Tag Archives: Shoes

Shoe Review – Reebok Nano 6.0

I get a lot of questions about shoes for the rigors of the variety of workouts we do at the gym. So, to keep with the trends I buy and try all of the latest CrossFit shoes so I can give an honest, unbiased review.

A few things before I tell you about the newest Reebok shoes. First, I think that all of the shoes that are made for cross training are great. They will all get the job done. I think the biggest thing comes down to each individual person and their shoe fit and aesthetic preferences.

I do have a wide variety of shoes that I rotate through when I workout, and I do pick which shoe I am going to wear based on the movements in the workout each day. I have that luxury. I like to watch for sales and pick up new shoes when they aren’t full price.

Most people are going to buy one pair of shoes and wear those every day they come to the gym and that is perfect. If you are working out 5-6+ times per week, I might then recommend that you get a second pair of workout shoes. Alternate days so that your shoes can air out and dry between sweat sessions. Pick 2 different kinds of shoes so that you can use them depending on the demands of the workout. And, like women wearing dress shoes/heels, if you are wearing shoes that often, if it good to have a variety to alleviate blisters and other repetitive motion ailments. Plus, you’ll cut back on the wear and tear of a single pair.

Now let’s talk about the Reebok Nano 6. I was late to the game with these shoes. I usually try to get new shoes within a month or two of their release because being a gym owner, athletes always ask about the newest shoes.

I really love my Nano 5.0s. (Which I was also late to the game buying – I just loved the 4.0s so much I bought 3 pairs of those and it was hard to justify another new pair of shoes.) In my opinion, the 4.0s were great, the 5.0s are awesome, and the 6.0s are amazing.

I didn’t really like any of the color combos of the 6.0s when they were first released, but I did finally order (and pay for) a custom pair of the 6.0s. Not only do I love the way they look, I love wearing them.

I judge my athletic shoes in several different criteria – can I stand in them all day and coach, how do they move and feel when I am working out with all of the variety of movements that CrossFit demands, and how is it to run in them?

The answer to all of these is a resounding YES with the Nano 6.0s. They have become my new favorite coaching and workout shoe. Bonus that I love the colors and design.

These shoes are solid enough to be supportive while standing for long periods of time or Olympic lifting work, and flexible enough to do burpees, sit ups, and box jumps.

These shoes fit my feet particularly well, with being a women’s size 12, that is a big deal. (Though they didn’t offer women’s sizing that high, I had to buy a men’s 10.5). So losing out on some of the fun girly colors and custom options is a bummer, I am still very happy with the way the shoes turned out.

They fit well right away and I didn’t feel the need to have to break them in at all. The upper shoes are soft and flexible, and the sole is sturdy but also flexes well with my foot. I feel secure and stable wearing them to Olympic lift, and they are soft and flexible enough for lunges and box jumps.

They are specifically made for cross-training so they also do well in rope climbs with side grips and kevlar overlay so you won’t tear them out. They are also comfortable enough to do the shorter amounts of running required in warm ups and workouts.

These shoes fit my feet really well. I have large feet (again, women’s size 12) but they are proportionate. I have bog feet, but not wide feet. Earlier versions of the Nano had a wider toe box, I don’t think these are as wide, but they still are roomy enough for your toes to spread out.

If you have wide feet (or really narrow feet) these may not be the best fit for you. There are also other shoes out there that are more minimalist (Inov-8s) or a bit more solid (Nike MetCons – especially in the sole.)

Overall, these are my favorite Reebok CrossFit shoe and favorite shoe all around. They are made just life a good CrossFitter – good at everything, specialized in nothing.

Which Shoes to Wear for Which Workout?

Part 2: CrossFit, Running, and Lifting Shoes

allshoes

As you grow in CrossFit, you may want to grow your shoe selection as well and choose the best shoe for the job for particular movements and workouts.

Most people have some sort of running or athletic shoe when they start CrossFit. The next shoe I would recommend getting is a general CrossFit shoe – the Inov8’s, Nano’s, MetCon’s, or No Bull’s. Then, if you are going to get into the Olympic Lifts more or have been CrossFitting for awhile and want to take things up a notch, I would recommend looking into Olympic Lifters.

CrossFit Shoes

cfshoes

As discussed in Part 1: Nanos, MetCons, Inov8s, and No Bulls – oh my! There are several brands of CrossFit specific shoes on the market. If you have a pair of CrossFit shoes – whether they be Inov8s, Nano’s, MetCon’s, or No Bulls – it is a pretty safe bet that you can wear them for the entire hour class at the gym any day of the week.

They are specifically designed to be an all around shoe that is good at all things, not specialized for any – just like CrossFitters.

Running Shoes

If there are workouts with a good amount of running, I do prefer to wear my running shoes. The raised, cushioned heel isn’t a detriment with light weight squats, rowing, or most of the bodyweight movements – burpees, pull ups, push ups.

