Skip to content
Home » Cross Training Shoes

NOBULL Outwork Review (2024 Update) | Worth It Or Dated?

That Fit Friend is supported by its readers. I [Jake Boly] run this site myself and buy the gear I review. If you purchase through my site, I may earn commissions on sales, read more here!

Testing the NOBULL Trainer for Lifting

The NOBULL Outwork is a tried-and-true cross-training shoe that has stood the test of time. Since its debut in 2015, it has remained relatively unchanged.

For CrossFit athletes everywhere, this consistency is often seen as a good or bad thing. Athletes know exactly what they’re getting with NOBULL Outwork, but if they’re lost on you, then their lack of innovation will be a miss.

Throughout my lifting career, I’ve constantly rotated the Outwork into my training. I also love the Outwork High-Top for lifting and daily wear, but the low-top model has been one of my go-to’s for Crossfit-style training.

NOBULL Outwork

$129

NOBULL Trainers
4.2
Stability
4.5
Versatility
3.8
Durability
4.5
Quality
4.2

Best For

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

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Plyometrics and Athletic Training

My NOBULL Outwork Summary

The Outwork is built for lifting, CrossFit, and cross-training, and this is a shoe that I would describe as “consistent”. This shoe’s midsole has a denser and consistent feel no matter what type of workout you’re doing.

For CrossFit and lifting, this shoe tends to be pretty durable from a long-term use standpoint. There are one-off cases where I’ve heard of shoes breaking down fast, but based on my testing and a majority of the community most models last a while.

I also think you’ll enjoy this shoe if you plan to wear your model a lot for casual wear. The SuperFabric upper is abrasion-resistant and it’s relatively easy to clean which is great for walking and running errands, especially in inclement weather.

Pros

  1. Midsole is stable for heavy strength training.
  2. SuperFabric upper has good long-term durability.
  3. Rubber outsole has good traction for different training contexts.
  4. Consistent fit and feel for athletes who love using the same models over and over again.
  5. Decent training shoe option for flatter feet.
  6. Good option for daily wear in inclement weather (upper is easy to clean).

Cons

  1. Not great for runs over 1 mile in length.
  2. Exceptionally wide feet may feel limited in these.
  3. SuperFabric upper can feel hot for daily wear/all-day use.
  4. The lack of innovation can be a drawback for some.

NOBULL Outwork Specs to Know

  • Price: $129
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 10.7 oz (size 10 men’s)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Width: Medium/Standard
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Comparable to BP Savage 1: Read My Review

On the market for new cross-training shoes? Try out my TF2 Cross-Training Shoe Calculator. This calculator matches you with the best models for your needs that I’ve personally reviewed!

Who Should Buy the NOBULL Outwork?

The NOBULL Trainer is an acquired taste and across all of my testing, I’ve found a couple of settings where I think this shoe works exceptionally well.

1. You Do CrossFit and Lift Heavy

The NOBULL Outwork is a solid cross-training shoe for the athlete and lifter who regularly tackles CrossFit workouts and heavy lifting. This trainer’s upper construction is durable so it’s great at resisting abrasion from things like rope climbs and burpees.

The midsole is plenty stable and you can train plenty heavy in them without compression issues. I’ve even used my Outwork for a powerlifting competition and had no issue squatting 440 lbs in them.

If you’re looking for a consistent shoe that works well for CrossFit and heavy workouts, the NOBULL Outwork is a good option.

Testing the NOBULL Trainer for Rope Climbs

2. You Want a Trainer for Outdoor Wear

Another subtle thing that I like about this model is that they’re easy to clean and they have a rather simplistic appearance. I think if you’re someone who wants a training shoe for daily wear and working out then the Outwork can be a good option.

The SuperFabric upper on the NOBULL Outwork is pretty bombproof regarding the durability needed for walking and casual wear and it’s easy to wipe down and clean on rainy and muddy days.

I’ll wear these shoes when walking the dog in inclement weather, and I have even used them on rainy commutes when I was going to train right after, so I didn’t feel like bringing multiple shoes.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the NOBULL Outwork?

1. You Need a Trainer for Running

If you’re that person who likes to tack on a mile or two pre or post-workout then you’ll want to pass on the Outwork. This shoe is not going to be a good hybrid-focused training shoe by any means.

