Review: Reebok Crossfit Nano 3.0

I’m not going to go into a lengthy intro piece to give you the history of Nano’s or anything.  You probably know all that stuff anyways.  Go read my initial impressions for the fluff.  Let’s just get down to business.

Nano 3.0’s, like the previous iterations, are the best crossfit shoe you can buy.  Some people might have preferences towards the original U-Form or 2.0’s, and that’s fine.  I don’t believe that Reebok would release a shoe that was inferior to their former models though.  That being said, all you U-Form lovers might be disappointed to hear that the 3.0’s feel a lot more like the 2.0’s.  Luckily for you, it doesn’t seem like Reebok’s discontinuing the U-Form’s anytime soon, as they just released a slew of new colors (or the 2.0’s for that matter).

Looks:

This is going to be subjective.  When I first saw the design and color combinations of the 3.0’s, I was hardly impressed.  I could live without all the crossfit wording on the inner part of the shoe, but I guess it’s functional as it acts as a guard for rope climbs.  The colors for right now are okay, I have the grey/orange, but I would’ve rather gotten the red/black initially if I could have.  The green/blue is awful IMO, the only people that would wear something like that are probably people that are buying them for their ridiculousness.   Hopefully they release custom colors soon, or at least some new combinations.  I do like the “Duracage” construction,  not just for extra durability, but also because it makes it harder to get the shoes dirty.  Most smudges have been pretty easy to just wipe off using my fingers.  Not a big fan of the obnoxiously HUGE logo on the rear of the shoe, it looks cheapo compared to the U-Form’s patch logo.  (WTF is with the CF74 and S55 logos?)

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Ropepro and Duracage

Performance:

Honestly, there’s not a whole lot to comment on here.   The 3.0’s are more like an evolution of the 2.0’s rather than a revolution.  It’s still the one shoe that you can competently perform all the movements in crossfit in.  If I was unsure of what I had to do on a given day, I would bring these…or 2.0’s…or U-Form’s.  Don’t expect a miracle shoe that’s going to enable you to get muscle-up’s or clean 300lbs.  As far as weight goes, these fit in the middle (9.4oz) between the 2.0’s (9.2oz) and U-Form’s (9.5oz).  Stability remains the same, if not a little better than the 2.0’s; more reminiscent of the U-Form’s.  The Duracage construction is extremely flexible despite it’s more heavy duty feeling.  That toebox is legit, I wouldn’t worry about jamming your toes on anything with these shoes.  Haven’t climbed a rope yet (probably going to prolong that as far as possible), but the “Ropepro” notches should help in keeping that rope secured. Running?  Well, let’s just say that if you want a cushy running shoe, get the Speeds.  It feels mostly the same with these shoes.  Arguably the best shoe line-up for crossfit remains the at the top, doing everything well but nothing stellar. But hey, that’s crossfit right?

Fit:

Upper feels exactly like the 2.0’s while the soles feel like a cross between the U-Forms and 2.0’s.  If you read my initial comments about the shoe, I said something about my right 2nd toe jamming into the front of the shoe while I ran.  Well, nothing has changed.  My best guess is because the front of the shoe is covered with the Duracage and is extremely stiff, whereas there was no toe protection on the U-Forms and the original Duracage toe cover on the 2.0’s wasn’t nearly as rigid as this one is.  I wouldn’t recommend sizing a full half size up, my feet are probably just weird, get your normal Nano size.

Value:

At $119.99, the 3.0’s are still up there in price.  You can do the same things in 2.0’s, but they’re cheaper. U-Form’s are the same price as 3.0’s, which I still don’t get but to each their own.  If you don’t own a pair of Nano’s, you might as well just get the 3.0’s if you’re willing to shell out full price.  You can usually find discontinued colors of 2.0’s online or at the Reebok outlet for significantly less than retail though.  (All you CF-L1’s better get up on that Reebokone.com!)

Conclusion:

It might not sound like I’m enthralled with these shoes but really, they’re great.  I’m just trying to give you the most honest review about them; no one’s paying me for this or giving me free stuff here.  They’re a rock solid performer, but they don’t do anything especially better than any of the previous iterations or give you superhuman strength and agility.  Durability is hard to comment on because I’ve only had these for about 3 days now, but I’m going to give the 3.0’s the nod there due to the Duracage construction.  If you’re late jumping on the Nano bandwagon, you might as well get these.  If you don’t even have a crossfit specific shoe, you should probably get these.  If you’re looking to buy just one pair of shoes for crossfit, get these.  If you were looking for a totally different shoe than what you’re used to with Nano’s, get the Speeds (which have seemed to have magically disappear from the Reebok site). If you find a great deal on the older models, just get those…You won’t be missing out on too much functionality wise.
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First Impressions: Reebok Crossfit Nano 3.0

Alright, I know you’re all dying to hear about what I have to say about the new Reebok Crossfit Nano 3.0’s.  I’m going to hold off on doing an in-depth review of these shoes until I’ve gone through a few WOD’s with them though.  All I did today was walk around, do a few double unders and coach.  I’m pretty damn tired right now, so if my writing is lackluster…sorry.