Running shoes are going to have a bigger differential from heel to toe – a raised heel. This is great for running, especially if your running form isn’t quite perfect.

Running shoes are going to have more cushion throughout the entire sole of the shoe. This is to help with the impact of continuously striking the ground, it will help to lessen the impact on the ankle, knee, and hip joints.

Great for running, may not be so spectacular for barbell movements or moving heavy weights around. Running shoes are going to most likely be heavier as well.

Olympic Lifting Shoes

oly

The purpose of Oly Shoes is to provide stability and help you get into a good start position on the barbell. The elevated heel helps with a better squat position, especially if you have hip or ankle mobility issues. Rock hard heel and sole = no give.

When you are lifting heavy weights you want to come down on a solid surface, you don’t want your heel to sink a bit – it causes instability. (This is also the reason people lift on the hardwood floors called Olympic Lifting Platforms – nice solid base to land on with no give to throw you off balance.)

Oly shoes are great for some strength and power days. (But not deadlifts – the raised heel puts the knees too forward of the bar and hinders that vertical shin we need to be sure the posterior chain is engaged.)

It is rare I would use Oly shoes for a workout. There are always exceptions though. A workout with a lot of barbell work (again, not deadlift), squats, or rowing. Anything with running, jumping, or burpees I wouldn’t.

lifters

Of course, Reebok now makes a hi-bred Oly shoe that is made to be able to workout in. The heel differential is smaller (meaning not so much of a heel) so it still give you some lift, but not so much that you can’t possibly jump in. Still not recommended for running though.

When choosing an Olympic Lifting shoe, you want to have a more snug fit. Again, you want everything to be solid. If the shoe it too big and your foot slides around inside, it’s defeating the purpose of the shoe.

If you want to explore Olympic Lifting more and take some of the specialty classes offered, Olympic Lifting shoes aren’t a bad investment. You won’t wear them that often and you won’t be super rough on them, so they should last you a good long time.

Certainly, the shoes that you wear on your feet are nothing compared to the blood, sweat, tears, and hard work you put in at the gym. Those are the things that matter, not what brand shoes you are wearing.

And be sure to check out the first part of the Shoe Series:

Which Shoes to Choose?
Part 1: Nanos, MetCons, Inov8s, and No Bulls – oh my!

Which Shoes to Choose?

Part 1: Nanos, MetCons, Inov8s, and No Bulls – oh my!

allshoescircle

When I started CrossFit a few years ago, there weren’t really any shoes out there that could handle the rigors of Olympic lifting, running, rope climbing, and more all in one.

Since CrossFit has become a bit more mainstream, there are more brands willing to develop and manufacture shoes to get their share of the money produced by the sport.

I have accumulated quite an assortment of shoes. I do in fact have at least one pair of every shoe I talk about here. And I do rotate through them and use them for different workouts depending on the movements in the workout that day.

I realize having 5+ pairs of shoes is a bit unrealistic for every day CrossFitters. In my experience most people already have a pair of running shoes. Those are great to start with. You can certainly get started with CrossFit with pretty much any kind of athletic shoe you already have.

If you are looking for your second pair of shoes, ones that will be your “CrossFit” shoes, the ones that you leave at the gym in the cubby, then I recommend a shoe made for CrossFit – Reebok Nanos, Nike MetCons, Inov8 F-LITE 235s, or No Bulls.

Unfortunately, I don’t know of any sporting goods or running stores that carry all 4 kinds of shoes. Running stores will carry the Inov8s, sporting good stores will maybe carry the Nike and the Reebok. More stores are starting to carry some Reebok Nanos, but it is rare to see Nike MetCons on a retail shelf, and you can only order No Bulls through their web site.

I recommend trying on each of the shoes, if you can, to see how they feel and fit on your feet. Also make note of the sizing of each brand that fits best for you. In my experiences, Inov8’s and No Bull’s run true, Nike’s are big, and Reebok’s are small.

If you can’t get to a store, you can also utilize each brand’s shoe sizing chart on their web site. Most on-line retailers have return policies as well, so be sure to check that out before you buy.

Being part of a great gym community is also helpful. If you ask real nice, most people will let you try a pair of their shoes to see what you think.

Inov8 F-LITE

inov8s

My notes on Inov8s:

  • Minimalist running shoe
  • Very lightweight (the 235 stands for how many grams they weigh)
  • Easy to find good deals on – $60-80 (zappos.com and theclymb.com)
  • Narrower fit
  • Because of lightweight nature of shoe, wear out faster
  • I like them for jumping – box, rope, burpees
  • Not bad for deadlifting because you can feel the floor
  • No heel, so no added lift to elevate the heel
  • As a coach, standing in them all day hurts my legs because they have no sole
  • Huge variety of colors and styles
  • Run true to size

From the Inov8 site:
F-LITE™ 235

An evolution of the original F-LITE™ series, the F-LITE™ 235 allows an athlete to challenge any workout with more flexibility, durability and versatility. Features a new outsole and upper design. The ultimate fitness shoe for all WODs, the versatile F-LITE™ 235 features 360-degree Rope-Tec™ for burn protection, a 40% denser heel unit for stability, multi-directional outsole flexibility, a seamless toe bumper for burpee protection and increased cushioning.

