In our previous review, we tested the Nano 5.0. One of the most significant differences between the 5.0 and the 7.0 is the Kevlar reinforced uppers in the 5.0. A shoe with Kevlar! "Is it bulletproof?" was a common response by athletes seeing the Nano 5.0 in the gym. While we doubt the Nano 5.0 can stand up to bullets, the Kevlar does protect them from damage during rope climbs. Unfortunately, the Kevlar addition is incredibly slick, and it was a struggle to keep our feet from sliding while climbing up the rope. The new material called "NanoWeave" on the uppers of the Reebok Nano 7.0 is much better at helping our feet grip the rope, but it did show some wear after just a few rope climbs. Workouts with light to moderate weight lifts are fine in this shoe, but it lacked some of the support we were looking for during heavier attempts. Running short distances during metcon workouts won't be a problem in the Nano 7.0, but for longer runs, we wanted a shoe better designed for runs such as the Reebok CrossFit Speed TR - Women's. In general, the Nano 7.0 performs well for most of the demands of CrossFit, but it did not win us over like the NoBull Trainers.
Reebok Nano 7.0 - Women's Review
Cons: Rope climbs damage on upper instep, not great for running
Our Analysis and Test Results
The newest version in the Nano series, the 7.0 sports the typical wider toe box design that you will find in most of the previous versions. It comes in a variety of bright colors and solid black, or you can customize your very own design through the Reebok website for an additional $15. The 7.0 has a 4mm heel to toe rise.
The Nano 7.0 is fine for lifting light to moderate weights. However, at heavier loads, we weren't as happy with this version of the Nano as we were with some of the older versions of Nanos. If you are specifically looking for a lifting shoe, take a look at our Top Pick for Weightlifting Workouts, the Inov-8 Fastlift 325.
While we weren't searching for the perfect running shoe, you do need a shoe to handle some running intermixed with lifting or body weight movements in your everyday shoe for CrossFit. One of the long-standing complaints about the Nano shoes is the very wide toe box. Reebok trimmed down on that width with the 5.0 but has gone back to a slightly wider toe in the 7.0 version. This wide toe box design might be one reason our testers did not prefer this shoe for running workouts. We felt there was just a little too much sloppiness in the fit for a good running shoe. We also felt like it was stiff in the toe and could have used more arch support if we were going to take the shoes out for longer runs.
In a good shoe for CrossFit, we look for a shoe that can give us good feedback during Olympic lifts. For instance, are we leaning too far forward, or pulling back to hard? The right shoe can translate that movement well to the athlete. We gave the Nano 7.0 an average score for sensitivity. At lighter loads, there was no problem in being able to determine where our weight was positioned on our feet. As the loads got heavier, it was more difficult to tell if we needed to make corrections to our balance on Olympic lifts. We much preferred the new kid on the block, the NOBULL Trainer regarding sensitivity.
Shoe manufacturers have a tough job of trying to blend the perfect shoe that can be worn for weightlifting, running, box jumps and everything in between. CrossFit shoes need enough support for lifts, yet still, have enough cushion and flexibility for running. The Nano 7.0s have decent support for being a hybrid style CrossFit shoe.
Protection and Durability
In the search for a suitable shoe for CrossFit, you want to make sure your new shoes can handle some tough conditions on rope climbs. The friction caused as the rope slides on shoes can really tear up the instep as well as the soles. The Nano 7.0 did a good job gripping onto the rope which helped our feet stay put, but we did see some damage to the upper material after a few climbs. Double unders are another consideration with looking for some protection. There needs to be enough material over the toe box to protect toes if the jump rope catches. While the Nano 7.0 does protect toes from the rope, our testers didn't really like jumping in these shoes.
Nobody like super-hot feet in the middle of a workout, we paid close attention to breathability during our testing. We put these shoes through the ringer in the hot, humid climate on the Coast of North Carolina as well as the heat of the Arizona desert. Our feet got hot in these shoes, resulting in one of our lowest rated shoes for breathability.
Comfort, of course, is very subjective in a shoe for CrossFit. Most of our shoe testers ranked the Nano 7.0 lower on the comfort scale. These shoes just didn't seem to move very well with our feet. There is a hard plastic piece that wraps around the heel cup that does not give at all when leaning your weight from side to side in a lateral lunge for instance. More than one reviewer noted that when standing in them for long periods of time, their two smallest toes would go numb.
The Nano 7.0 performs well as an all-purpose CrossFit shoe. Keep in mind that you might still want a pair of lifting shoes for your heavy one rep max attempts though, as the Nano 7.0 is better for light to moderate loads.
The Nano 7 is one of the more expensive shoes in our review, and probably shouldn't be quite that much money, according to our testers. If you need to keep your costs down, check out our Best Buy, the Reebok CrossFit Speed TR. Our testers feel that you should have a more comfortable shoe overall when spending this much money on a shoe for CrossFit.
The newest in Reebok's Nano series, the 7.0 has returned to the classic wide Nano toe box. The Kevlar reinforced upper from the 5.0 was replaced with NanoWeave which is a great improvement for helping our feet stick during rope climbs. Unfortunately, the material did show some wear and tear from the rope. If you are searching for a shoe that can stand up to light lifts, body weight movements, and some short runs, then the Nano 7.0 will do the trick.
— Audrey Hammond