Astral Shoes – for Water, the Trail and around TownPosted by Whole Earth | 08.20.2019
Philip Curry was obsessed with kayaking in college. While running some of the best whitewater in the county, he spotted a kayaker wearing a streamlined European version of a personal flotation device (PFD) aka a life jacket. He was smitten and decided to try to make one of his own. So in 1992, Lotus Designs was born, offering Curry's PFDs to the American public. Lotus Designs products were so popular that in 1999, Patagonia made an offer for the company that Curry couldn't refuse.
As part of the deal, he agreed to stay out of the PFD business for three years. He retreated to an 80 acre farm near Black Mountain, North Carolina where he put his sustainable agriculture skills, learned at Warren Wilson College, to work. But a question nagged at him: "Could I protect more land and water by farming this small farm, or by getting back into the outdoor equipment business?" In 2002, Curry started Astral and returned to making PFDs, this time without toxic FVC foam. He also expanded the business into water shoes made for kayakers and paddlers.
Astral puts Nature first and is committed to running a sustainable business and creating products that last. Their goal is to make the best performing shoes and gear for wilderness athletes and to make them in the least toxic, lowest impact way. Astrals look like street shoes. They're made of lightweight canvas with netting for ventilation and have super flexible, sticky rubber soles that offer stability on wet surfaces. The shoes are favorites of walkers and hikers, as well as water sports enthusiasts.
Astral's Flex Grip outsoles are made of G15, a compound formulated for grip while also providing abrasion resistance. The rubber is soft, conforms well to the ground, is very flexible, and provides good sensory feedback for grip and balance. The surface area is maximized for high friction on smooth surfaces, with divided lugs for a secure grip on loose dirt, and razor siping for extra grip whe the foot is flexed.
Astrals are made to be worn in the water. All components have been chosen for their ability to withstand constant soaking and to shed water. Some styles have drainage engineered into the midsole. They were created for anyone who needs shoes with a good grip on watery surfaces and protection from invisible rocks and rugged riverbeds.
The Astral Loyak Water shoes for men and women are lightweight, low profile and super flexible. They look like street shoes but are made for water. They're affordable in canvas or hemp uppers with ventilating stretch mesh and flat laces that provide a secure, glove-like fit.
Looking for a classic boat shoe? Astral's Porter Water shoes should fit the bill. They have all the great features found in the Astral Loyak but with the addition of midsole drainage and boat shoe styling. It's grippy on deck, ventilated, and looks great for everyday wear
If you are looking for a new water shoe, consider Astral. Their extra grip soles help keep you upright on slick surfaces and protect your feet from rocks and other unseen objects lurking below the surface of the water. They're technical shoes that can be worn in the water, on the trail or for casual wear at home or around town.