Once I began CrossFit in 2015, it solely took a few week for me to develop an unhealthy obsession with searching for the perfect CrossFit footwear. Regardless that the NOBULL model launched in that very same 12 months, I didn’t purchase my first pair of their trainers till 2019. Having put them by means of lots of of exercises since then, I’m well-equipped to ship this NOBULL footwear assessment.
Based mostly on feedback I used to listen to on the field the place I began my CrossFit journey, and from the suggestions I’ve collected from different Breaking Muscle employees members, one factor is obvious: NOBULL trainers could be fairly controversial. Beneath, I’ll discover why that is and focus on the footwear’ advantages, drawbacks, key options, and who they’re greatest fitted to.
- The NOBULL trainers retail for round $129 to $149, relying on which colorway you select.
- The SuperFabric expertise used for the higher is sturdy, however breathability could also be a difficulty — one thing to think about in the event you dwell and practice in a sizzling local weather.
- NOBULL trainers match true to dimension, although the toe field runs slim.
NOBULL Footwear Execs
- NOBULL footwear are available in a number of colours and prints. If you wish to stand out within the fitness center or like sporting color-coordinated fitness center apparel, you must be capable of discover a colorway that fits your fashion.
- They’re sturdy. I nonetheless have the primary pair of NOBULL trainers I purchased in 2019, they usually don’t look a lot completely different now than after I first took them out of the field.
- The lug-patterned outsole supplies a number of traction whether or not you’re coaching indoors or open air.
NOBULL Footwear Cons
- The trainers aren’t good for working or a number of leaping as a result of lack of cushioning, poor arch help, and minimal forefoot flexibility.
- Whereas their worth level of round $129 to $149 is on par with different CrossFit footwear, different manufacturers repeatedly provide gross sales and reductions. NOBULL footwear are hardly ever on sale, which could be a disadvantage for budget-conscious CrossFitters.
- The SuperFabric® materials used for the higher could be stiff, and the trainers could take a number of weeks to interrupt in.
NOBULL Footwear Score
At Breaking Muscle, we’ve examined dozens of coaching footwear, together with the most recent fashions of CrossFit-specific footwear, just like the Nike Metcons and Reebok Nanos. I personally have additionally purchased and skilled in at the very least 20 completely different CrossFit footwear all through the years. Right here’s how the NOBULL trainers scored after we put them by means of our proprietary issue methodology system.
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NOBULL Footwear Overview
NOBULL footwear are supposed to be a considerably minimalist, back-to-basics sort of coaching shoe. They’re designed to resist rope climbs, burpees, handstand push-ups, powerlifting actions, Olympic weightlifting actions, and anything your exercise of the day (WOD) has in retailer.
Nonetheless, they are often fairly polarizing. Some CrossFitters declare NOBULL trainers are essentially the most comfy footwear they’ve ever worn. Others declare the footwear lack design ingenuity and don’t carry out in addition to different well-known footwear, just like the Nike Metcons.
Whereas NOBULL has launched new shoe fashions through the years — as an example, the Rec Trainers and the NOBULL runners — the unique trainers haven’t modified a lot. The NOBULL Coach+ got here out in 2022 with some enhancements over the unique coach, which I’ll focus on within the comparability part afterward. However generally, NOBULL hasn’t strayed too removed from the design of their authentic trainers.
Who Are NOBULL Footwear Good For?
- The general stability of the shoe and the rigidity of the flat sole could make NOBULL trainers good for athletes who focus totally on energy coaching.
- In our expertise, NOBULL trainers don’t have a brilliant huge toe field, so they’re extra appropriate for athletes with slim toes.
Who Are NOBULL Footwear Not Good For?
- Due to the arduous backside, lack of arch help, and minimal cushioning, the NOBULL trainers is probably not appropriate for anybody who desires a cushty sneaker they will put on all day.
