NOBULL High Top Trainer Review

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Here’s our review of the NOBULL High Top Trainer shoe, from NOBULL.

This is the new Wild Storm colorway – looks good – doesn’t it?

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm color combo
The NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm color combo. It looks good – but is it a good CrossFit training shoe? Read on to find out…

But is this a good CrossFit or functional fitness style training shoe?

That’s what we’ll talk about here in this review.

NOBULL High Top Trainer The NOBULL High Top Trainer is available in a variety of styles. Made from SuperFabric, this is a durable cross training shoe with a 4mm heel to toe drop. It's perfect for the CrossFit WOD - and lifting heavy weights.

NOBULL Trainer (Low) The NOBULL Trainer is also available in a Low top version. All the same great features, but even lighter (Thanks to SuperFabric!)

Nike Metcon 6 In comparison, this shoe is heavier, but it breathes better, and it is more versatile thanks to the dual-density cushion in the midsole and hyperlifts (choose between 4 or 12 mm of drop.)

Reebok Nano X Like the NOBULL, the Nano X has 4 mm of heel to toe drop. It's heavier, but has a more breathable upper. Now in it's 10th version, this is a very good CrossFit training shoe.

NOBULL High Top Trainer – Video Review on our YouTube Channel

Why read when you can watch? Check out this video from our YouTube channel:

NOBULL High Top Trainer – Sizing

These are true to size, but run slightly long and wide.

This is an excellent shoe if a normal 11 is a tight fit on you – this will probably work perfect.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm - front view
Got wide feet? The NOBULL High Top Trainer might be a good option for you.

It has more width up in the toe area as compared to some of the other shoes on the market.

I do feel like it is ALMOST slightly too long – there’s a lot of room up in the toe area lengthwise.

But, overall I’m pleased with these in my normal size of US Men’s 11.

NOBULL High Top Trainer – Overview

Let’s review the NOBULL High Top Trainer.

First of all, this is a high top (high collar) version of NOBULL’s Trainer shoe.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm - versus Low
Yep, it’s a High Top. That’s the regular Trainer (or the Low) right next to it.

The upper uses NOBULL’s proprietary SuperFabric material.

SuperFabric is a mesh layer that is covered very densely with what NOBULL calls guard plates.

These are very tough and abrasion resistant.

NOBULL High Top Trainer SuperFabric closeup
The small guard plates are tough, and abrasion resistant.

The upper is very tough, and will last a long time.

But, the SuperFabric is not very breathable.

In our side by side testing, we can feel the difference in warmth when wearing NOBULL’s SuperFabric trainers (High Top or Low Top).

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm Side View 1
It’s a good looking shoe, but it’s not breathable. This is similar to the other NOBULL shoes.

But, it is a super-tough upper – and it looks good.

Taking a look at the outsole, we see the tough all-rubber outsole.

The NOBULL High Top Trainer provides great traction and the outsole will last a very long time.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm Outsole
The all-rubber outsole is tough, long-lasting, and offers great traction.

There is a mild medial rope grip area, where the outsole lug pattern wraps (slightly) up around at the midfoot.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm Medial Rope Grip
Hard to see here (thanks to WIld Storm pattern) but the outsole lug pattern wraps up around the inside midfoot – so you can get better rope climb grip.

This is to provide better grip when climbing ropes.

The drop (or heel to toe drop) is 4 mm.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm Drop
Heel to Toe Drop is 4mm.

This means your heels are 4 mm higher than your toes. A minimal drop like this (unlike the 10 mm in many running shoes) makes for a more versatile cross training shoe.

How about cushion?

The NOBULL High Top Trainer, like the Trainer (Low) has minimal cushioning.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm Cushion
There’s not a lot of cushion in these. Great for lifting heavy weights, but not so much for impact activities like running.

It’s more cushion than an Oly lifter (which I would call zero cushion), but it’s not much.

This means two things – these are great shoes for heavy barbell weightlifting.

With a solid heel and stable forefoot these are great for heavy squats, thrusters, deadlifts, snatchs, cleans – and more.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm Stacked
Looks good!

But the lack of cushioning means these are not very good for running.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm Reflector
There’s a mild reflector on the outside and on the heel – but it doesn’t reflect a lot. That’s OK – you aren’t going to be running in these.

(Well, unless you like to run in shoes without cushion.)

Generally speaking, I wouldn’t use these for a WOD that had anything more than short sprints in it.

I wouldn’t necessarily reach for these if I was doing a lot of rope skipping either.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm Laces
Closeup of the laces, eyelets, and SuperFabric

That said, they still work great for a lot of what you normally do in the CrossFit WOD.

You might be wondering, does the high top form factor interfere with your squatting ability?

No, it does not.

If you watch the video clip above, you’ll see that the high top collar does not interfere with your ankle range of motion or flexibility.

Is this a heavy shoe?

Nope – it’s quite lightweight at only 11.7 ounces for a Men’s US Size 11.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm Heel View
This shoe is surprisingly lightweight at only 11.7 ounces (Men’s Size 11). That’s thanks to SuperFabric.