Even in CrossFit WODs where you’re hitting 400-800 meter runs, the density of the NOBULL Outwork’s midsole can be uncomfortable. For running asks, I’d suggest keeping your runs short in this shoe if you have to use them for that context.

NOBULL Trainer Plus Vs NOBULL Trainer Review

2. You Want a Training Shoe for HIIT

To add to its limited running capabilities, I also think you’ll want to pass on the NOBULL Outwork if your main asks revolve around HIIT workouts. This shoe isn’t the most responsive and if you like a plusher and bouncier ride I’d pass on this shoe.

For example, when doing circuit workouts that include things like jump rope, skater strides, and explosive lunges, I find the NOBULL Outwork to be super hit or miss. I’d go with the NOBULL Impact if you want a NOBULL shoe for HIIT.

Reasons to Like the NOBULL Outwork (expanded)

1. Great for Heavy Lifting

The first perk of the Outwork is their its stability. This shoe features a high-density foam midsole that is consistent throughout the forefoot, mid-foot, and heel.

Whether you’re squatting, deadlifting, snatching, or whatever it may be, you can be assured that you’ll have adequate stability in this model. For example, I’ve used my Outwork to compete in powerlifting and they worked well. I squatted 440 lbs and deadlifted 529 lbs at this competition. 

nobull trainer for lifting

I also always like to make the joke about how World Record Holding Powerlifter Kevin Oak regularly squats 700+ lbs in his NOBULL Trainers, so for most, these trainers will be plenty stable for your needs.

2. Good Overall Durability for CrossFit

Another perk of the NOBULL Outwork is their overall durability is pretty awesome. Their SuperFabric upper construction is lightweight but it doesn’t compromise durability from abrasion on rope climbs, burpees, and other high-friction activities. Overall, I think most will find that their Outwork will last a minimum of 8-months in the gym.

nobull trainer stability

The full rubber outsole and medial and lateral outsole wraps also help to prolong this shoe’s overall durability. This is a pro for anyone who wants their shoes for training in gyms, and garages, and even tackling outdoor sessions here and there.

3. Aesthetic and Solid for Daily Wear

The last perk that I like about this shoe, and this is fairly superficial, is their overall appearance and how they look for daily wear. I like the simplistic look and nature of the Outwork. Could I do without the lateral branding on the heel? Sure, but overall, I do think this is a fairly aesthetic model.

nobull trainer for daily wear

If you want a trainer for daily wear and rocking to the gym, then the Outwork is a good shoe to look into. Appearance is subjective, but the NOBULL Trainer gets my stamp of approval as a daily driver.

Reasons to Not Like the NOBULL Outwork (expanded)

1. Not Great for Running

As mentioned above, the first drawback to the Outwork is that this is not going to be the best cross-training shoe for tackling runs. If you’re looking for a cross-trainer that works in the gym that you can also use for casual shorter runs I’d suggest looking into other models.

nobull trainer running

The Outwork’s foam midsole is plenty stable, but that comes at the cost of responsiveness, especially for those tackling repetitive training where ground impact can be a factor like running. If you’re planning to run in this shoe, I’d suggest keeping your runs to 800 meters or less.

2. Uncomfortable for Athletic-Focused Training

Another drawback to this model is that they’re not the best for more athletic-focused training. If you plan to tackle speed, agility, and HIIT-style training, then you may also find the NOBULL Outwork to be fairly uncomfortable overall.

I want to like them for this context, but when compared to other cross-training shoes their comfort just doesn’t compare. This shoe has adequate grip and I do think they’ll work for casual athletic-focused sessions.

However, for my serious lifters and athletes tackling athletic training sessions, you may want to find a model with a bit more responsiveness. After multiple high-velocity movements like plyometrics, the stability of the Outwork can add up.

nobull trainer plyometrics and hiit

3. The Upper Can Run Hot At Times

Another minor drawback of the NOBULL Outwork is that it can run a bit hot at times due to its SuperFabric upper construction. This is a complaint that I have with most NOBULL training shoes.

If you’re wearing thick socks and training in hot environments, then this could be something you notice. For most, this likely won’t be an issue, and this occurrence happens more often in the NOBULL Outwork High-Top.

Performance

nobull trainer performanc overview

Reviewing the NOBULL Outwork for Lifting and CrossFit

The Outwork excels most in the settings of lifting and CrossFit especially when it comes to stability. This shoe has a 4mm heel-to-toe drop and has a consistently stable midsole and outsole construction.

