Our verdict

The Journey (previously called Runner+) is a unique shoe from NOBULL. With its roots in the CrossFit world, we can't deny that this running shoe makes the gym buffs in us happy. It feels comfortable for all-day wear, has cutting-edge technologies for running, and versatility for all-around training. Although it comes with a high asking price, we think that the shoe’s performance can convert many people into NOBULL ladies and germs.

Pros

  • Plenty of impact protection
  • Perfect for all-day wear
  • Propulsive ride
  • Stable for its stack height
  • Super breathable
  • True to size
  • Good for wide feet
  • Solid durability
  • Surprisingly lightweight
  • Great grip on dry road

Cons

  • Unreasonably priced
  • Hard to get a secure lockdown
  • Slippy on wet surface

Audience verdict

90
Superb!

Who should buy the NOBULL Journey

The Journey from NOBULL is likely to be a great match for you if:

  • you are a NOBULL fan and a frequent gym goer who needs a running shoe to match your NOBULL Trainers
  • you need a comfortable shoe for moderate miles and all-day wear that will also turn heads with its style
  • you want to experience the responsiveness of a nylon plate paired with the advanced PEBA foam

Nobull-Runner-Plus-review

Who should not buy

Given that the Journey is a bit of a “franken-shoe,” it doesn’t fall into any of the established categories.

So, depending on your situation, you may prefer a more specific type of shoe:

Nobull-Runner-Plus-lab-test

Journey has extra cushioning

The sole on the NOBULL Journey looks so thick that it made us feel unsure at first glance. It appears to be rather bulky and even boxy.

Our calliper shows that the heel stack is indeed a little thicker than most shoes. We measured it at 35.2 mm (insole included) which is about 2 mm taller than the average.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-heel-stack

We also checked the heel-to-toe drop and it turned out to be 9.4 mm, which is typical for a daily trainer.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-forefoot-stack

However, once on the foot, the Journey was a nice surprise for us. The shoe does an amazing job absorbing the impact with all that cush!

This made our longer runs quite enjoyable as the shoe was very easy on the knees and ankles. There was no considerable fatigue the next day.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-chunky-sole

It is just as perfect for long periods of walking and we can whole-heartedly recommend it as an all-day wear shoe.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-side-view

A fun and propelling ride of the Journey

Running in this NOBULL shoe felt bouncy, springy, and responsive. We were impressed with the shoe’s energy return and speed even on the shorter runs!

Pretty plush cushioning 

According to the brand, the Journey comes with a "100% PEBAX" foam. Even though we didn't find it to be as plush as some of the popular PEBA-based shoes, it left a pretty pleasant aftertaste in our legs.

Checking the heel portion of the foam with a durometer, we got 15.5 HA. This measurement puts the Journey into the soft bunch as it proves to be 55% softer than the average.

Disclaimer: The photo shows 1 out of 5 measurements that we took with the durometer to ensure accuracy.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-foam-softness-durometer

The PEBA is also extensively advertised as a temperature-resistant foam, so we checked how 20 minutes in the freezer would affect its softness. The midsole ended up getting 53.2% firmer. This is good to keep in mind if you plan to run on a chilly day.

On a positive note, even after being "frozen," the foam is 15% softer than most shoes at room temperature.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-foam-freezer-test

Nylon plate makes it less flexible yet propulsive

The reason why this NOBULL shoe doesn't feel quite like a marshmallow underfoot is the presence of a nylon plate. It takes away from the plushness and makes the shoe less flexible, thus creating that propelling push-off.

The Journey sits right at the average in terms of flexibility. Our force gauge tool shows that it takes 30.6N to bend the shoe to a 90-degree angle. This is a typical level of flexibility for a road running shoe these days.

Disclaimer: We take this flexibility measurement 5 times to ensure accuracy.

There is also some torsional stiffness to the NOBULL Journey. Twisting it in our manual flexibility test, we rated it as 3 out of 5 (where 5 is the stiffest).

