Hands-on Gear Review

NOBULL Lifter Review

If you are in the market for a lifting specific shoe, the Lifters are the cream of the crop; these shoes are made for lifting heavy loads and look good while doing it.
By: Audrey Hammond ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Feb 22, 2018
Price:  $299 List
Pros:  High quality materials and craftsmanship, superior weightlifting shoes, beautiful
Cons:  Pricey, not incredibly versatile
Manufacturer:   NOBULL
72
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 8
  • Weightlifting - 20% 10
  • Running - 20% 2
  • Support - 20% 10
  • Sensitivity - 10% 10
  • Protection and Durability - 10% 7
  • Breathability - 10% 4
  • Comfort - 10% 7
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Our Verdict

Angels sing, and the sun shines brightly when you nail a new personal record in these gorgeous lifting shoes. Are the NOBULL Lifters versatile, one might ask? No, these shoes are not incredibly adaptable, but versatility is not the goal of this lifting specific shoe. They are designed to do one thing, and they do it well. The other lifting shoe in this review is the Inov-8 Fastlift 325. The Inov-8s, on the other hand, are designed as a light and versatile lifter than can tackle short runs and plyometrics during workouts that include heavy lifts. While the Inov-8 was chosen as our Top Pick For Lifting WODs due to its versatility, if you want a beautiful lifting specific shoe that is dedicated to the platform only, you will love the NOBULL Lifters.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

Share:

"Is it ok if I touch them?" was heard more than once when we brought the NOBULL Lifters to the gym for the first time. Being new to the market and with a price tag of $300 these shoes are not commonly seen yet in CrossFit gyms, so the excitement was palpable. You can see and feel the high quality of craftsmanship once you get your hands on these shoes.

Performance Comparison


Heavy cleans feel just a little bit easier with the craftsmanship of the Lifters.
Heavy cleans feel just a little bit easier with the craftsmanship of the Lifters.

Weightlifting


CrossFitters do a lot of lifting, therefore the weightlifting score comprises 20% of the overall score in this review. Not surprisingly, the two shoes that scored highest for weightlifting are the two lifting specific shoes. While the Inov-8 Fastlifts are made of high tech plastics, NOBULL took a much more traditional route with their design. The heels of the Lifters are handmade with high quality stacked leather. The leather heels have an 18.5 mm lift compared to the shorter 16.5 mm lift on the Inov-8s. The leather makes for a sturdy platform to launch your weight with power in Olympic lifts. The downside of the leather, of course, is that it does not have the shock absorption for any plyometric movements like the Inov8s do.

According to NOBULL  2 to 3 hours of quality craftsmanship goes into each heel and outsole. The stacked leather makes a superb base for lifting.
According to NOBULL, 2 to 3 hours of quality craftsmanship goes into each heel and outsole. The stacked leather makes a superb base for lifting.


Running


Running again comprises 20% of the overall score in our review of shoes for CrossFit. We ran all of the shoes through the same tests, even the lifting specific shoes. The Lifters were not designed to be running shoes. If you are searching for a solid lifting shoe that can also handle the occasional short run in a workout, then the Inov-8 Fastlift will fit your needs better than the Lifters.

Sensitivity


When sensitivity is discussed for CrossFit shoes, the term describes how well an athlete can feel subtle weight shifts during lifting movements. A shoe with good sensitivity will translate into better body awareness as the athlete moves the barbell in relationship to their own body. Once again, our two lifting shoes performed equally as well on the sensitivity scale. The Lifters make it easy to feel if you need to make any balance corrections as you shift your weight from heels to toes or back to heels. If you are looking for a shoe with fantastic sensitivity that is not lifting specific, then check out our Editors' Choice Winning NOBULL Trainer.

The Lifters score at the very top of our list for sensitivity.
The Lifters score at the very top of our list for sensitivity.

