Reebok Nano 7 Review
updated November 1, 2018
The Reebok Nano 7.0 is the seventh generation of the iconic Reebok Nano. So what new innovation could they possibly introduce that they hadn’t already done? The prior generation, the Nano 6.0, is a great CrossFit shoe, so let’s discover whether version 7.0 takes it even further.
The Nano 7.0 Up Close
The Nano 7.0 has very good lockdown. You can lace them up tight to provide the lockdown support you need for such exercises as lateral movements and box jumps. The wide toe box of the Nano 6.0 has been retained. This allows you to spread your toes out when you’re doing powerlifting exercises.
This CrossFit shoe from Reebok appears to be geared more towards powerlifting than other gym shoes in the Reebok stable. It features Reebok’s patented Nano Weave, which provides two different layers on the upper of the shoe. The first layer is the general fabric, then this is covered by a protective webbing type weave. This is designed to protect against general wear and tear. Despite the double layer, the upper of shoe is still very breathable. Your feet will not overheat when wearing this shoe.
Some users have reported that, after a few months of use, the Nano Weave is starting to separate from the base of the shoe. This could be an issue in terms of durability and longevity of the shoe.
A big point of difference with this shoe is the new plastic heel cup. This looks pretty cool and adds rigidity to the heel but doesn’t do much more than that. On the bottom of the shoe, the heel is pretty dense. This makes them a good shoe for doing squats, where you want thickness in the heel.
The sole tread on the Nano 7.0 provides you with a very good grip. This is good for all gym applications. You can even wear your Nano 7’s when playing basketball thanks to their enhanced gripability.
In terms of comfort, the Nano 7.0 does fit true to size. While not uncomfortable, they probably won’t be the most comfortable gym shoe you’ll ever wear. There is a definite break-in period with the Nano 7.0. Over and above that, while the tongue is very breathable, it doesn’t protect from the tension of your laces. It is so thin and breathable that you will get a lot of pressure points because there is virtually no padding to protect from lacing tension.
This is a super stiff shoe. Reebok have introduced a new sole plate on the shoe. This is very rigid and impacts on your level of wearer comfort. This will make running - even very short sprints - a not very comfortable experience.
Reebok used to use Kevlar for rope protection on the mid shoe area. With the Nano 7.0 they have decided to stay in-house and use a solid canvas piece. This will provide rope protection, but it doesn’t bite and clamp down on the rope as effectively as Kevlar.
The Nano 7.0 is a solid shoe when it comes to the weight and power portions of your workout. The heel is slightly elevated and provides a good level of rigidity to help you push out those heavy squats and overhead lifts. However, the functionality does not carry over to the running and jumping aspects of your training. The very things that it make it effective for weightlifting detract from its effectiveness as a running shoe, namely its stiffness, rigidity and stability.
Comparing the Nano 7 to the Nano 6
Having identified the good and bad points of the Nano 7.0, let’s see whether you are better off going with the previously version, which, as a result of the introduction of a new generation, will now be discounted.
When it comes to the various versions of the Reebok Nano, most experienced CrossFitters seemed to love the 2.0 and the 4.0. When it came to the 5.0, Reebok made some wholesale changes. They added Kevlar and tried to make the shoe more minimalistic. Many people thought they were too tough wearing and not that comfortable. This feedback clearly made its way back to Reebok, who listened to consumer concerns in the design of the Reebok Nano 6.0.
The 6.0 is essentially a blend of the best features of the 2.0 and the 5.0. They have specifically addressed the areas of comfort and fit, durability and versatility. In all three areas, the 6.0 delivers.
Unlike the 7.0, the Reebok Nano 6.0 is a very comfortable wearing shoe. It is not too wide or too narrow. It has more padding on the heel cup and the tongue than the 7.0. The shoe also fits true to size. Reebok have reduced the amount of Kevlar on this shoe. It is now a little bit more forgiving and less harsh on your feet.