Initial impressions:

    • Upon inserting my feet into these shoes, I was greeted with the feeling of familiarity.  If you’ve owned both of the original two Nano’s (not the Speeds), you’ll feel right at home.  I almost want to say that they feel like a mixture of the two.  The upper, plush like 2.0’s and the soles a tad bit more firm like the U-Form’s.  (Update: Much more padding than U-Form’s, similar padding to 2.0’s.  Don’t really feel that 4mm drop at all either.)
    • These things are attention grabbers.  Then again, they don’t come out for another week and I have them already.  I wasn’t so sure about the Grey/Orange color combo, but it looks great in person.  Wish they came with black laces though, probably going to swap some on.
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Black or Grey laces?
  • Having not done a workout in them, I can’t really say how they perform…but like I said…They feel very similar to the past shoes.  More so like the 2.0’s as far as moving around in them goes.  The base feels wide and solid, unlike the more narrow Speeds.  I don’t think running in them is going to be any different than the first two Nano’s.  Possibly even worse, because these are slightly stiffer feeling at the toe box. The whole toe box area feels like hard plastic (it’s tough, I wouldn’t worry about smacking your toes during DU’s).  Maybe I just need to break them in.
  • My old Nano’s fit perfectly at sz. 9. These are sz. 9 as well, but feel a little smaller length wise.  My middle toes keep jamming into the front of the shoe.  Sizing up half a size though sounds like it would be too much though.
  • They feel a tad lighter? I need to go hold all the shoes up at the same time…but my first thought when I picked these up was that they were lighter.  (Update: 3.0=9.4oz, 2.0=9.2oz, U-Form=9.5oz, Speed=9.9oz)

That’s pretty much all I have on the shoes at the moment.  Like I said, I haven’t really done too much in them yet so I can’t give a fair assessment right now.  As I stated before, Nano 2.0’s are quite possibly my favorite shoes ever.  These are going to have to be all kinds of awesome to knock those off the pedestal, but they’re off to a pretty good start.  I just hope they get looser, my freaking toe is killing me.

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Double Unders and You.

The double under: Two revolutions of a jump rope passing under you in a single jump.

To some, double unders would be the most taboo movement in crossfit.  Some people get them their first day, some seasoned crossfit veterans still have trouble with them.  Double unders require speed, coordination, agility, accuracy and balance.  Notice how there was no mention of strength and power there.  Too much of either of the latter is definitely not the way to achieve double unders.  I’m not the best there ever was at double unders, but I do think I’m proficient enough to try to help you gather some insight on what’s holding you back on achieving them.  Let’s take a look at some of the contributing factors of why you don’t have double unders yet.

1.  You don’t practice them enough.

Yep, I said it.  You don’t practice them nearly as much as you should be.  Which is odd, because if you have a jump rope, it’s one of the things that you can practice ANYWHERE. We talking ’bout practice. Practice, practice, practice. People like to dismiss DU’s as a trivial movement. Doesn’t matter if you can clean 300lbs; if the buy-in is 100 DU’s, you ain’t going anywhere.  Show up a little early, stay a little after…grab a jump rope and PRACTICE.  Better yet, go buy your own jump rope!  Which brings me to my next point…

2. Go get your own rope!

Can you do double unders with the plastic ropes we have at the box?  Yes, you can.  Is it efficient? NO.  There’s a few couple reasons for this:

  • They’re not sized properly – The green ones are 8ft long, the purple ones are 9ft long.  We’re all varying heights and we all need varying lengths for our jump ropes.  This matters down to the inch.
  • Rope tension – The ropes are flimsy.  You need to be able to keep tension on the rope in order to keep the motion continuous.  If you don’t have rope tension, you have to use more power to turn the rope.  Which in turn leads to early fatigue, which leads to not being able to string double unders.

Look, I don’t blame you for not wanting to put any more money in crossfit.  You obviously have some kind of love for crossfit though since you’re reading this.  A speed rope can be had for as low as $7.  Yes, we also do sell speed ropes at the box as well.  Even $25-$40 is little to pay for a nicer rope to get that pesky move that you loathe so much.  Do yourself a favor, invest in your own rope, it will make a difference.

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Left to Right: RX Rope w/ Hyper Cable, RPM Rope, Rogue SR-1 Handles w/ Jump N Rope blue cable, $7 Amazon Speed Rope, Surge Speed Rope, $8 Amazon Speed Rope

3.  Slow down.

It looks like people are moving in light-speed when they’re doing double unders, I get it.  Some people are actually moving in light-speed while they’re doing double unders, but most are NOT.  Must be some kind of optical illusion because it’s hard to make out where the rope is.  One of the biggest misconceptions is thinking that you need extraordinary speed to get a 3mm rope to pass under you twice.  The big thing here is developing a PACE.  The way I did this was counting musical time. One-two-three-four-one-two-three-four…and so on.  Time your jumps to the numbers and your wrists to the pauses in between each numbers. If your feet are moving, then your wrists aren’t, if your wrists are moving, your feet arent (kind of, until you get faster).  This is going to be different for everyone, but this is what helped me.

