Thursday, 14 November 2013

More Brewer reviews!

We have just had a good and honest product review on the Astral Brewer shoe come in.
Nick Pearce is a raft guide, safety kayaker and expedition paddler who works his summer months in Voss, Norway and had some Brewers off us at the start of the Summer. Like most working river professionals his kit takes a bit of a hammering averaging at least a years worth of us mere mortals use in under 6 months.

Check out what he has to say below.

For the last 3 months I have been using the new Brewer from Astral. Not being some one that is a big fan of their life jackets this is the first Astral product that I have owned but was happy to take the chance on them with the high quality of construction and finish that you see in the rest of their products.

So first up the river shoes look cool you almost feel bad wearing them on the river as they look more like some thing
that you should be wearing around the town on a night out but they are definitely an out and out river shoe.

First up is the grip, they have the same sole on them as the 5.10 Water Tennies which is super grippy and also for running along the river bank even when it is covered in moss and other lovely things that make you want to fall all over the place, they work really well on bed rock as well as loose stone giving loads of purchase and feel through the foot. The only time they struggle a little is on mud banks where not having a proper clotted sole tells.

The construction of the shoe is very minimal, the sole is super light wight with no innersole, instead they have a hard foam top to the sole which gives loads of padding then the top of the shoe is made out of the least pieces of material possible to leave less weak points with full damage all round the shoe. With raft guiding and kayaking they have already done more days on the river than most will do in a year in 3 months and the shoe's are showing no sign of wear and tear so far they are holding up really well and durable and this is one of the best points over the other main booty on the market the 5.10 which for myself I need a new pair of every 6 months and already were wearing through after 3 months.

The fit is one of the parts that I think worry most people and that I get asked the most questions about as they don't have the high ankle support of the 5.10 but so far they have shown no sign of coming off even with some fairly violent swims from the raft. The back of the shoe cups your heal very well. I wear a set of socks inside and then over my dry suit and still get a good fit. This as well as the laces on the shoe make sure they're going nowhere.  You do compromise a bit on ankle support  with the low cut style of the shoe but I feel this is very minimal actually when compared to most neoprene booties  and if you are worried about the lack of protection on your dry suit socks then you can always wear a pair of neoprene socks over your dry suit which is something that I advise any one to do anyway whatever they're wearing to help save the dry suit socks.

So over all there are some compromises in place but I do feel that these are the best all round river shoes on the market today.  Comfort, usability and the big one for me, build quality and life span.

Working every day in harsh conditions really take its toll on gear.

Still looking  good after 3 months rafting and kayaking every day. 
Check out Liams review here.