New Balance Numeric 417 | Skate Shoe Review
THE NEW BALANCE NUMERIC 417
Welcome to our review of the Franky Villani New Balance Numeric 417 skate shoe. With the release of these shoes and Franky’s latest part, we couldn’t wait to try out this new silhouette. When we first laid eyes on them, the 417 really caught our attention with its slick look and mid cut vulcanized skate shoe construction. But after closer examination, we realized something… they closely resembled a Vans Half Cab, with a similar stitch pattern & cut height. With its thinner and sleek profile, it really made us wonder how they would skate and if they would rise above one of the most popular skate shoes of all time.
Click play above & scroll down to find out how the New Balance Numeric 417 held up to the review.
What we like about the New Balance 417
Overall durability: After approximately a month of skating, totaling about 35 hours, the New Balance 417 by Franky Villani showcased solid durability. The shoes demonstrated resilience and held up well during the testing period. The thick foxing tape, designed to reinforce the shoe's vulnerable areas, endured extensive rounds of flip tricks and showed minimal signs of wear. This indicates that the shoes are built to withstand skateboarding and can handle the wear and tear associated with regular sessions.
Impact absorption: Despite their relatively thin profile, these shoes surprised us with its insole ensuring impact protection. While we no longer ollie down large gaps, there were instances where we landed with high impact on our heels, and the shoes managed to mitigate the jarring effects of such landings. This suggests that the insoles of the shoes, featuring New Balance Absorb+ technology made of polyurethane, are equipped with effective cushioning or shock-absorbing features that help protect the feet from the impact of hard landings.
Thick foxing tape ensures consistent flick: While this may sound redundant, The New Balance pro model shoe features thick foxing tape, which plays a crucial role in ensuring a consistent flick. The foxing tape provides extra reinforcement and durability, particularly in areas prone to wear and tear. This feature contributes to a reliable and consistent flick, which is vital for initiating & landing tricks.
Board Feel: This was a departure from our usual shoes, during the first session with these bad boys, we immediately noticed the board feel, reminiscent of a vulcanized shoe. Our confidence in flicking our tricks grew, and we appreciated the way they looked on our feet.
Keep reading below to find out more.
What we didn't really like about the New Balance 417
Narrow fit: One aspect worth discussing about the New Balance 417 is its narrow fit, which can pose challenges for those with wider feet. During our testing, we discovered that the shoes were very snug and tight and that's not a bad thing per se' it is just worth noting as this could cause some problematic discomfort for individuals with broader foot structures.
However, it's interesting to mention that the shoes gradually stretched over time and became less restrictive, likely due to the multiple layers involved in their construction. While this may not be ideal for those with wider feet, individuals with narrower feet might find the fit of these shoes more suitable and comfortable.
Stiff backs: Another observation we made during our evaluation was that the backs of the shoes had a noticeable stiffness. This stiffness made it quite tricky to slip the shoes on, requiring us to untie and retie the laces each time. It was a departure from the convenience of slip-on shoes or ones with softer backs. Yeah, we know it sounds a bit lazy, but it can be an inconvenience for skaters who prefer a quick and hassle-free shoe-donning process. That being said, It's important to note that the stiffness of the backs also contributes to the overall stability and support of the shoes while skateboarding.
The toe cap wearing down and creating a hole: We came across a potential weak point in the shoe's design, specifically at the junction where the side panel meets the suede toe cap. Through extensive use, we observed the toe cap gradually wearing down, eventually resulting in the formation of a hole. However, we were relieved to discover a layer of white fabric beneath the hole, preventing direct contact with our socks and providing some level of protection and comfort. To address this issue and enhance the shoe's durability and lifespan, we recommend applying shoe goo or super glue to reinforce this area once the shoe has broken in and stretched out.
Lack of rubber coverage in high wear areas: While the shoe incorporates rubber underlays to reinforce the suede material, we noticed that the rubber coverage fell short in high wear areas, particularly in adequately protecting the ollie spot. The rubber layer primarily extended near the kickflip area, leaving the ollie spot relatively exposed. This limited coverage increases the shoe's susceptibility to wear and tear in that specific region, potentially leading to premature damage or the formation of holes.
Ideally, we would have preferred the rubber to extend beyond the seam between the sole and upper, offering robust protection and durability in this critical area of the shoe. However, it's important to note that the presence of an additional layer of suede beneath the loose piece helps maintain the durability and partially compensates for the lack of rubber coverage.
What are the results of this skate shoe review?
In summary, the Franky Villani New Balance Numeric 417 skate shoe impresses with its outstanding durability, excellent impact absorption, consistent flick, and remarkable board feel. It proves resilient for flip tricks, offers reliable protection during high-impact landings, and delivers consistent performance all around. However, individuals with wider feet should take note of the shoe's narrower fit. Also, the stiffness of the shoe backs may require some effort when putting them on, it ultimately contributes to enhanced stability. Overall, this shoe is great and we can't wait to see how it evolves in the future.
STILL HAVE QUESTIONS?
If you're still curious about the New Balance 417 or need more information, rest assured that we have the resources to help you out. Our customer service team is highly knowledgeable and can answer any questions you may have about these shoes or other skateboard equipment. You can easily reach out to them by phone or message.
Additionally, if you are in Portland, Eugene, or Bend, feel free to visit one of our local shops and speak to one of our friendly and helpful retail employees. They'll be more than happy to assist you and provide any information or guidance you need. Don't hesitate to reach out to us - we're here to help!
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