“In 1992, Hufnagel moved to San Francisco to pursue his passion of skateboarding. He turned professional soon after, providing him a rare and rewarding opportunity to travel the world by means of his skateboard and the industry that supported him. Brought up by the very ‘do-it-yourself’ approach that came along with skateboarding, Hufnagel saw an opportunity to give back to that same community which had raised him, and opened a small boutique on an offbeat block of San Francisco’s Tenderloin District, the first of its kind. Its aim: to bring together under one roof the most respected brands that the skateboard, streetwear, and sneaker communities had to offer. He named the shop HUF, and it quickly came to be recognized as the Bay Area’s premier purveyor of hard-to-comeby goods.“
This is how the HUF brand intro described word for word at www.hufworldwide.com. Born out of a skate shop, HUF soon quickly conquered the skate industry and established themselves as a rather underground brand over time, while piquing the interests of the fashion industry. HUF’s strength lies in their ability to bring together like-minded characters who share an interest and passion for skateboarding, not as a hobby, but as a lifestyle.
This passion is reflected by the details in their products and design. Starting with apparel, Keith Hufnagel saw an opportunity to start a footwear program with premium design, combined with modern functional details. Made by skateboarders, for skateboarders, HUF represents not only a more refined and forward-thinking skateboard brand, but also the individual inspired by the vast array of countercultures that parallel the skateboard mentality. The authentic nature of HUF soon became the momentum to push the brand to the forefront of skateboard footwear design, especially with their popular team rider Dylan Rieder and Austin Gillette signature models. No matter how large the scale of business became, HUF was able to work with their rider’s directly to take a hands-on approach of design for skateboard footwear; notably the progressive design details like incorporating dress-like styles with skateboard functionality. Yet, what came as a surprise to many, Keith Hufnagel announced on the Nine Club Show that HUF will be focusing primarily on apparel from 2020 onwards (adding even additional team rider), reducing their attention towards the footwear portfolio. The skate team will be the same but with less focus on footwear.
Over the years, we’ve had a number of opportunities to get the first inisder’s look into HUF’s newest shoe silhouettes for reviews. We want to take this opportunity to thank the HUF brand for supporting Weartested, as we reviewed the HUF Southern back in 2012 and over the years we were able to review eight other models, such as the progressive Dylan and Gillette designs. There is no doubt that HUF has created a legacy in their footwear portfolio, and we’ve been blessed to capture their progression with our review. For a peek into the most historical HUF designs of skateboard footwear, check out our reviews from the past.
The HUF Southern is a slim and solid vulcanized shoe. It features increased Ollie-area durability, good boardfeel, grip and craftsmanship. Minor flaws are the weight and the only average durability of the sole unit.
The HUF Galaxy proves that a skate shoe does not have to be unnecessarily complicated. Apart from minor weaknesses such as the durability of the sole patterns and rather average cushioning, the Galaxy is completely convincing, particularly through its general durability, its flick and very good form stability.
The HUF Dylan does not only feature a very interesting and bold design, it also excels when it comes down to durability, which is far beyond industry standard. Boardfeel, grip and stability are great as well. However, its really slim shape and average (at best) cushioning, were some elements we were not too fond of.
The HUF Classic is a low cut and extremely durable vulcanized model. The shoe scores when it comes to grip, boardfeel and its’ extremely durable rubber toe cap. Minor weaknesses are its’ lack of cushioning and stability for the model.
The HUF Gillette features not only one of the most developed designs in the skateboard industry, it also excels when it comes down to durability, which is far beyond industry standards. Boardfeel, grip and stability are the strength’s of the shoe as well. Its below average cushioning and comfort, were some elements we were not too fond of.
The HUF Hupper 2 is a wonderful addition to the HUF footwear line and packages some innovative design elements into a minimal silhouette. The shoe killed the game in durability, stability and grip, but leaves us wishing for more when it came to cushioning and comfort.
The HUF Clive is a perfect addition to the HUF portfolio. Underneath its clean and simple silhouette turns out to be a well thought layout of technical elements. In summary, durability, boardfeel and grip are all above average but one element of the shoe that needs improvement is the cushioning.
The HUF Cromer 2 features a simplistic design, it excels when it comes down to durability, which is surpasses the industry’s standards for low cut vulcanized shoes. Boardfeel, grip and stability are also the strength’s of the shoe. However, the below average cushioning and comfort, were points of weakness that could be better improved.
The classic silhouette of the HUF Dylan Slip On has a strong focus on boardfeel and grip, also we evaluate the durability positively but falls short on heel stability and cushioning.