This is significantly lighter than the other big name cross training shoes on the market this year (read on to find out more.)

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus NOBULL Trainer Low

The High Top Trainer is very, very similar to the regular Trainer (or “Low” as we’ll call it here.)

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Trainer Low - Side by Side
The High Top versus the Low Top.

Same outsole, same drop.

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Trainer Low Side by Side
Very, very similar – as you’d expect.

Same cushion (or lack thereof.)

And the SuperFabric upper is the same.

NOBULL Trainer Low SuperFabric Closeup
Here’s a close-up for the SuperFabric. Those little dots are the guard plates – and the are tough as nails. It’s the same on the Low or the High Top.

The difference of course, is that the High Top is high, the Low Top is low.

The High Top is also more expensive.

Honestly, I think it comes down to style preference.

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Trainer Low Side
Unsurprisingly, the low is even lighter than the high top at only 11.4 ounces.

If you want to find out more about the low, check out our hands-on review of the SuperFabric and Canvas versions.

The Low weighs .3 ounces less – naturally because there is less material.

Here’s another thing you’ll notice about this shoe.

The NOBULL trainer design honestly hasn’t evolved over the past few years.

Get the High Top or get the Low, and you are basically getting the exact same shoe they sold 2 or 3 years ago.

(I have a 2018 vintage pair – so I’ve confirmed this is the case.)

This is markedly different from the other big names – they revise their shoes on a yearly basis.

Here’s the point – like your current (or older) NOBULL Trainers? Then you’ll probably like these too.

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Trainer Low Evolution
High Top or Low Top – the NOBULL trainer hasn’t really evolved over the years. This is basically the same shoe as you could’ve bought 2 or 3 years ago. At least you know what you are getting…

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6

How does the NOBULL High Top Trainer compare to the Nike Metcon 6?

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Side by Side
The Nike Metcon 6 is our top pick for a CrossFit shoe in the year 2020.

We like the Nike Metcon 6 – in fact we’ve named it our top CrossFit shoe for 2020.

It’s breathable, especially with the new for 2020 upper. Look at the size of those perforations!

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Upper
The Metcon 6 has monster sized perforations for extreme breathability. The NOBULL Is not very breathable.

In this regard, it’s a very different shoe as compared to the NOBULL.

Further, both are a 4 mm heel to toe drop – but the Nike includes “HyperLifts” which let you dial the drop up to 12 mm.

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Outsole
Both use an all rubber outsole with 4mm drop , but the Nike comes with Hyperlifts so you can go to 12 mm of drop if you wish.

Lastly, the Metcon 6 has a very versatile “dual-density” cushion system.

There’s two types of foam used in the midsole – the front is squishy and cushioned, and the heel is firm and stable.

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Cushion
Honestly, the cushioning is more versatile in the Nike Metcon 6. But it weighs more, and not everyone likes that giant rope wrap.

Overall, the Nike Metcon 6 is a more versatile and better training shoe.

But, some people don’t like the ostentatious looks of the Nike – look at that monster sized rope wrap – do you really need that?

The Nike is also much heavier – at 13.9 ounces (versus 11.7).

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6 -  Rope Wrap
The Nike Metcon 6 has rope wrap for days… do you even climb ropes?

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Reebok Nano X

We can also compare the NOBULL High Top Trainer to the Reebok Nano X.

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Reebok Nano X - Side by Side
Reebok Nano X is a great training shoe for 2020.

The Nano X has a stretchy, breathable upper.

It’s got a 4 mm heel to toe drop.

And like the NOBULL, it doesn’t have much cushion.

As such, these shoes are a closer match.

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Reebok Nano X -  Outsole
Both have 4 mm heel to toe drop, and rubber outsole. Both are minimally cushioned. I wouldn’t recommend long distance running in either shoe.

The Nano X shines in toebox width though.

It has even MORE width than the NOBULL.

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Reebok Nano X -  Width
Need a WIDE shoe? The Nano X is even wider than the already wide NOBULL. It’s also more breathable (but heavier).

The downside to the Nano X is that it’s much heavier at 14.1 ounces for a Men’s US Size 11.

NOBULL High Top Trainer Versus Reebok Nano X - Weight
The Nano X is 14.1 ounces vs 11.7 for the NOBULL.

NOBULL High Top Trainer- In Summary

The NOBULL High Top Trainer is one of the few CrossFit training shoes on the market available as a high top.

Despite the size, it’s remarkably light-weight – and the SuperFabric is tough as nails.

(I’d wager that SuperFabric is probably the toughest upper on the market – period.)

But, it doesn’t breath well and there isn’t much cushion in this shoe.

These factors make it slightly less versatile than some of the other cross trainers on the market, but overall it is a great CrossFit training shoe.

NOBULL High Top Trainer in Wild Storm
Overall a great shoe for the CrossFit WOD – but I wouldn’t run in it.

Photo Credits

Some product photos on this page are property of NOBULL.

This website is not affiliated or associated with CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.

NOBULL High Top Trainer Guard Plates
SuperFabric is light and tough – but it doesn’t breathe well.

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NOBULL High Top Trainer Side Profile
NOBULL High Top Trainer

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