- Athletes preferring to put on heeled weightlifting shoes for squats will possible not benefit from the four-millimeter heel-to-toe drop on the NOBULL trainers. (Be aware, nevertheless, that NOBULL sells weightlifting footwear with 17.5- and 18.5-millimeter heel-to-toe drops.)
NOBULL Footwear In-Depth Evaluate
The design of the NOBULL trainers is one factor that makes them so controversial. Some individuals love the minimalist aesthetic whereas others think about it fairly fundamental and uninspired. I’m a part of the latter camp — I don’t essentially suppose that NOBULL has achieved something groundbreaking or distinctive with its coach.
Nonetheless, NOBULL makes up for this by providing their footwear in distinctive colours and prints. For instance, as of this writing, the ladies’s footwear can be found in enjoyable colorways, similar to neon blue, brilliant pink camo, a number of floral patterns, and highlighter yellow. When you choose extra understated footwear, you possibly can go for stable colours, like black, grey, or navy.
I don’t like my fitness center footwear to be too flashy, however I don’t need them to be too boring, both. Once I purchased my first pair of NOBULL trainers, I selected a grey higher with a blue, pink, and purple patterned sole and matching laces. I like that this colorway has a small pop of coloration that retains them from being too drab with out being so brilliant that you may spot me from a mile away after I put on them.
The NOBULL trainers even have one of many largest choices of prints and colours I’ve seen in any fitness center sneaker, not to mention a CrossFit shoe. You may even get them in excessive tops, just like the Converse Chuck Taylors. They get a stable 4.5 out of 5 stars for aesthetics from this CrossFit shoe junkie.
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NOBULL footwear are made with SuperFabric® expertise. NOBULL takes regular mesh material and applies tiny guard plates to it, leading to a cloth that’s extremely proof against abrasions. I’m not at all times light with how I deal with my footwear, however my NOBULL trainers hardly have any scuff marks or imperfections on them.
Nonetheless, the SuperFabric® materials isn’t very breathable. I respect this within the winter after I’m coaching in my chilly storage as a result of it helps preserve my toes heat. However I don’t significantly benefit from the lack of breathability in the summertime as a result of it makes my toes overly sizzling and sweaty. The suede tongue has holes for air flow, however I don’t suppose they do a lot.
The fabric can also be stiff. I nonetheless must loosen the shoelaces practically all the way in which to get the footwear on, and I’ve had the trainers for 4 years now. Due to the fabric’s stiffness and minimal breathability, I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.
NOBULL trainers have a flat, steady carbon rubber outsole with a grippy lug sample and a bolstered sidewall. The footwear don’t slide round simply after I’m lifting on the rubber gym flooring in my storage, and on the uncommon events that I’ve worn them for out of doors runs, I haven’t felt like I used to be going to slide.
The bottoms have much less traction now than after I first obtained the footwear, however the outsoles haven’t worn down as rapidly as lots of my different cross-training footwear. I gave the outsole 4.3 out of 5 stars because of this.
The midsole contains a light-weight foam materials that doesn’t compress. It is a nice function if you’re lifting heavy weights, as you need your footwear that will help you really feel balanced and steady. Nonetheless, it’s a disadvantage for sprints, leaping, and different high-impact actions as a result of the midsole isn’t very shock-absorbing or responsive (which means it doesn’t provide a lot vitality switch when your toes hit the bottom). I solely scored the midsole 3 out of 5 stars as a result of, as I’ll focus on under, the shoe’s minimal midsole limits its versatility.
NOBULL trainers have a four-millimeter heel-to-doe drop. The low heel-to-toe drop makes it very best for heavy lifts as a result of it retains you extra balanced and steady. In truth, the NOBULL trainers are my go-to footwear for days after I’m solely doing energy coaching.
I give them 4.2 stars for the heel-to-toe drop, nevertheless, as a result of I choose a heeled lifting shoe for heavy squats. I’m 5’8 and have lengthy legs, and the next heel-to-toe drop makes it simpler for me to squat under parallel.
