When it comes to weightlifting, wearing the right kind of high-quality shoe can mean the difference between hitting a new PR and hitting yourself in the face with the barbell.
You need to wear sneakers specifically-designed for weight training that provide durability, support, balance, and lockdown to maximize the performance of your lifts. And one shoe model that delivers these sorts of benefits is the NOBULL Lifter.
There’s a lot of hype around this sneaker, but is it worth it? Make sure you read all the way to end because you’re about to uncover our complete, unabridged review of the NOBULL Lifters including who should wear them, pros, cons, and our final recommendation.
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Spoiler – Here’s What We Recommend
Believe it or not, NOBULL Lifters are not our top pick for a weightlifting shoe. While they are excellent shoes, the bottom line is they’re just too expensive to justify the purchase for the average CrossFitter. Here’s the shoe we recommend instead:
Adidas Powerlift 4
- Designed specifically for weightlifting and pushing heavy loads
- Very stable and comfortable
- The upper has great lockdown that prevents slippage
About the NOBULL Brand
NOBULL has been manufacturing high-quality cross-training shoes for years. The most notable sneakers in their catalog are the Standard Trainers and the High Top Trainers which are common picks for CrossFit training. But after being in the cross-training market, they came out with the NOBULL Lifters, a dedicated weightlifting shoe designed specifically to improve performance on heavy compound lifts like squats and deadlifts.
There are a few things that the NOBULL brand is known for:
- Very high quality materials
- High attention to design detail
- Premium footwear with a higher price tag than most similar options
While the first two points are definitely the strengths of the shoe brand, the third point is often posed as a weakness considering just how high of a price tag these shoes sometimes sell for.
And if you’re curious, you can take a look at the best NOBULL shoes for cross training and weightlifting right here.
Who Should Wear NOBULL Lifters?
Now, I’m not going to lie and say that everyone should go out and get a pair of NOBULL Lifters right now so I can start cashing my commission checks. Instead let’s lay out who NOBULL Lifters would benefit.
- Weightlifters focusing on perfecting their olympic lifting form – These sneakers were designed to stabilize your body and adjust your posture to maximize performance in compound and olympic lifts. So anyone who regularly incorporates these into their workout would benefit from the Lifters.
- CrossFitters – If you’re a box attendee, then you know that Olympic-style lifting is the norm and so picking up a pair of Lifters would most likely improve your form.
- People with a high budget – NOBULL Lifters are not cheap. Only those who are really willing to invest in shoes should seriously consider these gym sneakers.
NOBULL Lifter Details & Features
Considering who should wear Lifters, here are some basic features of the shoe itself.
- SuperFabric upper material
- Stacked leather on heel
- Weight: 15.7 oz
- Heel height: 0.73 inches
- Foot straps
- Price: $299.00 on NOBULL website
One of the notable features on this list is the stacked leather heel. Over on the NOBULL website, they explain how this heel is made with a high level of craftsmanship by skilled leather artisans. So, you can trust that a lot of thought and detail was put into the design of the raised heel which does a great job of stabilizing your foot during barbell squats.
Another thing to mention is the price tag. Over on the brand’s website, these shoes start at $299.00 which is considerably higher than most weightlifting shoes.
Obviously, NOBULL delivers a premium product, but is the price worth it? Keep reading to find out if we agree.
4 Undeniable Benefits of NOBULL Lifters
We’ve talked a little about the features of the shoes themselves, so let’s go through a few major benefits that these iconic sneakers deliver.
1. High Quality Materials
Like I’ve already mentioned, the Lifters use stacked leather for the raised heel. This is both intriguing and troubling.
First of all, using stacked leather raises the question about long-term compression. Will the height actually decrease over time after considerably use? Since this type of heel isn’t common in weightlifting shoes, I don’t think there’s enough data to make a solid claim either way.
Plus, the stacked leather may not deteriorate at the same rate as a typical hard plastic heel. NOBULL makes a point to say that the heel leather is hand-selected and stacked.
Then it’s waxed and buffed by hand as well. So a lot of care goes into the making of these shoes, but again, it’s ambiguous how the materials may hold up.
Additionally, the upper portion of the shoe is made from the brand’s patented SuperFabric. They use this same fabric in their cross-training sneakers too. This fabric really gives the upper a nice feel and it’s made to be breathable, lightweight, and flexible too.
2. Very Durable
For weightlifting shoes to really stand the test of time, they have to be extremely durable and that’s precisely what NOBULL Lifters are. You won’t have to worry about them falling apart too quickly even after multiple workouts.
The SuperFabric in the upper, in addition to being breathable and flexible, it’s durable too. It flexes around your changing position throughout the motions of any compound lift with just enough stretch to keep the strong fibers intact.
And since there’s so much attention to detail in the heel and outsole, you’ll experience plenty of traction and grip that will contribute to the longevity of these sneakers.
3. Pretty Cool Colors
OK, it’s time to be a little superficial with this review, but having a solid array of color options to choose from is definitely a bonus in the shoe market. That’s why the NOBULL Lifters get another point for innovation regarding the colors they provide.
