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The Nike Metcon 8 versus NOBULL Trainer and NOBULL Trainer+ is a popular comparison for those on the market for new cross-training shoes. These shoes all deliver strong performances in the gym, but for slightly different reasons.
Personally, I like the Nike Metcon 8, NOBULL Trainer, and NOBULL Trainer+, but for different reasons. For example, the Nike Metcon 8 is one of my go-to cross-training shoes for tackling athletic-style sessions with heavy lifts.
Then, I’ll opt for the NOBULL Trainer and NOBULL Trainer+ for CrossFit-focused sessions and outdoor-biased workouts, respectively. If you can understand the nuances between these cross-training shoes, then you can pick the model that suits your needs best.
In this Nike Metcon 8 versus NOBULL Trainer versus NOBULL Trainer+ breakdown, I’ll cover all of the key details that you should know about these shoes.
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Nike Metcon 8 Vs NOBULL Trainer Vs NOBULL Trainer+ Performance
To break down the performance differences and similarities between the NOBULL Trainer, Nike Metcon 8, and NOBULL Trainer+, I’ll discuss how each model performs in various contexts.
I’ll cover how each shoe performs for lifting, CrossFit, versatile training, short runs, and daily wear. This way, you can be better equipped to select the training shoe that aligns best with your needs.
Nike Metcon 8 Vs NOBULL Trainer Vs NOBULL Trainer+ for Lifting and CrossFit
For recreational lifting, the Nike Metcon 8, NOBULL Trainer, and NOBULL Trainer+ all perform pretty well. If you’re looking into any of these shoes for more casual strength training, you should be set with any of these models.
As you get more niche with your lifting, the performance of the shoes will vary. For example, the NOBULL Trainer+ has a pretty high stack height so it’s not the best for things like heavy deadlifts whereas the Metcon 8 and NOBULL Trainer are better here.
All models feature a 4mm heel-to-toe drop so they’ll feel somewhat similar for lower body exercises and how they interact with your feet and ankles. For squats and leg day, all of these shoes’ midsoles provide a nice level of stability.
The outsole tread is also solid on all of these shoes and you should get a nice level of grip for training on different surfaces. For example, if you’re doing more dynamic work like walking lunges, all of these shoes should provide a nice grip. The Metcon 8’s forefoot does articulate slightly better.
In the context of CrossFit, all of these shoes perform well and each has specific areas where they’ll work best. The Nike Metcon 8 is a good model for supporting rope climbs and it has a more athletic fit to it.
The forefoot’s Nike React foam gives you a nice level of responsiveness for double-unders and box jumps, and the Hyperlift insert in the heel helps provide this shoe with a nice level of stability.
The NOBULL Trainer also performs well across the board for CrossFit and comes with a nice level of durability. The SuperFabric upper does a good job at resisting abrasion and the rubber outsole does a good at resisting lipping.
The NOBULL Trainer is what I often refer to as a safe bet for those who want a shoe for CrossFit that has a consistent level of stability. The NOBULL Trainer+ will perform similarly to the NOBULL Trainer, but it gives you a bit more cushion through the midsole.
Additionally, the deeper tread mixed with the thicker midsole makes the NOBULL Trainer+ a little more forgiving for WODs with short runs. Durability wise, I like the NOBULL Trainer+, but the higher stack height and toe spring in this model can be a little bit of a turnoff until they’re broken in.
Winner: For lifting, all of these shoes work. For CrossFit, go with the Nike Metcon 8 or NOBULL Trainer. All of these models work well, but when it comes to stability and well-rounded performance, I’m giving the edge to the NOBULL Trainer and Nike Metcon 8.
The NOBULL Trainer+ can be a good option for those that want more midsole for motion control when training and for those that plan to train outside fairly regularly.
Nike Metcon 8
- CrossFit and CrossFit-Style Workouts
- For Wide Feet
- For Running
Nike Metcon 8 Vs NOBULL Trainer Vs NOBULL Trainer+ for Versatile Training
For versatile training including things like plyometrics, HIIT workouts, and athletic-style training, these shoes are all just okay. None of these models are going to be great for things contexts like class workouts or pure versatility-focused training.
They’ll work, but the stability in all of these shoes can, at times, take away from their forgiveness for longer sessions where you’ll be jumping a lot. For example, the NOBULL Trainer can feel pretty rough for longer athletic sessions due to its high-density foam midsole.
The Nike Metcon 8 works pretty well for athletic-focused training and some HIIT workouts where you’re going to be primarily on the forefoot. For example, if you’re blending things like heavy squats with broad jumps, you’ll enjoy the Metcon 8’s feel.
Where the Nike Metcon 8 falls short of versatility is with its heel construction. The Hyperlift insert, while being great for lifting, can feel clunky at times and any form of heel strike with this model with multi-directional can be uncomfortable.
The NOBULL Trainer+ is arguably the best option of these three for versatile training. Its midsole has a bit more forgiveness to it for longer sessions where you’re jumping a lot and its durability is solid for a variety of contexts.