That stated, I do suppose they’re shoe for lifters preferring squatting in a flatter shoe. They only don’t work for me for many barbell squat variations.
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Relating to versatility, I solely give NOBULL trainers a 3 out of 5. They’re speculated to be all-purpose footwear which can be good for working, leaping, and lifting weights. Nonetheless, in my expertise, they don’t work nicely for something high-impact.
I’ve lengthy since given up on sporting them for any exercises that embody a number of working (even quick distances), field jumps, or double-unders. I solely put on them for my strict energy coaching days, when my CrossFit WODs name for largely static actions, or after I’m utilizing a low-impact cardio machine like a rower or train bike. I’ve flat toes and have had a number of foot and ankle accidents. For prime-impact actions, I attain for footwear with extra cushioning and arch help.
I wouldn’t even suggest sporting the NOBULL trainers for working errands or strolling round city. I’ve tried sporting them whereas strolling by means of a shopping center and whereas strolling my canine, and my toes ached for hours afterward. When you’re searching for a shoe that may double as a exercise shoe and a leisure, a NOBULL pair of footwear could not minimize it.
NOBULL trainers value between $129 and $149, relying on which fashion and colorway you select. I give them 4 out of 5 stars for the price. Regardless that the value tag could appear excessive, I don’t fault NOBULL for it an excessive amount of. It’s arduous to seek out CrossFit footwear which can be less expensive until you’re fortunate sufficient to get them on sale.
The NOBULL trainers get 4 out of 5 stars from me for sturdiness. I’ve had my first pair since 2019, they usually look practically the identical now as they did after they arrived at my doorstep. The one purpose I knocked off a degree is that I practice at dwelling in a cramped storage fitness center with a low ceiling and nil empty wall house, so I don’t have room for issues like rope climbs and handstand push-ups. I can’t give the footwear an ideal rating for sturdiness since I haven’t actually put them by means of a whole take a look at.
NOBULL Coach Buyer Critiques
The NOBULL girls’s trainers have over 19,500 critiques on the model’s web site, with the vast majority of prospects score them 5 out of 5 stars. Patrons reward the trainers for his or her stability, huge coloration choice, and true-to-size match. Those that left destructive critiques state the footwear aren’t breathable and take a very long time to interrupt in.
NOBULL Coach vs. NOBULL Coach+
The NOBULL Coach+ boasts a thicker EVA midsole and a extra cushioned heel cup. I haven’t personally examined the NOBULL Coach+, however a Breaking Muscle product tester who wore them stated these up to date options could be each good and unhealthy. For example, the thicker midsole and elevated cushioning provide extra shock-absorbing capabilities for working and leaping however make the footwear really feel much less steady when lifting heavy weights.
One other new function on the NOBULL Coach+ is the herringbone-patterned outsole. Whereas I by no means had an issue with slippage when sporting the unique coach, the brand new outsole is designed to offer even higher traction. The Coach+ additionally has a bigger toe bumper and a sturdier sidewall guard for enhanced sturdiness. The SuperFabric materials has carried over from the unique coach to the Coach+.
The Coach+ prices round $139 to $149, although some colorways are priced even increased at about $169. You’ll find some colorways within the authentic coach for cheaper, however generally, the costs of the 2 variations are about the identical.
NOBULL Trainers vs. Nike Metcons
Up till a number of months in the past after I purchased my first pair of TYR CXT-1 trainers, the Nike Metcons had been my go-to footwear for all of my CrossFit exercises. I haven’t tried the Metcon 8s or 9s — I nonetheless have two pairs of Nike Metcon 6s that I rotate by means of generally. I additionally used to personal a pair of Metcon 2s and a pair of Nike Metcon Flyknits (which it appears like Nike now not makes). I just about wore each of them into the bottom as a result of I liked them a lot. Suffice it to say, I might typically suggest the Metcons over the NOBULL trainers any day.
