Astral's G.14 Outsole Compound Brings River Shoes to the Next Level


Asheville, NC – Astral, the leader in the whitewater and recreational paddling market, has long been regarded as a key innovator in paddle-sports equipment. The company’s entry in the outdoor footwear market in 2012 with “The Brewer,” resulted in accolades from outdoor retailers, the media, and core users. Committed to constantly pushing product performance and reliability further, Astral announces the introduction of outsoles made with its proprietary G.14 rubber, which surpasses the performance of any outsole previously available to paddlers.


That may be hard for some to believe, given that Astral entered the market riding a strong partnership with outsole industry veteran Five-Ten.

“There is no company as committed to protecting Class V kayakers as Astral,” says Astral CEO and director of R&D, Philip Curry. “We are extreme kayakers and designers committed to making the best river shoes ever. We questioned and evaluated everything done before, found weaknesses and committed ourselves to doing it better.”

Kayakers know the importance of a great outsole. Wearing shoes that grip on rocks give the user enhanced peace of mind and performance in often-perilous environments, so Astral focused on this component of their shoes early in its evolution.

Astral’s new soles started by meeting the current benchmark for grip, verified through a development process that included lab and in blind field tests. After improving the mechanical properties of the midsole to increase performance, Astral increased surface contact over the benchmark and added siping to improve grip. Upgrades were made to allow the sole to shed mud more effectively.

“We can now say with confidence that our outsoles are the best available,” says Curry.

G.14 will be available in Astral’s footwear collection Spring 2014.

About Astral

Founded in 2002, Astral leads the life vest industry in innovative design and responsible manufacturing. Expanding on its commitment to serving core outdoor enthusiasts, Astral now offers award-winning footwear and an innovative collection of products made from industry scrap materials. Astral operates out of three locations worldwide: North Carolina, Vietnam, and Bali. For more information about Astral and its new footwear line, see or contact Mandy Gresham at