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Review: Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0

This week we take a moment to review the newly updated Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0.

Item: Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0
Price: 
$119.99 USD or $159.99 AUD 

Retailer: Reebok 
Purchase: https://shop.reebok.com.au/

Well the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games has come to close and aside from Rich Froning winning his fourth straight title, and Camille Leblanc-Bazinet claiming her maiden crown, the Games also introduced us to the updated line of the Nano range of shoes with the Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0.

I was lucky enough to score an early release of the Nano 4.0 in May and I’ve been wearing them ever since. That said, I’ve been wearing the previous version of Reebok CrossFit Nano, the Nano 3.0 since its release last year and must admit, it is still my favourite shoe for day-to-day use and all my CrossFit® WODs.

When I initially discovered the Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 was coming out, I was interested to see if this shoe was privy to real upgrade, or if Reebok was just appeasing their accountants and making an updated version to sell more shoes.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0

Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0

Keen to find out more, I jumped on the Reebok website and decided to see what specific upgrades or design changes the Nano 4.0 had undergone. After reading over some basic dot/sales points on their online shop, I was left with no real concrete answers. So I decided to have an online chat with a Reebok “Product Expert”. I asked if they could tell me the specific difference in the Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0 and 4.0. The “Expert” responded by stating, “The Nano 4 provides more stability in the shoe. They are very similar though.”

Very similar? Very similar I thought… What the? Unimpressed with the answer, I decided to dig a little further and contacted someone else at Reebok who provided me a more detailed answer. Here is what they wrote:

Specifically, the Nano 4 is built for function and performance. Key improvements have been made to ensure Lightweight breathability for longer endurance workouts and strategically constructed abrasion zones for protection and durability. Kevlar® aramid fiber has been added to ensure the Nano 4 is lightweight and extraordinarily strong, with five times the strength of steel on an equal-weight basis.

Without doubt, the Reebok Nano 4 is for the CrossFit athlete who looks for footwear and apparel strong enough to perform on their biggest stage.

Other Design innovations include:

· A training rubber toe wrap for protection and durability.
· Open breathable spacer mesh for breathability and range of motion.
· Anti-friction lining to reduce moisture and heat build-up.
· The midsole has been constructed with flexible cushioning for added flexibility and comfort, with emphasis placed on the heel for increased stability and powerful energy return.
· RopePro protection wrap is an added benefit to the midsole for increased bite and protection against shoe shredding rope climbs.
· The outsole included a finn pattern and metasplit flex groves for increased grip, traction, balance and stability.
· The outsole includes a 4mm heel to toe drop for an added for advanced stable platform

Key marketing features include NEW seasonal colours, with a women’s specific colour collection to further Her Support, Her Comfort and Her Style.

That marketing speak aside, the real question was, is there a noticable difference in comfort, performance and aesthetics in the Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 that would make me fork out $100+ if I was already happy with my Nano 3.0’s?

Reebok Nano 4.0 and Nano 3.0

Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 next to the Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0

The Good

Look: The first thing I noticed when I picked up Nano 4.0 was the new design. Yes, I’m sucker for pleasant aesthetics and in my opinion these are the best looking Nano’s to date. I loved the look of the Nano 3.0 but the new 4.0’s have exceeded those. The range of colours combined with the new design really won me over. I wore my Flux Orange Nano 4.0’s around town and was surprised how often people stopped me on the streets to tell me how nice my shoes where, or asked me where I purchased them from. If there is one thing that impressed me the most about this shoe it was this.

Toe Box/Laces: To be honest, besides the overall look/design change in the shoe, I found it difficult to notice any significant changes from the Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0 to the Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 with the exception of two key points. The first and most apparent was the change to the toe box. The Nano 4.0 has added a new meshed rubber webbing that provides extra support and protection to the shoes but is something I noticed helped me grip to the rope on rope climbs.

The second is the change in laces. The Nano 3.0 shipped with round laces while the 4.0 has gone with a flatter lace. While it is only a minor change, some people I’ve spoken to said they noticed that flat lace helped them grip the rope on rope climbs a little better. While I personally didn’t notice that myself, it was something several people noted when I asked them what they like about the new design.

Reebok Nano 4.0 Laces

Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 laces (orange) vs Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0 laces (blue)

Feel: When the first iteration of the Reebok CrossFit Nano’s were release I was not a fan. Without going into the specifics of that version, for the most part, my issue with that shoe was how wide they felt. By no means do I have a wide or flat foot, and despite trying on several sizes of that shoe, my foot was simply too narrow for them.

