Reebok is one of the largest manufacturers of sports shoes and equipment on earth. Their Nano line of footwear is completely focused on CrossFit enthusiasts. Reebok has been known for crossing barriers and combining technologies to split feature sets, which in turn pushes their shoe owners to strive for the next level of fitness opportunities. The latest offering to do this is their Reebok CrossFit Nano 9, which we were elated to purchase and test out.
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The CrossFit Nano 9 provides impressive levels of supportiveness and agility, surprising for a CrossFit shoe, but not surprising for Reebok as a brand. In addition, they have included a good number of innovative and new features that help push this shoe to the next level and make it onto our radar for more in-depth testing.
The Nano 9 is insanely versatile as well. The shoe provides an incredibly powerful and grip-heavy foundation, strong ranges of motion, and secure and supportive footing. Additionally, the colors and designs available with this shoe have been improved since their previous iteration. We went with the Black - Light Sand - Reebok Rubber Gum 03 color combination. For these reasons and more explained below, these were by far one of the highest rated shoes on our extensive guide to the best shoes for CrossFit.
Notable Features of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Reebok has added in their patented and tested Flexweave technologies into the CrossFit Nano 9 shoes. These provide a scientifically-engineered fabric weave upper in a thin but rigid figure-right styling. What this does is ensure enhanced levels of both breathability and flexibility directly into the shoe’s upper. Not found in any other CrossFit shoe, this feature doesn’t detract from the reliability, performance and durability of either the sole or midsole.
But there was one feature that really drew us into the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 as a shoe to buy and test extensively on our own proving ground, and that was the notoriously roomy toe box. This toe box went well above and beyond CrossFit shoes provided by competing manufacturers (even those in our list). They also provided extensive comfort and stability. These are two of the most crucial aspects needed in the quick world of CrossFit and weightlifting.
Additionally, the tow box of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 has a strong launch adaptation. This provides the ideal foundation for fit, power and stability. It is also far wider than average, allowing for increased space and movement. This all comes without causing the rest of the shoe to lose its snugness.
How We Tested
We were wanting to perform an adequate number of WODs for a solid sense of shoe performance under an array of scenarios and circumstances. This meant, for the sake of time, avoiding WODs that were completely upper-body focused. As such, we found four solid WODs we performed while wearing the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.
- The Ten-To-One Countdown WOD: Perform ten dumbbell thrusters and ten kettlebell swings. Dumbbell thrusters are when you hold lighter dumbbells in front of your chest with both hands, squat, and then stand straight, raising the dumbbell over your head at the same time. When ten of each of these are performed, we rested, then did nine, rested, did eight, and repeated down to one rep.
- The SPPR WOD: SPPR stands for Squat Press Pull-up Run. This brutal WOD consists of three sets of the following exercises: 12 front squats, ten pull-ups, eight push presses. Once these three exercises are done, the set is complete when you perform a 200-yard sprint.
- The Ten For Ten WOD: In this workout, for ten minutes we performed as many possible sets of ten repetitions as we could of each of the following exercises: box jumps, kettlebell swings, and ring dips.
- The Burpees and Push-Ups in 5’s WOD: This WOD set consisted of five rounds of the following three exercises: five burpees, five push-ups and a 200-yard sprint.
The four WODs above, combined with periods of rest necessary between each set and each exercise, represented over 60 solid minutes of intense interval training and conditioning work. This worked perfectly for a very well-rounded outdoor test of some of the most effective CrossFit shoes we have tried in years.
Testing Results of the CrossFit Nano 9
These shoes performed admirably in all aspects of testing. As far as shoe weight was concerned, they were staunchly “middle of the pack”. The Minimum from New Balance was the lightest and Inov-8’s tested option was significantly heavier of the three shoes we field tested for CrossFit use. With this as the case, they still provides extensive traction and support when performing the standard exercises. They also worked perfectly in the sprinting test, doing just fine across a wide variety of different surface types.
For the heavier kettlebell swings, the biggest concern was a loss of grip on the ground, especially with heavy weights being swung about. This was a non-issue with the Nano 9. Additionally, we had some concerns about box jumps, as the surface we were jumping onto was damp and slippery from morning dew. Still, we experienced absolutely no loss of stability throughout our training and testing processes.
We agree with the sentiment that these shoes have the roomiest toe box in CrossFit options. This led to one of the most comfortable experiences that we have had with any shoe, regardless of its purpose. Overall, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 outperformed expectations. We are more than satisfied with our purchase, and have no qualms with noting them as one of the best shoe options for CrossFit there is.
Pros and Cons of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9
Regardless of all the glowing recommendations, stellar reviews, and stunning features, no matter the shoe, there are going to be both advantages and disadvantages. The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 is no exception to this. Through our research and testing, we found some of the advantages to be obvious, and some of the potential disadvantages to be surprisingly present. Below we break them down.
- These shoes had the widest and most roomy toe box of any CrossFit shoes we tested. This was the biggest draw to our decision to purchase them to test out.
- A lower cut design compared to alternative CrossFit shoes in the same category provides extensive and free-flowing comfort throughout the course of our test workout.
- With a minimal drop, the Nano 9 provided us with something close to a true barefoot experience, especially when compared to the heavier and more heel-elevated option from Inov-8.
- Thick padding located throughout the sole ensured that we experienced minimal soreness after a workout throughout the legs and feet, something very common after high-intensity workouts, especially with more low-profile workout shoes.
- An astounding traction and grip level assisted the shoes in truly sticking to the surfaces when jumping, running and sprinting across slick, wet, or slippery surfaces.
- When we were testing out the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9, we noticed that there was quite a lack in flexibility of the sole and midfoot, especially when compared to thinner-soled models of CrossFit shoe like the also-tested New Balance Minimum 20v7.
- While these shoes have a thicker sole than alternative counterparts like the above mentioned New Balance option, they did surprisingly little to alleviate pain and discomfort associated with plantar fasciitis or flat feet. The alleviation was so minimal, that we highly recommend those who suffer from either of these ailments go with an alternative CrossFit shoe option.
Three Months Post-Purchase Results
After three months of regular-to-heavy use, we like to reflect upon our purchase and provide any updates to the quality of the shoe after many wears. The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 was worn for over 100 hours, for a variety of tasks. The wear of these shoes extended past CrossFit into general running, standard weightlifting, biking, hiking, lengthy walks, full-day casual office wear, and more. A few moments that stood out to us:
- These shoes are not ideal to walk in sand or loose dirt. The weaving allows particles to get inside the shoe, and the lower profile causes the ankle area and gap between the inner and outer layer of the shoe to quickly fill with grit and sand.
- As overpronators, we were used to the outside heel of our shoes to wear down significantly after extensive wear. We found that the wear of the outside soles of these shoes were far less apparent than comparative shoes worn for similar tasks over similar timeframes, a big bonus in our book.
- The glue holding the front of the shoe’s sole to the upper on both the left and right shoe has begun to un-stick, which caused us to need to re-glue that part of the shoe to prevent a “flappy” toe.
Overall, our impression of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 is positive. With extensive grip, impressive durability of the soles over time, a stylish design and the roomiest toe box of any shoe we have tested, there were plenty of benefits to these shoes. However, we were less than impressed with some of the deconstruction that occurred over time in the connections between the sole and upper.
In the end, for the price point, we were more than impressed with what we got, and these remain our go-to shoes for CrossFit style activities months after purchase.
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For more CrossFit shoe options, check out our article: CrossFit Shoes – Find The Best CrossFit Shoe for You.