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NOBULL High-Top Trainer Review (2024)

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As I update this article in 2024, I’m looking at my 2-year-old NOBULL High-Top Trainers on my feet and reflecting on how far my training has come in them. This model holds a special place in my heart for a few reasons.

For example, the NOBULL High-Top Trainer was the first model I wore to squat 200kg/440 lbs and they were the first pair of NOBULL shoes I ever bought. Yep, I started with the high-top model before grabbing the OG NOBULL Trainer.

I love high-top shoes for training and casual wear, so the NOBULL High-Top Trainer has been a model that I regularly keep in rotation. This shoe’s stability in the gym is great for lifting and it’s versatile enough for some cross-training sessions.

Despite my love for this model, there are some limitations to keep in mind with the NOBULL High-Top Trainer and occasions where I’ll pass on this shoe — I’ll share more on those below.

NOBULL High-Top Trainer At a Glance

The NOBULL High-Top Trainer is a great option for lifters and athletes who want high-top shoes for training that have a bit more versatility. For example, high-top Vans and Converse have traditionally lacked in the gym for versatility.

The High-Top Trainer will primarily work best for lifting and sessions where you’re blending lifting with some cross-training. For example, if you’re squatting then doing some explosive work this shoe can work well.

This shoe is also great for walking and daily wear for high-top lovers. The SuperFabric is easy to clean and it tends to be resilient to most types of weather. For casual wear and lifting, it’s tough to fault this shoe’s performance.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.2 oz (size 10 men’s)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Width: Regular/Medium

NOBULL High-Top Trainer

$139

NOBULL High-Top Trainer
4.3
Stability
4.6
Versatility
3.9
Durability
4.5
Quality
4.3

Best For

  • Heavy Lifting
  • Day-to-Day Wear
  • Long-Term Durability

Falls Short

  • For Versatile Training
  • For Running
  • For Cost-Efficiency

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NOBULL High-Top Trainer Pros

Pro 1: Good Overall Durability

The first aspect that I like about the NOBULL High-Top Trainer is its overall durability. The Superfabric upper is resistant to abrasion in the gym which prolongs this trainer’s life as a whole.

In addition, it’s fairly easy to clean and wipe down, so if your pair ever gets dirty you can clean them without worrying about the water causing early breakdown. This is also why I’ll typically opt for my High-Top Trainer in inclement weather.

Pro 2: Good Stability for Lifting

Another pro that comes along with the NOBULL High-Top Trainer is how stable the midsole and outsole are. If you want this model for strength work specifically, then I think you’ll enjoy the stability they provide.

They have a 4mm heel-to-toe drop and I’ve competed in powerlifting in my pair (squatting up to 440 lbs) and didn’t notice much compression whatsoever. If you want a versatile high-top shoe for lifting these can be a great option.

I also like that the stack height isn’t super aggressive in this model like it is in the NOBULL High-Top Trainer+. For deadlifts and lower body days, the High-Top Trainer does a really good job.

Using the NOBULL High Top Trainer for Powerlifting

Rocked these for my first squat of 200kg!

Pro 3: Great Daily Wear Trainer

The final perk that comes along with the NOBULL High-Top Trainer is how it can be worn on a day-to-day basis with relative ease. Not every pair of cross-training shoes looks good on a day-to-day wear basis when not rocking gym clothes.

While beauty is obviously in the eye of the beholder, I love how the High-Top Trainer looks when wearing jeans and casually. If you’re a fan of high-top shoes and want a pair of shoes with range for casual wear and gym use these are great.

NOBULL High-Top Trainer Cons

Con 1: Not the Easiest to Get On

The first common complaint that you’ll see from others in the NOBULL High-Top Trainer is that it’s not the easiest to get on. When breaking this shoe in, you’re going to need to likely unlace them 2-3 eyelets to get them on.

This isn’t the biggest deal and it doesn’t impact performance, however, it can be slightly annoying. If your feet are sweaty or if you have thick feet — forget about it. You’re in for a battle every time you wear these and I wish you good luck.

Con 2: Versatility Can Be Somewhat Limited

As with most high-top training shoes, the NOBULL High-Top Trainer will have some limitations when it comes to their versatility. For example, these won’t be the best trainers for hybrid workouts and things like HIIT and classes.

When fully laced, I’ve found that the higher boot can feel a tad limiting at times, especially when it comes to achieving a full range of motion at the ankle. If you’re tackling leg workouts or plyometrics then you may want to keep your shoe a little looser.

NOBULL High-Top Trainer Performance

For the performance of the NOBULL High-Top Trainer, I’m going to break my thoughts below into three sections including lifting, agility/plyometric training, and day-to-day wear/shorter runs.

NOBULL High-Top Trainer Performance

Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer for Lifting

Where I think the NOBULL High-Top Trainer excels the most is in lifting settings. The midsole and outsole are both plenty stable and the 4mm heel-to-toe drop promotes your ability to feel grounded in this model.

When it comes to stability and lifters asking, I always like to make the joke about Kevin Oak squatting 700+ lbs for reps in his High-Top Trainers. For most lifters, I wouldn’t stress stability when lifting whatsoever.

I’ve used my High-Top Trainer for powerlifting competitions and have personally squatted up to 440 lbs in my pair with no issues whatsoever. I like the platform of this model and how well the outsole grips in different lifting settings.

nobull high top trainer for versatile training

The lower stack height of this shoe is also great for exercises like deadlifts. I’ve pulled over 530 lbs in my pair and have enjoyed the additional ankle support they provided.

