My Astral Brewer shoes finally arrived today. Delays due to the Olympics meant they had been in the country for over 10 days waiting for customs to release them. Thankfully they (along with a few other goodies) have arrived in one piece.

From Astral:

Born on the banks of the Green River Narrows, we bring you a versatile shoe from a kayaker’s point of view. The upper is built to last with many of the same durable and fast-drying materials as our lifevests including Cordura® and AirMesh fabrics. Our Natural Balance™ midsole securely cradles your foot, providing stable navigation through unpredictable rocky terrain. For the bottom we use state of the art Stealth® Rubber for unsurpassed traction on wet rocks. Technical performance and classic style are blended perfectly to bring you the shoe whitewater kayakers have been waiting for.

First impressions are good. They are a really good fit and feel pretty lightweight. I ordered a UK 10 and a UK 10.5 just incase. The sizing seems pretty accurate.

The uppers are made from cordura and most of the holes for the laces (6 out of 10) and drainage holes (x4) are re-enforced with stitching. The remaining lace holes are re-enforced with eyelets. Additional drainage can be found within the sole itself and at the heel.

Each pair of shoes comes with and additional set of laces. These grey/black/green shoes have arrived with grey laces fitted and an alternative set of laces in bright green.

Inside of the shoe has a series of dimples and raised sections. I suspect that this is to help with getting water out of the shoe by speeding up drainage.

The soles are fitted with Five Tens Stealth rubber. This is brilliant stuff that works superbly on the kind of wet/greasy surfaces you find on the river bank. It is also possible to buy new material to replace worn out out soles.