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NOBULL Impact High-Top Review | Better Than Converse and Vans?

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The NOBULL Impact High-Top is a continuation of the popular Impact shoe line. This model features a thicker EVA foam midsole with the classic NOBULL SuperFabric upper and high-top boot.

As a lifter on the never-ending quest to find the best NOBULL shoes, I was super excited to buy and test the NOBULL Impact High-Top to the test. I’m also someone who loves training in high-top shoes, so if you’re similar this review is for you.

The NOBULL High-Top Trainer+ is a shoe that will be an acquired taste. If you want a training shoe for lifting, casual cross-training, and daily wear then I think you’ll enjoy the NOBULL High-Top Trainer+.

Report Card: Get the Quick Facts

NOBULL High-Top Trainer+

NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus Quick Facts

Price: $149 USD

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm

Width: Medium

Pros

  1. These are great for lifters that want a high-top shoe for working out that have a little more range.
  2. The thicker EVA foam midsole gives this model more comfort from walking and daily wear contexts compared to the High-Top Trainer.
  3. The SuperFabric upper is easy to clean and it’s pretty durable for general abrasion resistance in the gym and from day-to-day life.

Cons

  1. The thicker midsole can feel clunky at times and it’s not going to give you a “minimalist” feel if that’s what you’re after.
  2. The upper can run pretty hot at times so if you often suffer from hot feet, you won’t get a lot of breathability from these.
  3. These aren’t necessarily going to be the “best in class” for any singular workout. They’re much better served as a hybrid shoe for daily wear and training.

Who Should Buy the NOBULL Impact High-Top?

The NOBULL Impact High-Top will be a good training shoe for lifters and athletes who like training in high-top shoes that offer a little more ankle support and a thicker midsole. However, this shoe is an acquired taste, in my opinion.

NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus

In the context of traditional high-top shoes used for lifting, this model reminds me more of a Sk8-Hi from Vans than a Converse Chuck Taylor All-Star. However, the High-Top Impact gives you a little more range, which is good for cross-training workouts.

If you’re like me and enjoy working out in your high-top Vans but wish they offered a little more versatility for a CrossFit WOD or cross-training sessions here and there, then I could see the High-Top Impact being a great option to look into.

Me Lifting With the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus

I also think this shoe will be great for anyone wanting a training shoe that performs well for daily wear and training. This shoe has a clean appearance and can be dressed up relatively easily (I’m writing this in my local coffee shop in jeans while wearing these shoes).

Outside of looking good, this model is also easy to clean which makes it a good option for weathering the day-to-day and then tackling workouts seamlessly with one shoe.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the NOBULL Impact High-Top?

While I like the dual-functionality of this shoe for daily wear and training, I don’t think this will be a training shoe that is “best in class” in any one performance category.

For example, these shoes won’t be the perfect CrossFit shoes due to their heaviness and lack of sole flexibility. They’ll fall short for WODs that include running, and their boot construction can feel limiting for certain lower-body exercises when laced fully up.

NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus Midsole

To add to this limitation, the thick and clunky midsole will limit this shoe’s ability to feel super “athletic” for serious cross-training, HIIT workouts, and athletic-style workouts.

Essentially, I like these shoes, but I don’t think you should invest in them with the hopes they’ll be the “best” on the market for specific training needs. They’re much better as a hybrid daily wear and training shoe.

NOBULL Impact High-Top

$149

NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus Product Shot
4.4
Stability
4.4
Versatility
4.3
Durability
4.5

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Casual Cross-Traning
  • CrossFit WODs
  • Daily Wear
  • High-Top Lovers

Falls Short

  • For Minimalist Lovers
  • For Breathability
  • For Exceptionally Wide Feet

https://thatfitfriend.com/best-flat-shoes-lifting/NOBULL Impact High-Top Pros

  1. Great Training Shoes for Daily Wear
  2. Good High-Top Option for Training
  3. EVA Midsole Is Pretty Comfortable

The first thing to like about this shoe is how well they work for day-to-day wear. In my opinion, these shoes look good and that contributes to the range in which they can be worn.

