By Casey Wood
I was very excited to get the opportunity to review these No Bull shoes, as I’ve always struggled to find a good all-around CrossFit shoe that I really love. I’ve never been a fan of any of the Nanos, simply finding them all, in a nutshell, uncomfortable. Most recently I’ve been wearing the Metcons, and for the most part, I like them. However, coming from years of running lots of miles in cushy shoes, I’m always looking for something that performs well but is still comfortable!
The first thing to notice about the No Bull’s is that, true to their name, there is no extra design, material, or stitching on the shoe, which I find refreshing. The fabric is plastic-y in nature, which makes it really durable and keeps it looking like new, even after nearly daily wear over a months time. I not only wear them to class every morning, but I wear them on my daily dog walks which take me through mud, wet grass, concrete, and uneven ground for 3’ish miles. They hold up great, and surprisingly, my feet aren’t sore or tired feeling, which I’m not used to finding in a CrossFit shoe. Also important to mention, the shoe seems to be very breathable, not overly sweat-inducing, and they dry quickly. I can even say that, at this point, they’ve remained almost entirely stench-free!
When it comes to the plyometric side of CrossFit, these shoes are working for me. They have a good structure to them which makes it feel like your foot is being supported enough during movements, but they’re definitely not overly stiff. I need my foot to not slide around during things like burpees, box jumps, and double unders, and a flimsy shoe doesn’t do the trick.
The No Bull’s have the right amount of stiffness in the upper to allow for both stability and agility. Rope climbing felt great, the shoe gripped fine and slipping wasn’t a problem, and the sole held up fine on the descent.
The No Bull’s performed great for me on the olympic lifting side of things as well. They feel really stable; they stay glued to the rubber gym floor, and after working to find my spot in the squat, they did a good job of helping me keep my weight back in my heels without moving around. The toe box does feel like it rounds up a bit, so it’s not like a lifting shoe that automatically puts you on your heels. But I still found it pretty easy to get and keep my weight back, and my feet moved easily and quickly to get under the bar. Because the toe box feels as though it curves up slightly, running in these shoes is actually not bad because they force you to get up on your toes a bit rather than resorting to the slow, heavy heel-strike run that I find myself doing when I’m tired.
Overall, these shoes totally impressed me. They have a different, funky look that I appreciate, the material is durable and water-resistant, and they are comfortable enough to wear in daily life. They provide enough support in the upper that they don’t feel flimsy, yet you don’t feel like you’re sacrificing agility either. They work great in lifting WOD’s because they feel stable and do a good job of gripping the floor but also allow you to move your feet quick to get under the bar. The curve in the toe box feels good, helps with rebounding quickly on things like box jumps, and for me, forces the proper running position. I’m definitely a fan!
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Casey is a former multi-sport athlete who started CrossFit 2 years ago and never looked back. She’s a stay at home mom of 3 who loves her daily dog walks, dreams of beach-living, and is hooked on building strength and confidence through a heavy barbell.