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. At the same price point as the NOBULL Trainer, you can get a solid HIIT shoe like Nike Air Zoom SuperRep or a heavy-duty lifter like the Adidas Power Perfect 3.

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

Plenty of athletes choose the NOBULL Trainer for its all-around performance. It makes them feel confident about anything a “WOD could throw.”

The NOBULL Trainer is designed as a CrossFit shoe that also functions as an everyday casual shoe. It is intended to be used from the streets to the gym, and vice versa, so the wearer doesn’t have to worry about shoes and can focus on beating their personal records.

Nobull-trainer-style

Stable enough for lifting moderate weights 

Reviewers describe the NOBULL Trainer’s sole as “flat”, “stable”, and “stiff” which gives them a solid foundation for squatting, deadlifting, and snatching.

It is engineered to be barely compressible in the heel area to deliver steadiness when lifting.

Fact check

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

Fact check

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+, gym buffs didn't seem to have 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 helps to power you through jumps and movements where you get up on your toes.

Lacks ventilation though

On the downside, the Trainer really falls short in the breathability department. More than a few athletes found their 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

Gym goers are amazed at how good the trainer feels for simply walking around. They 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.

Most Crossfit athletes still prefer the more stable Metcons or special wedged lifters for Oly lifting-focused workouts. They also add 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, according to many reviews.

Nobull-trainer-outsole

The outsole of the NOBULL Trainer is made of high-carbon rubber. It is engineered to withstand 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

The reviewers also give special attention to the SuperFabric upper. They refer to it as "unbeatable" and even claim that it “resists cuts from a surgical knife.” It is nearly impossible to wear a hole in this material, even with rope climbs. One expert describes it as "kind of like a mix between canvas and the basketball."

Nobull-trainer-super-fabric

Amazing grip

There is no slippage on boxes, wooden or rubber gym floors as the outsole “grips pretty dang well,” according to an avid Crossfitter.

It is also reported to bite the rope very effectively.

Why not look good as you are working out?

All gym buffs adore the sleek and simple design of the NOBULL. It “doesn’t scream CrossFit” and comes in over a dozen of 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

Many reviewers agree that the NOBULL hit the nail in 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). As an expert puts it, "there is still plenty of room for your feet," although if you need an extra-spacious toebox, consider the Reebok Nanos.

Nobull-trainer-toebox-width

Some experts noted 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 your foot securely.

Nobull-trainer-tongue-thickness

No issues with heel slippage have been reported either. The heel counter paired with a padded collar seem to do a great job holding the Achilles in place.

But there is a price for it all…

With the shoe’s simple design, not all reviewers understand what they pay $130 for.

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

  NOBULL Trainer Average
Whole shoe
Weight (g) 277 303.5
Drop (mm) 3.7 4.3
Flexibility of the shoe (N) 18.7 25.9
Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N) 23.7 30.8
Flexibility of the shoe (% of change) 26.9 20.7
Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 1 2.0
Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 1 2.0
Upper
Thickness - Tongue (mm) 2.4 2.9
Width Upper - Forefoot (mm) 96.7 96.5
Width Upper - Heel (mm) 68.6 71.4
Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest) 1 2.0
Tongue: gusset type none -
Heel: pull tab none -
Midsole
Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm) 102.3 105.4
Width Midsole - Heel (mm) 76.5 81.1
Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm) 14.9 16.9
Stack - Heel with insole (mm) 18.6 21.1
Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA) 33.5 32.3
Durometer Midsole - Heel (Freezer 20 minutes) 36 35.9
Durometer Midsole - Heel (% of change) (TEST) 7.5 11.4
Outsole
Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm) 4.8 4.4
Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC) 87.0 86.3
Insole
Insole Heel Thickness (mm) 2.9 2.9
Insole: removable yes -

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 10oz
Drop: 4mm
Use: Crossfit / Gym / Cross-training
Width: Normal
Features: Lightweight / Low drop
BRAND Brand: NoBull
Toebox: Medium

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NOBULL Trainer video reviews

Author
Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years his PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Bodybuilding.com, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.