Shoes. Some people have a pair of shoes for every activity that they do while others just use them to cover their feet. I fall in the middle somewhere. I spend time thinking about the versatility of my shoe, how much I’ll be wearing it, and how well it will suit my lifestyle. With that in mind, there are two shoes that I’ll be discussing today. One is the Reebok CrossFit Nano 5 and the other is produced by a newer company, No Bull. No Bull has two shoes in their lineup right now, a trainer and a lifting shoe. The Trainer is the one we’re talking about today. Specifically the Black Trainer, low-top, in men’s US size 8.
So why am I even talking about shoes? Because I recently ran my blackish Nano 5’s into the ground. They were a good shoe, not perfect (they pinched a bit over the big toe until they were really well worn in) but good for everyday running around and CrossFit. They have a wide toe-box which allows me to wear the proper size shoe (for once) since I have wide, short feet. With that width, I’ve typically struggled to find shoes that fit well, especially as a kid, and was pleasantly surprised by the Nano’s when I first tried them on. Not only could I wear them comfortably, they were designed for hard use – CrossFit – and looked good in shorts or Levi’s. Being able to do pretty much anything in those shoes was awesome, especially with five kids who might have me chasing them down at any given time. The Nano 5 was, for me, a do-anything shoe. I also own a pair of Nano 6’s in custom colors, and while that shoe is more comfortable than the Nano 5 was, they are just too flashy for everyday use (I still love them!).
But I needed a replacement shoe for my everyday lifestyle. I could have ordered another set of Nano’s… buuuut, my wife has been raving about her No Bull shoes, which one of her young friends, a CrossFit athlete, raved to her about. I discussed sizing with my wife, checked No Bull’s website, and purchased the exact same size of No Bull shoe as my Nano’s – US Men’s 8. Please note, I was concerned about the size because their website says, “The Trainer runs true to size. If you are between sizes we recommend ordering up .5 size.” Normally, “The Trainer runs true to size”, means that I’m going to get a shoe that is great in length, but far too narrow in the toe-box. Which leads to a round of return-the-shoe-and-wait-for-the-replacement. I hate that. And I further despise that the shoe really just won’t fit correctly. If I order up, then the length from heel to ball moves out of position… It’s just better to get a wide shoe or something like the Reebok CrossFit Nano which contains a lot more toe-box than your everyday shoe.
After talking with my wife I ordered the men’s size 8 US. Result: perfect fit!
My No Bull Trainers are snug, but not tight, fitting to length and width in a way that I don’t think any other shoe, including the Nano’s, ever has. The construction also feels solid, which has lived up to their advertising (yes, early days for durability, I know). Furthermore, they are CrossFit style shoes, meaning that I feel comfortable doing anything in them – running, jumping, lifting, biking, climbing, or just walking around. I can run into town, chase kids, or do a workout without worrying about the shoes on my feet. Or, perhaps I should have emphasized that I can do those things without changing my shoes. That makes them a shoe that fits my lifestyle and, over the last two weeks, they have made my life easier and more pleasant. At $129 online, they aren’t inexpensive, but I think I’ll be getting my money’s worth out of them. While it’s early days, they feel good, look good, and work great. What more do I need? Nothing, and that’s No Bull.