At first glance, the HUF Soto doesn’t appear to be breaking any standards, but this one piece toe model is doing more than it lets on.
This cupsole team model offers a sturdy foundation and is introducing HUF’s latest technology: Infinity Rubber. This formulation of rubber is softer than the average compound found in skate footwear, making the shoe susceptible to a faster break-in time through increased flexibility. Somehow, through this formula, they’ve also managed to maintain their outsole’s durability, which doesn’t sound right, considering a softer and stickier rubber usually equates to a brittle, faster wearing product. Leave it to HUF to stump traditional science.
The star feature behind the Soto is Infinity Rubber, but what’s changing within the landscape of skate shoes is the length of the toe – feel free to debate amongst yourselves as to which shoe brought this little guy back. We’ve been spoiled for a number of years with elongated one piece toes, and while it is a product that’s useful, it leaves little room for unique designs when the entire market is starting to look the same.
From our perspective, the return of the shorter toe comes from a culmination of different elements. For starters, all trends, designs and flavors go in cycles. Naturally, it was only a matter of time before the short toe made it stumpy return, this time without its trusty puffy-tongued partner. With the other variable being that a shorter toe happens to bring a completely different look and performance value to whatever skate shoe that decides to adopt it, expect a faster flick in exchange for pristine laces, and potentially more control.
As of right now, shoes are starting to hit the market with shorter toes and, if you feel so inclined, it might feel good to try them out in exchange for those long one piece toes. Aside from the Soto, here’s the other short toe model that came out earlier this month. If you’re scared or wary of this comeback aesthetic, look at it as if you were skating old yet leaned out Fallen Ripper’s and you’ll make the transition just fine.