As someone who wakes up every morning at 5:35 a.m. to get dressed and out the door for a 6:05 a.m. Orangetheory workout, I’ll take any time-saving hack I can get. Once upon a time, I’d wait until the morning of to rifle through my drawers for leggings, a sports bra, and tank; now, I set them out the night before. At the beginning of my OTF journey, I’d regularly reach for lace-up shoes; now, I give myself a break with supportive-yet-convenient slip-on sneak, particularly, the NoBull Knit Runner ($159).
I, like HIIT-class go’ers, love NoBull for a litany of 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 types of serious workouts. Its most beloved sneaker, the NoBull Trainer ($129) has racked up a devoted following of CrossFitters and other gym-class aficionados for good reason. But my go-to happens to be the Knit Runner, a lightweight running shoe that has more than 8,000 5-star reviews from happy runners and cross-trainers like myself.
Aside from the reflective laces (a very fun feature early morning/late night joggers will appreciate) I find that once tied, they remain in place and can be slipped on and off with ease without sacrificing the structure and support of the overall shoe. In that way, they’re about as comfortable and convenient as they come. But don’t get it twisted: I dig the No Bull Knit Runners for more than just their ease of putting on. Here’s all the other reasons why they deserve just as much hype as the brand’s OG shoe:
1. The heel-to-toe drop
As a refresher, a heel-to-toe drop is the height difference between the heel and forefoot of a shoe. Heel-to-toe drops are broken down into four categories: zero drop (0mm), low drop (1-4mm), mid drop (5-8mm), and high-drop shoes (8+mm). While many, many different sneaker silhouettes exist, most running shoes are in the high-drop zone, often with 10mm drops. The reason? They’re universal, in that they’re the most comfortable for the most people, especially since a 10mm heel-to-toe drop prevents stretching the achilles (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 enccourage a natural forward propulsion.
2. The knit upper
Nine times out of 10, I’m a women’s size 10. When it comes to the No Bull Knit Runners, I wear my normal size, and they feel perfectly comfortable from heel to toe. While I have narrow feet, I feel like the knit upper construction makes them particularly universal, too, as it stretches and compresses comfortably around the foot to offer structure and support without ever feeling constrictive.
Podiatrist Dr. Asim Sayed, DPM, AACFAS, says that the upper isn’t just about comfort, but it also boosts the shoe’s overall performance. “The compressive, knit design of the shoe has breathability and moisture-wicking properties which are both great when running,” he says. “The light material also decreases the weight of the shoe on the top of the foot which allows for a longer, less strenuous run due to less pressure and weight on the foot.”
But that’s not all! Dr. Sayed says that compression can also boost circulation which can help reduce inflammation associated with running, including plantar fasciitis (AKA, inflamed heels.)
3. The midsole
The No Bull Knit Runners feature a high rebound Phylon midsole, which is both cushy and lightweight. While the midsole itself isn’t particularly thick (in comparison to, say, a pair of Hokas), it provides ample cushioning against impact while absorbing shock and transferring it to boost lift off. In short, it’s the bouncy midsole of these sneakers that makes them such a fabulous training companion. I’ve logged 25+ miles in them on the treadmill, as well as over a dozen on pavement. In both instances, I find that they’re lightweight and stable, which the midsole makes possible.
4. The outsole
The No Bull Knit Runners have a textured lug outsole that’s 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 lugs aren’t so deep that I’d suggest wearing them on trails. However, if your goal is to up your hot girl walks or log miles around your neighborhood, these comfy shoes can definitely enable you to do just that.
Tl;Dr: Sprint, don’t walk, to a new pair of NoBull Knit Runners. They’re bound to keep your feet happy, whether you’re in the gym or at mile 10.
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