Other cross-training and weightlifting shoes come in some black variation and then an array of annoying neon colors that should make anyone embarrassed to wear them. Not NOBULL Lifters. Not only are the plain black pretty impressive, the other bold colors are very attractive and cool as well.
4. Excellent Lockdown
The last thing that’s really important in the build of a weightlifting shoe like the Lifters is lockdown.
Lockdown is a term that represents the shoe’s ability to keep you firmly planted on the ground with stable footing even in the event that a physical activity might throw you off balance.
I really like the quality of the lockdown strap that overlaps the laces for this purpose. Once you pull that strap over, you can keep your feet firmly stabilized inside the soles and feel very secure through every heavy lift.
This works very well in conjunction with the raised heel because it actually helps you to keep your weight over your midfoot and even a little more towards your heel. This makes squatting very deep much easier as you don’t feel the natural clumsy, pull forward that you experience in running sneakers with cushy heels.
2 Harsh Negatives of NOBULL Lifters
As much as the NOBULL Lifters provide benefits when you’re pushing heavy loads, they’re not all sunshine and ponies. On the contrary, there are a couple things that I don’t like about these shoes that could be possible deal-breakers.
1. They’re Expensive
This is the elephant in the room, and it’s difficult to overlook. NOBULL Lifters are obviously more expensive than most weightlifting or powerlifting squat shoes.
On average, you can expect most weightlifting shoes to range from $50-150 depending on the brand, build, and endorsements behind them. The fact that the Lifters start at almost twice the average range max is a pretty confusing.
Sure, they’re carefully crafted, and have high-quality materials, but geez. Almost $300 for a pair of shoes? For me, that’s a deal-breaker.
2. Tight Toe Box
Almost just as important as the price of these shoes is the amount of room they provide. You don’t want to cram your feet into a pair of workout sneakers just because they promise some performance benefits. Developing bunions and blisters isn’t going to help anything in the long term.
One of the common issues with the NOBULL Lifters is the tight toe box. It’s important for the toe box to be at least a little roomy so that it supports your natural toe splay and movement caused by your body’s natural foot adjustments.
One weightlifting shoe that’s been reported as pretty roomy in the toe box according to verified buyers is the Adidas Power Perfect 3. And not only does it have more room in front, but it has a similar mesh upper that makes it flexible and breathable like the NOBULL Lifters too.
If your toes feel like they’re a pack of hot dogs smashed into plastic wrap, then almost all the benefits fade into the background. Of course, this is somewhat subjective, but you should definitely take note of your personal preferences, toe length, and foot width before putting down a few hundred bucks on these sneakers.
NOBULL Lifters Final Recommendation
NOBULL is a pretty progressive brand in the athletic shoe market considering their premium positioning. Unlike Nike, Reebok, or any other popular athletic brand that provides a variety of shoes at different price points, NOBULL makes a point of crafting high-quality shoes without compromising their worth.
They started this marketing approach with their popular Trainers and High Top Trainers. And when they released their Lifters, their reputation for amazing quality and design only improved.
Of course, you shouldn’t consider these sneakers to be worn for casual use or even for traditional cross-training. They should be worn specifically for performing Olympic lifts and standing barbell movements like squats or hang cleans. Because of this, their target audience is also pretty exclusive as well.
Like I said earlier, there are obvious benefits to these popular shoes. First, they’re made from high-quality materials. The heel is made from stacked leather that’s been hand-picked. Then the leather is waxed and buffed by a qualified leather craftsman.
Furthermore, the upper is made from the NOBULL SuperFabric that not only keeps your feet cool during a sweaty workout, but also allows the shoe to flex so they stay supportive even through months of gym sessions.
The Lifters are also durable, allowing them to stand the test of time better than some other shoes. And they provide adequate lockdown to make you feel firmly grounded to the floor during all heavy lifting.
But there are a couple things that could be deal-breakers for this shoe model. First, they’re way more expensive than a typical weightlifting shoe.
With a price tag starting at $299.00, it’s difficult to justify the purchase when other comparable models are almost 50% of that price. Heck, you could buy two pairs of cheaper shoes that could essentially prolong the next time you’re required to buy new training shoes.
Secondly, some reviewers claimed that these shoes are tight in the toe box. Having enough room for your feet to move comfortably is pretty darn important.
Taking all these points into account, I’d have to say that the NOBULL Lifters are definitely excellent, high-quality weightlifting shoes that I’m sure can support good form and performance in the gym.
However, due to the very high price tag, I’d suggest going with a comparable shoe like the Adidas Powerlift 4 that has a flexible forefoot that makes them pretty desirable for more wearers who naturally have varying foot contours. Additionally, most sellers price them much lower than the Lifters.
|Review||NOBULL Lifters Shoes|
|Summary||NOBULL Lifters are high-quality, dedicated weightlifting shoes designed to improve your performance during the execution of compound lifts often done in CrossFit workouts. The shoes are made from premium leather and SuperFabric to increase durability and comfort. While these shoes definitely provide benefits to weightlifting performance and are built for long-term use, the high price tag is almost unreasonable and makes them out of reach for even serious gym-goers.|
|Rating||7 (out of 10)|