Many readers may recognize the brand for our review, but with an emergence on to the scene of skate shoes, New Balance may have somewhat of an entirely different look about them. No longer just for runners and cross-trainers, New Balance skate shoes offer the user the same reliability they've always known or loved of the brand, but in a skate shoe. A vintage-meets-modern design on the shoe has the classic look of a skate shoe but somewhat slimmer and more aerodynamic looking. Whether for personal use or as a gift for the favorite skater in their life, our article will offer the reviewer a chance to decide which style fits them best.

What Are New Balance Skate Shoes?

New Balance has taken the comfort and reliability we all know and dropped it into this new line of skate shoes, opening up to a new clientele of alternative athletes. An array of colors and fabrics lend a sense of individuality to the classic-looking sneaker. Primarily marketed towards skateboarders, New Balance skate shoes also look great as street wear, and their durability offers a long-lasting, good-looking shoe overall. Designed to grip the skateboard and offer an extended range of movement in the heels, New Balance may have taken the cake on the skate shoe market.

Product Specs

The only similarity between New Balance skate shoes and the classic New Balance sneaker is the company's classic "N" logo on the side of the shoe. Designed with the skater in mind, these shoes have a low-profile cut, allowing the skater extended range of the ankles to more easily control their board. The classic look pairs well in the skatepark or the street, and a wide variety of color schemes and fabric choices are available for purchase. Extra strong rubber on the vulcanized soles of the shoes helps to better grip the board, with additional layers in the areas of heaviest use to ensure the shoes will last. High-quality fabrics also add to wear and tear rates, with most reviewers stating the shoes hold up extremely well over time.

Pricing

We all know the price of shoes can get a little outrageous, especially when buying from the manufacturer. Any shoe marketed to a specific sport or type of wearer can sometimes be classified as a specialty item, and retailers may jack up prices; but New Balance has always been good about keeping bulk suppliers stocked up, meaning the shoes can easily be found at retail discount stores for much less than the nearly $85 the brand's website lists. Most other retailers seem to keep the "sale" price going between about $50 and $60.

How It Compares

Below is a comparison of 4 different styles New Balance skate shoes, so the user may gain a better understanding of which shoe might fit them best. While the styles are similar, small differences can stand out, especially to the athlete looking for the best shoes at the best deal. Some styles seemed a better fit for daily use while others may fare better contained to the skate park. We hope this article will provide an easily laid-out guide to help you make the best choice for your needs.

  • New Balance 331v1 Skate Shoe

  • New Balance 424v1 Skate Shoe

  • New Balance 345bw Skate Shoe

  • New Balance Am424

[amazon link="B0751S1DCY"]

[amazon fields=”B0751S1DCY” value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]

New Balance 331v1 Skate Shoe

Comfort

Durability

Design Quality

Warranty


The New Balance 331v1 model is a slim, versatile design that works well on the skateboard or paired with a favorite outfit. The classic vulcanized soles are present along with a thin lining of memory foam to make sure the shoes aren't too thick.

Price $$

Running around $50 to $65 on Amazon, the 331v1 gains a two money symbol rating because of the vast range.

Comfort

While the majority of reviewers found the 331v1 very comfortable, some expressed they were stiffer than other New Balance styles they had bought before, and that they had to "wear them in" a little more than usual. However, these users seemed pleased with the fit after the break-in period.

Durability

The shoes appear quite durable, with a small fraction of users noting normal wear and tear such as cracks in the rubber appearing perhaps sooner than usual in other shoes.

Design Quality

While all the New Balance skate shoes listed in this article are designed somewhat similarly, the 331v1 earns 4.1 stars for its super casual look and many users reporting they bought two separate pairs: one for skating and one for wearing out.

Warranty

While the New Balance website does not state any kind of warranty for their skate shoes, they do accept returns on shoes that are undamaged and unworn within 30 days of purchase. Amazon and other outside retailers have similar return policies.

Pros

  • Versatile on or off the board
  • Comfortable, with few complaints

Cons

  • This design only offers 4 color selections
  • No warranty from brand and Amazon does not guarantee returns on all styles/colors

[amazon link="B06XSF3QF8"]

[amazon fields=”B06XSF3QF8″ value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]

New Balance 424v1 Skate Shoe

Comfort

Durability

Design Quality

Warranty


With a somewhat chunkier look than the 331v1, the 424v1 could almost be described as the classic skate shoe. It comes solely in suede for a fancier feel, and the same insoles and rubber soles needed for the comfort and grip on the skateboard.

Price $$$

While the 424v1 may look like a classic skate shoe, it isn't priced like one. Found in limited sizes on Amazon for around $80, this style may not be the best choice for the thriftier skater.

Comfort

We could find no major complaint on comfort, with the issues being more about the sizing of the shoe. Because it uses the same vulcanized soles as the other New Balance skate shoes and the same insoles, most users seemed satisfied with comfort.

