I recently bought myself a pair of Reebok Nano X shoes for general training. Having used them heavily for a month I thought I’d write an in-depth Reebok Nano X review so you can make an informed decision on whether or not they’re the shoes for you.
Personally I went back on forth on whether or not to buy the Reebok Nano X, when there are plenty of the older models around that could be bought for significantly less money! In the end though, I went for them on a number of points…
- I needed a hybrid shoe – something that was at home with strength or cardio work.
- They suited my requirements.
- They looked great.
- I got them at a fantastic price (thank you, January sales!)
- I’d read around reviews of the older shoes and felt these would be better.
- I knew what I was looking for in a shoe and thought they would be suitable.
That being said, you can do your research and still make a mistake. I bought them though and I’ve put them through their paces – I’ve run in them, jumped in them, done over 20 weightlifting and kettlebell sessions in them and I’ve used them when pulling and pushing prowlers. If I was going to do a proper Reebok Nano X review, I’d need to push them properly!
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All in all, I’ve owned the shoes for about a month and have given the Nanos a thorough enough testing to feel confident that my Reebok Nano X review is about as thorough as you’ll find anywhere on the internet!
What are Reebok Nano X?
The Reebok Nano Xs are a hybrid training shoe designed for CrossFit. The Nano model has been synonymous with CrossFit since it was first released in 2011, because it was designed with true flexibility in mind.
The nature of CrossFit means that a person has to switch between disciplines quickly and they don’t always have time to change their shoes. You can go from running on a treadmill to performing weightlifting movements. The Reebok Nano X is a shoe designed to be able to cope with the demands of multiple disciplines. In lots of ways it’s a shoe that reflects CrossFit – it’s a generalist, not a specialist.
There have been 10 different versions of the Reebok Nano over the years, with various design tweaks and upgrades. These are across materials, design features, manufacturing processes and the like. The fact that there’s a decade of research and user feedback that has gone into the Nano X model gives you confidence that they’re a great shoe.
In this Reebok Nano X review I’m going to look at the design, features and usability of the shoes…
Features of the Nano X
The Nano range is designed to combine features and design elements of typical running shoes and weightlifting shoes. This means they have a breathable upper, a firm, slightly wedged midsole and a flat, rubber sole which allows a lot of grip and surface area contact with the floor and a stable platform for weightlifting from.
When we compare these to the features of a weightlifting shoe it’s easy to see the differences…
Reebok Nano X Review
The first point to raise is the comfort – they fit really well. I find that I vary between a size 9 and 10 depending on the brand, so went for a 9 and they fitted perfectly.
They’re available in a huge range of styles (I haven’t counted them all, but there’s a lot) so there’ll be something to suit every taste! You’ll be expecting to pay anywhere from £60/$80 – £120/$160 for a pair, depending on the deals available. When you consider these shoes are equipment, not fashion then the price seems really quite reasonable.
To make this Reebok Nano X Review worthwhile, I’m looking at how good they are across different fitness disciplines…
Can you run in Reebok Nano X?
I probably wouldn’t fancy taking on a 10km run in them, but for general running in the gym they’re absolutely fine. I’ve used them on the curved treadmill and for sprint work mixed in with a strength training session without issue.
This is an improvement on previous versions of the Nano. In some of the earlier Reebok Nano models there were complaints that the sole was too stiff (favouring weightlifting more), which made running particularly uncomfortable. Thankfully Reebok have listened to user feedback and improved the design accordingly.
There’s still a definite stiffness through the midsole but there’s certainly enough flexibility in them to allow you to jog, sprint and jump. You can easily move in them – in fact the best compliment I can give them for a running is that you’re completely unaware of them as you run. Compare this to shoes that are uncomfortable or stiff and you’ll understand what I mean.
It’s important to keep in mind these are a general training shoe, not a specialist running shoe. They do the job well.
Weightlifting in Reebok Nano X
My typical weightlifting shoes are the Adidas Power Perfect 2’s, which are a solid all-round weightlifting shoe. Whilst they may not be as famous as the Romaleos, they’re still trusted by lifters who have lifted on the Olympic Platform. My point being, I’m used to a good quality weightlifting shoe.