Reebok Nanos

nanos

My notes about Nanos:

  • Made by Reebok, so made for the varied movements of CrossFit
  • Wider toe box
  • Hold up well to rigors of varied crossfit movements
  • Comfy to be in all day
  • Light enough for jumping, stable enough for lifting, great for rope climbing
  • If you have decent running form, they are good, if you are a heel striker (like me) too much running hurts my calves
  • Pricey
  • Current style (5.0) has limited color choices
  • Can customize colors (costs extra and extra shipping time)
  • Run ½ size small

From the Reebok site:
Introducing our lightest, strongest, most innovative Nano yet. For the first time ever, the Nano’s mesh upper is infused with durable Kevlar® for elite-level abrasion protection. Plus, the entire midsole shape has been re-engineered to fit more precisely and support your foot better during heavy lifts. Don’t believe us? Put it to the WOD, and see for yourself.

  • DuPont™ Kevlar® infused mesh upper for airflow and extreme durability
  • CMEVA for better cushion and an anatomical heel and footbed for a secure fit
  • Polyurethane NanoShell for an extra defense against midsole abrasion and support for the foot during heavy lifts
  • RopePro carbon rubber to withstand demanding CrossFit maneuvers
  • Raised outsole lug patterns for better surface area contact and improved traction
  • 3MM toe to heel drop platform for improved stability during any WOD
Nike MetCons

metcons

My notes about MetCons:

  • Feel slightly heavier than the Nanos
  • Feel bulkier
  • Have arch support
  • Solid shoe, comfy to be standing in all day
  • Pricey (about the same at Nanos)
  • Difficult to find right now, on-line only, and availability is sporadic
  • Lots of color choices
  • Sizing runs a little big
  • They have women’s sizes up to a 12 – which for me is a HUGE deal

From the Nike site:
The MetCon 1 (short for “metabolic conditioning”) is Nike’s ultimate, all-purpose cross-training shoe. From the flat firm heel to the grooved forefoot design, MetCons are built to provide stability on heavy lifts, flexibility on sprints and climbs, and optimal comfort for distance runs and day-to-day abuse.

It’s the small details that help set the Nike® MetCon 1 apart. A rubber padding on the midsole reduces friction during rope climbs. An extra-durable mesh lining offers much-needed breathability. And Nike’s lightweight Flywire cables help maintain a strong support structure without the bulkiness of some other leading cross-trainers. MetCons also deliver dependable traction that performs on the gym floor, the track, and training grounds far off the beaten path.

  • Cross-Training Shoe
  • Weight: 11.2 oz
  • Heel to Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Flat, max-support heel for weightlifting
  • Drop-in midsole & forefoot grooves for greater flexibility
  • Breathable, abrasion-resistant mesh
  • Lightweight Vectran filaments (Flywire) for optimal structure and support
No Bull

nobullshoes

My notes about No Bull:

  • Flat, solid sole with very little differential from heel to toe
  • Lighter than MetCons, about the same as the Nanos
  • The shoe is made from one solid piece of material, seems durable
  • Solid shoe, comfy to be standing in all day
  • Range in price from $99 – $129 (not sure why the price difference to be honest)
  • Can only find on-line at nobullproject.com
  • One style, different color options
  • Sizing runs pretty true to size
  • They have a few styles in women’s sizes up to a 11.5, but the colors and styles are pretty gender neutral so ordering in men’s isn’t a big deal
  • Every pair of shoes come with 2 pairs of laces – fun pink laces came with the men’s grey shoe which made them more feminine!

From the No Bull site:
Run, climb, slide, grind, lift….these kicks have you covered. Lightweight, breathable and flexible protection that moves the way you do. Like a ninja.

  •  The upper of the Trainer features a seamless one-piece construction of SuperFabric®, an extremely durable, breathable and abrasion resistant material.
  • The SuperFabric® guard plates are applied to a highly flexible mesh base layer, creating a 360 degree shield from zombies, rope climbs, and excuses.
  • The outsole lug pattern was designed for multi-environment usage, allowing for an easy transition between inside and outside with the right blend of flexibility, traction and support.
  • High carbon lateral and medial guards for added protection on sidewalls.
  • Reflective NOBULL logo for visibility when you need it most.
  • The Trainer comes with two pairs of laces.
  • Weight: 9.3 Ounces (men’s size 9.5)

Don’t let its simple design fool you. This shoe is made to withstand the elements. SuperFabric® is glass, knife, and barbed wire resistant. Yes, barbed wire. 

And be sure to check out the second part of the Shoe Series:

Which Shoes to Wear for Which Workout?
Part 2: CrossFit, Running, and Lifters