My go-to shoe for training has always been a Nano and anyone that knows me knows a new pair is usually not far off the horizon! When rumour of the Nano 9.0 first started circulating, I was pretty indifferent. I don’t know if it was the perceived passive approach that seemed to be taken this time round with only glimpses in various social media posts & vlogs or the sense that it was very US-focused. Either way, when I saw the first official post back in June, I have to admit I wasn’t taken with the significant change in design – specifically the large outsole spreading up the side of the shoe! Hell, I’d recently dabbled in the world of the Nike Metcon so maybe I didn’t even care!
That said, when they dropped in the US with not even a sniff of availability in the UK, perhaps I felt like we were missing out – and this kept my interest levels high – well played Reebok, well played! Reebok UK & WIT Fitness started to ramp up their campaigns around this years Reebok Crossfit Games and without too much consideration I’d got myself a pair on pre-order for delivery on August 13th! I did ponder on the colourway for a while, originally planning to get the White/Red/Navy design; however after these went out-of-stock pretty quickly, I snapped up a pair in the Black/Light Sand/Gum colourway.
I’m a sucker for the instant-gratification monkey so it was a bit different to have to wait about a week for these to arrive on my doorstep. But the day came and August 13th, I had my pair of Reebok Nano 9.0s!
The extended outsole is not out of proportion. Whilst significant different to previous Nanos, it’s not intrusive to the eye. The large uninterrupted panels of FLEXWEAVE & contrast laces draw the eye forward.
Reebok have yet again delivered a trainer that is comfy straight out the box! Whether it’s the flexibility in the upper or the dual density midsole I’m very pleased to report that Reebok have maintained this straight-out-the-box effect, which I think is really important for first impressions. They did it with the Nano 6 and after a little hiccup with the Nano 7.0, I was pleased to feel it in Nano 8.0 as well.
Coupled with the immediate comfort was a strong sense of lateral stability, especially from the mid-foot to the heel. I’d not felt this when trying on previous Nano, but they seem to have combined that comfy trainer feeling with the stability of a lifter. Looking at the sole of the Nano 9.0 you can see the additional width it brings over previous version, so this sense of stability is not surprising.
Excellent stability for lifting. One of the first outings these had were some heavy pause back squats. I often wear lifters for pure strength work but I was keen to try these out. I was super impressed with how stable they felt, I could really drive through them to get out the bottom without worrying I was going to (further!) compromise my form. Unlike the Metcon 5s, Reebok have avoided the slight “spongeness” to the otherwise stable platform both shoes provide – which is awesome!
The Nano 9.0 remain nice and responsive for dynamic movements (box jumps, double unders etc.) On feeling the increased stability of the shoe, I had been worried that it would mean rigidity & potentially discomfort for movements involving jumping. I needn’t have worried, the wizards at Reebok have managed to achieve both. I’m not going to pretend I’m an expert a shoe design, but you can see the sole is in multiple parts which I’m sure allows for flex and give when you want it. We’ve not done a lot of running recently, but first impressions don’t leave me worried; despite the fact I’m a big heel striker.
So there we have it, my thoughts on the latest offering from Reebok into the sphere of Crossfit & function fitness training. I think they’ve done it again and the Nano 9.0 will definitely be one of my top shoes of choice for training. My Nano 2.0s will still be my “Nano Slippers” and the Nano 6.0s have a style that makes the suitable in & out the box. However the Nano 9.0 has raised the technical bar for Reebok; something that I thought – until now – Nike were beating them on with their Metcon!