It’s no secret that New Balance Numeric knows what it takes to make great skate shoes. The brand offers a broad spectrum of styles and features to support all kinds of skateboarding. We took the new New Balance Numeric 420 for a Wear Test.
The New Balance Numeric 420 was developed together with Marquise Henry and is inspired by the brands running shoes of the 1970s.
Besides their low weight, the seamless synthetic upper is a particularly distinct feature of New Balance’s latest model.
It also features the new REVlite mid-sole for maximum support. But can the New Balance Numeric 420 live up to its expectations?
For me, the New Balance Numeric 420 doesn’t really look like a skate shoe. That’s probably because of the synthetic upper. Nevertheless, there is a lot of great workmanship going on here and the shoes has a noticeable high level of quality.
Thanks to the innovative REVlite midsole it feels pretty lightweight. By the way, the name of the shoe is no hoax thanks to the stash pocket in the tongue that allows you to hide your goods.
The first session didn’t go as expected for me. I normally do a lot of flip tricks but straight out of the box, I missed the flick. It took me a couple of sessions before I got used to the shoe.
The breathable toe cap did a good job getting some fresh air inside the shoe.
Fit & Comfort
I had never skated New Balance Numeric skate shoes before. Thus, I just ordered the same size I normally would. After I unboxed the shoes it seemed like the shoes wouldn’t fit my broad feet, but after trying to put them on, it was quite relieving. The heel felt amazingly stable and gave me the impression that I wouldn’t be rolling my ankle any time soon.
On the other hand, I think that’s also why I experienced a long break-in period. Contrary to my expectations, the toe area of the New Balance Numeric 420 was actually pretty wide, mainly because the shoe features not a lot of padding here.
When I first walked in the shoes to the skate park, it didn’t felt too comfortable to be honest. The heel was rather stiff and although it has a full rubber upper, the grip and flick was totally missing. But after getting used to that, it really became a positive thing.
Because of the stiffness of the heel area, you don’t feel like you will roll your ankle, which gives you the confidence to try more. If you like skating high gaps and long stair sets, you are probably going to like the stiffness and sole.
At the end of the test, the heel area was still quite stiff and I think that’s what New Balance Numeric tried to achieve with these shoes. The durability of the Ollie area is also better compared to shoes with suede uppers.
Boardfeel & Grip
As already mentioned, I was having a hard time getting used to the shoes. The rubber outsole didn’t look very thick, but it was actually quite stiff just like the heel area. Therefore, the board feel wasn’t optimal at the beginning but developed over time.
The grip of the New Balance Numeric 420 shoe was pretty amazing and didn’t really decrease over the course of the entire wear test. Because of the synthetic material in the upper of the New Balance Numeric 420, I had some problems with the flick in the beginning. And to be honest, I’m still not sure if I like it or not.
The REVlite midsole and the removable Ortholite footbed really worked well for impact absorption.
The rubber sole isn’t that thick, so there is a limit to the impact absorption but if you’re not exceeding 10-stairs, the New Balance Numeric 420 should be a good choice.
After the second skate session, the New Balance Numeric 420 shoes finally felt comfortable on my feet. At this point in the test, I hadn’t done a lot of flip tricks, but you can already see some wear at the tip of the shoe.
Normally, you wouldn’t have wear here but the rubber outsole sticks out a bit at the front. The upper mesh on the toe cap was getting ripped a little bit but there were no signs of wear in the Ollie area.
The mesh upper on the toe cap showed more wear with every session but still no hole developed in the Ollie area. Because there are no seams running through the upper, the New Balance Numeric 420 is quite indestructible in my opinion.
The grip of the shoes was also pretty extraordinary. At this point in the test, I ripped the laces and had to replace them (extra laces were not included).
After 15 hours, I really got along with the New Balance Numeric 420 and they felt comfortable. Only the top layer of the insole was becoming loose, which was a little bit annoying but didn’t affect the function of the shoes.
A while later, the toe cap tore a bit and the second layer peeked through, but there was still no hole to see. The wear on the Ollie area had also increased by then, but it was still good for some more sessions.
In the last few sessions, I tried to skate everything from ledge & rail to transition & gaps. The last thing I wanted to test was doing the 100 Kickflip challenge.
Even after this, the toe cap and the Ollie area were still good to go. The rubber material really stands out here and makes the New Balance Numeric 420 very durable.
The New Balance Numeric 420 is a modern skate shoe that is tremendously durable thanks to its synthetic upper. But because of the stiffness of the upper and the heel area, it takes a while to get used to the shoe.
The excellent grip of the sole and the low wear in the heavily used areas of the shoe in particular, are an attest to the high level of quality that New Balance Numeric delivers with the 420.
Functional features such as the innovative REVlite midsole, the removable Ortholite footbed, and the stash pocket on the tongue make this a very good skate shoe. If you are looking for a great all-rounder with modern technology, you’ll be set with the New Balance Numeric 420.
- Long break-in period
- High wear on the mesh toe cap
- Ripped laces
- Perfect fit
- Good ankle support
- Superb impact protection
- Stylish design
- Stash pocket in the tongue
- Durable toe cap & Ollie area