September 2023

After various New Balance Numeric (NBN) signature colourways, it was only a matter of time before Franky Villani was able to realize his creativity on an all-new New Balance Numeric Pro shoe. “Quite Franky?” We checked it out for you and tested the NBN 417 Franky Villani!

DE | FR | NL

New Balance Numeric 417 Franky Villani Wear Test

The NBN 417 – the pro model from Franky Villani

Franky Villani is perhaps one of the most interesting characters in the current global skate scene. Technical tricks, creative approaches, impossible spots and his authentic manner make Franky not only likeable but also unmistakable. In contrast, his brand new NBN Pro shoe is kept rather simple but impresses with numerous, really useful features.

Technical Details & first impression of the NBN 417 Franky Villani

The NBN 417 Franky is a vulcanized mid-top shoe with a lot of focus on durability. The vulcanized sole feels stiffer at the start than you’re used to from other Vulc shoes. It actually reminded me more of a cup sole when I put it on.

New Balance Numeric 417 Franky Villani Wear Test

Smooth leather is found in the main wear areas, mixed with canvas layering in the less stressful areas. This layering, combined with the multi-stitched ollie zone, provides comfort and longevity to the shoe.

Underneath the layering is also an additional toe cap and other specials, such as the Abzorb insole. In my opinion, the NBN 417 offers the perfect blend of cushioning, stability and freedom of movement.

New Balance Numeric 417 Franky Villani Wear Test

All of the features described feel perfectly and sensibly placed. This gives the impression of a well-thought-out skate shoe that caters to the needs of street skaters.

The price of these special features, however, is the weight: compared to similar models, such as the Vans Half Cab, the New Balance Numeric 417 feels significantly heavier, but at the same time far more stable. Personally, this trade-off works very well for me!

NBN 417 Franky review – fit and board feel

The New Balance Numeric 417 skate shoe fits normally or “true to size” in my eyes. I can definitely recommend it to all people with wide feet. Although the shoe looks rather narrow due to the toe cap, you have a lot of space at the ball of your foot, but you can adjust it as you like with the laces. As a skater with a rather narrower foot, I had no problems here.

New Balance Numeric 417 Franky Villani Wear Test

The board feel of the 417 is simply outstanding! The shoe feels like a perfectly thought-out all-rounder. Whether numerous flip tricks or rather an impact-heavy skating: everything is possible for you here.

The only weak point in my opinion is the “Abzorb” insole. This fulfils its purpose very well but is still quite rigid during the first sessions. I had the feeling the sole first had to adapt to my foot.

New Balance Numeric 417 Franky Villani Wear Test Review

This initially led to slightly sore soles during long sessions. After a few sessions, I had no more problems and felt very comfortable in the NBN 417.

The durability of the New Balance 417 skate shoe

The blend of suede and canvas makes the shoe more durable than average. After about 15 hours of skating, the NBN 417 still cuts an excellent figure. It retains its shape and has no obvious weak points – not even in the flick area.

New Balance Numeric 417 Franky Villani Wear Test Review

Especially compared to similar vulcanized mid-top shoes, the outsole surprised me positively. It is definitely harder and more robust than I am used to, but still offers a good board feel and grip. Overall, I was more than convinced by the durability of the New Balance Numeric 417.

New Balance Numeric 417 Franky Villani Wear Test Review


If you’re looking for a durable all-around skate shoe that doesn’t sacrifice a vulc sole, I highly recommend the New Balance Numeric 417. The highlight of the shoe is its durability. Thanks to the moderate price you have an ideal price-performance ratio here. With Franky Villani’s Pro shoe, you get an “instant classic” that meets all the requirements of a solid skate shoe.


  • Price-performance ratio
  • Durability
  • Stability


  • Adjustment time of the insole
  • Weight

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