We spent 5.8 hours reading reviews from experts and users. In summary, this is what sneaker fanatics think:

9 reasons to buy

  • Riders who normally skate with vulc shoes are particularly delighted with this cupsoled shoe that offers amazing boardfeel and comfort.
  • Reviewers loved the classic look of the New Balance 288, specifically its premium suede upper that is soft and durable.
  • It only took about a few days to break-in this shoe, as mentioned by several users.
  • No issues doing kickflips with this skate shoe, according to a couple of riders.
  • The New Balance 288 Suede is flexible, attested by several wearers.
  • It is crafted with a thick heel that offers shock absorption and support.
  • The heel panel at the back adds protection against heel flips.
  • Great shoe to wear for skating that has a thin insole and good boardfeel, mentioned by quite a lot of skateboarders.
  • As mentioned in some reviews, the padding under the tongue and around the collar provide comfort and support.

1 reasons not to buy

  • The length of the New Balance 288 Suede is fine, described by a reviewer, but its width seems to restrict the toes and hurts the top of the foot.  

Bottom line

New Balance 288 is another add on to the Numeric Skateboarding shoe that is made with a premium suede upper paired with a cupsole and durable outsole. It offers the essential features needed by riders during skateboarding, mainly good boardfeel, flexibility, and comfort. The plush covering of this sneaker makes it an ideal match to a skateboard apparel and to any laid-back or business casual wear. Its affordable rate is a carrot that continues to attract skaters and sneaker enthusiasts in copping more than a pair of this shoe.


Base model: New Balance NM 288
Top: Low
Inspired from: Skate
Collection: New Balance Numeric Skate Shoes
Price: $85
Colorways: Black, Blue, Grey, White
Small True to size Large
See more facts

The New Balance 288 Suede, just like any sneaker under the New Balance Numeric collection, has a narrow width. To obtain a comfortable fit, the brand recommends getting half  size bigger than the standard New Balance lifestyle shoe. This sneaker is available in men’s sizes ranging from 5 to 13 US.

The reinforced upper of New Balance 288 Suede edition adds glamour and style to this skate shoe, which makes it ultra chic to pair up with any jeans, chinos, joggers, and leggings. In terms of performance, this shoe provides skate-specific benefits, which makes it a functional and fashionable streetwear sneaker.

The New Balance 288 is a throwback of the 1990s indoor winter soccer shoe reworked into a skate shoe. Its completely pig suede upper offers a classic touch to this sneaker, reinforced by double-stitched layers on the toe cap, heel counter, and across the midfoot.

New Balance entered the skate footwear scene back at the start of 2013 and created skate performance footwear under the sub-label New Balance Numeric. This Boston-based shoe brand tapped the Black Box Distribution in Carlsbad, California to be its partner when it introduced its banner products to the skateboarding market.

The Black Box Distribution was formulated by skateboarding star Jamie Thomas which is one of the most authentic skate brands in the US at that time that offers skateboard accessories and apparel and operated by professional and amateur riders.

The success of the initial launch of the NB Numeric led to a series of releases of skate shoes, which expanded the exclusive distribution channels of the brand from Canada, UK, and Puerto Rico. The birth of the NB Numeric line also led to the creation of the Numeric skateboarding team that echoed the various lifestyle skate products under this sub-brand. They are PJ Ladd, Levi Brown, Arto Saari, Tom Karangelov, Tom Knox, Tyler Surrey, Jordan Taylor, Marquise Henry, Jordan Trahan, Jack Curtin, among many others.

The skate shoe designs under the Numeric sub-label were drawn from various performance shoes of the brand, with many silhouettes coming from its running category. After a couple of years, the brand dropped the New Balance 288 Suede which has a grippy sole design taken from the heritage 1990s classic indoor soccer shoe. It is a kind of winter sport shoe meant for fast-paced outdoor soccer athletes that need training in an enclosed area during the icy months.

The New Balance remastered the indoor soccer shoe by turning it to a performance skate shoe. To make it skate-specific, NB integrated a cupsole feature, which offers optimum shock absorption properties. On the flip side the outsole is made with hard-wearing gum rubber, which provides grip and traction, two of the most essential features that skaters look for in a shoe.  

  • The gum outsole used in the New Balance 288 is made of hard-wearing components.
  • The “NB” branding on the outsole was designed by Terry Heckler who also encouraged the footwear brand to keep the original name of the shoe.
  • The cupsole offer cushioning to the foot and usually lasts longer than vulcanized soles.
  • This sneaker is available in single colored upper paired with either a rubber tan or white sole.
  • New Balance’s prominent “N” logo is stitched on the lateral and medial sides of this model.
  • It has a low top construction for mobility.