Home » NOBULL Trainer+ Review | Is the Newer Shoe Really Better?

NOBULL Trainer+ Review | Is the Newer Shoe Really Better?

The NOBULL Trainer+ (Plus) is the latest cross-training and CrossFit shoe from NOBULL. The NOBULL Trainer+ offers a few key construction changes compared to the original NOBULL Trainer. As a fan of the original NOBULL Trainer, I was super excited to see how the NOBULL Trainer+ compared in the gym.

Overall, the NOBULL Trainer+ has performed fairly strong in all of my cross-training, lifting, and CrossFit tests. I like the increased width in this model and that the reworked outsole provides this shoe with better traction on a variety of surfaces. There are a couple of cons that come along with the NOBULL Trainer+ which I’ll discuss below.

In the NOBULL Trainer+ review, I’m going to cover a variety of topics to help you decide if this cross-training shoe is a good model for your training wants and needs.

 

Looking for new cross-training shoes? Check out my TF2 Cross-Training Shoe Finder. This calculator matches you with shoes that I’ve reviewed that work best in the context of your training wants and needs.

Who Should Invest In the NOBULL Trainer+?

The NOBULL Trainer+ is a pretty good shoe for the recreational lifter and CrossFit athlete. This shoe features a lot of construction similarities to the original NOBULL Trainer with a few key updates. For starters, the Trainer+ has a thicker midsole which increases this model’s overall comfort slightly.

Additionally, this model has been designed to be slightly wider and it has more forefoot and midfoot volume to accommodate custom inserts. Compared to the NOBULL Trainer, I think NOBULL Trainer+ will work for a wider range of foot anatomies.

NOBULL Trainer Plus shoe review

The reworked outsole is also a nice touch for making this shoe a better choice for outdoor training sessions.

If you love NOBULL shoes and you want something that’s a bit more comfortable than the original NOBULL Trainer, then the NOBULL Trainer+ can be a good cross-training shoe to look into.

NOBULL Trainer+

$139

NOBULL Trainer Plus
4.5
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • Cross-Training Style Workouts
  • CrossFit
  • Recreational Lifting

Falls Short

  • For Versatile Training
  • For Cost-Efficiency

 

NOBULL Trainer+ Pros

For cross-training, lifting, and CrossFit, the NOBULL Trainer+ has a few key pros that make it a fairly solid shoe choice for the context of these activities.

  1. Reworked Outsole Provides More Grip
  2. Good Durability and Stability for CrossFit
  3. Wider Construction With More Volume

The first thing to like about the NOBULL Trainer+ is its reworked outsole construction. This model features a herringbone lug patterning throughout the entirety of its outsole and this tread pattern provides a nice level of grip on different surfaces. Whether you’re training on rubber gym floors, wooden platforms, outdoors, or on turf, you should have no issues with traction.

NOBULL Trainer Plus outsole construction

Additionally, I like that this outsole extends and wraps over the entirety of the toe box. This helps provide this shoe with more traction than the NOBULL Trainer for certain activities and it helps increase this shoe’s overall durability for things like burpees. The medial and lateral midfoot wraps are also a nice touch for rope climbs.

The second aspect to like is that overall the NOBULL Trainer+ provides a good amount of durability and stability for CrossFit, lifting, and cross-training. I think most lifters and athletes won’t have an issue with how this shoe performs in these contexts. The midsole, despite being thicker, was able to easily accommodate my deadlifts at 455 lbs and cleans at 245 lbs.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for crossfit

On top of their stability, the SuperFabric upper does a good job at abrasion resistance to prolong this shoe’s durability for CrossFit workouts. Upper durability is often not an issue you hear a lot about in the original NOBULL Trainer and with its similar upper construction build and reworked outsole wrap, the NOBULL Trainer+ provides a good amount of durability.

The last thing to like about the NOBULL Trainer+ is that NOBULL reworked the last construction slightly in this model. Compared to the NOBULL Trainer, the Trainer+ now has a slightly wider construction which could make this a good shoe to look into for anyone with slightly wider feet.

NOBULL Trainer Plus sizing

In addition, this Trainer+ also has a bit more volume in the forefoot and midfoot. This is good news for athletes that use thicker custom inserts and insoles. It basically gives you more wiggle room with this shoe’s upper without it feeling like it’s suffocating your feet.

NOBULL Trainer+ Cons

Over the course of testing and training, I’ve found a few cons and potential drawbacks with the NOBULL Trainer+.

