Now here’s a CrossFit shoe description that got our attention: Made from fabric that “is glass, knife and barbed wire resistant.”
First, um, maybe my workouts aren’t as tough as I thought. And, two, okay, tell us more.
As the story goes, two former Reebok executives wanted to make training shoes that could be worn both in the gym (or box) as well as outside — and still be stylish and super comfortable. So they created, NOBULL. And sent us the Ence Trainer ($139) — designed for Brooke Ence — to try. (Don’t know Brooke Ence? Check out her Instagram feed and then pick your jaw up off the floor. Also, this might be the best coffee cup ever.)
And I have to say the shoes look pretty cool, in a very understated way.
I do love me some loud, bright shoes, but there’s something about these that I dig, too. Kinda makes me feel like I’m a pro basketball player who just got out of practice and am going to now go on, like, Jimmy Fallon or something and do something super cool and hip? I know that’s oddly specific, but that’s just the vibe I get.
And, there’s a little secret design on the inside. Apparently one of Brooke’s favorite sayings is “Lions don’t lose sleep over the opinions of sheep.” And every time you slip your foot into this CrossFit shoe, you are reminded of that by seeing this guy.
But, looks, delusions of grandeur and inspiring lions aside, these bring it at the gym, yo. They’re light. They’re low to the ground with a nice amount of support and traction. They move and transition well, as you go from things like burpees to pull-ups to deadlifts. They’re not as flexible or as breathable as I expected, so running anything more than short distances felt a little awkward (it seemed to make me run more flat-footed — and my strike seemed harder and definitely louder). But overall, they feel pretty great on. (Just don’t go out for a 5K in them.)
Where they really excelled though was in that gym-to-life thing; like, when you’re out walking the dog or hitting the grocery store after a workout. Or want to go out to brunch with friends after your workout but don’t have time to change. I got multiple compliments on these shoes saying things like, “Wow, you could wear those anywhere!” And you really can.
They may not be my fave CrossFit shoe ever, but they certainly have some things going for them. And, confession: I did not test them with glass, knife or barbed wire. I’ll just take their word on that.
Are you looking for shoes that transition between the gym and real life? I tend to go more function over fashion and/or lifestyle, but these are definitely fun to have around. —Jenn