NOBULL Trainer Review

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Let’s review the NOBULL Trainer shoe – it’s a cross training shoe that is great for the CrossFit WOD.

NOBULL Trainer Review - SuperFabric and Canvas
The NOBULL Trainer is available in both a SuperFabric and Canvas version – we’ll review both here.

The NOBULL Trainer is available in a low, mid, and high top version.

All of these models are very similar, so we are going to concentrate on the low here – because it’ll be the most popular. It’s also the lightest of the trio.

Here’s some of the styles (and alternatives) we are going to look at:

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!)

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.

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 Trainer Review – Video Review on our YouTube Channel

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

(This covers the NOBULL High Top Trainer – with a Low Top video coming soon!)

NOBULL Trainer Review – Overview

Let’s dive right in – by talking about the SuperFabric upper.

SuperFabric is super-tough and abrasion resistant.

NOBULL Trainer Review - SuperFabric Close Up
Here’s a close-up of SuperFabric. Those little dots are guard plates – they are tough, and there are a lot of them.

There’s a mesh base layer, but on top there are all these little “guard plates” – these are very durable.

You can see how densely the guard plates are distributed on this closeup of the upper.

NOBULL Trainer Review  - SuperFabric close up 2
Another closeup – this is the toughest upper on any shoe we’ve tested.

This is the toughest upper on any CrossFit style training shoe we’ve ever tested.

But, is it light?

Yes, not only is SuperFabric exceptionally tough, it is light-weight as well.

As an example, this Men’s Size 11 (US) pair of Trainers weigh only 11.4 ounces. That’s almost 2.5 ounces lighter than the competitor shoes from Nike and Reebok.

NOBULL Trainer Review Weight
Is SuperFabric heavy? Nope – these Men’s Size 11 weigh only 11.4 ounces. That’s light in the world of cross trainers.

The only downside to SuperFabric is that it’s not super-breathable.

It’s just too dense for the shoe to have a lot of breathability. To compensate for this, the tongue is perforated.

Overall though, the NOBULL shoe is warmer than most of it’s peers on the market today.

(It does look very nice though – I’ll give it that.)

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

NOBULL Trainer Review  Heel to Toe Drop
Heel to Toe Drop is 4 mm – as it has been for years on the NOBULL Trainer.

It’s a low-profile shoe for maximum versatility – so you can lift, jump, sprint, etc.

Regarding cushioning, the NOBULL Trainer has minimal cushioning.

As such, it’s great for heavy barbell lifting – but not so great for running or sprinting.

I wouldn’t run long distances in these shoes. You can get by with short runs, but please understand – there is MINIMAL cushion in the forefoot and the heel.

These shoes have a small medial rope grip area on the inside.

NOBULL Trainer Review  Medial Rope Grip
See that part at the midfoot? That’s the medial rope grip. It’s small – but that’s all many people need. When was the last time you climbed a rope?

The tough, all-rubber outsole lug pattern rolls up a bit around the side – to give you better grip on ropes when climbing.

How about that outsole? It’s tough and gives great grip on just about every surface.

NOBULL Trainer Review - Outsole closeup
All-rubber outsole is tough as nails – it will last a long time. It also gives great traction and grip on gym-floor like surfaces.

Lastly, there are some reflectors on the side and heel of the NOBULL trainers.

These vary in reflectivity according to the color combo you order.

NOBULL Trainer Review  side reflector
The NOBULL logo on the side is a reflector. There’s also one on the heel.

(Given that these aren’t purpose built running shoes – I personally won’t be using them out in the dark at night much.)

NOBULL Trainer Review  Heel Reflector
This is also reflective.

Overall, it’s a good looking shoe, it’s tough – but it has minimal cushioning and doesn’t breathe well.

NOBULL Trainer Review Heel View
NOBULL Trainer – it works as a CrossFit WOD shoe – just don’t run long distances in it. (You can make this same claim about most cross training shoes.)

NOBULL Trainer Review – Canvas Versus SuperFabric

Want to save some coin? You can get this shoe in a Canvas upper as well.

NOBULL Trainer Review - Canvas
Also available in canvas! It’s heavier, and not as tough – but it is cheaper.

The canvas shoe gives up a lot of the toughness – but this isn’t thin canvas.

NOBULL Trainer Review - Canvas Upper Closeup
Closeup of the Canvas upper

In fact, the shoe is about 2 ounces heavier than the SuperFabric version (same size – US Men’s 11).

There’s also no medial rope grip on the canvas version.

NOBULL Trainer Review - Canvas No Rope Grip
No medial rope grip on the Canvas shoe.

Overall though, it has much the same feel and performance.

NOBULL Trainer Review - Canvas  Sole to Sole
Canvas on the left, SuperFabric on the right

NOBULL Trainer Review - Canvas Reflector
Reflector on the heel too.

