Reebok Nano 7 - a review
Reebok is still in a 10 year trademark licence contract with the CrossFit, Inc. Therefore it is the only apparel brand legally allowed to print the word"CrossFit" on his products. A comfortable and profitable position that has saved Adidas struggling daughter by making it the outstanding choice for a huge, worldwide growing target group.
I actually don´t know for how long the agreement has been running already, but for sure more than half of the time is over. You can tell by considering the fact that there is a new Reebok Nano, the only official CrossFit shoe, released each year, and recently we arrived at model number 7. This time, the Nano 7 appeared out of the blue in the shops, in January 2017. All the years before, the new Nano was first presented by high level athletes during the CrossFit Games, in the summer months. The early release is most likely caused by Reeboks strongest competitor Nike that brought his popular Metcon 3 out around the same time. Marketing twist: Reebok pays the Open registration fee of 20USD for everyone who purchases the Nano 7. A genius deal for both Reebok (boosting their sales) and CrossFit (getting even more participants for the Open 2017, supposed to be the biggest worldwide sports competition of all time).
So Joel and I got the new stuff. The Nano 7 comes only black-blue, all white and black- rainbow so far, a small color choice compared with previous models. The design is generally plain, neither the typical Reebok triangle nor the CrossFit It sells for 189SGD, the standard price for the latest Nano.
First impression: It is a quite narrow shoe. Especially for people with broad feet like me, I recommend to get the Nano 7 at least 0.5 - 1 size larger than usually. I personally prefer tight sport shoes since they give me a feeling of safety, so from my perspective it's a plus. I still need to check out by how much the Nano expends during usage.
The heel seems to get higher and higher with each model. For everyone who has problems in getting in a deep squat position (caused by tight hips, poor ankle mobility, long tight bones etc.), the Nano 7 is quite helpful for every kind of squat movement from pistols to wall balls. Stability and balance benefits a lot. An extended plastic piece at the heel improves gliding at the wall while doing HSPU, too. But without testing it yet, I assume that I will struggle with longer running distances (>1.2km) since my feet and shins get sore easily when forced to run with elevated heels.
Normally, shoes that support a stable squat tend to feel weird for box jumps. I was surprised that the Nano 7 doesn't. Reebok calls it the "Powerlaunch Toe Box", and it really feels like the shoe gives you more explosive power back. The landing on the box is soft and, as said before, safe.
Like all Nanos before, Reebok puts thoughts in optimizing surface and sole for rope climbs, finding a balance between grip on the way up and a good slight on the way down. Fast, efficient and secure.
All in all, it is a shoe that might not win a design award, and the feedback regarding its look wasn't quite positive so far. But without a doubt, the Nano 7 will be loved by everyone who is serious about CrossFit training and its variety. It feels like a good friend that really tries hard to support your WOD's. You can tell that it was developed with care and athletes feedback.
Reebok Nano 7: Pros!
tight fit for a controlled training
elevated heel for better squats
good power generation at jumps
good sliding at the wall (HSPU!)
surface and sole with good grip for rope climbs
Reebok Nano 7: Cons!
high heels uncomfortable for runs
not best choice for heavy deadlifts
small color choices, unremarkable design
But here's a hint: Don't hesitate to buy a Nano 4, 5 or 6 since they might be found on high discounts now. It is not proven that the shoe gets "better"; for your personal needs with each new release. Find out what feels right for you.