Durability

With the addition of suede to the 424v1, we found the ranking for durability had to come down. Skaters must be cautious not to scuff or tear the shoes, and they are not fit for wet weather conditions.

Design Quality

While the design itself on the 424v1 isn't an issue, it seems to come in a very limited range of colors (just 3, in fact). The other main issue with this style is that the suede may make the shoes run smaller, with reviewers confirming they have to buy a size larger than normal.

Warranty

While the New Balance website does not state any kind of warranty for their skate shoes, they do accept returns on shoes that are undamaged and unworn within 30 days of purchase. Amazon and other outside retailers have similar return policies.

Pros

  • Suede design for "classic" skate shoe look
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Much pricier than other New Balance skate shoes
  • Users report the shoes run small, so going a size up is recommended
  • Suede design isn't great for all weather/all activities

[amazon link="B01LE8UL5K"]

[amazon fields=”B01LE8UL5K” value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]

New Balance 345bw Skate Shoe

Comfort

Durability

Design Quality

Warranty


The 345bw is similar in design to the 424v1, but with a lower profile and lower sidewall, lending it a slightly slimmer look than the 424v1. Available in suede and 3 color options, the 345bw seems to be the lower cost alternative to the 424v1.

Price $

Listed on Amazon for around $50, the 345bw is low cost and still guaranteed with the reliability and classic look of other New Balance skate shoes.

Comfort

While still designed with comfort and grip in mind, the 345bw seemed to have the most complaints about size differences, with one reviewer saying they were almost 3 sizes smaller than ordered.

Durability

The thick suede on the 345bw lends it a stiffer wear at first and also a higher tear rate. Reviewers report the shoes held up well with regular use but excessive skating and exercise tears the suede easily.

Design Quality

The New Balance 345bw was designed much like the 424v1, with suede on the outside but a lower profile than the 424v1. Also like the 424v1, it comes in a small range of colors and runs very small.

Warranty

While the New Balance website does not state any kind of warranty for their skate shoes, they do accept returns on shoes that are undamaged and unworn within 30 days of purchase. Amazon and other outside retailers have similar return policies.

Pros

  • Classic suede looks good in and out of the skatepark
  • Very low cost compared to other styles

Cons

  • This style seems to run very small, with more complaints found than other New Balance styles
  • Suede not always good for all weather/conditions

[amazon link="B0719RBHXY"]

[amazon fields=”B0719RBHXY” value=”thumb” image_size=”large”]

New Balance Am424

Comfort

Durability

Design Quality

Warranty


The New Balance Am424 has possibly the most "classic" look and feel of a skate shoe about them. With a low profile for movement and cleverly stitched to amp up design, the Am424 is like its other New Balance counterparts because it works well whether on a skateboard or walking around downtown. This style seems to offer the most color options of the New Balance skate shoe family.

Price $$

This style runs around $22 on Amazon, making it the perfect middle ground option for those who don't want to settle but also don't want to have to sell a skateboard to buy a pair of shoes.

Comfort

While users who were able to find the correct fit for the Am424 were pleased with the comfort, there were many complaints that this style not only runs small but very narrow, making it difficult for those with wider feet to find a comfortable size.

Durability

The thick stitching on the Am424 makes it very durable, and users seemed pleased with the way they held up on and off the board. Although there is a layer of suede on the outside for looks, the shoe itself seems hard to penetrate.

Design Quality

These shoes are good looking like their counterparts and come in a variety of colors. We would have rated it as 5 stars, but the wideness issue in size keeps the Am424 at a solid 4 stars.

Warranty

While the New Balance website does not state any kind of warranty for their skate shoes, they do accept returns on shoes that are undamaged and unworn within 30 days of purchase. Amazon and other outside retailers have similar return policies.

Pros

  • Classic look
  • Durable
  • Most color options as compared to other New Balance skate shoe styles

Cons

  • This style is very narrow; users with wide feet had a hard time finding a good fit
  • Suede tears easily
  • Pricier than the 345bw

Conclusion

New Balance may have found a new niche in the skate shoe industry. Users seem to favor their classic design and wide array of color and style choices. While some design flaws in fabric or size may be found, the shoes themselves are reliable and will last with average use. The vulcanized rubber soles make sure the grip of the shoes to the skateboard doesn't fail, and the low profile design makes it easier to control the board. A slight insole of memory foam gives the user a comfortable feel without making the shoes too thick, ensuring extra control over movement.

Depending on style, size, and color, New Balance skate shoes can be found at a reasonable price with most retailers, usually between $45 to $80. New sale prices constantly emerge at different retailers as less popular colors or designs may make their way around, so it shouldn't be too difficult for the thrifty skater to snatch up a pair of these skate shoes with money left over.

Even though we found a variety of mixed reviews, it would appear as if most buyers found New Balance's skate line to be a satisfying addition to the skate shoe market. Overall, it seems New Balance has hit the skate scene with a product that is economical, comfortable, and allows the athlete an excellent range of movement and control, which is why New Balance skate shoes earn an easy 5 stars.

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