Just like the NOBULL trainers, the Nike Metcons have a four-millimeter heel-to-toe drop. They aren’t overly cushioned, so I’m nonetheless capable of push in opposition to the ground when doing heavy static lifts like squats and deadlifts. Whereas I don’t get pleasure from doing any leaping actions in my NOBULL trainers, I can tolerate them within the Nike Metcons.
The Nike footwear aren’t the perfect for working lengthy distances as a result of the arduous plastic heel could be uncomfortable (particularly in the event you heel strike, which I are inclined to do after I get fatigued). However total, I discover the Metcons extra comfy than the NOBULL footwear.
At round $150, the Metcons value about the identical as or barely greater than the NOBULL trainers (relying on which coloration you get). Nike tends to run gross sales on their sneakers once in a while, although. If worth is a figuring out issue for you, it could be worthwhile to maintain an eye fixed out for gross sales and go for a pair of Metcons.
NOBULL Trainers vs. Reebok Nano
I’ve by no means actually liked any of the Reebok Nano’s I’ve tried, however I haven’t hated them, both. I’ve really discovered Nano’s to be extra comfy for working than the NOBULL trainers. They’re springier and extra responsive and subsequently additionally higher for field jumps, double-unders, and different high-impact actions.
Nonetheless, I don’t really feel as steady lifting near-maximal hundreds within the Nanos as I do within the NOBULL trainers. I solely attain for my Nanos after I’m lifting at round 70 to 75 % of my one-rep maxes or doing CrossFit WODs with a number of working or cardio machine work.
The Nano X3s have a seven-millimeter heel-to-toe drop, which is three millimeters greater than the NOBULL trainers. Based mostly on the suggestions I’ve obtained from different Breaking Muscle employees members, the Nano X3s are extra breathable.
The Nano X3s value round $140 to $150, about the identical because the NOBULL trainers. However in the event you want a extra cushioned CrossFit shoe, the Nanos could also be a more sensible choice.
Remaining Ideas: Are the NOBULL Trainers Price It?
Whether or not you’re a health fanatic or a aggressive CrossFit athlete, the NOBULL trainers could be price it. Perceive, nevertheless, that they might not work for every type of workout routines, relying in your foot anatomy and the way a lot help you want in a cross-training shoe. They are often uncomfortable for high-impact actions because of their rigidity and minimal cushioning, however they’re very best for heavy weightlifting as a result of they provide a steady platform and mean you can nonetheless really feel related to the bottom.
Earlier than shelling out at the very least $129, think about the kind of actions you do most frequently in your CrossFit WODs. When you do a number of heavy barbell biking or machine work, the NOBULL trainers could also be a sensible choice. However in the event you prefer to program a number of working, field jumps, and double-unders in your WODs, it’s possible you’ll wish to think about a shoe that will probably be extra comfy for these actions.
NOBULL is an efficient shoe model and has a powerful following throughout the CrossFit neighborhood. In addition they sponsor NFL gamers, Olympians, professional golfers, NHL gamers, and different skilled athletes. Nonetheless, their suitability for you depends upon the kind of coaching you do. In our expertise, NOBULL trainers are greatest for common weight coaching and low-impact actions. They aren’t very best for long-distance working or a number of leaping because of their lack of cushioning and inflexible soles.
NOBULL isn’t owned by Reebok. Nonetheless, NOBULL did take over for Reebok because the title sponsor for the CrossFit Video games starting in 2021.
In our expertise, NOBULL footwear match true to dimension. Breaking Muscle employees members who’ve worn them have all gotten their standard dimension and had no complaints concerning the match.
We don’t suggest working lengthy distances within the NOBULL trainers. They’ve a tough, inflexible backside and don’t provide a lot cushioning or arch help. When you’ll be working any distance over a mile, go for conventional trainers as a substitute.
Be aware that you may additionally purchase NOBULL runners, however we don’t essentially suggest these for critical working, both. We discovered sturdiness to be a difficulty, they usually weren’t fairly as supportive as footwear from Brooks (a model with a stable status within the working neighborhood).