  1. Can Feel Blocky for Some Workouts
  2. Toe Spring Can Impact Some Exercises

The first potential drawback I could see others having with the NOBULL Trainer+ is that it can feel a little blocky and heavy at times due to increased stack height. While I can appreciate the effort NOBULL took to make this shoe more comfortable and accommodating by changing its midsole, I feel like it still could use a little reworking.

NOBULL Trainer Plus midsole construction

For example, the thicker midsole in the NOBULL Trainer+ can feel a little heavy for plyometrics and when you’re doing lateral work the thicker nature of the midsole can feel a little blocky. I think if they reduced the thickness a little bit, then this midsole would deliver a much more rounded performance while also increasing this shoe’s comfort.

The second potential drawback with this shoe and this also stems from our first point is that the toe spring in the NOBULL Trainer+ is not the greatest. With its thicker midsole and additional toe box outsole wraps, I found it pretty tough to ground my toes in certain exercises like deadlifts, RDLS, kettlebell swings, and cleans.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for lifting and toe spring

I don’t think this aspect will impact the majority of training that most lifters and athletes will be using these shoes for. However, I think it’s important to note this construction aspect, especially for those who love having a flatter or more grounded shoe that doesn’t have a tendency to rock or leave the toes floating when lifting.

Performance

To discuss the performance of the NOBULL Trainer+, I’m going to break down how these perform in a variety of training contexts. This can hopefully help you better contextualize if the NOBULL Trainer+ is a good pick for your training context.

NOBULL Trainer Plus Performance Overview

NOBULL Trainer+ for CrossFit and Lifting

The NOBULL Trainer+ is an overall good shoe for lifting and CrossFit. In the context of lifting, the EVA foam midsole in this model provides a good amount of stability for recreational lifting. For deadlifts up to 455 lbs, the stability in this shoe was solid and for moderately loaded cleans they also worked really well.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for lifting and CrossFit

 

Two main drawbacks to this shoe for lifting is the increase in stack height may change biomechanics slightly for some exercises and toe spring isn’t the best in this shoe when the goal is grounding the feet.

For CrossFit, the NOBULL Trainer+ performs similarly to the NOBULL Trainer and it does a good job matching the demands of most CrossFit workouts. The SuperFabric upper gives this shoe a durable build and the midsole and outsole construction also do a fairly good job at walking a fine line between being stable and versatile.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for crossfit and lifting

NOBULL Trainer+ for Classes, HIIT Training, and Versatile Training

For classes, HIIT training, and versatile training the NOBULL Trainer+ do a pretty good job. There are things to like about this shoe’s performance in these contexts and there are also a couple of drawbacks. For example, I think the reworked outsole tread is great for multi-directional activities and plyometrics where you’re working to explode through the balls of the feet.

The reworked midsole also provides a bit more comfort for bounding activities, landings, and longer sessions compared to the NOBULL Trainer. The drawbacks with this shoe for this context revolve around its weight and stack height.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for versatile training

I think at times the NOBULL Trainer+ can feel a bit heavy and I noticed this most when doing unilateral plyometrics. Plus, the higher stack height can be hit or miss for stability and balance especially if you’re someone who likes having a “low-to-the-ground” feeling when jumping and doing explosive work.

NOBULL Trainer+ for Running and Daily Wear

The NOBULL Trainer+ will work for short runs, but it’s not going to provide the most comfortable ride for mid-range and long-distance runs. Compared to the NOBULL Trainer, I do like the Trainer+ for providing a slightly more responsive ride, but even then, this shoe’s blocky midsole makes it not the best option for running.

NOBULL Trainer Plus for running and daily wear

I think if you’re tackling shorter runs that are programmed in WODs or using these for a casual mile before or after your workout, then they should be fine. However, do note, they will be limited overall with their running performance.

On a daily wear basis, the NOBULL Trainer+ works pretty well. Their upper and outsole construction help feed into daily wear durability and they protect the shoe from outdoor elements like moisture and dirt. The thicker midsole also helps give this shoe a slightly more casual and comfortable fit and feel.

NOBULL Trainer+ Vs NOBULL Trainer

The NOBULL Trainer+ and NOBULL Trainer have some core construction similarities along with some major differences. For example, the upper and branding in each model remain relatively unchanged. Both shoes have a SuperFabric upper with similar branding on the heel, lateral heel, and tongue.

NOBULL Trainer versus nobull trainer plus

The first major difference between the NOBULL Trainer+ and NOBULL Trainer is their midsole constructions. The Trainer+ features a thicker EVA foam midsole that is designed to increase overall comfort. The NOBULL Trainer has a high-density foam midsole that is slightly thinner in nature with a bit more stability.

