Although founded a only few years ago, NOBULL has made quite a splash in the world of functional fitness. Their simple but stylish, hard-working shoes have quickly propelled them into a solid number three in the world of CrossFit shoes (following only Nike Metcons and Reebok Nanos). They even sponsor some great CrossFit Games Athletes including: Brooke Ence, Sam Dancer, Brooke Wells, and Alex Anderson. Built on the simple premise that your gear doesn’t make you better, only your hard work does – it’s no wonder NOBULL is popular amongst CrossFitters. Intrigued by this message, I decided to order a pair of the Olive Heather Trainers. And boy, was I impressed with these solid trainers!
- Superfabric upper is incredibly durable and breaths just as well as a standard mesh upper.
- Solid and supportive midsole is perfect for any type of lift, plyometric movement, and even running.
- Minimalist and functional design provides timeless silhouette.
The first thing you’ll notice about the NOBULL Trainers is the uniqueness of its upper. Constructed of a seamless piece of Superfabric, this gives the NOBULLs an ultra sleek look. It also gives the shoe a slightly “dimpled” look, which while it might take some time getting used to, doesn’t not detract from the overall look of the shoe. Even better, the Superfabric keeps its shape incredibly well and hasn’t creased at all, even with the demands of many CrossFit workouts. Another great touch on the upper is the shoelace eyelets. I love that they are made of metal and lie flat, so that they don’t take away from the seamless Superfabric upper. It definitely showcases the thought and care NOBULL put into constructing these trainers.
NOBULL struck a great balance with the sole of their trainers. While the midsole is near incompressible and made with lifting in mind, the insole is thick enough to provide some cushion and make the NOBULLs pretty solid for short distance running. Additionally, NOBULL did slightly bow the front of the trainers, which make the NOBULLs a great choice for workouts that call for running. Lastly, the NOBULLs have a super grippy tread making them very reliable no matter what surface you’re training on. Clearly, NOBULL constructed their trainers to be a jack-of-all trades.
The only small flaw I found in the construction of the NOBULL Trainers was the shoe laces. When I first got them, the shoe laces were a little short and I could only single-knot them. This caused my shoes to become untied in the middle of some of workouts, which was pretty annoying. Thankfully, after a while the laces stretched and I’m now able to double-knot my shoes.
With a name like NOBULL, you’d expect a shoe that is all business, and that’s exactly what you get. NOBULL has a very simple recipe, flexible upper, 4mm drop, incompressible midsole, and a stable base, and they execute it to perfection.
The NOBULLs have a neutral feel to them due to the 4mm drop and solid midsole. This provides a stable base and gives you power delivery in any type of lifting. They’re also extremely light, at a little over 10 oz., and flexible, making the NOBULLs very responsive. This not only helps on Olympic lifts where you need to move your feet quickly, but also helps on plyometric movements (like box jumps and double unders) as your feet won’t tire as much from the repeated bounding. At the end of the day, I’m comfortable going into any workout with my NOBULLs on.
The number one thing that I was worried about with the NOBULLs is that they would disappoint in the breathability department. Since the upper doesn’t appear to have any mesh and is made of a single piece of Superfabric, it would appear that the NOBULL Trainers wouldn’t be as breathable as a Nike Metcon or Reebok Nano. Luckily, NOBULL has been really smart in creating the Superfabric upper, layering it over a mesh base. The Superfabric upper doesn’t make the NOBULLs any less breathable than any other training shoe. This is especially nice considering CrossFit makes you sweat from everywhere.
Unfortunately, you aren’t able to try on NOBULL Trainers before you buy them as they only sell online. However, NOBULL does recommend ordering your normal size and I can attest that these Trainers fit true to size. Another nice touch is that NOBULL does unisex sizing, so if you like a particular colorway that is not in your gender’s size you can easy size up or down in men’s or women’s shoes.
You don’t get any gimmicks with the NOBULL Trainers. NOBULLs simple strategy translates into a great minimalist training shoe. They have all the right elements and that’s what makes the NOBULL Trainers perform just as well (if not better) than training shoes from rivals Nike and Reebok. Thankfully, at $130, NOBULLs retail for the same as other big name brand shoes. If you want a solid pair of trainers free from frills, look no further than NOBULL.