I have been in the market for a new kayak fishing shoe for a while now, and took plenty of time to read various reviews. After reading several reviews, talking to anglers that I personally know, and performing the wifey style test, I had narrowed my search down to the Porters, Brewers, and Aquanauts all from Astral. I decided to go with Astral because of their long-standing reputation for great customer service and history of quality products. I previously wore the Water Spiders from Under Armour and I really liked them initially but over the course of a year didn’t seem to hold up well.
I was very excited when my Aquanauts came in the mail and didn’t want to wait until my next fishing trip, which was still a week away, to try them out. I had an all day event at work that I had to be at, and I knew I would be on my feet all day so I figured that would provide a great opportunity to test out the long term comfortability of the shoe. If I could walk around for nine hours straight at work, six hours in a kayak would be a cakewalk. After three or four hours of great wear I started to feel a little rubbing where the tongue and the laces tie. After a minor adjustment they were fine and I wore them comfortably all day.
Fast forward to my first trip in the kayak and a full weekend of sloshing around in the mud and the muck. This would be my second test because this was my first opportunity wearing them while wet. Wet shoes can always be a different beast and can sometimes be a deal breaker. I was highly impressed with how fast drying they were just while sitting in the kayak and how well they drained. One of my biggest concerns with any shoe was holding silt and mud and having to have that sit in the show all day. I can honestly say I no collecting of mud inside the shoe and they were pretty well clean on the inside when I took them off at the end of the day. I fished all day the next day and again had zero issues and stayed comfortable throughout my entire trip.
I honestly say that I would recommend the Aquanauts to any and every friends. If my first two tests were any indication I will enjoy these shoes for a long time. I definitely feel that I made a great decision with my money.