The NOBULL Trainer+ proves to be a solid step-up to its popular predecessor. The shoe veers away from being a grounded and firmer platform toward a well-rounded and comfortable cross-trainer. It's got that top-level quality and impressive performance for anything you choose to do at the gym or outside of it.
- Great impact protection for jumps
- Good stability for moderate lifting
- Impeccable grip on floor and rope
- Top-notch durability
- Comfortable for daily wear
- Can handle outdoor training
- Flat-foot friendly
- Pricier than similar shoes
- Not for serious lifting
- A bit heavy
- Lacks breathability
Who should buy the NOBULL Trainer+
The Trainer+ from NOBULL is a premium-level cross-trainer that caters to a more advanced athlete. It can be put alongside the flagships like Nike Metcons and Reebok Nanos.
The shoe is perfect for:
- Crossfit WODs including lots of plyometric movements
- some general weightlifting (not too heavy)
- short runs (under 1 mile)
Those who train both indoors and outdoors will appreciate its reinforced outsole.
Who should NOT buy the trainer
If you prioritize weightlifting in your workout routines (especially deadlifts), it would be a better idea to go with the original NOBULL Trainer. It has a firmer, more grounded platform. You might as well have a look at our guide on lifters with sturdy elevated heels.
It is also not the most cost-efficient trainer. The asking price is $10 more than the Nike Metcon 7 and the Reebok Nano X1, which are of the same caliber. And if you were hoping to get an even cheaper trainer, see our catalog of Crossfit shoes where we feature all of the available discounts for the previous editions.
If you prefer your cross-trainers to feel nice and light on the foot, it would be better to consider a lightweight cross-trainer (below 10.6 oz / 300 g). Avid Crossfitters say that the Trainer+ can feel “a bit clunky and blocky at times.”
NOBULL Trainer+ vs. NOBULL Trainer: what’s the update?
With the “plus” iteration of the NOBULL Trainer, the brand enhances the following characteristics:
- Comfort: a much thicker midsole (about 2x) offers more cushioning for jumps, runs, and daily wear.
- Stability: significantly wider platform (by about 10%) creates a more stable platform for lifting.
- More arch support: quite a few shoe owners have taken note of the difference
- Traction: better grip on both indoor and outdoor surfaces as well as the rope thanks to deeper lugs and a new pattern.
- More toe protection: a much larger toe bumper also helps with explosive toe-offs.
- Fit: a bit more spacious and "your foot feels like it sitting down more deeply inside the shoe."
All of these advancements come with a bit of a price:
- $10 higher price tag ($140 over the original version’s $130)
- Increased weight (2.4 oz / 68 g heavier! in a men’s US size 10)
Trainer+ has some extra cushioning for your jumps, runs, and walks
A taller midsole is one of the key updates in the Trainer+. This is in part the reason why it's called a '+.' The midsole thickness is claimed to go from about 0.5 inches to a full inch. One of the experts mentioned feeling "higher off the ground" and “like an inch taller.”
Based on our measurements, the foam only got 0.2 inches (5 mm) thicker compared to the original. The Trainer+ is 23.6 mm thick, while the Trainer is 18.6 mm.
Note: the measurements include the insole (2.8 mm) as well.
But nonetheless, for many Crossfitters the thicker midsole of the Trainer+ meant significantly better shock absorption for box jumps, burpees, double-unders, and other plyometric exercises. Some of them claim that there is also enough cushioning to support your sprints up to a mile.
Avid gym goers also took note of how this NOBULL shoe doesn’t get their feet beat up as the workout progresses. One even adds that it “felt a lot more comfortable than when [he] initially started.”
So, cushioning-wise, the Trainer+ seems to have an edge over the original Trainer.
Stable cross-trainer for recreational lifting
Don’t be fooled by the thicker cushioning of the Trainer+. It still remains a fairly stiff platform “for most folks” to do weightlifting, according to a professional Crossfitter. As long as you keep the weight moderate.
But the shoe’s got a noticeably wider platform than the original and keeps a 4-mm heel-to-toe drop for a better ground feel. "Super planted when you hit the ground," noted a reviewer.
The platform indeed got wider compared to the NOBULL Trainer. We measured it to be 9.2 mm larger in the heel and 6.2 mm more in the forefoot.
As for the drop, we actually found it to be taller than the officially reported 4 mm. It shows to be 4.8 mm given that the heel stack is 23.6 mm and the forefoot is 18.8 mm.
But based on the reviews, athletes who snatched up to 225 lbs in the Trainer+ had no issues whatsoever. The shoe also supported their wall balls and kettlebell exercises, among other strength training activities. An athlete who used the shoe for barbell cycling was happy that it didn't make his feet hurt which is "something that always happens to [him] in Nano's.
However, this is not the best option for deadlifts because of the thicker sole and the slightly raised toe. A professional lifter also complained that he "did notice the change is [his] hips position." So, you would want to look for something more grounded, like the original NOBULL Trainer if you do a lot of deadlifting.
