Reebok's Nano shoes have been widely popular as do-everything CrossFit shoes and this shoe was once the cream of the crop. Our testers found the Nano 7 to have features more favorable to weightlifting performance, with less attention given to running performance, sensitivity, and comfort.
Reebok Nano 7.0 Review
Cons: Uncomfortable for running, less breathable
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Our Analysis and Test Results
Reebok introduces the latest in its Nano shoe line, the Nano 7. The Nano 7 provides solid weightlifting performance but was less than ideal for workouts which involved running or loaded carries.
The Reebok Nano 7 provides a CrossFit shoe somewhat balanced across our rating metrics, though favoring weightlifting over running comfort. The Nano 7 was ranked below the Nike Metcon 3 and NOBULL Trainer by our testers, notably on running specific workouts.
The Nano 7 performed well in weightlifting, ranked just behind the Editors' Choice Nike Metcon 3 by our testers. The Nano 7 has a supportive and slightly elevated heel. It provides above-average stability between the sole and upper when squatting or receiving heavy cleans. It also provided testers with more rigidity (from the ball of the foot to heel when launching heavy cleans) than any shoe tested except the Powerlift 3 and Fastlift 370, which were designed specifically for heavy weightlifting.
On heavy squatting, one tester found the toe-curl in the sole a bit distracting. On loaded carries, the Nano 7 lost points for feeling clunky at the heel end of the sole. One tester felt the Nano 7 didn't provide as much resistance to pronation on loaded carries as the Metcon 3. The Nano 7 was scored the same on weightlifting as the Adidas CrazyPower Trainer. The Nano outperformed the CrazyPower Trainer on heavy Olympic lifts and squats, by having a stiffer and more stable sole. The CrazyPower was ranked much higher on loaded carries since testers were able to walk more smoothly with heavy weights.
The Nano 7 was not one of our testers' picks for running workouts. The stiffness and stability that make it a strong performer on heavy barbell workouts detracted from the Nano's performance when running. During the acceleration phase of sprints, the Nano 7 provided excellent power transfer, but at cruising speed its stiffness was noticeable. Longer runs were uncomfortable for our testers. Athletes looking for a shoe to wear during running workouts should consider the New Balance Minimus 40. Those who need a balance of weightlifting support and running performance should consider the Nike Metcon 3.
The Nano 7 was supportive under barbell squatting and pulling movements, but less so during loaded carries and changes of direction. The laces provided a snug fit for the upper, and the upper proved fairly sturdy.
The Nano 7 offers plenty of structure on the heel end. Overall, the upper is quite sturdy. In addition, the Nano 7 has a protective coating which guards against scuffs. Rope climbs were aided by grippy ridges on medial instep area. The upper of the Nano 7's toe box has enough reinforcement to keep toes-to-bar and double-under misses from becoming too painful, earning it a 7 out of 10. This competitor was bested by the Adidas Powerlift 3 and on part with the Nike Metcon 3 and NOBULL Trainer.
The Nano 7's toe curl on the front edge of the sole detracted from our testers' ability to feel the ground when squatting. Though present during explosive Olympic weightlifting as well, the toe curl was less noticeable. This shoe offered enough sensitivity in the forefoot to allow our testers' toes to find good landing positions on box jumps as well as the Olympic lifts, earning it an above average score of 6 out of 10. Our testing determined that the ASICS Conviction X followed by the New Balance Minimus 40 provided the best range of sensitivity.
The toe box provides adequate breathability, but like other stable shoes, the support in the heel traps some heat. 7 out of 10 and on par with the NOBULL Trainer, but bested by many of the high scorers.
The Nano 7 has a comfortably wide toe box. It was a little wider than our testers needed for their feet but could be a good fit for athletes with a wide forefoot. Our testers found the top edge of the upper a little bit harsh on the ankle and that the laces dig into the instep a bit. If you're looking for a comfortable shoe with a balance of performance characteristics, check out the NOBULL Trainer, our highest-ranked shoe on comfort.
Reebok's Nano 7 provides solid performance features for anyone whose CrossFit workouts involve heavy barbell work. It is a stable shoe for lifting, jumping, and short sprints. Thoughtful features provide grip on rope climbs and low-friction wall-contact on hand-stand push-ups. This makes the newest Nano a reasonable choice for many CrossFit competitions, provided it is comfortable on your foot and you don't need to take it on longer runs.
Reebok has introduced the Nano 7 at a similar recommended price to the more highly-ranked Nike Metcon 3 and NOBULL Trainer. The critical considerations which may outweigh our rankings are if the Nano 7 fits your foot extremely well and if you're willing to give up some comfort during runs. If the Nano 7 fits your foot, and you don't need to take it for long runs, it might be a good value for you.
The Reebok Nano 7 is billed as a CrossFit shoe that does it all, but our testers found its characteristics more skewed toward weightlifting, at the expense of running performance, sensitivity, and comfort.
— Scott Francis