If you like high-top shoes for lifting and you’re tired of your traditional Converse Chuck Taylors then I think the NOBULL High-Top Trainer can be a really good option to look into.

Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer for Versatile Training

From a versatility standpoint, this model is “okay”. I think it will get the job done for most recreational functional fitness athletes and lifters, but it does feel slightly limiting at times due to the higher boot construction.

If you lace this model up and tighten it, then you may notice that your dorsiflexion feels slightly limited. This is due to the high boot and thicker upper which does somewhat limit forward knee translation during these activities.

NOBULL High-Top Trainer Construction

I think before you invest in any high-top shoes for versatile training it’s worth acknowledging that they usually come with limitations. The NOBULL High-Top Trainer is no different.

The upper isn’t the most breathable and it can feel a tad heavy at times. Granted, I’d take the High-Top Trainer over the GORUCK Ballistic Trainer Mid-Tops for versatile training, but it still doesn’t compare to low-top models.

Testing the NOBULL High-Top Trainer for Short Runs and Walking

For shorter runs, this model can technically get the job done, but it’s not the best for running. The higher boot feels somewhat limiting and the firm outsole and midsole are not the most responsive in running settings.

On a day-to-day basis, I enjoy this model. It’s durable and fairly comfortable so you can wear it out and about to run errands or casually. Another perk is that this trainer looks fairly good in clothes that are not specifically gym-focused.

I also like that this shoe is easy to clean. These are the trainers I wear when it’s raining and I’m going to lift. They’re good puddle stompers that are resilient in most climates.

NOBULL High-Top Trainer Sizing

  • NOBULL High-Top Trainer Sizing Thoughts: True to size.

In the NOBULL High-Top Trainer, most athletes and lifters should be fairly safe going true to size. The length of this shoe runs true and they have a regular or mid-width.

If you currently wear NOBULL training shoes or models like the Nike Metcon, then I’d suggest sticking with the same size that you normally go with this shoe.

nobull trainer vs nobull high top trainer

My One Sizing and Fit Concern…

Okay, this is probably a very niche complaint, but one issue I constantly have with my NOBULL High-Top Trainer is that they can be a huge pain to get on and off the feet.

This is a model that you’ll have to unlace every time you want to wear them — which I know isn’t the biggest deal — but it can be annoying at times. If you have thicker and wider feet this can be even more annoying.

If you have additional questions about the sizing of the NOBULL High-Top Trainer, drop a comment below and let me know what shoe you currently wear and in what size.

Who Should Buy the NOBULL High-Top Trainer?

  • The lifter and athlete who loves high-top shoes and wants a pair primarily for lifting with some cross-training and CrossFit sprinkled in. This shoe’s performance biases lifting.
  • The athlete who wants a high-top shoe for wearing casually and to the gym. This is one of my favorite shoes to wear out and about then go train in due to their cross-functionality for lifting and casual wear.
  • The lifter who wants a good shoe to beat up in inclement weather that will last a while. The SuperFabric upper makes this shoe easy to clean and it lasts a while. My pair is 2+ years old at this point and I regularly rotate them with other shoes.

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

  • If you want a shoe solely for cross-training and need the most versatility possible, then I’d pass on this shoe because it will have some limitations there.
  • If your feet tend to run hot, then you may also want to pass on this shoe. The SuperFabric upper doesn’t have the best ventilation and for this reason, I’ll typically wear mine loose to help with this.

Construction Details

As for this shoe’s construction, some love the simplicity that comes along with NOBULL Trainers, however, that’s not always a hit for others.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.2 oz (size 10 men’s)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • High-Density Midsole
  • Lug-Pattern Outsole Construction
  • Perforated Mesh Tongue
  • Superfabric Upper
  • NOBULL Branding On Lateral Posterior Heel
  • 8 Core Eyelets

Truthfully, there are not that many construction frills that go into the NOBULL High-Top Trainer.

Final Verdict

I like my NOBULL High-Top Trainers and think they’re a good model for anyone who wants to lift heavy and likes high-top shoes. This model’s dense midsole and durable upper give them a nice dynamic feeling for training.

Will this be the best training shoe for every type of training? Not necessarily and they have their limitations, but if you go into this understanding that then I think you’ll enjoy them.

If you have questions about this model regarding if it’s right for you drop a comment below and I can answer whatever you have!

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

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.

6 thoughts on “NOBULL High-Top Trainer Review (2024)”

  1. Hey Jake, wondering how you find doing calf raises in this shoe? Limiting? Can you just loosen them a bit? I do calves three times a week and don’t really want to take a different pair of shoes to the gym just for that exercise. Thanks!

  2. Hey, so I’ve been running in these Nobull hightop trainers, and before that was running in Reebok nanos. Not just short runs, sometimes up to 6 miles. I don’t mind running on the harder trainer, but I did recently slightly tweak an Achilles, probably combination of the trainers with putting in too much mileage too quickly. Because of this I figured I should transition to an actual running shoe for running. I have never liked running in super cushy with a very thick sole and a lot of construction. My question is what are a couple pairs of shoes what you recommend for someone who likes to run in trainers but needs to start running with runners? Sort of a transition shoe if you will. I was reading a few of your reviews, and the ripstops seemed to jump out but I am not fully sure so figured I would reach out, thanks!

    1. Ripstops are pretty solid! The Runner+ and mesh runners are meh at best. You can also look into something like the Reebok Floatride Energy 3, it’s a good budget-friendly running shoe and the Inov-8 F-Lite Fly G 295 for something a bit more firm, but still running friendly!

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