This year we’ve reviewed and LOVED the two latest releases in Reebok’s Nano range; the Nano 9 and Nano X (10). If you’re a runner looking for a training shoe to use outside of your running workouts, then these two shoes are fantastic.
Running shoes just don’t cut the mustard when it comes to high intensity interval style workouts, weightlifting, kettlebell workouts, or plyometrics. A running shoe will cushion the impact of your foot on the ground, and assist it in moving forwards through the natural running gait. A training shoe will give you heel stability, a wide toe box and a low heel to toe drop, translating to a solid, safe base for lifting. Wear a running shoe for this and you could wear down your shoes more quickly, or injure your feet or lower limbs.
Since 2011, Reebok has sponsored the CrossFit Games, showcasing the fittest athletes in the world, but has also taken on feedback from a wide range of athletes to improve its Nano range with each launch. Nano’s have featured the CrossFit branding on the shoe up until the X. The Nano X is the first Nano without any of this branding, but it doesn’t make it any less suitable for this type of activity, and is a move to appeal to the wider, and ever-growing functional fitness market.
Similarity and differences: Nano X vs Nano 9
If you're not running, this is THE shoe for your workout.
Sole unit: Nano X vs Nano 9
The sole on the Nano 9 was a resounding massive hit during testing. The dual density foam gave enough cushioning under the forefoot to make it comfortable, and stability under the heel to make it fit for purpose.
In the Nano X, nothing has changed in the sole department. From the bottom, both shoes look identical, and the only difference is the slightly narrower fit in the Nano X, meaning the toes have slightly less space to spread out to at the front. I didn’t find this a problem, but if the fit of the Nano 9 was a little snug, you may want to add on a half size for the Nano X. The metasplit grooves in both mean the shoe is flexible despite feeling solid, and the Ropepro wrap gives great protection and durability.
The only thing we didn’t love about the Nano 9 was the feel when it came to running. The low tread and large flat base felt ‘ploddy’ like the feet were slamming down on the floor with each stride. The Nano X claimed to be the ‘most runnable’ Nano yet, and despite being heavier, I have to agree with this claim. I found the fit better and the shoe more suited to short runs. On a 5km run, it was nowhere near as good as even an entry level running shoe, but it did the job and there were few complaints.
The heel to toe drop has remained a constant too, at 4mm, giving a little elevation on the heel to assist with lifting, but not enough to make it feel unnatural or to hinder plyometric training.
Upper unit: Nano X vs Nano 9
The upper of the Nano X is a new Flexweave design, featuring 2 way stretch in the pattern of an X. It feels just as durable as previous models, if a little lighter. After a month of testing the shoe barely looks worn and I’ve no worries this will wear down anytime soon.
The upper design has a significant list of changes from the 9 to the X. These include a mid/ high rise heel cup and tongue, extra protection over the laces, padded piping removed around ankle, added overlays (likely where the extra weight is coming from) and a thinner tongue. Visually and functionally the X has more going for it.
The new upper on the Nano X gets a big thumbs up from me for aesthetics. It looks much less like a technical training shoe, and more like something that could be worn outside the gym too.
Fit wise I always find Nano’s to come up on the large size, so have always gone half a size down, and this remains the case. The Nano X does feel ever so slightly smaller than the 9’s to me, so maybe something to bear in mind if you have other Nano’s. This wasn’t enough for me to change the size though and over time the fit has improved.
Which one to buy: Nano X vs Nano 9
Both the Nano 9’s and Nano X’s were superb at the job they were designed for, and well worth the money if you’re regularly doing strength training (which if you’re a runner is a great idea!).
If you have the money to spend on a training shoe, and want the latest release out there I’d highly recommend the Nano X.
If you want a superb training shoe but want to save a little, the Nano 9 is also a great choice.
Price aside, my favorite was the Nano X. This was down to them being more suited and comfortable for running, and better looking, whilst doing the same job in all other aspects.