NOBULL Journey is surprisingly stable

Seeing all that stack height at first made us worried about feeling wobbly and unstable in the shoe.

However, the shoe's sufficiently wide base and a moderate amount of torsional stiffness made us feel more reassured.

Measuring the shoe's base with a calliper, we got 113.1 mm in the forefoot and 89.2 mm in the heel. This is exactly the same as the average of road running shoes.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-forefoot-width

Airy shoe for summer runs

The Journey also turned out to be a great choice for warm days. Its wide-open mesh felt light and breathable and kept our feet cool even on the warmest days.

You can also see the upper mesh transparency in the video below. It is such a see-through material, that you may need to watch out for the colour of socks you wear with the shoe because it will show through.

True to size with a roomy toebox

We think that you should be safe going with your regular running shoe size in the NOBULL Journey. But if it’s going to be your first NOBULL shoe and you are on the fence, check with the brand’s official size chart. As long as you get the right size, you can expect a comfortable step-in feel straight from the box.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-fit

We have also enjoyed the roominess of the shoe's toebox quite a lot! As you can see, it's got a square shape as opposed to a tapered one.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-fit-and-toebox

In addition, the upper fabric is quite forgiving too which makes the fit the Journey that much more accommodating.

Even the fact that the widest part of the toebox is slightly narrower than average doesn't seem to rain on the shoe's parade. It is well compensated for.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-toebox-width

Lockdown could be improved

To our regret, the tongue and laces of the shoe did cause some trouble.

We found it difficult to cinch the laces tightly because of the hard plastic eyelets. And even when we did manage to do that, we still experienced some heel slippage.

We believe that the shoe could benefit from adding some Achilles pillows.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-heel-hold

When manually checking the shoe's heel counter, we found that it is on the flexible side. Based on our subjective assessment, it scores 2 out of 5 (where 5 is the stiffest).

The tongue was another point of indignation for us. It is quite lightly padded (3.6 mm) compared to the average (5.8 mm) and it has a tendency to slip around and bunch up on the side.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-tongue-thickness

Unfortunately, even the fact that it's gusseted didn't help the tongue issue of the NOBULL Journey.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-gusseted-tongue

It may look flimsy but it's nowhere near that

We must admit that the visual aspect of the shoe's mesh and foam made us doubt its durability. These look so cheap!

But having put this NOBULL shoe through a 30-mile wringer, it made us say "wow!" Both the sole and the upper held up to the test with no major wear and tear!

Nobull-Runner-Plus-outsole-thickness

Our measurement shows that the rubber is 3.2 mm thick which is close to the typical outsole thickness among running shoes (3.6).

Hard to believe but the NOBULL Journey is light!

Weighing the NOBULL Journey in a men's US size 9, we got 9.4 oz (266g) on the scale. This is the same as the average of road running shoes in our lab.

It is only slightly heavier than the average weight of shoes with a 35-36 mm stack height (8.9 oz /253g).

Nobull-Runner-Plus-lightweight

Traction is a mixed bag

On dry surfaces, you can expect a stellar grip from the NOBULL Journey. However, we didn't feel as surefooted on wet ground.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-outsole

Style is something else

Love or hate the look but the NOBULL Journey just can't leave you indifferent. If you want to see people cut eyes at your shoes, this is the way to go.

We also can't help but take note of the shoe's endless colorways, both neutral and multi-coloured. Ladies may take special note of the floral patterns.

The reflective Nobull logo is a nice touch too!

The price is too much

Considering all the nice things that the NOBULL Journey brings to the table, we still think that the brand went a little overboard with the Journey's price. Some of its colorways cost as much as £210!!

If you are looking purely for performance in a running shoe, we consider it unreasonable because there are a lot of serious "super shoes" at the same price! Meanwhile, the NOBULL Journey still has a lot of room for improvement.

Nobull-Runner-Plus-price