4.  Relax, yo.

Wipe that constipated look off your face.  Smile, think happy thoughts.  Rainbows and unicorns.  Double unders are fun!  Friends don’t let friends double under angry.  Relax your shoulders, drop the tension from your traps/neck, keep you elbows at your sides; all that should be working here are a quick flick of the wrists (think “whipping” the rope) and a small bound from your calves.  Find something to look at, focus on that.  Don’t count to big numbers unless you’re comfortable with DU’s. 1-10, and repeat.  Don’t get frustrated, we all had to learn double unders too at some point. A kitten dies every time you pike or donkey kick.

5. You are you.

Everyone double unders a little different than the next person.  The only way to figure out how you double under, is by doing it.  We can give you tips but everyone does their DU’s differently.  PRACTICE and experiment.

I’d be happy to answer any questions about all the different jump ropes.  If ever you see me at the box and you want to try out a certain rope, ASK ME.  I don’t bite and I have pretty much all the main ones.  Got a new rope?  I’ll help you size it.

Good luck and…

GET THOSE DOUBLE UNDERS!!!

Review: Reebok Crossfit Nano Speed

I hate running.

I hate running in Nano’s.

Original Nano’s or 2.0’s; it doesn’t matter, they both suck balls to run in.  To their credit though, they’re not actually built specifically or solely for running.  Rather, they’re shoes that can accommodate all the movements in crossfit well enough to get by.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my Nano’s.  The 2.0’s are quite possibly my most used and favorite shoes. They’re just not all that great to run in; which brings me to the new Crossfit Nano Speed’s.  Shoes designed to be running shoes, that can accommodate all the movements in crossfit well enough to get by.

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Crossfit Nano Speed’s in Risk Blue.

From my understanding, this shoe is still supposed to cater to minimalist runners.  It’s got a 4mm drop; 12mm in the heel and 8mm in the forefoot.  Definitely not the 0mm drop that most of my minimalist shoes have.  They have a lot more cushioning and support as well. I don’t really get where Reebok is going with the minimal thing here, but hey, they say crossfit on ’em.  The front of the shoe is protected, not quite the “duraguard” found on the 2.0’s, but good enough so that it won’t make you bleed when you miss a double-under.  The upper is the same kind of nylon mesh found on 2.0’s, offering pretty good breath-ability and hopefully the same durability for rope climbs.  Jury is still out on whether or not these shoes will ACTUALLY hold up to rope climbs.  The soles aren’t the same as on the original two shoes, but I don’t think Reebok would design a crossfit shoe that would get chewed up by the rope.

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Back of shoe and inner “rope guard”.

Initial impressions:

  • The midfoot is more narrow as opposed to the wider base found on the OG Nano’s and 2.0’s.
  • They’re cushioned to all hell.  Quite comfy actually.
  • Who the hell came up with this color scheme?
  • Pass on the air squat test.
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Side Comparison: Original, Speed, 2.0

If the original two Nano’s were too narrow for you.  Stop reading, don’t buy these. The toe box is close to the same, but the midfoot to heel area is pretty tight.  I’ve got higher arches and it’s still a tad narrow.  Maybe the fact that I’m always in either Nano’s or minimal shoes all the time makes me feel that the foot bed is super cushioned, but it’s a welcome change.  These shoes are comfortable, my joints must be singing songs of praise when I wear them, that is if joints could sing.  I’ve only worn them through one full workout and WOD, and I didn’t have any problems doing everything from double-unders to lighter cleans and squats.  What about running you ask? Well, they do feel a lot less clunky than the original two Nano’s though.  I’m pretty good about pose running, but I can see the extra padding these shoes offer being beneficial for heel strikers.  Squatting feels good, or maybe I’m just good at squats; whatever the case may be, I didn’t have any forward inclination issues from the differential or the cushioning.

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Top: Original, Speed, 2.0

When people ask me what shoes to buy for crossfit, I usually just tell them to get 2.0’s (that is, until I get my 3.0’s tomorrow).  The answer is subjective now.  If you’re not much of a runner or are looking for a more supportive ride, I’d probably get the Speeds.  If you are good about forefoot striking and/or are set on “minimal-er” shoes, get the 2.0’s.  If you want to be a hipster and want the most minimal shoes of the bunch with the best color combos, get the OG Nano’s.  All are great choices for crossfit, it just depends on what kind of athlete you are.

Back in it.

I like buying shit.  I like buying Crossfit shit (more specifically).  I like talking about shit.  I like talking about Crossfit shit (more specifically). Here, I will review shit. Here, I will review Crossfit shit.

Spending the money on Crossfit shit, so you don’t have to.

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