Winner: NOBULL Trainer+ and Nike Metcon 8, ever so slightly. All of these shoes are okay for versatile training. I think it’s important to understand the limitations of these models for this training context.
- CrossFit-Style Training
- Daily Wear
- Casual Classes and HIIT
- For Running
- For Plyometrics and Athletic Training
Nike Metcon 8 Vs NOBULL Trainer Vs NOBULL Trainer+ for Short Runs and Daily Wear
When it comes to short runs, none of these models really perform that well. They’ll all work for runs that are programmed in WODs, but they’re not going to be the hybrid training shoe that is comfortable for a few pre and post-workout miles.
The Nike Metcon 8’s blocky heel is my main knock against this shoe’s running performance, and the NOBULL Trainer’s high-density foam midsole is pretty uncomfortable as well. Both of these models’ stability is their biggest downfall when running.
The NOBULL Trainer+ is okay for 1-3 miles here and there and that’s due to its slightly thicker midsole. Plus, this is the better shoe for tackling short runs outdoors due to its outsole construction. Once again, though, none of these shoes are super great for running.
On a daily wear basis, the NOBULL Trainer and NOBULL Trainer+ outperform the Nike Metcon 8. These models are both durable for weathering outdoor elements and they’re decently comfortable for all-day wear. The Trainer+ takes the edge over the Trainer, by the way.
The Nike Metcon 8 can get uncomfortable for all-day wear due to its narrower toe box and lower profile upper construction. Plus, its heel is not the best for doing long walks. This is a shoe that you’ll primarily want to reserve for training.
Winner: None of these models are that great for short runs. However, they all will work for WODs with shorter runs programmed. Additionally, the NOBULL Trainer+ is the better option of the three for tackling short distances ranging from 1-3 miles.
For daily wear, opt for the NOBULL Trainer or NOBULL Trainer+ over the Nike Metcon 8. These models will fair better with daily wear durability and run more comfortable due to them having more upper volume for the feet.
- Cross-Training Style Workouts
- Recreational Lifting
- For Versatile Training
- For Cost-Efficiency
Nike Metcon 8 Vs NOBULL Trainer Vs NOBULL Trainer+ Construction
I’m going to break this section into multiple parts to discuss the construction differences that exist between the Nike Metcon 8, NOBULL Trainer, and NOBULL Trainer+.
This helps make this section much easier to consume, and it helps to make it easier when identifying some of the key differences that exist between the construction of these cross-training shoes.
The NOBULL Trainer, NOBULL Trainer+, and Nike Metcon 8 all feature full rubber outsoles. You should experience slippage or traction issues with any of these shoes during your training.
The NOBULL Trainer’s outsole is built with a standard lug patterning and this outsole extends over the toe box and wraps up the medial and lateral midfoot slightly.
The NOBULL Trainer+ features a full rubber outsole with a herringbone tread patterning. This outsole is thicker than the NOBULL Trainer’s outsole and its tread is a little deeper which makes them good for outdoor sessions.
The Nike Metcon 8’s outsole varies in textures from the forefoot, midfoot, and heel. This model has flex grooves running through the forefoot and has a varied material at the midfoot for rope climbing support.
The midsoles all vary pretty significantly between these shoes. The Nike Metcon 8 features Nike React Foam as its core midsole component and has a Hyperlift insert built into the heel. This gives the forefoot more responsiveness while keeping the heel stable.
The NOBULL Trainer features a high-density foam midsole that runs consistently throughout the entirety of the sole. This gives this shoe a stable and consistent feeling when training whereas the Metcon 8 varies slightly.
The NOBULL Trainer+ features a medium-density foam midsole and this midsole also runs the entirety of this shoe’s sole.
The stack height of this model is slightly higher than the Metcon 8 and NOBULL Trainer, which gives this shoe a more “platform-esque” feeling.
The upper construction of the NOBULL Trainer and NOBULL Trainer+ is pretty similar. Both models feature NOBULL’s signature SuperFabric material. This upper material does a good job with durability, however, it’s not the most breathable.
The Nike Metcon 8’s upper is built with a mesh that features synthetic overlays over the toe box and midfoot. The heel is built with a thicker mesh material and there are outsole wraps that extend fairly high up the midfoot on the lateral and medial sides.
Laces and Tongue
The NOBULL Trainer features a traditional lacing system. This model has five metal eyelets and a thin breathable mesh tongue. Despite only having five eyelets, this shoe does a good job at limiting heel slip issues.
The NOBULL Trainer+ has an internal webbing lacing system with a traditional top eyelet. The bottom four eyelets in this model utilize the internal lacing system while the fifth is a traditional metal eyelet. This model’s tongue is built with a breathable thin mesh as well.
The Nike Metcon 8’s lacing system is also pretty traditional in nature since Nike scrapped the Flywire in this model. The Metcon 8 features five traditional eyelets and a mesh tongue that uses Nike’s lace-lock system towards the top of the tongue.
