Nobull's no stranger to the gym footwear space. Putting out some of the most stylish gym sneakers has been sort of the brand's lane for some time, especially when it comes to Crossfit enthusiasts. Despite the visually-pleasing notes in each sneaker, though, these trainers are also damn good at giving the underfoot performance you'd want in a workout sneaker. They even offer their trainers in both a low-top and high-top cut, perfect for those wanting a little more ankle stability — and a larger profile to flaunt mid-set.
If you want more comfort and performance from your Nobull gym shoes, you can opt for the Trainer+ lineup, offering up more stability, coziness and traction in each PR-bursting step. The Trainer+ stable has been around for a while now, but not until recently were those craving more ankle coverage able to bask in the benefits.
Thankfully, though, Nobull has introduced high-top silhouettes of its Trainer+ sneakers, giving more gym enthusiasts the chance to lace up and take part in the brand's no frills approach to performance.
But is the Trainer+ high-top a necessary addition to the brand's already-impressive and colorful lineup of footwear? Does the added ankle coverage marry well to the training benefits of the Trainer+ profile?
To find out, I gave these all-new gym shoes their shot, dawning them through multiple strength training and agility sessions to see how well they performed. I noted how comfortable the sneakers were underfoot during heavy lifts, as well as how they compared to the traditional makeup of Nobull's tried-and-true trainer. Here's what I found.
What's Good About the Nobull High-Top Trainer+?
The updated outsole provides excellent grip when compared to the original trainer.
The original Nobull Trainer features an excellent outsole, don't get me wrong, but the flat sole is more in-line with a Converse Chuck Taylor, which can make for some slippery training conditions if you ever need to dig into the ground. The high-top Trainer+ outsole, however, beefs up the traction with a new herringbone pattern that showcases deeper lugs and provides plenty of grip for these scenarios.
While I didn't notice much difference in traction when completing lifts like squats and deadlifts (no difference is a good thing here), I definitely felt this upgraded feature when completing agility drills across a turf field. I was able to grab a solid footing when cutting, which made multi-directional exercises much easier. I was also more confident in each step, which allowed me to push harder in training to a level that wouldn't be fathomable had I worn the traditional Trainers.
A wider midfoot makes for a more comfortable fit that caters to a wider roster of athletes.
Nobulls typically run a little snug, which isn't the worst when looking for a gym shoe. You want that locked-in feel, but nonetheless, this tight fit can deter some wider-footed athletes from lacing up in a pair of these impressive sneakers. When trying on the high-top Trainer+s for the first time, though, I felt some added room in the midfoot that was a breath of fresh air, allowing my feet to sit comfortably within the shoe without having so much room that it became a distraction during workouts.
This added room combined nicely with the breathable SuperFabric upper, despite the extra ankle coverage. It didn't feel like my feet were baking inside, and I found the heightened ankle support to be efficient and comfortable, especially during heavy sets under the bar. In my opinion, Nobull did a great job with the Trainer+ silhouette, promoting the right amount of room while still delivering that secure feel. I'd like to see them carry these specs into their other footwear, regardless of the low or high cut.
What's Less Than Ideal About the Nobull High-Top Trainer+?
Getting these sneakers on and off can be a bit of a task.
If you're someone that likes to easily slip into your gym kicks before a workout, these might not be the best for you. Because of the high-top construction, getting into these Trainer+ sneakers takes some getting used to. I had to loosen the laces plenty to allow my foot reasonable entry at the collar. Also, the heightened ankle security is more rigid than other high-top sneakers you may wear, which means folding down the extra upper is out of the question.
The high-top Trainer+s also feature a semi-gusseted tongue, which can make for a tighter squeeze when putting on and pulling off these gym shoes. Because the tongue isn't able to move as freely within the profile, you're left with a smaller opening, no matter how loose your laces are. Thankfully, however, I was able to fine-tune my system after a few wears, which made pre- and post-workout endeavors more bearable.
The heightened ankle coverage can be great for stability, but can also limit agility .
As is the case with any sneaker that covers the ankle, these gym shoes were less equipped for more agile movements like side jumps and ladder drills. The SuperFabric upper did a phenomenal job in adding that rigid structure to static lifts, but when my workouts became more cardio-based, I was left wanting a little more (or in this case, less).
The high-top build also adds some weight to the overall silhouette, which can feel clunky at time, especially toward the end of an agility session. This isn't to say that the high-top Trainer+s aren't capable of cardio-based exercises, but if these modalities make up a majority of your routine, you may favor the less constrictive silhouette of the low-top cut.
Nobull High-Top Trainer+: The Verdict
While I won't deny that the high-top cut of these all-new gym shoes might not be the best for every athlete, I'm thoroughly content with the performance exhibited in the latest Trainer+ releases and would be happy to upgrade my daily gym ensemble with this silhouette. The high ankle coverage provides the stability I need for more static training, and I absolutely loved the grippier traction of the upgraded outsole. For $159, the Trainer+ high-tops are $10 more than the traditional Trainers, but I'd be willing to pay that increase given the traction-ready build and increased midfoot room.
If you want to beef up your training shoe game, these all-new kicks from Nobull are sure to put you on the right path.