It has been nine years. And as the name suggests, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0 is in its ninth generation. This crossover shoe tries to remain the one size fits all for a variety of fitness activities, including for training, short distance runs and weights. You really don’t need to be doing CrossFit workouts to use the CrossFit Nano 9.0, though the name may suggest that. But how good really is a shoe that tries to adapt itself for different use cases?
The biggest difference between a running shoe and a crossover is that while the former is designed and geared primarily for jogs and runs, the latter can be used in a variety of training routines, without you having to change your shoe every time. The focus of a running shoe is on under-foot cushioning and responsiveness, while a training shoe is more about providing your foot with a nice lock-in feel to secure your foot during weight transfers and push downs.
This is where Reebok has been getting it perfectly spot on over the years with the CrossFit Nano line-up of shoes. The Nano 9.0 is more of the same, but better in almost every single way. It is priced at Rs 9,990 and that means it doesn’t punch a hole in your pocket too.
An evolution from last year is the Flexweave knit upper. While we are happy to note that this breathable upper is retained, there are improvements in terms of the fit, finish and how it looks—and everything is just better with the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0 shoe. It has a smoother texture, the colours look better and there is that added finesse which is undeniable. Not only does this knit upper offer great amount of flexibility, you also get a generous amount of ventilation as well. Slip your foot in, and the tweaked lacing mechanism (there are 9 eyelets now) give you the option of tightening or loosening the fit as you would prefer it to be.
Beneath your foot sits a midsole that has been reinforced and offers additional EVA foam cushioning too. Training-focused shoes usually aren’t the plushest place for your feet to be in, but the Reebok Crossfit Nano 9.0 surely bucks the trend. There is better cushioning beneath your heel and under the forefoot—this is great while running, or during exercises such as weights, when there may be extra force on the front of your foot momentarily. Incidentally, you will notice midsole protection wrap on the outside, extending upwards from the outsole and providing a sort of a shell for the midsole and a part of the knit upper as well.
The heel to toe drop, also known as offset, is 4mm—incidentally, this is much lower than most running shoes which are around 9mm, in order to give your foot a stable and close to flat position for exercises.
While I pointed out that the midsole has more cushioning, there is a reason for that. Simply put, every time you lift weighs or transfer your balance either front to back (or vice versa) or side to side, this cushioning is supposed to constantly alternate between compression and reaction, which works as the energy feedback as you move. Rope exercises, for instance, come to mind. Contrary to the general opinion, this responsive cushioning is necessary not just for running shoes, but also for CrossFit shoes. The upside is, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0 just becomes a very good option for short distance runs too.
Look underfoot, and you will notice the split outsole. But why a split outsole when the full material outsoles do a fine enough job? The idea is to allow that much more flexibility, for the foot movement particularly in static positions (such as heavy weightlifting). It makes the slightest of difference, but in a scenario where even that means a lot, this fine change that Reebok has done makes all the more difference in terms of flexibility and comfort for the foot.
Reebok is offering three colorways for the CrossFit Nano 9.0 in India—the bright hernvy/rosett/sunglo, the subtle black/lghsan/rbkg03 and the conventional black/white options.
For a shoe that is simply an improvement over its very competent predecessor in almost every single way, the visual appeal of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0 wasn’t to be neglected too. It looks like it means business, the materials used would feel right at home in even more expensive shoes and this really does have the flexibility to be your footwear for a variety of use cases inside the gym, and outside too. The new Flexweave construction has me sold.