Insole, Weight, and Heel-to-Toe Drop
All three of these shoes feature thin foam removable insoles. For the most part, these insoles do a pretty good job at being durable and not sliding after months of training in these shoes.
- Nike Metcon 8 Weight and Heel-to-Toe Drop: 12.4 oz (for me size 10 model), 4mm heel-to-toe drop.
- NOBULL Trainer Weight and Heel-to-Toe Drop: 10.7 oz (for my size 10 model), 4mm heel-to-toe drop.
- NOBULL Trainer+ Weight and Heel-to-Toe Drop: 12.7 oz (for my size 10 model), 4mm heel-to-toe drop.
If you have additional questions about any of the construction topics covered above, drop a comment below and I can you out accordingly.
Nike Metcon 8 Vs NOBULL Trainer Vs NOBULL Trainer+ Sizing
When it comes to sizing and fit differences between the Nike Metcon 8, NOBULL Trainer, and NOBULL Trainer+, there are a few details to note and keep in mind. Each shoe has a variance with its sizing and what type of foot anatomies it will work best with.
For a variety of lifters and athletes, going true to size will be the call in these three cross-training shoes. As you get more specific with your sizing needs, the way each shoe will fit will change accordingly and I’ll discuss this below.
- Nike Metcon 8: Go true to size. Wide feet, pass on this model.
- NOBULL Trainer: Go true to size.
- NOBULL Trainer+: Go true to size for neutral and wide feet. Size down a half size for notably narrow feet.
The Nike Metcon 8 has a neutral width and athletic fit to them. I often compare them as feeling similar to cleats in regard to their low-profile boot construction and tapered toe box.
The NOBULL Trainer also has a neutral width but doesn’t taper nearly as aggressively at the toe box as the Nike Metcon 8 does. That’s why I often suggest the NOBULL Trainer over the Metcon 8 for athletes with blockier and flatter feet.
The NOBULL Trainer+ runs a bit longer than both of these shoes and has a higher upper volume. If you need shoes with more of a base or a model for custom orthotics/inserts, then the NOBULL Trainer+ is the way to go.
If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Metcon 8, NOBULL Trainer, and NOBULL Trainer+, or want to know how they compare to other cross-training shoes, drop a comment below.
Nike Metcon 8 Vs NOBULL Trainer Vs NOBULL Trainer+ Durability
When it comes to durability, all of these shoes do a fairly good job for lifting, CrossFit, and cross-training. The NOBULL Trainer, which has remained relatively unchanged for years, tends to last multiple months without showing major signs of breakdown.
The NOBULL Trainer+ is similar to the original NOBULL Trainer in this respect because there are a lot of construction features that carry over between the two. For example, both shoes feature SuperFabric uppers and durable rubber outsoles.
While the Nike Metcon 8 is relatively newer to the market, they do feel a little more durable compared to the Nike Metcon 7. The Nike Metcon 8 is very similar to the Metcon 7, but it’s received a notable change to its upper.
For example, in the Nike Metcon 7, if you were going to experience durability issues it was typically going to be with the chainlink mesh upper around the toe box. The Metcon 8’s upper now has a synthetic overlay that has faired pretty well thus far in my training.
That being said, I think you should be fine with all of these training shoes and their durability if you’re investing in one of them. They all do a good job for CrossFit, and for more recreational training, they should last quite some time.
When it comes to price, the Nike Metcon 8, NOBULL Trainer, and NOBULL Trainer+ all have similar price points. These models all hover between $129 USD to $139 USD.
For the NOBULL Trainer and Nike Metcon 8, you can expect to pay $129 and $130 USD, respectively. The NOBULL Trainer+ is slightly more pricey and costs $139 USD.
I feel as though all of these shoes can be worth their price points if you’re investing in them for their ideal use. They’re all durable cross-training shoes and perform well in the gym.
That being said, there are definitely great budget-friendly training shoes on the market if you’re not interested in paying over $100 USD for a pair of shoes.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:Can you run in NOBULL Trainers?
Q:Is Nike Metcon 8 better than the NOBULL Trainer for CrossFit?
Q:Are NOBULL Trainers more durable then Nike Metcon 8s?
The Nike Metcon 8, NOBULL Trainer, and NOBULL Trainer+ are all pretty strong cross-training shoes. Each of these shoes has its respective list of pros and cons based on what you want out of your training shoes.
The Nike Metcon 8 will be best suited for lifters that plan to use them for CrossFit, heavy lifting, and athletic-style training sessions, while the NOBULL Trainer is a good and consistent model for lifting and CrossFit.
The NOBULL Trainer+ is a good option for those that like to train outdoors and want a durable shoe for CrossFit and cross-training that also has decent motion control.
If you have additional questions on the Nike Metcon 8, NOBULL Trainer, or NOBULL Trainer+, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).
I buy and hand-test every product featured on That Fit Friend. I may earn commissions on sales made through the links on my site. Learn more here.