Russell Gartner joined Outdoor Prolink as a Wildland Firefighter about 5 years ago. He also seeks thrills in sports such as rafting, biking, and semi-professional whitewater kayaking. Remote adventures in Class V+ whitewater catapulted him into freelance writing to document adventures all over the world. Kayaking, particularly Class V whitewater is his passion and he feels very strongly about its challenges and how they relate into the real word. Other important things in his life are his wife Lindsay, his two sons, and his new lumber company. He says, “I’ve seen a bumper sticker that reads ‘My weekends are better than your vacations,’ mine should read, ‘My life is better than your vacation!'”
Astral water safety products have always been on the leading edge and known for durability and quality among water sports athletes, which is why I was so excited to unbox the new Rassler water shoe. Let me just say up front how surprised I was to slip these on over the drysuit and rally out to the river…the first step stuck like glue. It is seriously an unnatural feeling how sticky the Rassler is on wet rocks. As a Class V whitewater enthusiast the last thing I need to worry about is slipping in a gorge in the middle of nowhere, I need to focus on the river and its challenges while in my kayak, not on the functionality of my equipment.
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- The fit around the ankle and top of the foot is as snug as you’d like it to be and it’s incredibly stable once tightened.
- It has a rigid heel that helps stability as well, and that coupled with the mid-height allows for safe navigation and protection while scouting in uneven and jagged terrain.
- Did I mention the super sticky rubber sole? It’s awesome!
- One other amazing quality is the weight, at about ½ of a pound you can imagine these are ½ to 2/3 of the weight of similar products on the market.
- There is no padding and protection from the seams inside the shoe against your foot so socks are required (I learned this the hard way)!
With that being the only compromise the benefits easily outweigh cons. The shoes drain very well to retain the incredible light weight, and they dry out super quick! I see some of you fishermen out there with felt shoes — instead step into the ring with the Rassler and prepare to be amazed at what Astral has for you.