The original Nano shoe was so uncomfortable, I actually gifted them away to a friend at my box. It was something they seemed to have adjusted in later version of the Nano range. So when I tried on the Nano 4.0 my initial impression was they felt great. I remember myself saying, “Wow these fit perfect!” I was actually wearing a pair of Nano 3.0’s at the time and noticed how snug they felt in comparison, which I believe was mainly due to the new meshed webbing in the Nano’s 4.0 toe box (more on this on the bad points below).

Durable: I’ve been wearing these shoes for two months now and during that time have put them through the ringer. I used them in numerous WODs, during rope climbs, running, jumping and even during a lake swim. While it’s only been two months, I’ve been impressed at how well they have held up. Sliding down the ropes usually tears my shoes apart but these have held up better than any other shoe I’ve wore.

Reebok Nano 4.0 Toebox

Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 Toebox

The Bad

Feel: It may seem odd that I noted “feel” as one of the good points above and also have it listed in this section here. Although there is an explanation for this. As I noted, when I first tried these shoes on, I thought they fit perfect. I picked them up just before I flew out of Australia to the US, so I ended up wearing them as I walked around Los Angeles and New York.

Since I was travelling, I was only able to use them while walking around town, for some basic jogging, burpees and tabata workouts. At that early stage, I thought they felt great. It wasn’t until I began sprinting in the hot California sun that I noticed the issue. I’m not sure if it was the fact I was doing a lot of running on the grass but whatever the case, for the first time ever, I started to get blisters on my toes.

Let me just make one thing clear; never in my life have shoes ever given me blisters. Ever. I’ve also had every pair of Nano’s since their release and none of those versions had ever given me blisters, so this was a bit of surprise. Sure the Nano 4.0 did feel a little more snug when compared to my Nano 3.0 but after wearing them for over a month, I figured they were more than broken in.

Yet I soon discovered I was not the only one with the issue. Of the six people I know that purchased them, four ended up with blisters on their toes or near/around their achilles heel. It was annoying enough that I ended up switching back to my 3.0’s as those felt more comfortable. If there is a major criticism I have of this shoe, this is it. I’m not sure if it is the fact the Nano 4.0 is a little more rigid than the 3.0 but this seems to be an issue that people are encountering.

Size: I’m a 9.5 US in my Nano 3.0’s and a 9.5 US in the Nano 4.0’s. Because of the issues I had with the blisters, I tried the US 10 and US 9, both of which did not fit as well. So in my case, I stayed the same size in 4.0’s as my 3.0’s. However, there were several people I spoke to that have a wider foot that needed to purchase a half size larger.

I was told by a Reebok sales rep while in New York that the webbed toe box makes them feel a little tighter at first but they will stretch over time. My advice is if you have a wider foot you may want to try a half size up but keep in my the shoe will give a little after a few weeks. So in this instance, I’m going to say they don’t always run true to size.

Reebok Nano 4.0 Sole vs Nana 3.0

Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0 sole on top, Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 sole on bottom

Conclusion

As part of this review, and to the bewildered and amusement of others, I actually spent a great deal of time wearing a Nano 3.0 on one foot and a Nano 4.0 on the other. On first impressions, it was only the tighter toe box on the 4.0 that provided a significant difference in feel. Although after three weeks, if I closed my eyes it was often difficult to tell which shoes was on which foot.

However, that statement comes with a major caveat, and that is the fact myself and several others did begin to get blisters on our feet and achilles while wearing the Nano 4.0. While I really love the new look and design of the 4.0, I found myself switching back to my Nano 3.0’s for all my WODs. For some reason I began to find those were a little more comfortable during workouts albeit without the blisters. Switching back to the 3.0’s is something many I’ve spoken to have also done for the same reason. While there are some great improvements in the 4.0, my personal opinion is the 3.0 is a more comfortable shoe.

I’m still going to continue to wear my 4.0 while walking around town and hope after a few more months I’ll be able to wear them in WODs without suffering blisters. But my personal opinion is this — If having the latest and supposedly greatest product is more important to you than comfort and feel, than go with the Nano 4.0.

To be honest, I’m a sucker for having the newest toys and would find it hard to purchase last year’s version of anything, especially when a new version has just been released. So I understand many will just go out and purchase the Nano 4.0. Although if you can put those feelings aside, I would suggest saving yourself some money and pick up the best functional fitness shoe on the market today, and purchase the Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0 instead.

Reebok Nano 4.0 Side

  • Nickolaus

    Anyway you can weigh the 3.0 vs the 4.0? It would be great to know what the “lightweight” really represents.

    • Hi Nickolaus, I’m travelling at the moment so don’t have my smaller scale with me. Otherwise I would of included that in the review. I’ll try and weigh them as soon as I find someone with a scale and get back to you.

