Product Reviews

Huf Footwear
The Sutter

Huf Worldwide has created a classic shoe with a classy feel with The Sutter. This simple and low-profile shoe has everything that you need in a skate/casual shoe, and nothing more. A suede upper sole with a light and breathable mesh liner is the only thing that separates your foot from your grip tape (or outside world), making for excellent board feel and control. The vulcanized toe cap is on the narrower side along with the rest of the shoe, allowing you to get a nice flick on those flip tricks as well as a sleek fit similar to a Vans classic, without looking like every other hipster in the valley. The minimal amount of material used does cause this shoe to wear slightly quicker than other skate shoes. However, the patented rubber H-patterned grip outsole takes the brunt of the immediate wear to help keep the toe from ripping too quickly. Sleek and casual but also clean, this shoe is for skate rats and dinner party crashers alike, and feels great without socks for those beach days. A great shoe that fits in no time, The Sutter is a solid classic for the skate- and style-minded consumer. –Steve Goemaat

Anchorhead Coffee
Middle Class Rut “Pick Up Your Head” Signature Whole-Bean Coffee

I was skeptical when my editor handed me a bag of coffee from a roaster I’d never heard of, named after a band I don’t like, with an unknown origin and roast date. Apparently, Anchorhead is a near-Seattle coffee company run by a former Middle Class Rut audio engineer. When I dumped a few beans into my hand for visual inspection, “Oh god …” was my first reaction. I hadn’t seen coffee beans this oily, stale and over-roasted in a long time. I shook my head as I dosed and ground the greasy buggers, immediately washing the dosing cup and cleaning the grinder. I brewed up a batch in the office French press before our staff meeting and poured a cup for my editor and myself. Caramel, jasmine and burned sirloin aromas fought for attention, but the steak aroma ultimately won. It looked like the pond at Liberty Park after the Chevron oil spill. Roast and chocolate flavors were apparent up front, with white sugar sweetness, nonexistent acidity and an astringent, bottom-of-the-deep-fryer finish. Halfway into our cups and the office meeting, my editor involuntarily belched, disrupting the proceedings. “Sorry, it’s the coffee,” he said. I was feeling similarly uneasy—the coffee was really icky. Not even diner coffee bad—which can sometimes be good—just bad. I’m sure some people enjoy coffee like this, with its (unknown) origin flavors roasted away beyond all recognition and left to sit until it’s rancid. But then again, I’m sure some people actually enjoy extra-well-done steaks and Starbucks coffee, too. –Cody Kirkland

Peak Design
Capture Camera Clip and P.O.V. Kit

In the strap-on/strap-off photography paradigm, the strapless photographer suffered ridicule. Enter Peak Design and the Kickstarted Capture Camera Clip. While not for the timid, Capture blends freedom and security in a machined-aluminum package. When using Capture, I prefer an off-the-hip carry with my DSLR lens pointed down. My little finger easily reached the red release button when I wrapped my hand around the grip. The strapless shooting experience made for easy composition and camera control, and just as I thought to set my camera down to take interview notes: CLICK! My camera locked into the belt-mounted Capture. I’m not all that timid, but it still took several successful attach/release cycles before I trusted the Capture’s firm hold on my camera. It also required belt access, so I had to ditch my SLUG hoodie and tuck in my shirt. Alternately, I could have lifted my shirt to expose my belt when clipping the camera, but that’d be an awkward, two-handed compromise. Peak Design also offers a POV kit for handlebar/backpack-mounted GoPro cameras or for changing the angle of Capture’s camera attachment. For a rangefinder, I used the POV J-mount for belt carry and to rig the Capture on a messenger bag. Capture’s width accommodated a thick, three-inch wide strap. Each job is different, and I won’t use Capture every time I shoot, but it’ll certainly be useful when I need to juggle more than one camera, so I’ll put a baseplate on every camera I own (and crank the hex-head bolts). –John Barkiple