As someone who wakes up at 5:35am every morning, gets dressed and heads out the door for a 6:05am Orangetheory workout, I’ll take any time-saving hack I can get. Once upon a time, I waited until morning to rifle through my drawers for leggings, a sports bra, and a tank; Now, I set them the night before. At the beginning of my OTF journey, I regularly reached for lace-up shoes; Now, I give myself a break with supportive-yet-comfortable slip-on sneaks, especially the Noble Knit Runner ($159).
I, like many HIIT-class goers, love Nobul for several reasons. The training footwear and apparel brand has quickly become a fan favorite in gyms across the country for its versatile sneakers that support its athletes in all kinds of serious workouts. Its most beloved sneaker, the Noble Trainer ($129), has a devoted following of CrossFitters and other gym-class fans for good reason. But my go-to is the Knit Runner, a lightweight running shoe with over 8,000 5-star reviews from happy runners and cross-trainers like me.
In addition to the reflective laces (a very fun feature early morning/late night joggers will appreciate) I found that once tied, they stay in place and are easy to slip on without sacrificing overall shoe structure and support. Thus, they are as comfortable and convenient as they come. But don’t get it twisted: I dig No Bull knit runners just for their ease of wear. Here are all the other reasons why they deserve the same hype as the brand’s OG shoes:
1. Drop from ankle to toe
As a refresher, a heel-to-toe drop is the difference in height between the heel and the forefoot of a shoe. Heel-to-toe drops are divided into four categories: zero drop (0 mm), low drop (1-4 mm), mid drop (5-8 mm), and high-drop shoes (8+ mm). While many, many different sneaker silhouettes exist, most running shoes are in the high-drop zone, often with a 10mm drop. Why? These are universal, which are the most comfortable for most people, especially since the 10mm heel-to-foot drop prevents the Achilles from stretching (which low- and zero-drop shoes are known for).
Now that you’re refreshed, let’s get back to No Bull. The Knit Runner has a 10mm heel-to-toe drop, making it a classic running shoe for runners of all experience levels. It’s not too flat or too padded and the silhouette works to encourage a natural forward propulsion.
2. Knit upper
Nine times out of 10, I’m a size 10 woman. When it comes to the No Bull Knit runners, I wear my normal size and they are perfectly comfortable from ankle to toe. Even though I have narrow feet, I feel that the knit upper construction makes them particularly versatile, as it comfortably stretches and contracts around the foot to provide structure and support without ever feeling constrictive.
Podiatrist Dr. Asim Saeed, DPM, AACFAS, says that the upper is not only about comfort, but also enhances the overall performance of the shoe. “The shoe’s compressive, knit design has breathability and moisture-wicking properties that are both great when running,” he says. “The lighter material also reduces the weight of the upper shoe allowing for longer, less strenuous runs due to less stress and weight on the foot.”
But this is not the end! Dr. Syed says that compression can also increase circulation, which can help reduce inflammation associated with running, including plantar fasciitis (AKA, swollen heels.)
The No Bull Knit Runners feature a high rebound Phylon midsole, which is both smooth and lightweight. While the midsole itself isn’t particularly thick (compared to a pair of Hocus), it provides enough cushion against impact while absorbing shock and shifting to encourage lift. In short, it’s the bouncy midsole of these sneakers that makes them such a great training companion. I’ve logged 25+ miles on the treadmill, plus more than a dozen on the pavement. In both cases, I find them to be lightweight and stable, which makes the midsole possible.
The No Bull Knit Runners have a textured lug outsole that is arguably one of the shoe’s most defining features. These textured outsoles give them optimal traction for both indoor and outdoor wear. That said, the logs aren’t so deep that I recommend wearing them on the trail. However, if your goal is to walk your hot girl or log miles around your neighborhood, these comfortable shoes can definitely enable you to do just that.
Tl;Dr: Sprint, don’t walk, to a new pair of Noble Knit runners. They’re bound to keep your feet happy whether you’re at the gym or at 10 miles.
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