NOBULL Trainer Review - Canvas
Shown here side by side with the SuperFabric version – you can see they are very similar.

NOBULL Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6

Let’s compare the NOBULL Trainer to the shoe that we are calling the best CrossFit shoe for 2020.

NOBULL Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Side by Side
The Nike Metcon 6 is our top pick for a CrossFit shoe in 2020. Why? Read on to find out…

The Nike Metcon 6 is an excellent shoe for CrossFit for functional fitness style training.

Why?

The big new feature for 2020 on the Metcon 6 is the monster-sized perforations in the upper. This shoe, unlike the NOBULL Trainer, is super-breathable.

NOBULL Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Upper Closeup
The upper on the Nike is super-breathable. There are major perforations in many places.

It’s a difference you can easily feel.

Secondly, Nike has brought forward all the performance features from the Metcon 5.

NOBULL Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Drop
The Metcon 6 can be 4mm or 12mm of drop, thanks to little removable wedges you can put inside. They are called Hyperlifts (Not shown in this photo)

The shoe includes removable “Hyperlifts” – these are little wedges you can install inside the shoe – to go from 4 mm of drop to 12 mm drop (10 mm in Women’s) easily.

This is great for squats, thrusters, pistols and more – because the increased heel height minimizes the ankle flexion you need to get LOW.

Secondly the Metcon 6 still has the dual-density foam midsole from last year.

The heel is firm and stable (great for heavy barbell exercises) but the forefoot has more cushion (great for sprints, skipping rope, box jumps, and more.)

Lastly, the Nike Metcon 6 has the monster sized rope wrap. This is the king of rope climbing shoes.

NOBULL Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Outsole
Outsole wraps up around the sides on both, but the Nike has a major rope grip area on both sides of the shoe.

(But, not that many people climb ropes – to be honest.)

Overall, the Nike Metcon 6 is a more versatile shoe as compared to the NOBULL Trainer.

It is heavier, a Men’s Size 11 is about 13.9 ounces (Versus 11.4 ounces for the NOBULL Trainer SuperFabric).

NOBULL Trainer Versus Nike Metcon 6 - Side by Side
Nike Metcon 6 Versus NOBULL Trainer

NOBULL Trainer Versus Reebok Nano X

Here’s another great CrossFit shoe for 2020: the Reebok Nano X.

Reebok Nano X Versus NOBULL Trainer - Side by Side
Reebok Nano X is a great shoe too.

The 10th version of Reebok’s premium training shoe brings a lot to the table.

It’s an evolution of last year’s shoe so the features you love are still there.

Reebok Nano X Versus NOBULL Trainer - Sole to Sole
Outsole on both is flat, all-rubber. Grip is great for both. Both have a mild rope grip area.

It’s a 4 mm heel to toe drop – with minimal cushion.

That makes the Reebok Nano X excellent for lifting weights.

The all rubber outsole is tough, has great traction, and will last a long time.

There’s a mild rope grip area on this shoe (“RopePro”) too.

Reebok Nano X Versus NOBULL Trainer - Sizing
The NOBULL Trainer is nice and wide, but the Nano X is even wider.

The new flexible upper of the Nano X is stretchy and comfortable. It’s more breathable than the NOBULL too.

The downsides to the Nano X are that it’s heavy (at 14.1 ounces) and the cushion just isn’t as versatile as the Nike Metcon 6 in my experience.

Note as well that the Reebok Nano X has gotten “taller” this year – and that combined with the extra weight means many people find this shoe too bulky.

The NOBULL Trainer, on the other hand, feels lightweight and minimalistic.

Reebok Nano X Versus NOBULL Trainer - Cushion
Both have similar levels of cushion (minimal). The Nano X is more comfortable, thanks to the stretchier, breathable upper. But the NOBULL feels so much more lighter…

NOBULL Trainer – Has it Evolved?

If you’ve owned the NOBULL Trainers before – and you try these new ones – they’ll feel the same.

NOBULL does not revise the NOBULL Trainer every year (unlike Nike and Reebok.)

As such, if you are pleased with your previous NOBULL Trainers, you’ll probably like these too.

NOBULL Trainer
Overall this is a good shoe – especially if you want a light-weight cross trainer. But, it’s not really any different than the NOBULL Trainer you could’ve bought 2 or 3 years ago…

NOBULL does frequently launch new color combinations and styles, but otherwise the shoes are the same.

NOBULL Trainer Review – In Summary

The NOBULL Trainer is a tough, light-weight functional fitness training shoe.

The upper is tough as nails (SuperFabric), and it makes a good shoe for lifting weights.

The lack of cushion means it’s not really good for long distance running, and that tough upper makes it not super-breathable either.

Otherwise this is a nice cross training shoe.

NOBULL Trainer in Canvas
NOBULL Trainer in Canvas

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 Trainer
NOBULL Trainer Review

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