The Reebok Nano X is certainly suitable for a wide range of weightlifting movements. You lose the additional raised heel of the weightlifting shoes, which is important if you’re only weightlifting, but you can largely get over this because you retain a lot of the stiffness through the midsole, so there’s no power leaks as such. They’re not perfect for weightlifting, but they’re passable for power movements.
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I wouldn’t use them for a maxing out session or a strict weightlifting session where you’ll be going to full-depth (no power cleans and power snatches) but for technique work, high rep work and recovery days they’re perfectly usable.
Where I believe they excel on a strength training basis is with deadlifting and general strength training. I know a lot of my powerlifting friends like to lift in Converse Chuck Taylors on account of the flat, firm sole, but I’ve started telling them to check out the Reebok Nano X. They combine the flat sole of the Chuck Taylors with a stiffer, breathable upper. They’re basically Chuck Taylors on speed. If you’re a powerlifter, definitely check them out.
CrossFit in Reebok Nano X
This is where the Reebok Nano X comes into its own – it’s the perfect CrossFit shoe, having been designed specifically for the sport.
The nature of CrossFit is varied, so the Nano has to be the ultimate cross training shoe. If we dig into the specifications of the shoe in more detail, you’ll see why I think it’s a great CrossFit or wider cross training in general shoe…
The toe box is wide, so it gives your toes plenty of area to move. When you’re running, this is a big bonus.
The laces allow you to lock the foot in the shoe as tightly as you want. If you need a lot of foot support, you can make them tighter.
The upper is breathable, so your feet won’t overheat when you’re doing high rep or cardio work.
The sole is perfectly flat, which is important for strength training and weightlifting work. I also think it helps with kettlebell training too.
The sole is made from a very grippy rubber – something I was pleasantly surprised with. When pushing a prowler for example, the sole comes into its own.
For kettlebell work, the flat sole gives you excellent ground contact. As someone who uses kettlebells a lot, this is a big deal for me.
The midsole is flexible enough to run, without giving away too much in power leaks when squatting or weightlifting.
These are the main reasons I think the Reebok Nano X is a brilliant shoe for CrossFit and cross training in general.
There are purists of different disciplines who criticise the Reebok Nano range because it’s not a ‘perfect’ shoe for weightlifting/running/walking etc, but they’re missing the point. The Nano’s, in this case the Nano X, aren’t supposed to be the perfect anything, they’re a hybrid shoe, one that crosses disciplines.
If you’re looking for a shoe for CrossFit or even general gym training, look no further than the Reebok Nano X. Having been a personal trainer for 15 years, I’ve tried thousands of trainers in my time, yet none of them have been as versatile and the Reebok Nano X.
Any Drawbacks on the Nano X?
Whilst I don’t believe in the ‘perfect’ shoe as such, I’m struggling to find real drawbacks with the Nano X.
Yes, they’re not perfect for weightlifting or perfect for running, but they’re a generalist shoe. They’re good at both jobs – the classic Jack of all trades, master of none.
That is exactly what I love about them though. Unless I’m doing a pure weightlifting or cardio session, I don’t need to change my shoes midway through – I can use them for weightlifting, running, prowler pushing and anything in between without changing the does. It speaks volumes that in the time since I bought them, they’re the shoes I’ve trained in most.
Reebok Nano X Review – Final Thoughts
I’m a convert. Fully signed up, paid up member of the Nano X club. There are alternatives in the market – Nike Metcons, Nobulls etc, but as a cost/quality blend, I don’t think you can do better than the Reebok Nano X. I know a lot of those other shoes are great, but they typically come in at a higher price point than the Reeboks and aren’t quite as good generally.
It’s important to point out as well that I’m not some fanboy who was going to score the Nano X’s highly out of blind affection – I have given honest feedback on a great product. I wasn’t gifted my Nano X shoes, I bought them myself.
If you’re looking for a great pair of training shoes that have a variety of uses, I’d urge you to get the Reebok Nano X. They’re a decade of research, development and user testing condensed into a single shoe. The users of this shoes include some of the fittest people on earth as well, so it’s the feedback has come from legit gym users, not a step aerobics class in a church hall once per week.
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