Skateboarder’s aren’t the most welcoming when it comes to introducing new forms of design. As in most industries, new ideas are always hit or miss and skateboarding’s first exposed wedge design is no exception. There’s no immediate indication that this wedge will attract or disgust consumers as they feast their eyes on it but if any brand has proven their risky nature before, it’s HUF. There is one thing for certain- since winning skateboarding’s coveted T.H. crown, HUF’s footwear has been getting more and more handsome.
As with some of their higher quality designs, HUF’s Liberty is a fashion inspired model. While some might disagree with its fashion-ready design, the Liberty is actually as straightforward as it comes. Disregarding the exposed wedge momentarily, the Liberty is simply a one piece toe cap, with deco stitching and perforations to complement an otherwise overwhelming leather upper. Another difficult trait to examine is the true construction of the shoe but we’re here to confirm that it is a vulcanized model.
Initial Fit & Feel
The best job that the designers have accomplished with the Liberty model is having the exterior of the shoe look narrow while having the interior support a wider girth for larger feet. The fit can surprisingly support larger and wider feet as a result. The feel is no different than what you’d expect from a vulcanized model with the exception that it features an Ortholite memory foam insole that will form to your foot every time. The Liberty fits true to size.
Toe & Flick
As previously mentioned, the exterior holds true with a narrow look and feel. The toe comes to a perfect point after passing a toe or two after the pinky. The flick, as it stands now with a couple of kickflips under our belt, is reliable but can vary depending on what you are used to. The vamp portion of the shoe is very low and if you flick better with a fuller/rounder toe (ex. Nike SB Dunk, eS Accel, etc.), these might not be the shoe for you. If you’re more prone toward flicking off the top of the board or are comfortable with a lowered vamp, these are ideal for your type of skating. More over, the foxing tape that surrounds the exposed sole is very dense and smooth. This will cause for easier flicks on the grippiest of griptapes.
Sole & Grip
The repeated “H” pattern throughout the outsole differs from HUF’s other “H” outsole but comparably grips on an average level. Not too strong and not too weak. The real story with the outsole is the exposed heel. It may come as a surprise for you to know that you can barely feel the different height levels between the heel and the rest of the outsole. We’ve even gone as far as prepping and doing more heelflips than we normally do to truly find out how it effects the performance of heel-related tricks and it doesn’t distract or take away as it stands now. The take away from this confirmed information is that all skate shoes are designed to the same degree. All, if not most skate shoes come with a height difference between the forefoot and heel but HUF has been the first skate shoe brand to show and exposure its heel for style purposes.
Being a vulcanized shoe, you shouldn’t be expecting too much support from the Liberty or any vulcanized model for that matter. The collar and tongue of the Liberty’s are thin with little to no cushioning. All and all, your expectations with the Liberty should be realistic. It was made as a fashion forward model that could support your club going habits while performing at a more than reasonable rate when skating them. The Ortholite memory foam feels great in terms of comfort but we wouldn’t suggest the Liberty when you’re approaching your local 10 stair. HUF’s newest team model is designed for a true T.H. ambassador. For those who love wallies, ledges, flip tricks and the occasional rail from time to time, the Liberty’s are for you- so long as you have the rest of the attire to match this good looking team model. 😉
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