lacked the arch support for a longer one. That being said, if you're into paddle rafting and need to shove your foot under a thwart and navigate a sandy beach, you might reach for these more durable Astrals.

Traction


The Rasslers would have done well in this metric were it not for their poor performance on hard, wet surfaces. We tested them across the sand, a side hike with smaller particles, a rocky stream, and through a canyon and found them slippery when wet.

Their lugs were of adequate depth to function pretty well on a sandy beach and side hike with smaller rocky particles, but when it came to navigating a stream with large slimy rocks on a canyoning mission and on the Colorado River, they were akin to ice skates.

astral rassler 2.0 for women - the astral rassler 2.0s suffered when it came to traction.
The Astral Rassler 2.0s suffered when it came to traction.
Credit: Monica Nigon

Warmth


The Rasslers have nice cushioning for warmth with bare feet and extra padding on the ankles to keep the whole foot warm. They also have a thick outsole for further protection from the elements.

We wore the Rasslers with a dry suit, with neoprene socks, and with bare feet. We found they performed highly with all these layers, albeit they were a bit tight with the dry suit outfit until they got wet and stretched out a little.

Versatility


The Rassler 2.0s were one of the trendiest-looking models we tested with their skate-shoe like design and high top look, so they functioned well around town with jeans. We tested them on the river, in casual clothing, and on a canyoning mission in the South San Juan.

While our lead tester thought she looked good wearing the Astrals in casual clothing and found they were great for paddle-rafting, they should be kept to river pursuits. They lack arch support for long hikes and don't have the flexibility or sensitivity for something like stand-up paddleboarding.

astral rassler 2.0 for women - showing high scores in warmth, the astral rassler 2.0s kept our toes...
Showing high scores in warmth, the Astral Rassler 2.0s kept our toes warm in frigid creek water and allowed for a lot of layering.
Credit: Monica Nigon

Sensitivity


The Rassler 2.0s scored fairly low in sensitivity due to a thick outsole and cushioned midsole. While this is a boon for comfort, it makes it a little difficult to navigate more technical side hikes or portages.

We took these shoes on a canyoning mission and found it near impossible to stay upright given the lack of proprioception. They didn't bend around rocks or sticks and were slippery when navigating a rocky shoreline. Yet the Rasslers make up for this lack of sensitivity in their higher-scoring durability and warmth as compared to other models we tested.

Durability


Of the Astral models we tested, the Rassler 2.0s are one of the most durable. This is due to their thicker outsole and uppers with a thicker construction.

We took these shoes across rocky side hikes and even rubbed them with sandpaper and found they held up a bit better than something with thinner mesh or a thinner outsole.

astral rassler 2.0 for women - the astral rassler 2.0s were warm on our canyoning mission, but...
The Astral Rassler 2.0s were warm on our canyoning mission, but scored low in traction.
Credit: Monica Nigon

Should You Buy the Astral Rassler 2.0s?


For warmth with both bare feet and with layers, you could check out the Rassler 2.0s for your next whitewater rafting trip. They're also durable enough to be jammed under a raft thwart repeatedly and are the only shoes we tested with any ankle support.

What Other Women's Water Shoes Should You Consider?


If traction and flexibility are your game, the Rassler might not cut it. They're not bendy enough to wrap around a raft tube or slick rock. If that's the case, you might try the Astral Loyak for extra flexibility or the Xtratuf Riptides for unparalleled traction on all surfaces.

astral rassler 2.0 for women
Credit: Monica Nigon

Monica Nigon