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NOBULL Knit Runner - Women's Review

NOBULL offers functional and fashionable no frill designs with their training shoes, this time offering a shoe specifically geared towards running for CrossFit athletes.
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Price:  $160 List
Pros:  Comfortable sock design, cushioned, great color selection
Cons:  Runs narrow, too much sole compression, not good for lifting
Manufacturer:   NOBULL
By Brittany Page ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Oct 11, 2019
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60
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 11
  • Weightlifting - 20% 2
  • Running - 20% 10
  • Support - 10% 6
  • Sensitivity - 5% 2
  • Protection and Durability - 10% 6
  • Gymnastics - 20% 6
  • Breathability - 5% 6
  • Comfort - 10% 8

Our Verdict

CrossFit shoes should be the perfect blend of weightlifting, gymnastics, and running attributes that help you minimize the time you have to think about what workout gear you're wearing and focus more on your WOD. Most shoes designed for CrossFit workouts are flats and stable like Reebok Nanos and Nike Metcons. The NOBULL Knit Runner is the complete opposite of this, and while it isn't the best choice for an everyday training shoe, it is an excellent option if you are looking to purchase an additional shoe for running days.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Top Pick Award  
Price $160 List$97.96 at Amazon$67.67 at Amazon$129.00 at Amazon$85.68 at Amazon
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Pros Comfortable sock design, cushioned, great color selectionExtremely versatile, durable, comfortable, good for runningVersatile, comfortable, light feelingIncredibly comfortable, will tackle everything you find in a CrossFit workout, can wear outside of the gymGood shoe for lifting and a general CrossFit shoe, great for rope climbs
Cons Runs narrow, too much sole compression, not good for liftingUpper material bunches when tightly laced, heavyNot the best for really heavy liftsNever wanting to take them off, fun patterns will cost you a little extra, sell out quicklyBreathability, squeaking nose
Bottom Line NOBULL offers functional and fashionable no frill designs with their training shoes, this time offering a shoe specifically geared towards running for CrossFit athletes.Ditch the bag of specialized shoes and get yourself an all-around; these are our new favorite.The CrossFit Speed TR is a great choice for your everyday CrossFit needs and comes at an excellent price!If you want to avoid a bag full of specialized shoes and go for one all around shoe, then search no further; these shoes are amazing.An improvement over the previous version; the main difference being the flexible soles, which offer higher performance during runs.
Rating Categories NOBULL Knit Runner - Women's Reebok Nano 9 - Women's Reebok CrossFit Speed TR NOBULL Trainers - Women's Nike Metcon 4 - Women's
Weightlifting (20%)
10
0
2
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Running (20%)
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
7
Support (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Sensitivity (5%)
10
0
2
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
Protection And Durability (10%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
8
Gymnastics (20%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
10
10
0
9
10
0
8
Breathability (5%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
9
10
0
7
Comfort (10%)
10
0
8
10
0
10
10
0
8
10
0
9
10
0
8
Specs NOBULL Knit Runner... Reebok Nano 9 -... Reebok CrossFit... NOBULL Trainers -... Nike Metcon 4 -...
Upper Knit Flexweave Monomesh and hotmelt overlay SuperFabric 3D print
Width Options Regular Regular Regular Regular Regular
Weight (Measured) (One size 5.5 shoe) (Ounces) 7.875 9.125 8 oz 7.875 7.375
Heel to toe drop (mm) 10mm 4mm 3 mm 4mm 4mm
Length (cm) / Fit 25cm / normal 25cm / normal 23.5cm 25cm

Our Analysis and Test Results

Four years ago, the Boston-based newbie NOBULL made its appearance in the CrossFit shoe market. Since then, they have made their way into almost every gym, and any CrossFit athlete will recognize their popularity. That being said, we were excited when they announced they would be making a running focused shoe to supplement their well-known Trainers.

Performance Comparison


The NOBULL Knit Runner isn't the best option for an overall CrossFit shoe, but it does excel in running and comfort.

This might not be the best overall CrossFit shoe  but they sure are comfy!
This might not be the best overall CrossFit shoe, but they sure are comfy!

Weightlifting


If you know anything about CrossFit and anything about weightlifting, you recognize that based on appearance, the NOBULL Knit Runner isn't meant for lifting anything. Heck, it even has the word runner in the name, which is an instant no-no for anything barbell. NOBULL Trainer, the sister to the Knit Runner, excels in everything weightlifting with is flat and stable design. The 10mm drop and compressive soles of the Runners don't leave any question. These aren't shoes for weightlifting.

The 10mm drop and compressive soles of the Runners don't leave any question. These aren't shoes for weightlifting.
The 10mm drop and compressive soles of the Runners don't leave any question. These aren't shoes for weightlifting.