The second major difference is the outsole construction used on both models. The NOBULL Trainer+ features a herringbone lug construction that wraps over the toe and medial and lateral midfoot. The Trainer features a standard lug pattern with an additional wrap that doesn’t extend up the midsole to the same degree as the Trainer+.

NOBULL Trainer versus nobull trainer plus performance

Another subtle difference is the lacing system and style used in each shoe. The Trainer+ has an internal webbing system for its laces that help provide the foot with a locked-down feeling. In the NOBULL Trainer, there’s a traditional lacing system with metal eyelets.

The final subtle difference between the Trainer+ and Trainer is how they fit in regard to their width and volume. The NOBULL Trainer+ has a slightly wider last construction and it has a bit more volume through the forefoot and midfoot.

NOBULL Trainer versus nobull trainer plus construction

Compared to the NOBULL Trainer, I like this change for anyone with a wider foot or with custom inserts and insoles. The NOBULL Trainer could be a little limiting at times for those who use custom inserts due to their lacking volume.

Takeaway Thoughts: Personally, I think the NOBULL Trainer is a stronger model across the board, but the Trainer+ does have some niche construction changes that may make it a better shoe for some athletes and lifters.

NOBULL Trainer

$129

NOBULL Trainers
4.6
Stability
4.7
Versatility
4.4
Durability
4.7

Best For

  • CrossFit-Style Training
  • Lifting
  • Daily Wear
  • Casual Classes and HIIT

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Plyometrics and Athletic Training

 

NOBULL Trainer+ Sizing

For the NOBULL Trainer+, you should be safe going true-to-size in this model. Compared to the NOBULL Trainer, the Trainer+ has a little bit more volume throughout the forefoot and midfoot which could help it serve as a better shoe for those who have customer inserts and insoles.

The length of this shoe fits true and they have what I would describe as a neutral width. There is a little bit of arch support in this model, but not a lot.

  • NOBULL Trainer+ Sizing Thoughts: Go true-to-size.

NOBULL Trainer Plus Sizing and Fit

If you have additional sizing and fit questions on the NOBULL Trainer+ or how they fit compared to other NOBULL shoes, drop a comment below.

Price Breakdown

For the NOBULL Trainer+, you can expect to pay $139 USD. This is a $10 USD price increase from the original NOBULL Trainer. To be honest, I’m not sold that the increase in price is worth it for the Trainer+.

Personally, I don’t think there are enough construction changes that make this shoe exceptionally better than the normal NOBULL Trainer to warrant the higher price.

NOBULL Trainer+

$139

NOBULL Trainer Plus
4.5
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.5
Durability
4.6

Best For

  • Cross-Training Style Workouts
  • CrossFit
  • Recreational Lifting

Falls Short

  • For Versatile Training
  • For Cost-Efficiency

 

Construction Details

The NOBULL Trainer+ has received a few key core construction updates compared to its NOBULL Trainer peer. This model as a whole though also has a lot of similarities with the original NOBULL Trainer.

Below are some of the biggest and most notable construction callouts that influence the NOBULL Trainer+’s performance and durability.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.7 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • SuperFabric Upper
  • EVA Foam Midsole
  • Thicker EVA Midsole
  • Herringbone Outsole Lug Pattern
  • Perforated Tongue
  • Reflective NOBULL Branding

If you have additional questions on the NOBULL Trainer+’s construction, drop a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Is the NOBULL Trainer Plus good for CrossFit?

A:
The NOBULL Trainer Plus is an all-around pretty cross-training shoe for CrossFit. This model provides a good amount of stability for lifting and enough durability to withstand the asks of most CrossFit workouts.

Q:
Can you run in the NOBULL Trainer Plus?

A:
The NOBULL Trainer Plus is an okay shoe for short runs that are programmed in WODs. For mid-range and long-distance runs, the Trainer Plus will fall short due to its weight and stable construction.

Takeaway Thoughts

The NOBULL Trainer+ is designed to provide athletes and lifters with a cross-training shoe that delivers more comfort cushion compared to the popular NOBULL Trainer. As a whole, this shoe is okay, but there are definitely areas where I think it could be improved.

If you’re on the fence between the NOBULL Trainer+ and the NOBULL Trainer, then I would lean toward opting for the regular Trainer.

If you have additional questions on the NOBULL Trainer+, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly). 

nv-author-image

Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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