Reebok Nano X Intro
A few months ago we reviewed the Nano 9 and found it to be a superb training shoe, testing it against a whole host of training scenarios.
It was super tough, comfortable, great for lifting and plymoterics and but only OK for running.
The new Nano X (ten) promised to be the most ‘runnable’ Nano yet, so was this going to be the missing piece and make it the perfect training shoe?
If you’re not familiar with training shoes, and are more used to running shoes, they differ in the way they are made throughout the whole shoe.
Training shoes are designed to better protect your feet during exercise such as lateral moves, jumping and lifting weights. All of which require a different type of stability to running.
Running shoes are designed to cushion the foot when landing, and move the foot through the natural running gait. This isn’t what you want to happen when lifting heavy weights, or changing direction fast.
Training shoes need to, amongst other things, provide a wide base for lifting and have a low heel top toe drop (generally less than 4mm) to allow stability in heel and ‘feel’ of floor.
Reebok launched the Nano range in 2011, along with their 10 year commencement of CrossFit Games’ sponsorship.
Now in its 10th (X) iteration, the Nano has grown in popularity amongst CrossFit athletes, appealing to everyone from beginners to the fittest athletes in the world, and everyone in between.
All Nano’s since day one have features a wide toe box and low heel drop. This gives the athlete a stable base for lifting, and the Nano X is no different.
This coupled with a highly durable upper, and now (at least in my opinion) the best looking training shoe so far, is how the Nano X demands it premium price tag.
The advantage of it being in its 10th version is that each launch has taken onboard athlete feedback and improved a little each time.
Reebok Nano X First Impressions
Before even opening the box you can tell this shoe is different than previous Nanos. For starters, the box no longer features any CrossFit branding.
Perhaps due to the fact people automatically associate the Nano with CrossFit, but also maybe because Reebok are trying to appeal to the wide fitness market, with the popularity of HIIT and boutique fitness classes continuing to boom.
This lack of CrossFit branding of course continues on the design of the shoe, with no mention of it, and the delta logo being fully replaced with the traditional vector.
It’s immediately clear from the design of the shoe that this is packed with technology and has been adapted and improved from previous models.
In the hand the shoe feels heavy and solid. Its heavier than the Nano 9, and likely the heaviest Nano yet.
On the foot I find Nanos to come up very large. For clarification, I am usually a women’s UK 6.5/ EU 40/ USA 8.5, regular width in shoes, and normally go half a size larger in running and training shoes.
After sending back a pair of EU 40.5 Nano 9’s I settled on an EU 39 which fit perfectly. Due to this I ordered the Nano X in an EU 39 also and they too fit perfectly.
Perhaps a little narrower than the Nano 9, but not too noticeable. Due to the wide toe box they feel comfortable straight away and there are no areas that rub.
One of the first things you notice about the Nano X is the heel cup and tongue height. Both raise far up the ankle for aesthetic purposes, and are padded for comfort.
This, added to the large delta logo give the Nano X a somewhat retro look, which I wholeheartedly agree with Reebok when they claim this to be the best looking Nano yet.
Reebok Nano X Sole Unit
The outsole of the Nano X is identical to that of the Nano 9, with the predominant feature being the Ropepro midsole wrap.
This Ropepro sole wraps all the way around the heel to the middle of the foot to protect the shoe from tearing on rope climbs. It also allows the foot to grip the a rope to allow you to climb up and down safely and quickly.
The midsole is a dual density EVA foam, with a firmer rearfoot, and softer forefoot. The firm rearfoot is a feature to increase stability on lifts, and the softer forefoot to cushion landings when running or jumping.
The two differently colored outsole sections are flexible, with mimimal tread to further keep the feet planted solidly.
There are 3 Metasplit grooves on the outsole, which also feature in other Reebok models to support toe splay and enhance the stability. The lack of tread also enhances the stable base.
The heel drop from heel to the forefoot is 4mm, which is ideal for a training shoe. It gives a little elevation on the heel to assist with lifting, but not enough to make it feel unnatural or to hinder plyometric training.
Reebok Nano X Upper Unit
The Nano’s unique selling point is the Flexweave upper. This is a super durable overlay, on top of a thinly padded sock to which most of the tongue is attached.
The demands of the upper of a training shoe differ to that of a running shoe, as it needs to withstand abrasion from ropes, impact on the inside of the shoe from fast changes of direction, and is often used indoors so breathability is desirable too.
The upper material of the Nano X withstands the demands of high intensity, high impact CrossFit moves very well.
Under testing over the course of a month, the new X shaped design in the Flexweave has put up a great show so far, and shows no signs of wear.
The Flexweave upper of the Nano X is a soft woven stretch textile, with extra support and density in high abrasion areas.
The tongue is padded and raises high up the top of the foot, complemented by a curled out heel cup, both of which gave no irritation.
The heel cup feels deep and secure on the heel, more so than the Nike Metcon 5, which is great when lifting barbells and swinging kettlebells.
Also a nod to the Reebok heritage vs the previous CrossFit link in the Nano X, is the text around the highest pair of eyelets reading ‘From a tradition of over 100 years’.
Since reviewing the Nano 9, which I had in the white and blue colorway, I wore it for regular workouts over a couple more months and the upper has taken on a slightly weird stained effect around the white heel cup, and also toe box.
Due to this I went for a darker shade for the Nano X.
Reebok Nano X Conclusion
So far the Nano X has been tested with a couple of short runs, up to 5km, HIIT workouts, kettlebell workouts, box jumps and skipping. Here are the results.
I wasn’t looking forward to this particularly but it was much more comfortable and supportive than other training shoes to run in. The Nano X definitely has come on since other iterations of the shoe when it comes to running.
The cushioning and fit has been improved and feels much less ‘ploddy’ on a run.
The weight of the shoe does have the feeling of holding you back on a longer run (in this instance over 1 or 2km) when you start to notice the weight more, so for anything longer than 1km.
I’d recommend a specialist running shoe to soften the impact on your joints. My feet stayed cool enough, even when running outdoors on a hot day.
Skipping and Box Jumps
When doing short blasts of these the Nano X was great. Stable landings with great grip and enough responsiveness to keep jumping. For workouts with high numbers of box jumps or skips, the Nano X can feel its weight.
For movements like mountain climbers, burpees, jumping lunges and the like, the Nano X felt flexible around the toes, didn’t slip at all on the heel, and I could move around easily.
It was a great shoe for this purpose, and I’d recommend over a running shoe for a gym class.
Due to gyms being closed at the moment, the heaviest I’ve managed to test the Nano X with is a 16kg kettlebell, but this shoe is PERFECT for this type of workout.
Even more so if you’re used to doing any work with weights in a running shoe.
The low heel to toe drop in the Nano X means your weight stays over your heels, and your center of gravity remains fixed, working your lower body and core muscles safely.
The wide toe box means that toes can comfortably splay to grip the floor. The large flat sole, and deep heel cup means you feel safe and still when shifting a weight.
The Nano 9 was my go-to training shoe before trying the Nano X. If you’re looking for new training shoes, want some of the best ones on the market, and don’t need to consider budget the Nano X is my pick.
If you don’t mind about getting the latest model, and are looking to save a little, the Nano 9 is also a top training shoe.
Out of all training shoes, the Nano X edges slightly ahead for me due to its better aesthetics, better fit and marginally better running performance. The only thing I’d like to see in the Nano 11 would be a little weight loss.