"If a man's fortune does not fit him it is like the shoe in the story; if too large it trips him up, if too small it pinches him." - Horace
This is starting to look bad. I never intended it to turn out this way. However, I can no longer deny that my collection of boat shoes has now surpassed my wife's total amount of shoes.
The latest culprit to push my tally past Erin's? The Porter shoe from Astral. Astral is probably best known for producing lifevests and shoes for kayaking and river water sports, but the Porters can easily cross over to sailing. In any case, the crew at Astral seems to know water and water recreation quite well.
I was first drawn to the Porter by their simple looks and color combinations, so apparently my vanity initially ruled over my sense of comfort and function. But it didn't last long because the Porters are SOOO comfortable to wear. They're light and airy (much more so than they look in pictures) and for once have zero pressure points to cause blisters on bare feet. For me, if a boat shoe can't be worn comfortably (and odor free!) without socks, then it's not really a boat shoe at all. The Astral Porter shoes pass this test with flying colors.
The uppers on the Astral Porter are constructed using Cordura fabric, something more often seen on backpacks and luggage, but it works well on a shoe and should provide good durability and resistance to abrasion and scuffs. Different, yes...but I like it a lot! The tongue and topside over your toes is a breathable mesh. The "Wetgrip" sole is rubbery and features a sipped non-marking tread that has held very well for me on our wet decks and dock. There are also drainage ports at the heel and front sidewalls that quickly let the water out, just like scuppers!
Good for sailing. Good on the dock. Just fine for a stroll in to town or down the beach. All in all, a very simple, comfortable shoe that's going to see a lot of deck time on my boat.