As a raft guide on Section IV of the Chattooga River over 30 years ago, Phillip Curry, founder and CEO of Astral, learned firsthand the demands of the river and the gear needed.  

Since that time, Curry has thought about how he would design a sandal that would be secure and stable and could stand up to those demanding days as a raft guide on the water. His idea gained momentum on a trip to France when he found a pair of sandals made in Japan and looked like a PFD. “These look like something we’d make by strapping our PFD to a Loyak bottom to create a high-performance sandal,” Curry noted. “I knew it was time to create a unique sandal with the same foothold, grip and worldview of our shoes.”

“We’ve spent years building trust and perfecting our craft in both sustainability and design,” said Curry. “We didn’t start making water sandals when the river and whitewater communities expected us to, but now that we have, we know we’ve designed a sandal that will fit the needs and demands of those who spend a lot of time in and on the water. The agility and confidence I feel wearing these sandals along river beds and trails are unlike any sandal I’ve tried. It is plain fun to explore nature with a high-performance sandal underfoot.”

 In Spring 2022, Astral will introduce the PFD Sandal and Webber Sandal. The sandals include the following:

  • Shoe Like Fit – Webbing and adjustable straps from Astral’s PFDs provide a secure, shoe-like fit.
  • Balanced Geometry – A zero drop Level Footbed combined with a roomy toe box respects the foot’s natural alignment and provides increased balance, ground feel, and foot health.
  • Rubber – Astral’s proprietary rubber compound and siped Flex Grip with a low durometer make it stick and conform to the ground for grip while providing abrasion resistance.
  • Antimicrobial – Closed-cell, EVA foam midsoles requires no treatment and provide antimicrobial protection against foot funk in wet and dry conditions.
  • 100 Percent Recycled Uppers – 100 percent post-consumer recycled polyester webbing and canvas straps with bluesign approved PFD-grade buckles provide strength while reducing environmental impact.

Photo courtesy Astral