Well it’s been an interesting month. What started out an amazing summer full of hiking, biking and lots of paddleboarding then took a drastic 180 when I tore my MCL on July 2. It’s been a soul-searching event for sure with many compromises. My lifestyle has been turned upside down (I might not be badass, but I do many hours of activity a day, frisky ripple-style). I’ve traded in my typical gear…boards, paddles, 1 mm O’Neill capris/paddle jacket, bikinis and my Astral Brewess paddle shoes for laptop, books, knee brace and dresses! It’s a transition for sure…temporary…but different. For the first week I was pretty much laid up in bed or a chair (leg elevated and iced). However, as recovery began I was altogether ready to get out of my studio and back to work, even if greatly modified.
Now a month in, I’ve begun walking—slowly–and have the great pleasure of doing so in comfort and style thanks to some new skids from Astral. We carry their brand at the shop and I needed something that gave me good traction (please, please don’t fall and re-injure myself!), Something comfortable (I need that more than ever right now!) and style (common…even in the direst conditions a gal wants to appear at least marginally cute). I got the TR1-Trek for (eventual) hiking/canyoning, Mary Jay’s for fashion and the Rosa for summer casual. So let the fun begin, trying these shoes out!
I wore first, the TR-1 Trek. I’m sooooo ready to get moving again and hiking is my jam. I simply love getting out into nature. Doesn’t have to be a thigh-burner or intense hike, although I enjoy that plenty. I can also thrive on easy, approachable terrain. These shoes seem great for that…although I haven’t tested them with any true hiking since I currently shuffle along like a slug. In fact, it’s almost imperceptible that I’m moving! What I CAN say for the Trek is that they’re ridiculously comfortable, light weight and highly supportive. That feels great when just about everything hurts from the actual injury in my knee, to the rest of my body that is cranky due to the lying around so much and compensating with the bum knee. When I put these shoes on, it was kind of like a big body sigh. Ahhhhhh.
The second shoe (flip flop) I wore was the Rosa. First, I gotta say that I love red, although this flip flop is also offered in black, gray and turquoise. All the colors are cute and have fun stitching on the top bands to make them “sexier” rather than boring. They’ve got arch support and a back strap so you don’t feel the typical shin/calve tension when walking for long periods of time. This is crucial for me injured, however as a woman who lives in flip flops in the summer it’s nice to save my legs and back in general. I chose to wear these with a dress (as indicated above) but could easily pack them along with shorts or jeans to warmer climes this winter. Their material makes them more durable for, say, international travel this winter to Mexico where I already have dreamy visions of escaping, and have started flight shopping just to appease my anxiety about missing all the great paddling in the PacNW this summer! Props to the Rosa!!
Finally, I wore the Mary Jay’s. Spoiler alert… I jokingly posted on Facebook stating my indecision to wear them in public, just in case someone tried to steal them from me in my compromised condition because they are so super cute. Haha….they’e ADORABLE. All caps. They’re available in several colors but I chose the navy/turquoise. Don’t think that the Mary Janes cuteness negates comfort. They have cushion throughout the footbed with little grooves which I’m guessing are to massage and relax the foot. And p.s…I got so many compliments on them, while wearing them and on the FB post.
You might ask why I am so gung-ho on Astral. Here’s the thing… I paddled with the RVR2RVR gals the last two years and they rep for Astral. I ended up hearing more about the company and not only are their products–PFDs and shoes–awesome, but so is the company culture. How they approach their employees, vendors, and customers. The whole shabang. I like to give props where credit is due and when a company excels I think that deserves a shout out.
So that’s the thumbnail on this gal lately… on injured reserve I spend a lot of time getting office work done, rehabbing in the pool and being stoked on my Astrals. Can’t wait until I have more to share!! Hahaha…thanks for listening and happy paddlin’ (get out there and get some for me too!!)