The 288 is an indoor-soccer inspired shoe that's been updated with the kind of burly tech you require in a skate shoe. To start off, New Balance added a seamless one piece toe to reduce stress points and increase durability. Then to improve on impact performance they added a cushy closed cell polyurethane insole. To cap it all off New Balance threw in a crated heel to provide both comfort and support by cupping your heel, something you'll appreciate when you bail on that 7-set. The end result is a serious skate shoe wrapped in a low profile, casual package.
Cupsoles are durable, well-cushioned and provide the best impact protection against hard landings. The sole consists of a single rubber layer, reinforced with glue then stitched to the upper. Cupsoles generally last longer than vulcanized soles, but don't provide as much flexibility and board feel right out of the box.