Putting NoBull's High Top Trainers to the Test | NoBull Shoe Review
There were a few weeks this spring where my Instagram feed was full of ads for a shoe company I hadn’t heard of before– NoBull.
The ads branded the shoes as being designed for working out and I really liked the designs that I saw, so I decided to give them a try.
After wearing them consistently for a few months now, here are my thoughts.
NoBull Black High Top Trainer Key Features
From the moment I took my new trainers out of the box, the first thing that stood out to me was the material. Confessedly, I hadn’t read the product description too closely when I purchased them. I had expected to receive a canvas trainer– similar to a Chuck Taylor Converse– but that is not the case.
The Material They’re Made From is Stiff and Sturdy
Instead of canvas, the material is much stiffer and a bit harder. On the surface, it almost feels like a plastic material.
Given the way the material feels, I was worried that the shoes would either be uncomfortable or would wear down easily.
Thankfully, that’s not the case. Once they’re on your feet, they feel comfortable against your skin and they let your feet breathe, which was a pleasant surprise for a near-plastic feeling shoe material.
Now that I’ve worn them a few months, I also know that they hold up remarkably well. More on that in a moment.
They Have a Flat Sole and Limited Padding
The sole of my NoBull Trainers is very flat and a bit hard. This makes them great for weight lifting, but not ideal for running.
I should be clear that NoBull does seem to make running shoes, and I anticipate that those shoes would have a padded sole to make running more comfortable. Since I have not tried the running shoes though, I can’t know for sure.
The flat, hard sole helps me keep my foot in a neutral position while lifting, especially during difficult lifts like squats and deadlifts, which require solid footing.
My NoBull High Top Trainers Have Held Up Remarkably Well
So far, my favorite thing about these trainers is that they aren’t wearing out at all. They look almost exactly like they did the day I bought them, just with a couple more scuffs.
The pair that I got is solid black, so they’re not prone to staining, but they also don’t look to have faded either.
Structurally, I’m also not seeing signs of wear and tear.
I have significant pronation in one of my feet, so I can usually feel my soles starting to slope out to the side after lifting in them for a few months. With my NoBull Trainers, that’s not yet the case.
The Downsides: What I Wish My NoBull Trainers Did Better
Overall, I’m pretty happy with the NoBull High Top Trainers. That said, they’re not perfect.
They Are VERY Stiff
My main complaint about my trainers is that they are very stiff. Getting my foot into them is a hassle each time I get dressed to go to the gym.
Because the material they’re made out of is very sturdy and not made out of any kind of cloth-like material, they have virtually no stretch. Getting my feet in and out of them requires almost completely unlacing them each time.
Perhaps that’s more common than I realize with high tops– I generally don’t wear high tops, so I could just be ignorant on that. Regardless, it’s the kind of minor inconvenience that ultimately doesn’t amount to much, but annoys me nonetheless.
Also on the topic of the shoes’ stiffness, the material is stiff enough that wearing my high tops isn’t ideal on days when I do exercises like calf raises, which require ankle movement. The stiff material can be restrictive and typically prevents me from getting a full range of movement when it comes to ankle flexion.
If You Have Flat Feet, You Cannot Use These as Running Shoes
I’m conflicted about putting this as a con. These trainers aren’t designed to be running shoes, after all.
But, as someone with extremely flat feet who likes to use a single pair of shoes for both running and lifting, I want to highlight that if you’re in the same camp, these shoes aren’t going to be able to do double-duty.
The soles, as mentioned, are intentionally flat and hard to help with lifting. If you have flat feet or overpronation issues, you need more cushion and arch support to run comfortably and safely. These will still work for flat-footed lifters as lifting shoes, but you will need to buy a different pair of shoes to wear when you run– even low impact running, such as on an elliptical.
NoBull’s High Top Trainers Are Good For a Dependable, Durable Gym Shoe
Ultimately, I’m happy with my trainers and will continue wearing them. I think that when I eventually replace them, I will go with a regular low trainer instead of high tops simply because of how stiff the material is.
That said, for me, the durability of these shoes absolutely makes them worth the price. I’m used to gym shoes breaking down super quickly. I’ve put these shoes through a beating and they show no sign of slowing down yet.
I’d give them a 4 out of 5. They’re definitely worth trying out.