I like that you can easily clean the SuperFabric upper, so if you want a shoe for commuting — even in inclement weather — then wearing to the gym, you should be fine doing so with this model because they’re easy to wipe down.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus for Walking

The thicker herringbone lugs also provide great traction on different surfaces and prolong this shoe’s lifespan. For example, the NOBULL Impact features the same outsole build as this model, and my pair has lasted quite a while.

Another thing that I’ve enjoyed with this shoe is their performance in the gym. These are high-top shoes that will give you more range than something like a Vans Sk8-Hi and Chuck Taylor All-Star.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus for Weightlifting

I’ve enjoyed my experiences in this shoe when doing things like deadlifting over 400 lbs, hang cleaning 225 lbs, and doing box jumps. They provide a nice blend of stability and versatility for lifting and casual cross-training.

If you’re someone who likes to blend lifting with some athletic-style training or plyometrics, then the Impact High-Top can make sense from a performance context. These shoes will be best for individuals who want them for a heavy lifting bias.

Me Jumping With the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus

The last thing to like about the NOBULL High-Top Trainer+ is that its EVA midsole provides a little more comfort compared to the traditional Outwork High-Top .

This shoe feels relatively easy to wear all day and I credit most of this to its thicker EVA midsole. To provide context here, I’ve used these shoes on multiple 3-5 mile dog walks and for full days of travel and have enjoyed their comfort.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus

 If you’re on your feet all day and want a high-top shoe to train in that looks good and has a nice level of comfort, the NOBULL High-Top Trainer+ could be worth exploring.

NOBULL Impact High-Top Cons

  1. Midsole Can Feel Heavy and Clunky
  2. Not the “Best” Training Shoes On the Market
  3. May Feel Limiting for Exceptionally Wide Feet

The first drawback that I have with this model is that the thicker EVA midsole does come with a clunky fit and feel. These will NOT be the training shoe that gives you a minimalist or barefoot shoe-like feeling.

If you want a lower stack height and a NOBULL shoe for training, then I’d suggest looking into the normal High-Top Trainer. Its midsole is about 1/2 to 2/3 the thickness of the Impact High-Top, giving it a closer-to-the-ground feel.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus Midsole and Stack Height

Another drawback that I have with the NOBULL Impact High-Top, which I mentioned above in my “shouldn’t buy” section, is that I’d go into this shoe understanding that it may not be the one-stop-shop best trainer on the market.

I think there will be athletes who thoroughly enjoy this shoe like myself, but I still wouldn’t call them the best for lifting, cross-training, CrossFit, and hybrid training, for example. I try to keep this shoe’s niche construction in mind when considering this.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus for Cross Training

Their heavy feel, clunkier sole, and lack of breathability are a few of the reasons why I knock this shoe’s performance when putting them head-to-head with other high-performing training shoes.

The final drawback that I have with the Impact High-Top is that its width may lack for wide feet. If you’ve tried NOBULL shoes before and they didn’t work for your feet, then I wouldn’t get your hopes up with this model.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus Outsole

If you have notably wide feet (E/EE or wider), then you may want to explore cross-training shoes for wide feet that have a bit more width through the midfoot and toe box.

Performance Assessment

Testing the NOBULL Impact High-Top for Lifting

When it comes to lifting, I’ve enjoyed this shoe more than I thought I would. This shoe feels nearly identical to the NOBULL Trainer+ regarding stability but with an increased level of ankle support.

For static strength exercises like barbell deadlifts and machine work, this shoe did a good job of providing me with stability and traction. The midsole didn’t compress when working over 400 lbs and the rubber outsole has great traction.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus for deadlifts

I also like that you can wear this shoe loose or tighten the top eyelets for additional ankle support. If I’m going through a bodybuilding day, then I’ll rarely lace up and tighten my Impact High-Top, and I like that performance doesn’t tank when you don’t do this.

Outside of its stability and grip, I also like that the upper does a good job of locking down the foot. I don’t think this will be a trainer where you feel like you’re sliding around in them or lacking upper security when lifting.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus for Weight Training

My only gripe with this shoe for lifting is that the boot can feel a tad limiting regarding ankle mobility when you lace them all the way up. Their boot isn’t as malleable as something like the canvas used in Converse High-Top shoes, for example.

Testing the NOBULL Impact High-Top for Cross-Training

For cross-training, versatile workouts, and the occasional CrossFit WOD, this shoe does an okay job for the most part. This shoe’s midsole is responsive and comfortable enough for easy-to-moderate plyometrics like box jumps and skater strides.