The toe box is of a mesh design and is larger than the version 5 toe box. This makes the shoe a lot more comfortable. You will not get any blisters or calluses, even when doing such dynamic movements as box jumps, tire flips and sprints.
To enhance durability, Reebok have placed a heavy duty strip of Kevlar on the inside of the shoe, as well as extra grip on the bottom of the shoe to assist with rope climbs. Overall in terms of durability the 6.0 is as good as any prior versions, and better than the Nano 7.0.
In terms of versatility, the 6.0 has a 3mm heel to toe drop (compared to a 4mm drop on the 7.0). This makes them suitable for lifting, plyometrics and running. The heel is not super stable for lifting as there is an element of compression that takes place. The wide toe box allows your toes to stretch out when lifting. The shoe is not overly springy for plyometrics. They also don’t have the padding or outsole for running. However, the tread on this shoe is awesome, and is suitable for the gym, outdoors, asphalt or any other surface.
The Nano 6.0 is a lightweight shoe at 10 ounces. This is the same weight as the 7.0. Just like the 7.0, the Nano 6.0 provides you with excellent lockdown. Your foot will not move at all in this shoe, which is precisely what you want in a CrossFit shoe.
This is a neutral shoe. That means that is no arch support or correction. One con is that the 6.0 doesn’t breath all that well. There is an inner lining throughout the shoe that stops a lot of the air flow. Your feet probably won’t overheat, but this shoe does not breathe as well as the Nano 7.0.
In summary, the 6th generation of the Reebok Nano seems to be the better all round CrossFit shoe. If you are going into the gym purely to lift weight, by all means go with the version 7. But, if you’re about to tackle your WOD and need a shoe that allows for the versatility that your workout demands, then the Reebok Nano 6.0 is the shoe for you.
Reebok Nano 7.0 vs Nike Metcon 3.0
Nike and Reebok have been battling it out for supremacy in the CrossFit shoe market for some years now. So how do their two flagship models compare?
If style and comfort is your prime concern then the Nike Metcon 3.0 has got to be your choice. It is far more comfortable than the Nano 7.0. The sole and upper of the Metcon 3 are extremely flexible compared to the Nano 7.0.
If, however, you are after a durable shoe, then the Reebok Nano 7.0 comes out on top. Although its Nano Weave doesn’t flex overly well, it is extremely durable. You can rub the upper on any surface without having to worry about it getting worn out or torn.
In terms of training versatility, the Metcon 3 is the better option. Although this a low profile shoe which doesn’t provide much in the way of ankle support, the flexibility and cushion drop in the midsole really help when it matters most. They are also extremely supportive when it comes to rope climbing thanks to their outsole design. While the Nano 7.0 web tape and design help on the rope, they aren’t as supportive as the Metcon 3.0.
It must be said that neither one of these shoes are perfect. The Nike Metcon 3.0 needs improvement when it comes to fit and lockdown. This shoe allows for a lot of heel slippage - it is almost like you are wearing sandals, although wearing thicker socks will help. Better quality laces and a padded tongue would also enhance the Metcon 3.0.
The Metcon 3 features a TPU heel clip on the back, which helps you remain stable on the wall when doing handstand push ups. If you’re a weightlifter who does deadlifts, clean and jerks or squats, then the Reebok Nano 7.0 is better suited for you. They provide more ankle stability and support than the Metcon 3.0. So, if you are looking for something that will give you a solid foundation to do your lifts, then go with Reebok.
The Reebok Nano 7.0 also needs improvement, especially when it comes to fit. The middle portion of the shoe is too narrow. Adding flexibility to the Nano Weave upper would also be beneficial as would reducing the stiffness of the mid-shoe. While good for lifting, it is a detriment for plyometrics and sprint work.
So what’s the verdict?
If you’re into plyometrics and agility training, go with the Nike Metcon 3. But if your main thing is barbell movements and AMRAP sets, the Reebok Nano 7.0 is the better option. For a near ideal blend of these two training methodologies, you are better ditching both models and going back to the Reebok Nano 6.0.