Tag Archives: trainers

Inov-8 All-Train 215 Shoe Review

We’ve been at a standstill in training shoes for quite some time now, not a ton of technology has really changed. Not that the formula didn’t work, but we’ve really just had the same shoes with different brands on it. It’s just the beginning of the year but 2017 is looking to change all of that. As the sport of fitness evolves, so does the footwear we require.  Interestingly enough, we’re starting to see a departure from the rigid, flat soled shoes into shoes that are a little more geared towards all around performance, with running included. Not that you couldn’t run in flat shoes of old, but they were a little clunky and athletes nowadays are required to be more agile than ever.

Late last year, I reviewed the Inov-8 F-Lite 235v2, which I loved. It has all the makings of a great training shoe: zero drop, flexibility, lightweight, and dense midsole. I don’t mind running in them, but like all wide and rigid trainers, they can be a little choppy to run in.  Leave it to the masterminds at Inov-8 to shake up the formula with the All-Train 215 by fusing their roots in all-terrain running shoes and training shoes to make one of the best all around trainers of the year.

IMG_9040

Looks/Construction:

Honestly, Inov-8 trainers have never been my favorite shoes to look at since the 195. While the 235 and 250 are great performing shoes, their blocky aesthetic and choice of color combinations are probably the biggest reasons why they haven’t really taken off with the mainstream. I don’t really think they care that much to appeal to everyone, but having attractive shoes isn’t a bad thing. The All-Train 215’s are the best looking shoe silhouette that Inov-8 has come up with, period. They look like the spiritual successor to the ever so popular 195 – not overdone, sleek with a little bit of tactical badassery. Most of the colorways fit the design of the shoe and aren’t really outlandish, but this is still an area I think Inov-8 could work on a little bit. When in doubt, just get black.

Build quality is the typical, excellent quality of Inov-8 shoes though one might initially mistake them for being built cheap because they’re so lightweight weighing in at just 7.5oz/215 grams per shoe. Inov-8 keeps things flexible compared to a lot of the other brands out there with a more normal synthetic and mesh upper. One question might be long term durability, but I don’t think any of us have had these shoes long enough to comment on that. They survived a few rope climbs here and there, but who knows what they’ll look like after a hundred or so.

IMG_9045

Fit:

Inov-8 shoes run small on me, so I went with a size US10. I would always recommend just going with the EU size since I think the sizing is a little more accurate that way, in which case I wear an EU43. Compared to the 235’s, the 215’s feel a little bit more fitted since the shape is more like a running shoe, which I prefer over the more boxy toe. I wouldn’t say the 215’s are narrow shoes, but they’re more so than the 235’s just mainly at the toe. Here are my sizes for reference:

  • 215/235v2 – 10
  • Nano 6/7 -10
  • Metcon – 9.5
  • Ultraboost – 9.5-10
  • Boots – 8.5
  • WL Shoes – 9-9.5

IMG_9043

Performance:

Are they running shoes or are they training shoes? They’re both.

The 215’s aren’t marketed as “cross fitness” shoes (which I’m using them for), but rather as a more general training/HIIT gym shoe. It seems that Inov-8 is trying to attract a broader/different audience with the 215’s, or even new grassroots fitness communities, since ours isn’t so much of one anymore. Either way, the 215’s still work excellent for what we do as “cross fitnessers”.

Before receiving the shoes, I was thinking that they might not be good to lift in because of the way they’re marketed. The biggest difference from the 235 is the midsole construction, in that the 215 use an injection molded Fusion EVA midsole rather than a compressed one. While it’s similar in height and drop to the F-Lite 250 (20mm heel/12mm forefoot/8mm drop), the overall feel is different since the 235 and 250 both use the stiffer CMEVA Powerheel. You’ll notice that steps in the 215 have a little bit more “bounce” and are cushioned more, which favor running and plyometric movements, but that doesn’t exactly make them running shoes, as they’re still very responsive for lifting.

IMG_9047

One thing that takes a little bit of getting used to is the forward bias caused by having the larger drop. On the 250’s, you can anchor down more on the heel of the shoe since it doesn’t compress, where you might notice your feet sliding a little forward more in the 215’s due to the slightly more compressible midsole. Even though the majority of the cushioning is at at the heel of the shoe, it doesn’t give enough to detract from most lifts. I’d still use my 235’s for 1RM deadlifts or backsquats, but I felt comfortable enough to do all of my percentage lifting in the 215’s.

Where the 215’s shine the most is in the name: All-Train. These aren’t shoes designed just for lifting, they’re for everything in the fitness world. If you want to go on a trail run, then hit the gym for some lifting, and maybe even go on a swim – the All Train 215’s are the shoe for you. For me, they’re one of the most complete WOD shoes available. They have just enough cushioning to keep my feet comfortable for runs I’m doing in WODs, but I wouldn’t be afraid to wear them for up to a few miles. Since WOD’s don’t typically have 1RMs in them, they’ve been stable for all the lifting I’m doing in a WOD. They’re probably best suited for workouts with a fair amount of plyometric movements since they’re so flexible and most of all, lightweight. You’ll barely even feel like you have shoes on, except that the outsole lug pattern gives you excellent footing no matter what the surface is, asphalt, gravel, rubber or wood. For most people, you’ll never need another pair of training shoes!

IMG_9051

Value/Conclusion:

The All-Train 215’s retail for $110, but you can usually find them slightly discounted if you shop around. At MSRP they’re a steal, but if you can get them cheaper, it’s a no brainer. The All-Train 215’s are currently one of the best deals in training shoes.

