kit review

Astral TR1 Junction Review

Astral TR1 Junction W’s

  • Size UK7
  • Colour: Deep Water Navy
  • Price: £107.50 RRP

Ferg had two pairs or Astrals before I decided I wanted in on the action too.  The first pair of kayaking shoes I put some thought into and purchased were the Palm Gradient boots.  My main reason for this was the fact they were grippy and sturdy boots for all the slippy walk ins and winter boating.  However, they weren’t ‘Danger’ grippy as I am quite heavy footed and still fall about all over the shop, and the top of the boot has peeled away after a little over a year’s use.

My next pair of shoes were the NRS Crush Water shoes.  At the start I loved these shoes, however, about 3 months in the stitching started to come away on one of the shoes and they have a hole.  I do still wear them boating but no longer out and about.

Now on to the Astrals!  When I first got them I was blown away by how stunning they were!   Something I should mention is that I have weird wide yet short fee and men’s shoes are my go to when buying any sort of sports shoes or trainers but I took a leap of faith on the Astrals and I’m really stoked I did!

The fit is perfect for my foot, nothing pinches and I feel like my foot has the room it needs for both balance and maximum comfort.  I feel like I’ve put the shoe through its paces on both dry land and on the river.  I have used them for light hiking and for a couple of gnarly walk-ins with moveable rock and can confirm the grip is superior to any trial running shoes I’ve owned.  In water the shoe comes into its own.  Shouldering my boat and walking across rocks I felt confident my feet were staying where I planted them.  

I have actually enjoyed going out my way to pick slippy and uneven surfaces simply to see how far the G Rubber, Balanced Geometry™ Technology (or ‘sticky shoes’) can go and to date no falls yet (well, due to the shoes anyway)!


  • Comfortable lightweight shoe
  • Stunning look and lots of lovely details
  • Comes in 3 different colours
  • Grippy af sole – no more falling!


  • I can envisage some having an issue with cost, however, as listed above you are getting first-rate quality and high performing product

I look after these shoes well, taking the insoles out and rinsing them before drying them out as I enjoy getting to wear them out and about this summer.  Time will tell how they hold up and I’ll be sure to add to the review in a few months to let you know how they do.

I can’t say for definate but owning Astrals may help your ability to handstand…

All in all I would thoroughly recommend these shoes not just because Astral has demonstrated a commitment to creating high quality, great looking  products but they also strive to do so  in the most ethical and environmentally friendly way.  They’ve made a promise to their customers and the world to always put ‘#NatureFirst’ and I think that’s pretty f**king cool!

Palm Horizon Womens Shorts Reviewed

Palm Horizon Womens Shorts

RRP: £64.95

Colour: Aqua

Size: W/L (UK14)

I’m still getting used to the fact that women’s kayaking clothes seem to fit rather easily now and I was super stoked when my Palm Shorts arrived.  The initial fit was good, Neoprene waist band fits snuggly across the stomach and hips, helping keep the shorts in place, but we all know how paddling down a river and jumping in and out a boat can twist and pull at clothing…

Well I can confirm, for me, this did not happen with these shorts.  Once they’re on, the movement is minimal and even after a swim my shorts were still firmly in place!  The fleece liner was warm and soft on my legs and thankfully not too tight against the skin.  It can get quite sweaty if you’re sitting around in the heat after a paddle but they definitely keep me warm enough on the ice melt rivers I’ve had them on so far!

The outside windproof shell looks good and fits the thighs and bum well.  My only criticism on this is the rigidity of the outside shell, however, I’ve been told this will soften with wear


  • Excellent Fit and shape
  • Doesn’t ride up or down when kayaking             
  • Looks great on
  • Comfortable fleece liner 
  • Value for money


  • Rigid outside shell
  • Only comes in one colour

I would recommend these shorts and hope in the future Palm will offer a few more colours to chose from