I also think this shoe’s toe spring, while not ideal for certain lifting scenarios, helps feed into this model’s versatility. It feels easy to get up on and drive through the forefoot in these shoes when propelling yourself forward or laterally.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus for Sled Pushes

The upper security is also a nice perk of this shoe for cross-training. The SuperFabric doesn’t stretch out over time and I don’t think you’ll have issues with spillover in this model whatsoever.

For CrossFit, this model performs best in WODs that have a main focus on lifting with lower-volume conditioning work. In my opinion, these shoes will work well enough for most lifters for rope climbs.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus for CrossFit

As you get more intense with your cross-training and athletic-style work, I do think the lack of flexibility can be a knock on this shoe for most athletes. These shoes don’t do the best job of letting the foot articulate and do its thing.

Testing the NOBULL Impact High-Top for Daily Wear

On a daily wear basis, I’ve really enjoyed my experiences in the NOBULL High-Top Trainer+ and that’s for three key reasons. First, I like that this shoe can take a beating without breaking down excessively fast.

This shoe does well with abrasion resistance from surfaces like concrete and its outsole has a fairly deep tread patterning so it shouldn’t fade too quickly on you.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus for Walking and Daily Wear

Second, the fact that it’s super easy to clean the SuperFabric upper is a nice subtle perk. This material is more rigid than traditional mesh and textiles used in most training shoes and it doesn’t hold dirt and grime to the same extent.

Third and lastly, I like that you can wear this shoe in a wide range of settings. It looks casual for doing things like running errands, but also formal enough to dress up with jeans and pants.

My Experience In the NOBULL High-Top Trainer+ Summary

My Lifting Experiences With This Shoe

I’d give this shoe an 8.4/10 in the gym for casual and heavy lifting. It does a good job with recreational strength work and it should work for most individuals that want a high-top shoe.

Here are some of the lifting tests I did with them with my thoughts.

  • 225 lb power and hang clean complex: Good stability, but has some toe spring.
  • 405 lb deadlifts: Nice stability, stack height is a tad high.
  • 75 lb rear-foot elevated split squats: Great ankle support.
  • 135 lb pendulum squat: Good traction and stability.

My Versatile Training Experiences With This Shoe

For versatile workouts, I’d give this shoe a strong 7.9/10. It does a good job for the most part but its lack of breathability and more rigid boot (when laced) can feel limiting at times.

Here are some of the lifting tests I did with them with my thoughts.

  • Box jumps: Moderate comfort and responsiveness.
  • 100 lb dumbbell snatches: Good security and stability.
  • Kettlebell swings: Decent, but toe spring can be a little jarring at first.
  • Sled pushes: Great outsole traction.

NOBULL Impact High-Top Sizing

When it comes to sizing the NOBULL Impact High-Top, most lifters and athletes should be safe going true to size in this model. Their length runs true and they have a medium width.

Based on most company’s sizing charts, my foot hovers between a medium to wide width and I found this shoe to fit my feet just fine. To prevent this shoe from feeling too snug, I’ll typically wear thin, no-show socks.

Me Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus Sizing

If you have a narrow, medium, or slightly wide foot, then you should enjoy this shoe’s fit. That being said, as a reminder, notably wide feet may want to pass on this shoe due to its slightly aggressive toe box taper.

  • NOBULL Impact High-Top Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.

NOBULL High-Top Trainer Plus Sizing and Fit Assessment

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the NOBULL High-Top Trainer+, drop a comment below and I can help you size your pair accordingly.

Construction Details

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 14.85 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • SuperFabric Upper
  • Herringbone Lugs
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • External Heel Tab
  • EVA Foam Midsole
  • 8 Core Eyelets

Takeaway Thoughts

I think the NOBULL Impact High-Top is an acquired taste in the gym and on the feet. However, these can be a great option for lifters who want a high-top shoe that gives them more range in the gym.

This shoe feels more comfortable than the traditional NOBULL Outwork High-Top, and they’ve proven to be decent performers in the gym for all of my tests.

There are a few drawbacks to note with this shoe so I’d make sure you understand what exactly you’re getting with this model before investing in them.

If you have additional questions about this shoe, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

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