The NOBULL Trainer is a training shoe designed for the rigors of the WOD. Not only is it functional, but it is comfortable and looks good too.
Many people consider this to be the most comfortable cross training shoe for extended wear.
What can you do in NOBULL Trainers? Pretty much anything -heavy weight lifting, running, box jumps, rope climbs, or just about anything else. It’s available in a number of styles to order online from Rogue Fitness.
First, let’s talk about SuperFabric. That’s what the seamless one-piece upper (the top part of the shoe) is made of. It’s extremely durable, breathable and abrasion resistant material. These shoes are tough – the manufacturer claims they can resist harsh weather, glass, and even barbed wire!
SuperFabric is no joke – it’s not just used in shoes, it is used in a variety of products such as motorcycle and military apparel. It’s very tough – and slash and scratch proof. The material was originally created for gloves that could resist cuts from surgical knives. Here’s a graphic from the manufacturer showing how the addition of “guard plates” to an underlying mesh fabric create this unique material. It’s not just durable though – it’s also breathable and flexible.The above image is courtesy of SuperFabric® brand materials.
Rope climbs can kill a pair of shoes quick. Shoes not designed for it just can’t take the stress in the areas where you’ll be gripping the rope with your feet. But not the NOBULL Trainers – they have a medial rope grip to ensure both climbing traction and durability.
For comfort that seamless, one-piece upper is made of a highly breathable base mesh layer. The tongue is a breathable perforated microsuede tongue. And a molded, anatomical sockliner helps round out the fit.
What colors are available? The list varies, but here’s a few that are currently available:
Dark Denim, Black Ivy, Arctic Grey, White Heather Forest, Black/White, Bright Pink, Sand Camo, Black Heather Yellow, Bright Blue, White Heather Granite, and Blue Glass.
Minimal Drop For Stability
CrossFit WODs involve a lot of weightlifting – and heavy weights at that. If you’ve ever tried to do heavy lifts in running shoes – you know that’s a bad idea. There’s simply too much cushioning in the sole, heel, and midsole of a running shoe. The problem is that your feet are sinking into the thick cushioning – and this wreaks havoc on stability. It’s also an unacceptable loss of power in the quick lifts (the Olympic lifts) – you can’t get efficient power transfer on a mushy shoe sole.
But these problems are eliminated in the NOBULL Trainer. It’s got a versatile, but stable outsole and midsole – perfect for the variety of big weights you’ll have to lift.
Secondly, the “heel to toe drop” is a mere 4mm. This means there isn’t much of a heel on the shoe. If you’ve ever lifted in purpose-built weight lifting shoes you know that sky-high heel is great for getting low on a squat or clean with ease. But you can’t really do much else in weight lifting shoes – that too tall heel (and the extreme rigidity) make them unusable for running, jumping, and quite frankly – anything except for lifting weights!
With a low profile 4mm heel to toe drop these shoes are versatile. They can do it all. Big squats and deadlifts? No problemo.
Let’s check out the outsole aka the sole. See that versatile lug pattern? It’s made for traction indoors or outdoors.
Other NOBULL Options
There’s also a High-Top Trainer model. It’s got all the great features of the regular shoe, but with the added stability of a high top. The high-cut collar provides padding and a secure fit for movement in any direction.
But otherwise – all the same features – the multi-environment lug outsole, reflective NOBULL logo for maximum visibility, 4mm heel to toe drop – it’s all there.
Here’s a new model with a perforated canvas upper – for those that prefer it. Just like the SuperFabric version it offers durability and breathability – but at a cheaper price point. Otherwise it’s got all the great features of the SuperFabric version of the Trainer.
There’s also a lighter color Sand Canvas option. It looks really nice. This view also shows the medial sole grip for rope climbs:
And lastly, there is a mid trainer version of the canvas shoe. Not as high as the high-top, but otherwise has all the great features including the perforated canvas upper.
Frequently Asked Questions About the NOBULL Trainer
Can I squat in NOBULL Trainers?
Yes – you can – low bar, high bar, front squat – it’s all good. It’s a “flat” shoe with a small 4mm heel to toe drop, so you’re not going to get any help on getting low with ease. But the sole and midsole are rigid enough to ensure a stable platform for lifting. Time to work on that ankle flexibility.
It should be mentioned that many people find the NOBULL trainers less friendly for heavy weights when compared to the Nike Metcon 4s. The NOBULL Trainer is more flexible and comfortable it seems, but the Metcon is stiffer and better for weights. It’s all trade-offs – which area is most important to you?
Can I deadlift in NOBULL Trainers?
Yes – a flat (minimum heel to toe drop) shoe with a stable heel, sole, and midsole is just what you want for a big deadlift. This minimizes the range of motion (why lift the weight even 1/2 inch more than you have to?) and provides a stable base.
The amount of material under your feet, also known as “stack height,” is an important characteristic of a good training shoe. It’s one of the principles that minimalist shoes are built on – less material means a more natural feel that leads to better biomechanics. But thicker, more protective shoes might lead to fewer injuries and better running due to shock absorption.
The NOBULL trainers lie somewhere between – not too much, not too little.
Can I Olympic lift in NOBULL Trainers?
Yes – Efficient power transfer is needed for the Olympic lifts, and the NOBULL trainers deliver.
Can I run in the NOBULL Trainers?
Yes – they are not bad running shoes at all – they are light. The “NOBULL” logo on the side is reflective – it’s good to be seen. But they are not purpose-built running shoes either. Look elsewhere for long distance running.
If you like NOBULL shoes, and do need a real running show Rogue Fitness also carries the NOBULL Knit Runner – shown where in Black Ivy.
This is a classic runner’s shoe 10 mm heel to toe drop, anatomical sock liner for a perfect fit, and very lightweight.
The NOBULL Trainer is a good-looking, versatile, and comfortable shoe. Many people buy these for casual wear – but they are still versatile training shoes for the WOD, so give these shoes a try for your next workout.
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