Gear Closet: Astral Brewer 2.0 Water Shoes Review

Good water shoes are a revelation. They make being in and around lakes, rivers, and streams so much more enjoyable, providing comfort, stability, and protection for all of our waterborne adventures. But the best water shoes can do more than that. They can transition to and from the water without missing a beat, drying quickly and keeping our feet healthy and happy the entire time. That is exactly what you’ll get with the new Astral Brewer 2.0, which offers not only excellent performance in and out of the water, but they look great too.

If you’re not familiar with Astral, you should be. The company has been around for nearly two decades, and was founded on the principle of not only making outstanding footwear for use in the outdoors, but doing so in an ecologically sound manner. As a result, Astral’s products feature simple, elegant designs, sustainable materials, and classic good looks that keep them looking fresh and relevant.

All of those elements are on full display with the Brewer 2.0. For instance, the shoe’s upper is made from a special hydrophobic canvas, which blends in nicely with a breathable mesh that is integrated into the tongue and along the sides. Throw in water-resistant laces and a built-in sockliner, and you have pretty much everything you need for a comfortable water shoe. And since none of the parts that make up the Brewer are especially heavy, the shoe itself remains reasonably light, tipping the scales at just 7.8 ounces for a men’s size 9. This makes the shoe a good choice when traveling to locations where you plan on spending some time in the water.

Astral’s secret weapon that makes the Brewer 2.0 –– and its other shoes –– so great for use around the water is its G15 rubber. This material is integrated into the Brewer’s sole, giving it outstanding grip even on wet surfaces. Whether you’re stepping in and out of  kayak, standing on a SUP board, or walking across the deck of a ship, you’ll be able to maintain a solid grip and excellent footing. In fact, the G15 rubber is so good that Astral says that it conforms nicely to a number of natural surfaces on the ground, making this a good shoe for use while rock scrambling too.

One of the downfalls of some brands of water shoes is that they tend to look very technical in nature. They may be comfortable on your feet, but when not in the water they can still look out of place or even ungainly. That isn’t the case with the Brewer 2.0, which resembles a sneaker at first glance, with perhaps a few hints of a loafer mixed in for good measure. That helps to make this a shoe that not only transitions nicely to and from the water, but to and from the other elements of your life as well. Want to grab a beer at the pub after a day of paddling? The Brewer will look right at home. Stopping in for lunch at your favorite restaurant after a morning sailing session? You’ll be covered there too. The point is, Astral designed these shoes to look at home in pretty much any casual environment and they handle those duties quite nicely.

I’ve had the chance to use the Astral Brewer 2.0 while kayaking and fishing in the Caribbean, along the Pacific Coast in California, and stand-up paddle boarding back home. In the short span that I’ve owned them, they’ve quickly become my go-to option for any waterborne activities, which is a testament to not only how comfortable they are, but how well they are made too. As always when it comes to footwear, I know that fit and comfort are very subjective, but chances are you’re going to like the Brewer too. It is a testament to how simple, elegant design can go a very long way towards creating a performance product that is a joy to use.

Priced at $110, the Astral Brewer 2.0 is an affordable shoe for anyone who spends much time around the water. Check them out for yourself and find out more on the Astral website.