Like someone who gets up every morning at 5:35 a.m. to get dressed and go out for 6:05 a.m. Orangetheory training, I’ll take any time-saving hack I can get. Once upon a time, I waited until morning to rummage through my drawers for leggings, a sports bra, and a tank top; now I took them out the night before. Early in my OTF journey, I regularly looked for lace-up shoes; now I give myself a break with a supportive but practical slip-on, in particular, the NoBull Knit Runner ($159).
I, as HIIT class enthusiasts, love NoBull for a litany of reasons. The workout shoe and apparel brand has quickly become a fan favorite at gyms across the country for its versatile sneakers that support its athletes in all types of serious workouts. Her most popular sneaker, the NoBull Trainer ($129) has amassed a devoted following of CrossFitters and other gym class aficionados for good reason. But my favorite happens to be the Knit Runner, a lightweight running shoe that has over 8,000 5-star reviews from happy runners and cross-trainers like me.
Aside from the reflective laces (a really fun feature that early morning/late joggers will appreciate) I find that once tied they stay in place and can be put on and taken off easily without sacrificing the structure and support of the overall shoe . That way, they’re about as comfortable and practical as they come. But don’t get me wrong: I dig the No Bull Knit Runners for more than ease of donning. Here are all the other reasons why they deserve as much hype as the brand’s OG shoe:
1. The heel-to-toe drop
As a reminder, 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 (0mm), low drop (1-4mm), medium drop (5-8mm) and high drop shoes (8+mm). While there are many, many different sneaker silhouettes, most running shoes fall into the high drop zone, often with 10mm drops. The reason? They are universal, in that they are the most comfortable for most people, especially since a 10mm drop from heel to toe prevents stretching of the achilles (which is low and low) . zero drop shoes are known for).
Now that you’re refreshed, 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 neither too flat nor too padded, and the silhouette promotes natural forward propulsion.
2. The knit upper
Nine times out of 10 I go a women’s size 10. As for the No Bull Knit Runners, I wear my usual size and they are perfectly comfortable from heel to toe. Although I have narrow feet, I feel the knit upper construction also makes them particularly universal, as it stretches and compresses comfortably around the foot to provide structure and support without ever feeling binding.
Podiatrist Dr Asim Sayed, DPM, AACFAS, says the upper is not just about comfort, but also improves the overall performance of the shoe. “The shoe’s compressive knit design has breathability and moisture-wicking properties that are both excellent for running,” he says. “The lightweight material also decreases the weight of the shoe on the top of the foot, allowing for a longer, less tiring run due to less pressure and weight on the foot.”
But that’s not all! Dr Sayed says the compression can also stimulate circulation, which can help reduce inflammation associated with running, including Plantar Fasciitis (AKA, flaming heels.)
3. The midsole
The No Bull Knit Runners feature a high rebound Phylon midsole that is both plush and lightweight. While the midsole itself isn’t particularly thick (compared to, say, a pair of Hokas), it provides ample shock cushioning while absorbing shock and transferring it to boost take-off. In short, it’s the bouncy midsole of these sneakers that makes them a fabulous training companion. I’ve done over 25 miles on the treadmill, as well as over a dozen on the sidewalk. In both cases, I find them to be light and stable, which the midsole makes possible.
4. The outsole
The No Bull Knit Runners have a textured outsole which is arguably one of the most defining features of the shoe. These textured outsoles give them optimal traction for indoors and outdoors. That said, the lugs are not so deep that I would suggest wearing them on the trails. However, if your goal is to increase your hot girl walks around or walk miles around your neighborhood, these comfortable shoes can certainly allow you to do just that.
Tl;Dr: Sprint, don’t walk, to a new pair of NoBull Knit Runners. They’re sure to keep your feet happy whether you’re at the gym or mile 10.
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