Nobull took to court. The footwear brand known for CrossFit and fitness training shoes added a performance running model in February 2022. They followed that up with the April launch of the Court Trainer, a silhouette meant for any surface of courts, including tennis and basketball.
“We’re always looking to design functional shoes that provide our community with choice and meet them where they are,” says Mark Balint, vice president of shoe design, “in this case, on the court. Our community and our athletes train on a variety of surfaces and we found an opportunity to create a specialist trainer that provides functional support on any court surface.”
Although not designed specifically for tennis, Nobull says the Court Trainer was designed to move across a variety of court surfaces and work for a mix of sports, primarily tennis, basketball, volleyball and racquetball, with an emphasis on multidirectional movements.
Balint says the traction and grip of the herringbone tread provides flexibility and grip for use on terrain, the Court Trainer’s bumper is optimized for quick pivots and toe scuffs when moving and rolling. landing in any direction, the tongue is padded to prevent “lace bite” during movement and an internal lace strap system adds extra stability and lockdown.
“The Court Trainer features a snug midsole and outsole design to provide extra stability and comfort for multi-directional jumps and landings,” says Balint. “The increased height of the EVA midsole provides more cushioning and improved comfort.” The design also includes extra padding at the heel and collar. The upper is a seamless one-piece construction of the brand’s SuperFabric, found on many sneaker models on the market.
Founded by Reebok alumni Marcus Wilson and Michael Schaeffer in Boston in 2015 with a focus on the functional fitness space, the direct-to-consumer company has continued to grow with an ever-broader focus on fitness. More than 300 NFL athletes train at Nobull, even though the brand has no cleats, and athletes from every major sport, from tennis to basketball and from the Olympics to the NHL (much of the NHL’s Boston Bruins train in the hometown product) compliment more than a dozen sponsored CrossFit athletes. Nobull has signed NFL players Will Grier and Mac Jones, as well as Olympic swimmer Caeleb Dressel.
When designing the Court Trainer, Ballint says the brand, which now has a thriving research and development lab in Vermont, took the same approach it takes with all of its products: “Keep it simple, with everything what you need and the mothering you don’t”. .”
The April launch will include three initial colors – gum black, gum white and dusty pink – and Balint says the brand will see what the response to the new silhouette is before evaluating opportunities that require different design elements. “Our Court Trainer is more versatile than just a tennis shoe,” he says, “and provides more opportunities for athletes who train on any court surface.”