This week, we take a moment to review Reebok’s Original functional fitness show, the Reebok CrossFit Nano.
Item: Reebok CrossFit Nano
Price: $199.99 USD
I admit it – I have a shoe fetish. Chuck Taylors? Yeah, I’ve got them… in seven colours. I once confessed my love for Chuck Taylors on Facebook. A friend of mine replied saying the Air Jordan’s trump Chucks. Another said Dunlop Volleys are the best shoes of all time. At least I know I‘m not alone!
When the Reebok CrossFit Nano’s first went on sale last year they were met with much anticipation. I missed out on the first round. So when they came up for release again a few months back I made sure I got myself a pair. Well, two pairs; yellow and red.
The first thing I noticed when my shoes arrived was the colour. The yellow ones were bright! What was nice was receiving an additional pair of laces in a contrasting colour. The overall colour selection is good, with the yellow being the most popular it appeared at the time of purchase. Does anyone wear white shoes anymore?
Slipping the shoe on for the first time I was pleasantly surprised with the feel of the shoe. It is very lightweight and comfortable to walk in. The size I ordered is correct and true to size which was my main concern. The real test was to do a WOD to see how these bad boys performed. The only question was which colour…
I decided to test out the shoes without using the U-Form technology first up. I wanted to understand the feel of the shoe before I cooked them. Putting them on with my regular WOD socks I noticed that the toe-box is super wide which is a welcome change from my Innov8’s; although I have a wide foot so others may find the toe box a little sloppy. The WOD happened to be an OLY/Run couplet so I got the opportunity to test them for what they were specifically designed for.
My ‘regular’ WOD socks were a very thin synthetic material.
At the completion of the WOD I returned home and activated the U-Form technology. The shoe does fit better after activation; although I was expecting it to be a greater change apart from the warm feeling the hairdryer gave the shoes. This is more a positive than a negative, as having a minimalistic shoe that conforms to the shape of your foot is something of an oxymoron.
If you want something for running this isn’t the right shoe. There are much better running shoes on the market. That’s not to say you can run in them; you can, comfortably. However there are alternates that will perform better.
The width of the shoe, although a positive, is also a negative for those who don’t have wide feet. My ‘regular’ socks have now been replaced for a thicker version, and I have a wide foot. Even with the U-Form technology changing the fit of the shoe, I feel much more secure in the shoe with a thicker pair of socks on.
One other area, which is somewhat annoying, is the tongue of the shoe. It has a tendency to slip laterally rather than staying aligned between the lace holes. I quizzed two other people who have the shoe and one had no issue with the tongue, and the other found the tongue slipped medially! Reebok should consider securing the tongue in later versions of the shoe to avoid any migration.
Falling victim to the call of the yellow shoe as many did, I find myself reaching for my red pair more often. This is because keeping the yellow clean is close to impossible! Watching YouTube videos of Kalipa and Froning wearing the yellow Nano’s shows the same problem. The yellow shoes show soiling. I guess this is expected if you’re wearing them every day and dragging them across floors covered in black rubber. My red ones still look new apart from a couple of scuffs here and there.
The shoe is competitively priced for those purchasing inside the US. However US$50 for international shipping is very steep and will deter overseas purchasers in today’s competitive market. Stock quantities should be higher too. I can’t tell you how many disappointed CrossFitters I heard complaining that they had to go for their second choice of colour.
A relatively minor but somewhat annoying matter was that I ordered my shoes and didn’t receive an email stating my order had been shipped. I usually wouldn’t get annoyed at this however the online store stated that I would receive an email with my tracking number on dispatch. I had to email Reebok to get my tracking number after a week of waiting, for Reebok to tell me the package had been shipped days ago.
These shoes are comfortable. I’d happily wear them with a suit and tie if it was accepted business attire. The width of the shoe fit my foot well, although I will say that the shape of the shoe looks a little odd when you look down at it.
I have a few pairs of minimal/barefoot shoes: Vivo barefoot, Vibrams, Innov8’s and CrossFit Nano’s. Like I said, I have a shoe fetish! Although minimal in make, the minimal sole was comfortable but not at a point where you feel everything you’re walking on such as with barefoot shoes. There was still enough cushioning when the heel struck the floor in the lifting part of the WOD, and the shoe felt lightweight on the run.
Over to the lifting and the shoe was also very stable. Nowadays I find myself reluctant to change into my Reebok CrossFit OLY Lifter because the Nano’s are so versatile and suitable for lifting if you don’t have a pair of lifting shoes. What I love about the shoe is that my foot is solid when I stamp my foot down and out on a heavy lift. There has been no noticeable sign of the foot slipping in the shoe.
Reebok promotes this as “the world’s first shoe designed and developed by and for CrossFitters” and that’s exactly what it delivers. This is a good all-round shoe which is as much at home in the box as it is running around the box. Just don’t do a swimming WOD in them.
I’ve given the Nano two ratings: the first for the CrossFitter and the second for the exercise enthusiast. I expect these or versions of these shoes to eventually become part of the mainstream Reebok offer sometime in the future.
Exercise Enthusiast 6.5/10