The Astral Brewer

The Brewer is a shoe that was developed for kayaking and other water sports. It has a sticky rubber sole (5.10 Stealth Rubber, the best for traction on slick rock), and it’s built of lightweight, durable materials that drain water and dry quickly. For me, these shoes were a perfect solution to my search for a camp shoe. In the past I had used both Crocs and Chacos for secondary footwear on the trail. Crocs were very comfortable to wear in camp, and they were light to carry; but they didn’t provide much support and would not make a good backup shoe should my boots fail. Chacos were sturdier and could be used in a pinch for hiking, but they were bulky and heavy, a real load in my pack when I wasn’t using them. By contrast, the Brewer is a lightweight, minimalist shoe that provides comfortable support for the whole foot. I use my Brewers for especially gnarly stream-crossings, and if my hiking shoes break or get soaked with water, I can comfortably spend a day or two walking in the Brewers. In camp, the heal of the Brewer folds down to make it a slip-on shoe: much easier for middle-of-the-night restroom breaks. And in town, these shoes bring great style and comfort. I’m not usually noticed for my fashion sense, but I’ve been surprised by how many comments the Brewers have drawn.

The bottom line is that after a long day of hiking I want to get my smelly boots off and put on some different footwear. It’s one of the areas where I choose luxury over lightness on the trail, and the Brewer brings all of the comfort I could hope for while backing it up with great utility.