The flatter build of this shoe gives them a nice “grounded” feeling when catching the barbell in cleans or gripping the floor in more static strength work. The full rubber lug-pattern outsole also provides a nice base with adequate traction to train on.

I’ve had my pair for over a year and the outsole is still holding strong and the midsole doesn’t have a ton of compression creases. These are both really good signs for this shoe’s long-term durability in these settings.

nobull trainer for working out

Reviewing the NOBULL Outwork for Versatile Workouts

For my plyometrics, HIIT, and athletic-focused training, the NOBULL Outwork works overall. I think if you’re tackling this style of training casually or if it’s an addition to your CrossFit workouts, then this shoe will work for your needs.

Their stability and outsole tread feed well into these styles of training. The only drawback and caveat to the Outwork for versatile training is that it may not be the best option for the serious athlete who plans to do longer sessions including sprints, jumps, and other high-velocity movements.

nobull trainer for hiit and plyos

In this context, the stability of these shoes can get a bit uncomfortable, and they can sometimes feel clunky. Again though, I think this is a niche population and for most, this won’t be a huge concern since the style of versatile training you’ll be tackling in CrossFit workouts is mostly for conditioning or shorter circuit-style work.

Shorter Runs and Daily Wear

For runs, I’d suggest capping your distances to about 800 meters or less in the NOBULL Outwork. This shoe can get pretty uncomfortable pretty fast for longer runs, especially if you have a heel strike bias.

If you want that cross-training shoe that’s comfortable for short runs then I’d look into models like the RAD ONE and Reebok Nano X3. Both of these picks have good stability, durability, and comfort for hybrid workouts.

On a daily wear basis, I like the Outwork. Despite being a more stable cross-training shoe, I do think they’re fairly comfortable for all-day wear and they look aesthetic as well.

nobull trainer for running

This shoe looks pretty good with both gym clothes and more casual clothes, which is a line a lot of cross-training shoes can’t walk. That said, if you want a NOBULL shoe with a greater daily wear bias I’d explore the Canvas Trainer or Rec Trainer.

NOBULL Outwork Performance Takeaways

  • Lifting: 4.3/5 (max lifts: 440 lb squat, 529 lb deadlift)
  • Cross-Training: 3.9/5
  • CrossFit: 4/5
  • Running: 3/5
  • Walking: 3.8/5

NOBULL Outwork Sizing

The NOBULL Outwork should fit true-to-size for most lifters and athletes. The length fits fairly true and this shoe has a standard or medium-width throughout its sole.

It’s not the widest cross-training shoe on the market, but for my E-width foot, they break in and size pretty well. If you have an E-width foot or below then you’ll be okay regarding width in this model, in my opinion.

If you know for a fact that you have a wider or flatter foot and you typically run into length problems in shoes, then I would suggest going up a half-size in this shoe.

  • NOBULL Outwork Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.

NOBULL Trainer Plus Vs NOBULL Trainer Size Differences

NOBULL Outwork

$129

NOBULL Trainers
4.2
Stability
4.5
Versatility
3.8
Durability
4.5
Quality
4.2

Best For

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

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Plyometrics and Athletic Training

Construction Details

The construction of the NOBULL Outwork is pretty simplistic and I think that helps contribute to this shoe’s consistent performance in the gym.

In the last few years, the core construction of this shoe has gone relatively unchanged which is pretty unheard of when you look at other trainers on the market that receive yearly updates.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 10.7 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • SuperFabric Upper Construction
  • Fully Rubber Lug Pattern Outsole
  • High-Density Foam Midsole
  • Reflective NOBULL Branding On Lateral Heel
  • Thin and Breathable Tongue

Takeaway Thoughts

Lifters and CrossFitters tend to have a love-hate relationship with the Outwork. I see the benefit of this model and do think they excel in a variety of niche styles of training and activity.

The NOBULL Outwork may not have the most innovative construction details, but that could very well be one of its greatest assets for many.

If you have additional questions about this shoe and if it’s a good pick for you, drop a comment or reach out to me 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.

2 thoughts on “NOBULL Outwork Review (2024 Update) | Worth It Or Dated?”

  1. Awesome review. Very helpful. I am going to check out your other reviews on other crossfit shoes. My wife and I started doing crossfit 5 months ago and have been doing hiit and other plyo style workouts for years. We are in 60s and still going strong. Thanks

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *