I got my hands… well… feet in this case, on a pair of Reebok’s latest shoe technology — The Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave. A great deal of hype surrounded this footwear many months before its release on store shelves. I remember friends in the fitness industry talking about its release and quietly wondered to myself “what’s the deal with these CrossFit Nanos anyway?”
Three weeks of wearing the Nanos, mostly in action, and I submit to the hype.
There are different types of shoes for different purposes. It’s a question of specialisation on the part of the wearer. However, footwear that serves multiple functions should be a must-have in every active person’s shoe rack. There’s a reason why the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 has ‘CrossFit’ attached to its name. If you’re into fitness, you’ll know what kind of pounding the sport entails in its training and its games. It’s meant for that usage. That in itself should already say something.
But many are still oblivious and to them ‘CrossFit’ may just be another term thrown into this shoe. Add ‘Flexweave’ and they shrug “so?” For starters, because of its Flexweave technology, you can feel the Nano 8’s durability while still being relatively lightweight. How the footwear’s upper is woven makes it flexible, strong, and most of all, provides unsurpassed stability.
Stability is the immediate impression I got with the Nano 8. Whether this quantifies into more reps and added kilos or not, it helped with my lifting stance and I didn’t have to make adjustments to be sure I’m firmly planted flat on the ground. A solid foundation is crucial for solid lifts and these Nanos delivered big time.
I’ve taken the Nanos far into my stress test, not limiting to CrossFit and gym workouts where they’re expected to score high. So I took them outside. They’re terrific with bursts of speed but long distance running isn’t one of its strongest points, at least not on the same level as high quality running shoes. Understandably so. The final stress test I imposed on the pair is up where I need their strength and protection the most — a rocky mountain climb in Ras Al Khaimah. I’m happy to say I’m impressed with how the Nano 8 performed in the wide outdoors. It might seem out of place to take them there but I believe training shoes should be able to withstand not only your workout but your lifestyle as well.
The Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave is a snug fit. The initial break-in period was longer than most pairs I’ve tried, considering I wore them almost every day when I got them. Flexible, yes, but this is strong footwear. Once they conformed to the shape of my feet, the tightness turned into a safeguard. There’s a feeling of security for my feet and in my footing whenever I wear the Nanos. There’s truly a difference as this is the realisation I had when I switched to other training shoes. Though I had them on for more than 12 hours up in the mountains, I’ve worn more comfortable training shoes before. This pair is strict as it should be and I guess there’s a slight trade-off with comfort right there. Just a tad.
Being primarily a designer by profession, I love the overall design of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave. I have the black/alloy-coloured Nanos and they’re perfect in and outside the gym because they make great casual footwear, too. Excellent form from the side, the elevated curve sort of ‘masks’ its flat-soled nature making it more stylish than it should be. The figure-eight weave pattern is as cool a texture as they come. The great thing is it’s not so much because of intentional aesthetics, rather, a byproduct of function. And that’s way more awesome than trying to layer in design to ‘polish’ an outcome. Although, I’m also reminded of a platypus whenever I look at my feet wearing the front-wide Nanos… but that’s just me and maybe I let it pass because I’m a big believer in form following function.
TOTAL SCORE: 9.3/10
For all the years of technology and design woven into its fabric, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave is one of the best training shoes out in the market today.