Wednesday, September 19, 2012

HUF 1984 review

HUF 1984, week 1 to week 4. The end result of 20 hours.

Much like getting a woman to climax, finding a top performance paneled toe to skate is damn near impossible. They are becoming a thing of myth but once in a while, we're intrigued by a few models that catch our attention. As with pleasing women in the sack, these encounters don't happen to often but when they do, we're never going to forget the experience. This HUF 1984 review is clearly that special & its performance during this review will reflect just that. The HUF brand hasn't had a review on RL's in quite sometime & that's a damn shame. Since our last review with HUF, they've rapidly become a staple of every skate shop & boutique worldwide. Ever improving, they also introduced a refreshing team with the likes of Joey Pepper, "Team Handsome" soon-to-be-inductee Brad Cromer & hopefully Jimmy McDonald soon! We've been seeing you skate em' Jimmy.

 With all this momentum, our expectations are high for HUF as they introduce Joey Pepper's pro model in the coming year & continue their global take over. More on that shoe soon, for now, check out their most technical model to date, the 1984.

Review information:
The review was done using our month long format and the shoe was skated for a total of 20 hours. Check below after each section to view the grading system. We base our ratings from 1-10. 10 being the best and 1 being the absolute worst. Enjoy.

Sizing & Support:
If there is one thing exponentially valuable about the HUF brand, it's their dedication to support. Truthfully, we can go on all day about their thick soles, quality insoles / midsoles and so on. They literally can do no wrong in our eyes. The real reason we won't forget this shoe is because we didn't experience any sore feet during review like we normally expect. Thankfully it's because of a number of elements rather than one key component. In the 1984, there is a gel inserted heel cushion & stock insole that work in a combined effort for maximum protection. The 1984's will be a guaranteed comfortable fit every time because of its cupsole design. The shoe has been outlined to adapt and conform to a foot of any size.

Short Answer: True to Size.  

HUF 1984 outsole, week 1 to week 4.

Comfort & Cushion:
We particularly enjoyed skating this 1984 shoe because of how accommodating it is. For anyone with a large or wide foot, the 84's are a dream come true. In some cases, not everyone will be hyped on how wide the shoe is because they may have too much space. For those of you with this problem, the solution is simple as ever. If you knowingly have a narrow foot but are fiending to skate the 84's, simply put in a thicker insole. Its worked wonders & we even tried it out ourselves for confirmation. You'll lose a little boardfeel but gain a bit more control, if that's what you're looking for.

The heel inserted gel does it's obvious job in the cushioning category but does just as much with the comfortably of the shoe. Walking in these was an absolute pleasure. If the gel insert wasn't there, the 1984's would've felt like any other cupsole out today. The gel insert also has a lot of give due to it's softness. This factor helped out with breaking in the shoe in the beginning stages of review. Even though it was soft enough to push in, at no point in time did the gel suffer any punctures. It's quite strong & will always bounce back.

The complete mesh lining within the shoe does provide a good balance of breathability but equally allows some unwanted slipping at first. The mesh lining within is so sleek that your foot will tend to move around on some occasions. By no means should you look for a half size smaller because it won't fix the problem. After a day or two of breaking it in, the shoe will find its flex grooves and this slippery problem will fade away without notice.

The insole is a stock EVA rather than HUF's premium PU insole. Due to the fact that the sole & gel insert are doing most of the work as is, anything thicker than a EVA insole would ruin any actual boarfeel left over. The EVA didn't flatten out as we expected and remained thick throughout review. It's much more resistant than we thought, especially in comparison to conventional EVA insoles.

Because the 84's aren't a narrowed toe skate shoe, there were some frustrating times when we couldn't flip our board comfortably. After the second week of testing & wear, the sole and the paneling happen to adjust and take shape for an easier flick. It's isn't going to be a up hill battle by any means, but you will have to stick it out in these 84's in order to get the best performance out of them.
Weeks 3 & 4 were the best because of how much the shoe conformed to our skating, not the other way around.

Comfort grading: 9 - The 1984's were so comfortable to the point where we had an idea of only recommending them as a chill shoe.
Cushioning grading: 9 - Gel inserts aren't conventionally needed in cupsoles due to their thickness but it definitely made a difference in comfort.

Boardfeel & Grip:
This will be one of the few shoes that we recommend walking around in for a period of time before skating. Nothing too long though, maybe about 2-3 days and then start rolling in them. Its not that the 84's aren't enjoyable out of the box, you'll just have a better experience skating them once their broken in. Don't get it twisted, it is possible to skate out of the box, we did. It's just going to feel a bit bulky at first. It's probably in your best interest to enjoy the shoe first as a shoe instead of hating them because you didn't magically land that tre flip first try in them.

Once you broke-in these 84's over a course of 2-3 days, then you'll be glad you held out. Kinda like a virgin or something.

With the 1984's, the boardfeel grows with the shoes performance. The more you skate them, the better they get. The soles outline has a lot to do with enjoying the ever-growing boardfeel. Apart from the tread pattern, the fact that there's a shapely cut out "island" in the outsole does wonders for the shoes boardfeel. The surrounding island that is centered in the outsole provides you with possibly the ultimate boardfeel one could expect from a cupsole. The outlined center of the shoe needs to be penetrated in order to increase the boardfeel. Like we said, just hold out and walk in these.

Boardfeel grading: 8.5 - If you're having trouble with the boardfeel at first, trust us and just wait it out. We promise, it'll get better.
Grip grading: 8 - Even though there is a small fade in the outsole during week 4, the gum rubber really comes to the rescue & saves the shoe from slipping around uncontrollably.

HUF 1984 toe, week 1 to week 4.


Only around week 3 did we start to notice some significant changes in the 1984. Even though the stitching held on strong, the paneling was starting to peel in certain areas of the shoe. Regardless of that fact, we're still thoroughly impressed by the quality & durability of this paneled toe. Not many brands can get away with a paneled toe model and nine times out of ten, consumers are weary to skate them. This all relates back to why we're sick of saying "one piece toe cap" but be aware that these are certifiably durable by our standards.

The sole falls in place with the same story. HUF managed to get a thick cupsole that has vulc boardfeel. This '84 holds up like a tank on both spectrums even though the outsole doesn't have much to build off of. As technical as the outsole may seem, the simplicity in the tread pattern ultimately saves the shoe from fading out.

Suede durability grading: 8 - With the exception of the small tear in the very front of the paneled toe, everything held together remarkably well for this paneled shoe. The stitching is impeccable and by the looks of it, probably the best & tightest in the biz.
Sole durability grading: 7.5 - This sole was incredibly harder than we expected it to be but still shed smoothly & timely during review.
Outsole durability grading: 9 - Signs of wear just started to appear around week 4 and the shoe was still as grippy as we remembered in week 1. How'd they do that without deep tread marks?

We can't express how much we're loving all of the success coming out of HUF right now. Their momentum is much stronger than some other struggling brands at the moment and it's because of their strong & dedicated team, not their bottomless wallet. The skater-owed brand that everyone has been pushing for is exceeding everyones expectations and will continue to do so as long as they continue with models such as the 1984. It's a model that they can continually build off of and should stay on their catalog for years to come. Our only suggestion would be to enjoy it as a casual shoe first and then shred the fuck out of it.

Thanks to HUF for sending the shoes for review.

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