New Balance Numeric is constantly improving th eir skate shoes, and with the 255 they brought an update of the Quincy 254 to the market. To test whether the realisation of the 255 was well-executed, I got the Jordan Taylor colourway for a wear test.
Jordan Taylor definitely didn’t go with a subtle colour palette for his first signature colourway at New Balance Numeric. The entertaining clips for the 255 Jordan Taylor prove that the WKND Pro is also a passable actor and knows how to have fun with his job.
„A skate shoe for every personality“
This is New Balance Numeric’s claim for the 255. But what’s new in comparison to its precursor 254?
New Balance Numeric 254 vs 255 – Here’s what’s new:
- Air holes on the side and the toe box
- The lacing has been relocated to the front
- The tongue is longer and has seams to dynamically fit the foot (favourable for people with a high foot arch)
- The appliques on the heel are now above the seams to minimize blowouts
- The entire heel area has been redesigned for improved comfort
The first thing I noticed about the shoe was its weight. I definitely wouldn’t call the NB Numeric 255 lightweight. This might have something to do with the N-durance® outsole that gives a very solid impression. However, the sole was flexible from the start. The upper of the 255 Jordan Taylor colourway consists almost entirely of smooth suede. The tongue is lightly padded and is kept in place by two elastic tongue straps. There is also sufficient cushioning around the ankle down to the middle without giving the shoe a wide and bulky look.
A personal bonus point for me goes to the seamless toe box that comes with a hidden toe cap. Since the first seams in the front of the shoe start behind the actual Ollie area, the 255 seems to offer great durability. Also, the removable & pre-formed “Closed Cell Polyurethane”
Sizing & Fit
If you have skated a pair of New Balance Numeric skate shoes before, you might have noticed the small sizing. According to New Balance, many models (i.e. the 254, 344, 345, 533, 589, 868) run a half size smaller. I would say this goes for the NB Numeric 255 as well. Although I got along with my usual shoe size, the shoe’s fit was more than snug. In the front, the shoe narrows down which could be a problem for skaters with wide feet.
A shortfall of many early New Balance Numeric models was the unideal fit of the heel. The fresh New Balance Numeric 255 has solved this problem. Because of the cushioned heel cap, the foot sits firmly but comfortably in the shoe without digging into the heel. While the insoles seemed a bit stiff to me during my first steps in the shoes, my opinion changed pretty quickly during the first session.
Break-In Period & First Session
As mentioned, the 255 doesn’t leave much room for your feet to play. Personally, I didn’t need a break-in period and felt very comfortable in the shoe and on the board from the get-go. The narrow fit could definitely pose some problems for some. If you prefer more roomy skate shoes, you should definitely opt for half a size up.
The NB Numeric 255 after about 5 hours
The shoe’s mix of material provides you with an excellent flick and Ollies that look like your feet are glued to your board. Unfortunately, the full-suede upper doesn’t prove to be very breathable.
Boardfeel & Grip
During the first few minutes on my board, I noticed the superior board feel I had in the NB Numeric 255s. The combination of insole and outsole serves its purpose well. First, the outsole appeared a bit slippery to me but after about five minutes, I changed my opinion. The hexagon pattern and the N-durance® rubber are very grippy, indeed.
At the heel, the “Closed Cell Polyurethane” insole is about 1 cm thick which really pays off when you land on your heels. In the front, the insole is thinner to guarantee maximum board feel. However, the shoe has no further gimmicks for impact support. Luckily, the insoles managed to absorb some primo landings and saved my feet from bruises.
This design makes the New Balance Numeric a versatile skate shoe that you can wear for technical skateboarding as well as for jumping stair sets and gaps. In any case, I wouldn’t recommend going for the Lyon 25 in these.
Impression after 10 hours
After ten hours of skating the New Balance Numeric 255s, the shoes started to show some wear. Thanks to several Kickflips, the foxing tape waved goodbye to the tip of the shoe. One of the laces gave up as well. The outsole lost a little bit of its pattern, but not too much. The upper, however, hardly showed any signs of wear at that point in time.
Interestingly, at some point, the seam between front and back panel of the shoe detached a bit. Yet, this was no problem at all since the 255’s tongue is attached by further seams and there are more layers of material under the leather that provide additional stabilization.
Impression after 20 hours
20 hours into the test, I started to wonder what kind of super suede New Balance used for the 255. During my sessions, the ollie area, if at all, had barely been roughed up. Even though the seam in the region started to rip, this high wear area was far from turning into a hole. Also, the upper in the area where the foxing tape had been erased by Kickflips hardly showed any signs of wear.
The outsole also provided lasting grip while the insole gave me the same support as on day one.
I’m pretty sure that the 255 Jordan Taylor shoe will last another couple of sessions.
The New Balance Numeric 255 is a well-realised update of its predecessor, the Quincy 254. The durability of the outsole and the upper in particular left a lasting impression on me. Moreover, I was amazed by the stability of the shoe. Despite the suede, the New Balance Numeric 255 kept its form throughout the entire test. Thanks to the excellent board feel and the supportive insole, the 255 really is a skate shoe for any personality / for any terrain.
- Durability of outsole & upper
- Form stability
- Supportive Insole
- Narrow sizing
- Limited breathability