HUF has gained both flack and notoriety for their outgoing and equally risky designs. Whether its been for better or worse, their agenda carries onward and their latest risk involves testing the waters with one of skateboarding’s few exposed wedges.
When the Liberty came out, we knew we had to review them, simply to answer the question: Can you skate a wedge?
More over, with anticipation of AG’s pro model to drop within the next two months, we had to find out before his shoe hit the shops.
The review was done using our month long format (which explains why we’ve been away for so long) :). The shoe was skated for a total of 20 hours. Check below for each grading. We base our rating from 1 – 10. 10 being the best and 1 being the absolute worst.
Sizing & Support
The sizing on the HUF Liberty’s, as with most/all of their models, fall true to size. The support of the Liberty on the other hand is much different from the rest of their collection. For one, it would appear that the Liberty took the place of the Genuine, as it has the feel of a slip-on. Even more accurately, a Vans Era. In terms of fit and support, the shoe is as flat as can be. This shouldn’t surprise anyone given the dressy aesthetic of the shoe. Even though they are a skater-owed brand, it strikes us that maybe the Liberty was made for more non-skate activities. Regardless, this didn’t stop us from skating them.
Short Answer: True To Size.
Comfort & Cushion
As mentioned before, the Liberty’s are incredibly flat but have an Ortholite memory foam footbed to support and cushion your feet. The comfort from an Ortholite footbed is everything you’d expect, but if you have no gauge of what it’s like, imagine your feet being positioned on a 5 to 7 millimeter piece memory foam. The cushioning aspects within the Liberty are fairly non-existent considering its design but the grade of leather adds some protective padding but not much. It’s one of the thicker leathers we’ve ever come across on a skate shoe and has its benefits with both longevity and breathability surprisingly. Hardly got hot foot skating these.
Comfort & Cushion: 6 – With no arch support to withhold your weight throughout the day, it’d be hard to skate these for a 10 hour day. Walking, definitely, but if you’re a heavy set dude or stair tosser, skip these.
Boardfeel & Grip
Being a fairly flat shoe, you can imagine that the Liberty’s give you everything you need in terms of boardfeel. It’s a bit of a strange contrast because you’ll get slip-on like boardfeel but feel reassured with the Ortholite footbed. By no means, would we recommend jumping down any sets of stairs in these, but they are among the more comfortable thin shoes that we’ve ever reviewed on the site. It’s for those reasons that the Liberty is probably best suited for work and then play. Wear them in at your 9-to-5 and once you’ve scuffed them up with your toe on your desk, start skating them.
The grip is where the Liberty loses some points. The outsole is initially very grippy as with most skate shoes but starts to bald around the 2 week mark. In this case, the upper will outlast the outsole and depending on where your preferences stand, this could be a good thing or a bad thing.
Boardfeel: 10 – As much as you want and maybe more. But don’t get it confused with paper thin because that’s not the case at all. It’s just right for a vulc shoe.
Grip: 5 – After balding begins in the 2nd week, you’ll have to be fairly strategic about those trips to the perfectly constructed cement park. Its smooth finish won’t provide you with enough traction to prevent any slip ups.
Point blank, this leather will outlast most other leather skate shoes in the market today. For being so extremely thick, it doesn’t suffocate your foot and cause a bunch of discomfort. Above all else, the upper is the winner on the HUF Liberty’s. Now that we think of it, you’re probably better off skating these before considering them for work.
It’s unfortunate, but with regular wear and tear from walking, you could easily find yourself with a bald outsole in no time, even without skating. On slick surfaces like skateparks or California in general, once the outsoles bald, you’re playing with fire skating in these. If your in more of a cutty background, the traction from the rubber alone with hold up but beware of any slick spots. We slipped out a bunch skating these on smooth surfaces and even experienced sliding down and eating some shit when trying to run out of our local bowl. :/
Sadly, the outsole fails to support an incredibly durable upper. In fact, the sole’s rubber is actually superior to that of the outsole. The rubber on the sole is harder and fades away smoothly while remaining its great grip. The outsole’s soft exterior is probably what causes the balding to start so early but otherwise, it isn’t the worst thing in the world. The flick from these Liberty’s is practically more than enough reason to consider skating them. Worst case scenario, if you don’t like them, just hit on girls at the bar with them and cuff* your paints.
*3 Cuff minimum plz.
Upper Durability: 7 – The leather is showing no signs of falling through due to its thickness.
Outsole Durability: 5 – If it were to last longer, it would’ve made a world of a difference.
All and all, this review solidifies that a heel on a skate-able upper isn’t all that profound. While skating the Liberty, never at any point did we feel the heel or have it disrupt our skating. Heelflips worked fine, kickflips, cruising, etc. Everything felt good, the only disappointing portion of this shoe is how soon the balding happens on the outsole. Other than that, it’s a reliable “Team Handsome” shoe that looks good in most occasions. Despite the balding, we’ll still be skating our pair considering how durable the upper is. Especially for a vulcanized shoe after 20 hours of skating.