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

New Balance 306 tongue label

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 N logo on the side

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.

New Balance 306 midsole side view

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.

New Balance 306 toe box

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.

New Balance 306 padding

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."

New Balance 306 grip

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. 

New Balance 306 breathable mesh

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.

Facts / Specs

Style: Sporty, Minimalist
Top: Low
Inspired from: Skate
Collection: New Balance Abzorb, New Balance Numeric
Closure: Laces
Material: Suede, Vulc Sole, Rubber Sole
Season: Spring, Summer, Fall

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Jaydee dispels the myth that women can't be experts when it comes to sneakers. With hundreds of sneaker articles under her belt, she gained a surefire edge over others claiming to be experts. Since joining RunRepeat in 2017, she’s published formidable arrays of sneaker write-ups - some covered in lifestyle magazines. Interested in scrutinizing a pair of sneakers? Jaydee is the best person to talk to as she can intuitively chew it over with you even while doing her laundry. When she’s not writing, you can catch Jaydee playing with her two kids, online shopping, and spending far too much time on Instagram.