Astral TR 1 Mesh Shoes are lightweight hiking shoes designed for wet terrain like canyons and canoe portages. They’re perfect for use in wet conditions where your feet are frequently submerged underwater because they drain immediately. I have mesh trail runners, but these shoes are so much better than those at shedding water, they have much better traction, and they dry remarkably quickly after use.
Specs at a Glance
- Intended Use: Water, Light Hiker
- Uppers: Ripstop 2D Mesh with TPU overlays at toe and heel cap. Supportive EVA heel cup.
- Midsole: Level heel to ball, with Top Shank to reduce foot fatigue.
- Outsole: High friction Rubber with 5mm lugs.
- Foot to Ground Distance: 21mm heel, 20mm ball
- Weight / shoe: Men’s 9 = 301g (10.624 oz)
- Sizes: Men’s US 8-14
- Sizing: True to size
While I do some hiking and bushwhacking in them, I mainly use the Tr1 Mesh Shoes for blue-legging, which involves walking up the middle of mountain streams in freezing cold water for hours at a time while Tenkara fly fishing. These streams are full of moss and slime-covered rocks and they are really slippery. But I’ve found the traction provided by these shoes to be remarkably good on both wet and dry river rocks. It’s far better than my La Sportiva Ultra Raptors, which are my normal mesh trail shoes. The traction is also a lot better than my Orvis UL Wading Boots, which even have metal cleats!
I am always a little paranoid when I try on new shoes because as a hiker, I’m afraid of getting heel blisters because they can sideline me for a few weeks while they heal. While I do wear socks with these shoes, Darn Tough socks, of course, I haven’t had any friction issues with these shoes at all. There’s no break-in period, although I don’t do a ton of hiking in them either. Maybe a few miles at a time, because it takes me a few hours to walk one mile up a mountain stream if the fishing is good before hiking downstream on an adjacent trail.
That said, these shoes have body, unlike some water shoes, and I’m confident that I could hike in them if I wanted to. There’s a firm heel area that cups the back of your foot, a rubber front toe kick, and TPU protecting the front and sides of the foot. There’s also a fair amount of padding between the lugs and the footbed, so you don’t feel every stone and rock that you step on.
One of the reasons I purchased these shoes is that they have a shank in the midsole because I’m having some foot problems with shoes that flex too much this summer. While there is some give in the footbed, I don’t have pain when I hike in these shoes, which is a big plus. While they do have a close to zero drop, that’s not the reason I purchased them. It’s not noticeable, or something I care that much about, to be honest.
As I mention above, the lugs are nice and deep and provide great traction on slippery, smooth, and wet river rocks. This is particularly noticeable when I jump from rock to rock as I work my way upstream.
If you looking for a great mesh shoe for wet hiking, wading, or portaging, I’d definitely give these Astral TR1 Mesh Shoes a try. They’re one of my best new gear finds of the summer and I’ll be wearing them for the rest of the hiking and fishing season.