Support


When looking for a supportive shoe for CrossFit, be sure to take the whole shoe into consideration. It isn't just the design of the sole that will impact the support, but the upper construction as well. Without a doubt, the Lifters are amazingly supportive shoes. The pressed leather sole makes a great base for lifts, while the synthetic fabric of the uppers nicely wraps the foot. Like most lifting specific shoes, there is a strap across the top of the shoe that helps keep feet firmly in place as the athlete screws their feet into the floor. The Lifters felt a little more supportive than their main competition in this review, the Inov-8 Fastlifts.

Most lifters have a strap across the foot to aid in support and stability during lifts. NOBULL has left us a gentle reminder on the underside of the leather strap.
Most lifters have a strap across the foot to aid in support and stability during lifts. NOBULL has left us a gentle reminder on the underside of the leather strap.

Protection / Durability


Yes, our testers did a few rope climbs in the Lifters even though we doubt anyone will be too eager to slide down a rope after spending 300 dollars on their beautiful new shoes.

One of our reviewers shows where a different pair of lifters has suffered some damage of the years of being used for other jobs than strictly lifting. Handstand pushups can peel back the plastic outer layer that attaches to the leather soles.
One of our reviewers shows where a different pair of lifters has suffered some damage of the years of being used for other jobs than strictly lifting. Handstand pushups can peel back the plastic outer layer that attaches to the leather soles.

The "SuperFabric" at the front of the uppers on the Lifters is the same as the NOBULL Trainers which is excellent at grabbing on to ropes. Repeated handstand pushups might be a problem for the heels on the Lifters, although we saw no damage to them yet. Some soles can start peeling back where the heels rub against the wall.

As these are new to the market  time will tell if NOBULL's heel construction can withstand the potential damage from handstand pushups.
As these are new to the market, time will tell if NOBULL's heel construction can withstand the potential damage from handstand pushups.

Breathability


Shoes for CrossFit should allow feet to breathe and not overheat during high-intensity workouts. Hot feet are the last thing you want to distract you. The Lifters were not the most breathable shoes in this review. The Inov-8 Fastlifts far outscored the NOBULLs in this category. If you are looking for a general shoe for CrossFit that lifts well and has good breathability, the NOBULL Trainers are a better option.

Of the two lifting specific shoes in this review  the Inov-8s are far more breathable  perhaps in part due to their synthetic materials.
Of the two lifting specific shoes in this review, the Inov-8s are far more breathable, perhaps in part due to their synthetic materials.

Comfort


This traditional lifting shoe is not meant for standing around in all day. It will be comfortable to lift in, but you won't want to hang around in them for long periods of time. At 10 oz compared to 14.375 oz, the Inov-8 Fastlifts are lighter and have more flexible soles giving them a much more comfortable feel compared to the NOBULLs.

The Lifters are comfortable for a lifting shoe  but not the type of shoe you want to stand around in all day.
The Lifters are comfortable for a lifting shoe, but not the type of shoe you want to stand around in all day.

Best Applications


These are fantastic dedicated lifting shoes. If you are a CrossFitter than has decided to shift your focus to Olympic lifting, then these shoes would be perfect.

The added heel rise in the Lifters (over the shorter rise in the Inov-8's) helps with standing out of deep squats  especially when doing pistols.
The added heel rise in the Lifters (over the shorter rise in the Inov-8's) helps with standing out of deep squats, especially when doing pistols.

Value


At $300 we wouldn't describe this shoe as cheap by any means. However, if you are the type of person that wants the highest quality available no matter the cost, then look no further than the Lifters.

Conclusion


Boy, are these lifting shoes gorgeous. The handmade, pressed leather soles are a thing of beauty and fine craftsmanship. The NOBULL Lifters are great at doing exactly what they are designed to do and nothing else. If you are looking for a versatile lifting shoe for other movements, however, then this one is not for you.

Audrey Hammond

You Might Also Like

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: February 22, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (5.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 100%  (1)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


Have you used this product?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...