Who should buy the New Balance 306
You are quite likely to enjoy riding and walking in this skate shoe from New Balance if:
- you love skate shoes with lots of board feel to control the board more precisely
- you are after a durable skate sneaker for thousands of kickflips and other tricks
- you prefer kicks with soft heel cushioning and flexible sole
Who should NOT buy it
Because of its vulcanized sole, the New Balance 306 is considered less sturdy, especially when subjected to daily skate sessions.
As an alternative, you may check NB skate kicks constructed with a cupsole as these are considered more durable than vulcanized soles. Look through the pages of New Balance 440 or the Busenitz from the Three Stripes.
New Balance 306: Function-geared skate shoe
Despite being on the lower end of the Numeric line, the New Balance 306 is still packed with innovative tech to help withstand all the beating it is destined to face. The 306's low-profile vulcanized sole also makes it stand out against other skate shoes. Style-wise, it sits somewhere in between the NB 255 and the 379.
Avid skaters are more than happy with the shoe's skateboarding performance. One calls it a "legitimate shoe for skating in," while another takes note of how it felt really solid and “every kickflip that [he] did felt amazing.”
It's got a damn solid upper
Reviewers commented a lot on the durability of this shoe's upper. First, it is equipped with a full-length rubber toe cap that holds against the toughest wear and tear in the streets. Second, there is hidden toe protection inside to prolong the shoe's service once the first layer is worn out. Finally, experts find that the suede overlays around the toes and heel make it more durable than all-canvas shoes.
One skater shares that after rocking it for 3 weeks, the upper is "still pristine" and he is surprised that it "isn’t ripping at all." Even the seemingly flimsy laces have remained intact. He believes that the bottom tread will wear out faster than the upper.
Speaking of the shoe's durability in general, here is what other reviewers have to say:
- "NB holds up 6-8 months no problem"
- "seems well made, should last"
- "lasted longer than many of his skate shoes"
Cushioned enough for daily wear but not for hard landings
This NB skate shoe is equipped with the brand's proprietary "Abzorb" insole for cushioning. Its comfort is felt from the first step-in and seems to be sufficient for long hours of walking.
Here is what reviewers say about the insole:
- "nice squishy heel"
- "cool and definitely noticeable on my first wear"
This made the skate shoe comfortable enough to wear all day for many. Even someone who spends 10-12 hours on their feet claims that it's "the only shoe that doesn't totally kill [their] feet by the end of the day."
On the downside, most skaters find the insole too thin around the toes. It affects impact protection when jumping down the stairs or doing some big handrails.
New Balance 306 was made for board feel
With its super flexible forefoot, you can bend the shoe by more than 90 degrees right out of the box. Together with the thinner toe part of the insole, it helps to create a high level of board feel which was appreciated by many skaters.
An expert also noted that the outsole grip has stayed "consistent the entire time."
Light and airy on the foot
An avid skater says that the NB 306 feels "pretty light and minimal from the start." In addition, many reviewers are happy with the wavy mesh panels throughout the upper. They allow the shoe to breathe, letting the air come in and out of the sneaker. It helped to keep the feet more comfortable and dry.
True to size with enough toe space
A vast majority of wearers are happy with the fit and sizing of the NB 306. Those who have worn other skate shoes from New Balance (255 and 379) claim that it has the same length. As one of them sumps it up, "nice and snug to the foot but a little wider in the toe box."
Some are also extremely happy to find out that it runs "a slight bit wider than the average." At the same time, an elastic gusseted tongue helps to provide a snug fit, and a little tab on the back is a nice touch that helps you to put on the shoe.