Our verdict

You can't go wrong with the NOBULL Trainer. We found it clean and minimal, which simply works for CrossFit and day-to-day wear. First introduced in 2016, the shoe has become a true unicorn competing with the top-level Nike Metcons and Reebok Nanos.

Pros

  • Versatile for any workout
  • Premium Crossfit trainer
  • Comfortable for all-day wear
  • Grips various surfaces and rope
  • Sturdy for moderate weightlifting
  • Easy to clean
  • Cushioned enough for jumps
  • Highly durable upper
  • Simple design with plenty of colorways

Cons

  • Not so breathable
  • Pricey

Audience verdict

93
Superb!

Who should buy the NOBULL Trainer

Consider the NOBULL if you:

  • need an all-around cross-trainer for any WOD of your choice
  • want a premium-level trainer that goes head-to-head with Reebok Nanos and Nike Metcons
  • prefer gym shoes with a simpler design

Nobull-trainer-fit

Who should NOT buy the trainer

If your workout routines are more focused on HIIT or lean more towards heavy weightlifting, we recommend checking out more specialized footwear for these activities. See our selections of the best HIIT shoes and best lifters. We'd recommend looking at Reebok Nano X3 or Nike Metcon 5

And if you want to stay on a budget or catch a discount, we gather all available deals for more than 60+ Crossfit shoes.

Nobull-trainer-lab-measurements

NOBULL does it all well

We are more than satisfied with the NOBULL Trainer for its all-around performance. It made us feel confident about the demands of WOD.

The NOBULL Trainer is a CrossFit shoe that also functions as an everyday casual shoe. We can attest that it can be used from the streets to the gym, and vice versa. Due to this, we didn't have to worry about shoes and we were able to focus on beating our personal records.

Nobull-trainer-style

Stable enough for lifting moderate weights 

We noticed that the NOBULL Trainer’s sole is flat, stable, and stiff which gives us a solid foundation for squatting, deadlifting, and snatching.

It is barely compressible in the heel area, so it delivers steadiness when lifting.

The midsole foam of the NOBULL Trainer is indeed on the firm side. For reference, it is 15% firmer than the average running shoe. And is also a bit firmer than the NOBULL Trainer+ (by 7.5%).

Disclaimer: Image below shows 1 of our 5 measurements that we took with the durometer.

Nobull-Trainer-midsole-firmness

The Trainer gets even firmer (by 7.5%) if it is exposed to cold temperatures. This is just in case you tend to keep your gym shoes somewhere cold (hopefully, not in the home fridge, like we do for our lab tests).

Nobull-trainer-freezer-test

Now let's see about the "flat" aspect. According to the brand, the heel-to-toe drop of the NOBULL Trainer is 4 mm (a golden standard for CrossFit shoes).

Nobull-trainer-heel-stack

Looks like it's very close to the truth. We have measured the drop to be 3.7 mm:

  • 18.6 mm (heel stack)
  • 14.9 mm (forefoot stack)

Insole (2.9 mm) is included in the measurement.

Nobull-trainer-forefoot-stack

Having a nice and wide footprint greatly contributes to the trainer's stability. While it's not as wide as the Trainer+, we didn't face any issues with it.

Nobull-trainer-forefoot-width

But if you do care about that extra width, the updated NOBULL Trainer+ is 6.2 mm wider in the forefoot and 9.2 mm wider in the heel.

Nobull-trainer-heel-width

It will help you get some HIIT done

Despite the stiffness, which helps with stability, there is also ample rebound in the forefoot. It powers us through jumps and movements where we get up on our toes.

Lacks ventilation though

On the downside, the Trainer really falls short in the breathability department. We found our feet hotter than expected especially during high-intensity training.

Just see how there is no smoke coming through the fabric itself, only a little in the tongue area. Meanwhile, the shoe on the right is made of breathable synthetic mesh.

Even the light is not shining through the sturdy Superfabric of the NOBULL Trainer.

And if there happens to be a blackout at the gym, get ready to shine with the NOBULL logo on your shoes.

All-day comfort

We are amazed at how good the trainer feels for simply walking around. We recommend it for commuting, coaching, and casual wear.

This is in part thanks to the right amount of flexibility in the Trainer. There is just enough of it to make the shoe comfortable to walk in.

A lightly padded insole also makes the in-shoe experience a bit more pleasant.

Nobull-insole-thickness

Caveat: not the shoe for heavy lifting

The very same reason that makes the NOBULL Trainer more walkable makes it less appropriate for lifting heavy.

We prefer the more stable Metcons or special wedged lifters for Oly lifting-focused workouts. We realized that the more rounded edges and a slight upward curl of the NOBULL detract from stability.

NOBULL Trainer will last you long

From the bottom up, the shoe features some sturdy materials.

Nobull-trainer-outsole

The outsole of the NOBULL Trainer is made of high-carbon rubber. It withstands workouts on various types of indoor and outdoor surfaces.

It is also impressively thick. At 4.8 mm, the shoe is actually on par with some rugged trail running shoes.

Nobull-trainer-outsole-thickness

We would like to give special attention to the SuperFabric upper, which we found unbeatable. It is nearly impossible to wear a hole in this material, even with rope climbs. 

Nobull-trainer-super-fabric

Amazing grip

There is no slippage on boxes, or wooden or rubber gym floors as the outsole grips pretty dang well.

We affirmed that it also bites the rope very effectively.

Why not look good as you are working out?

We adore the sleek and simple design of the NOBULL. We thought that it doesn’t exactly scream CrossFit plus it comes in over a dozen colors and patterns to suit any taste.

Nobull-trainer-good-looking

The dotted upper also collects very little dirt and takes just a few wipes to restore its purity.

It's a well-fitting workout shoe

The NOBULL hit the nail on the head with the fit and sizing of the Trainer. It feels secure on the foot and yet offers enough space where it's needed and is not overly padded.

Nobull-trainer-cut-in-half

Speaking about the toebox, we measured it to be 96.7 mm in the widest area. It is very close to the average across our lab-tested shoes (98.4 mm). Consequently, there is still plenty of room for our feet. However,  if you need an extra-spacious toebox, we suggest considering the Reebok Nanos.

Nobull-trainer-toebox-width

We noticed that the lacing system and tongue worked well to allow a secure fit and were never digging into the instep.

Nobull-trainer-tongue

The tongue is lightly padded which helps it wrap around our feet securely.

Nobull-trainer-tongue-thickness

We also faced no issues with heel slippage. The heel counter paired with a padded collar seems to do a great job holding the Achilles in place.

But there is a price for it all…

With the shoe’s simple design, we believe $130 is a bit steep.

Nobull-trainer-price

The average price of cross-training shoes is $100, so the NOBULL Trainer goes to the premium tier.

Nobull-trainer-lab-review