NOBULL Lifter - Women's Review
Cons: Pricey, not incredibly versatile
Our Analysis and Test Results
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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