Running


Now, this is where the Knit Runner shines in comparison to our other shoes tested for CrossFit. Granted, a good CrossFit shoe will perform well on all movements from weightlifting to gymnastics to running, and that should be your main focus when choosing the best shoe for you. However, if you need a shoe to help with those running WODs, this is your new friend. The Knit Runner features a 10mm heel to toe drop that will help, not hinder your running style. The midsole material looks a bit tall but offers just the right amount of cushioning without being overly soft, and the thick shoelaces have reflective material intertwined in them for added visibility if you are running outside at dusk.

The Knit Runner features a 10mm heel to toe drop that will help  not hinder your running style.
The Knit Runner features a 10mm heel to toe drop that will help, not hinder your running style.

Sensitivity


When looking for a new CrossFit shoe that can tackle any given WOD, you want to take a look at the sensitivity of the shoe, meaning how easily you can feel your body weight balanced in your feet on the ground. As you can tell by the looks of this shoe, they are the lowest-ranked on the sensitivity scale. The amount of midsole cushioning is comfortable, but your foot cannot feel the ground. This shoe also runs very narrow with little lateral support, so finding your balance during a CrossFit workout is very difficult.

The midsole cushioning in this shoe is incredibly comfortable  but you foot can barely feel the ground. Keep in mind  these shoes run narrow and have little lateral support  so finding your balance can feel different than what you are used to.
The midsole cushioning in this shoe is incredibly comfortable, but you foot can barely feel the ground. Keep in mind, these shoes run narrow and have little lateral support, so finding your balance can feel different than what you are used to.

Support


The demands of CrossFit workouts require a shoe that can perform in a variety of conditions. This shoe runs extremely narrow, and the support comes from the one-piece, sock-like, knit upper materials. This knit is quite comfortable, but it can only stretch so far. If you have wide feet, you will most likely run into issues with your feet spilling over the sides of the sole of the shoe and bursting out of the knit material.

Our feet felt very secure in these due to the one piece  sock like  knit upper. If you have wide feet you might run into some issues since these run narrow and the knit only offers so much give.
Our feet felt very secure in these due to the one piece, sock like, knit upper. If you have wide feet you might run into some issues since these run narrow and the knit only offers so much give.

Protection and Durability


CrossFit workouts are intense and need a shoe that can stand up to the use and abuse it will go through from day to day. The seamless, stretch knit material on the uppers of this shoe was surprising durable during all of our indoor and outdoor testing. The design of the outsole is tough and grippy with its deep triangular design. We did test this shoe in the gym during rope climbs as well. Although we didn't experience any damage to the soles or the uppers, our tester reported feeling worried about her shoes during the workout, considering their price point.

With shoes that look this soft and comfy  we spent more time worrying about damaging them during our workout than on the rope climbs themselves.
With shoes that look this soft and comfy, we spent more time worrying about damaging them during our workout than on the rope climbs themselves.

Breathability


Aesthetically, the Knit Runner appears to be very breathable with the deep knit pattern on the knit uppers. It does have a lot of give that allows for toes to splay, but we found these to be quite hot, especially in the dry Colorado summer heat.

Comfort


The Knit Runner's main comfort factor comes from the lightweight, stretch knit upper that moves in unison with your foot and creates a seamless feel. The midsole might look clunky, but it is lightweight and made of high rebound Phylon, which gives athletes the perfect amount of cushion. Our tester's favorite feature was the knit sock construction, and she notes being able to wear these all day while coaching with no issues. It is worth noting that the narrow sole is unforgiving for wider feet.

The knit sock construction is comfortable and your feet feel like you're walking on clouds. Our tester loved wearing these shoes all day while coaching classes.
The knit sock construction is comfortable and your feet feel like you're walking on clouds. Our tester loved wearing these shoes all day while coaching classes.

Value


We've already mentioned that this shouldn't be your go-to CrossFit shoe for day to day workouts. If you are looking for the best value in a shoe that can handle high intensity, varied movements, we recommend the Our Editors' Choice winner. That being said, if you're willing to pay a good amount for an additional pair of shoes, you will love these for running and overall comfort.

Conclusion


While these shouldn't be your top pick for a CrossFit shoe that can handle every day WODs, we are happy to see NOBULL roll out the Knit Runner. Ideally, you should be looking for a shoe that will keep you grounded through squats, deadlifts, and presses like the NOBULL Trainer, which is a very different style shoe.

The name says it all  but the Knit Runner takes the cake when it comes to a good CrossFit shoe for running workouts. This isn't a good general shoe for CrossFit  but if you want a running specific option to add to your gym back  this is our recommendation.
The name says it all, but the Knit Runner takes the cake when it comes to a good CrossFit shoe for running workouts. This isn't a good general shoe for CrossFit, but if you want a running specific option to add to your gym back, this is our recommendation.


Brittany Page