  • Per-Christian Barholm

    since 2.0 is your favorite(as is it is mine) how do they stack up agaisnt the them?

    • The 3.0 is my favourite Per-Christian. For WODs and for now, I would probably lean towards the two, but that is simply because of the issues with the blisters I encountered. Take that out of the equation then I think the 4.0 is a much better shoe.

  • Vic

    I prefer the 2.0’s. The 3.0’s are too bulky and bulbus in the mid section and toes. Got the 4.0’s at the games and really have not taken a like to them. I have some 3.0’s that don’t get out much.. my 5 pairs of 2.0’s are my daily metcon choice.

  • Julia

    Thanks for that! I’m a sucker for pretty colors so I had been tossing up whether to upgrade to the 4.0 but I heart my 3.0’s so I’m glad I read this! I’ll save my $$ and may even find some 3.0’s on special now!

  • ndr

    havent had blisters for a month now. and it’s totally comfy for me.
    maybe the issue is your socks ??

    • That’s very possible ndr. Although the fact several people were having the same issue leads me to believe it’s the shoe.

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  • itsm

    Hi, Im contemplating buying the new nano’s 4.0 but I don’y like any of the female colours they offer.. I like the orange ones they make but are Mens. I’m a womans US size 9 so which men’s size should i get the shoes in? Also, are there any difference between mens and womans shoes, apart from colour availability.

    Cheers.

    • Can’t say Im too much help with Mens to womens sizing itsm. I have spoke to a few women who get half or even half a size down in mens as they like you like the mens colours or womens sizes dont fit. I recommend trying them on in a store like Sports Chalet that stocks them. As far as I know apart from size there is no much difference in the mens and womens range.

    • Can’t say Im too much help with Mens to womens sizing itsm. I have spoke to a few women who get half or even half a size down in mens as they like you like the mens colours or womens sizes dont fit. I recommend trying them on in a store like Sports Chalet that stocks them. As far as I know apart from size there is no much difference in the mens and womens range.

  • Anthony

    1 more difference I noticed on the 4.0s that bug me. The tongue. It feels thinner and it certainly isn’t as wide. The result is, it gets pushed to the side of my foot throughout a workout.

    Not a huge deal, but combined with the thinner laces, it feels a little more flimsy to me.

    • Interesting point Anthony. I’ve been trying to break them in for awhile now so fingers crossed they will be better in a month right.

  • pem

    I bought a pair of 4’s a month ago, and it is my first pair of nanos. At
    first they felt great although a bit roomy around the toe. After using
    them for WOD’s about four times I started to notice that something was wrong in
    the toe area. When I examined the shoe I discovered that the inner fabric on
    the upper part of the shoe had gotten loose (I felt like I had a really large
    sock on) and the stitching in the front had come really loose. On one shoe, the
    stitching had even broken so I could stick my finger in between the inner fabric
    and the top of the shoe. I returned the Nanos and got a new pair, and the same thing
    happened to the new ones after only one workout (a bench pressing-session). Has
    anyone noticed anything similar?

  • Elle Linton

    I’ve just bought these. I have wide feet and wear a UK 5 in all trainers / shoes…but I got a UK 4 in the nano 4.0 …true to my size if my feet were not so wide! I absolutely love them for that reason alone never mind the fact they work well for me with the WODs I have done so far (including running). I never planned on buying these but had to after trying them on! So far, so good, no blisters!

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  • David Kim

    Hi,
    I know I am late into the game, but I just bought two pairs of nano 4.0’s (size 10 and 10.5) and planning to return one of them. I am unsure as to how snug/tight the shoes should be though. The 10 fits snug but the end of my toe hits the front of the shoe when I do basic movements, while the 10.5 feels much roomier (a bit too much) and has about .75 inch of space between the toes and the end of the shoe. Can anyone give me advice as to which shoe I should stick with?

    • Johnnie

      I just picked up my first pair of 4.0’s myself and have the same issue. I picked up my usual size and they feel “OK”. The toe cage definitely makes them feel a bit snug and I keep telling myself that it should stretch a bit with time, but the length issue is close to what you’re experiencing with it being close to the tip. I’m afraid of going up a half size for fear of being TOO big, especially once they break in.

    • Not sure how I missed this David. Figured you would have sorted it out by now but I’ll reply anyway. Looks like you’re foot is unfortunately in between sizes. From my experience the earlier Nanos stretched a lot more after a few months than the 4.0s. I wore the 4.0 for a few months and they really didnt stretch to much at all. So in your instance I would go up a size.

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  • TukTiK

    Good

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  • Nice shoes……..!!

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