Flexibility of the Trainer+: less about lifting, more about comfort
Having a bit of torsional and longitudinal flex, the NOBULL Trainer+ makes it into a category of gym shoes that you can comfortably walk around in. We gave it 3/5 (where 5 is the stiffest) in our subjective stiffness tests. However, it is noticeably less flexible than the original Trainer which received 1/5.
The reviewers agree that a bit of flex makes the NOBULL Trainer+ a very practical all-arounder.
The shoe is too warm though
With its nearly bullet-proof SuperFabric upper, the NOBULL Trainer+ does lack in the breathability department, similarly to its siblings. One reviewer mentioned that the trainer still felt a bit sweaty 1.5 hours after he finished the workout.
NOBULL Trainer+ is flat-foot friendly
For those concerned about the shoe’s ability to support fallen arches and prevent overpronation, experts say that the Trainer+ is a better option than the original Trainer.
First, the midsole itself is pretty stiff and is rather wide which won’t let your foot roll inwards.
Despite the added foam, the midsole got even firmer on the Trainer+. It is 7.5% denser, based on our durometer measurements.
Disclaimer: The photo below shows only 1 out of the 5 measurements we took in our lab procedure.
And if you're wondering, it gets as much as 15% firmer in cold conditions.
Finally, for those who need to use custom orthotics, the NOBULL Trainer+ has a removable insole.
The logo is reflective
Reflective elements are always a nice touch. And it is good to know that the NOBULL Trainer+ has got one.
Mind-blowing grip: this NOBULL bites everything
Testers are crazy about the re-worked outsole of the Trainer+. Its new herringbone pattern and deeper aggressive lugs (about ⅛ inch, according to one of the reviewers) work wonders on any flooring as well as on the rope.
It’s got an excellent grip for jumps and multi-directional movements. An athlete who did 400 double-unders in it mentioned "never losing a sense of control." He also praised the larger toe bumper for burpees as it helped him get up from the floor really fast. He says: "You can just jam your toes into the ground and it'll just pick you right on up."
Another expert reviewer was happy with the durability and traction that the Trainer+ gives for sled pushes and other exercises on the outdoor surfaces and turf.
But the magic doesn’t end there. The 360-degree rope guards on the sides proved to be “sticky-sticky” on the rope climbs. Testers report no slipping down the rope or losing their footing.
NOBULL Trainer+ is truly true to size
The reviewers are happy with the size and fit of the Trainer+ in their regular US size, calling it “spot-on” and "almost feel as if they were tailored." The fit overall is described as neutral without feeling neither loose nor cramped.
If you were happy with the toebox of the original NOBULL, you are sure to be satisfied with the fit of the Trainer+. The upper forefoot width is practically the same: 96.7 mm in the Trainer and 96.3 mm in the Trainer+.
However, one expert did warn that he needed a short break-in period (one training session) to feel fully comfortable in the shoe.
We also noticed that the heel counter got a bit stiffer in the Trainer+. We gave it 3/5, while the original Trainer received 1/5 (much more flexible).
One of the most durable shoes out there
None of the reviewers had issues with the Trainer+ in terms of durability. According to them, it’s not the type of shoe “to break down, or scuff, or really wear out any time soon.”
There are multiple contributing factors to it:
- unbeatable SuperFabric with little ceramic pods throughout it (these add protection without sacrificing flexibility)
- reinforced outsole which extends up on the sides
- thicker materials in every part of the shoe
Measuring the shoe's outsole thickness (4 mm), we can confirm that it is one of the thickest on the market.
|Flexibility of the shoe (N)||33.2||25.9|
|Flexibility of the shoe (Freezer 20 min) (N)||37.9||30.8|
|Flexibility of the shoe (% of change)||14.4%||20.7|
|Longitudinal flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)||3||2.0|
|Torsional flexibility (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)||3||2.0|
|Thickness - Tongue (mm)||3.3||2.9|
|Width Upper - Forefoot (mm)||96.3||96.5|
|Width Upper - Heel (mm)||74.1||71.4|
|Flexibility of the heel counter (1-5 scale, 5 being the stiffest)||3||2.0|
|Tongue: gusset type||none||-|
|Heel: pull tab||none||-|
|Width Midsole - Forefoot (mm)||108.5||105.4|
|Width Midsole - Heel (mm)||85.7||81.1|
|Stack - Forefoot with insole (mm)||18.8||16.9|
|Stack - Heel with insole (mm)||23.6||21.1|
|Durometer Midsole Heel (Room temperature) (HA)||31.0||32.3|
|Durometer Midsole - Heel (Freezer 20 minutes)||35.7||35.9|
|Durometer Midsole - Heel (% of change) (TEST)||15.2||11.4|
|Outsole thickness (Heel) (mm)||4.0||4.4|
|Durometer Outsole Heel (Room temperature) (HC)||85.5||86.3|
|Insole Heel Thickness (mm)||2.8||2.9|