I typically favor shoes that are just rigid, flat and favor weightlifting, but it’s impossible to not like the 215’s. If you were a fan of the 195, or more so the 240/230’s, you will no doubt be a fan of the 215. These shoes return to the greatness (not that they ever left) that were the original Inov-8 cross-training shoes. There are better lifting shoes and there are better running shoes, but there are very few shoes that have combined the two as well into a training shoe like the All-Train 215’s. If you’re a cross-fitnesser looking for a WOD shoe and you do your lifting in Oly shoes, or if you’re just someone looking for a damned good pair of training shoes, this is the one.

Get your Inov-8 All-Train 215’s here!

For additional information check out Inov-8’s product page.

Advertisements

NEW Images of the Reebok Nano 7 Knit!

I got some exclusive images of the upcoming Reebok Nano 7 knit! These show off some unseen colorways and probably the best details out of any picture yet.  Top two images look like men’s colorways while the bottom are probably females, the knit looks a little tighter on the men’s shoes.

More details to follow…

Thanks to Thoai for sending these my way!

File Apr 03, 11 01 53 PMFile Apr 03, 11 02 08 PMFile Apr 03, 11 02 17 PMFile Apr 03, 11 02 26 PM

Strike-Mvmnt Chill Pill Transit & Mid Review (Collection 5)

IMG_8919

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

Shoe design life must be rough. We saw the release of Reebok’s Nano 7 earlier in the year and it was met with some pretty harsh criticism, but it seemed rushed and paled in comparison to the previous Nano 6. I think the main problem there was that they took such a radical departure from the previous model, which in my opinion is the greatest training shoe of all time. If they had somehow eased in the changes, people would have been a lot more receptive of the new model, but it is what it is and you can only learn from Reebok’s mistake.

Strike-Mvmnt has been releasing the Chill-Pill/Interval combo for some time now, with the biggest update to the shoes being when they added the Cross Platform outsole to the Chill-Pill in 2015. We’re currently in the 5th generation of Strike-Mvmnt shoes and every update since has been more of an evolution than revolution. Collection 5 adds minor updates to the stellar Chill-Pill line-up, further refining the already great shoe, just don’t expect a brand new model.

Looks/Construction:

You’d be lying to yourself if you thought the Chill-Pills were an ugly shoe. The design aesthetic is classic, unoffensive, maybe a little plain, but definitely not ugly. Personally, I think the Chill-Pills are the best looking training shoe out there, mainly because they don’t really look like a training shoe at all. Sure, by now they could use an update other than changing up the materials, but that’s probably because I own pretty much all of them. Also, some new colorways would be nice (*cough*red*cough*) other than the standard black and grey; once again, unoffensive.

There was an (excellent) shoe called the Pace they had out for a short amount of time, but was discontinued. When I asked what happened to it, they said they put production on hold because the inside tag wasn’t staying glued on.  THAT’S IT?! Such a small thing that most manufacturers wouldn’t even bother with, but that just goes to show the level of quality Strike-Mvmnt puts into their products. Strike-Mvmnt is a smaller company and the build quality of their products reflect this. Everything seems to be made with a little more attention and care than what you’d find on some of the bigger brands. There’s no loose seams, glue, or stitching anywhere on all three pairs of Collection 5 shoes that I
received.

IMG_8902

For colorways, I went with the Storm Grey Transit and Grey Melange Mid. The Transits have ballistic nylon around the shoe’s quarter (ankle area) and is topped off with a plush micro-suede material on the toe-box. The Mid’s use a new melange fleece material throughout that is a little rougher to the touch, but is still as flexible as the Transit. Since the mid has a higher cut, there’s also a neoprene pad at the Achilles area of the shoe to prevent chaffing, but I never really noticed it working or not (that probably means it does). Both uppers aren’t resistant to dirt, but you’ll be able to rope climb in both without damaging either upper.

One thing that I wasn’t a huge fan of in the Collection 4 Chill-Pill was that I thought the shoe lacked structure. Collection 5 updates this with high density foam around the collar, new tongue stays and a new insole. The fit is improved greatly with the new collar foam, giving you a more secure in shoe feeling. The new tongue stays make it a little harder to put your laces inside the tongue’s pleasure pocket, but that’s not a big deal considering the tongue now feels a bit more structured. I didn’t mind the paper thin insole from before, but the new one does feel a little nicer on your feet. The weight of the shoe is increased by about half an ounce, but the shoe feels more solid overall.

Fit:

Not much has changed in this department – I wear a size 9.5 in my Chill-Pills and they fit me perfectly. The overall shape resembles the Nike Metcon line-up so I would recommend sizing the same. What I found to work best when sizing shoes is to just go by the EU sizing, it makes the most sense compared to all of the others. Those with wide, flat feet, beware, there is a feeling of “arch support” in the Chill-Pills caused from the semi-curved last. I’ve got pretty normal feet and it doesn’t bother me, but I’ve heard from people with flat feet that it can cause some plantar fascia pain.

IMG_8920

Performance:

“United by Motion” is the mantra of Strike-Mvmnt – whether you’re a Crossfitter, b-boy, or parkour-er; movement is movement and these are probably my favorite shoes to move in. I’ve always said this, but the addition of the Cross Platform outsole was the best thing Strike has ever done to their shoes; I’m just waiting for an Interval with it.

Strike’s uppers were always light and flexible, but the Stable Platform outsole was just a tad too soft when it came to heavier lifting, unlike the medium density midsole and Cross Platform outsole which is almost incompressible. Stability and responsiveness is top notch and rivals the best shoes in the training world, but while those fail in flexibility, the Chill-Pills come out on top. The low midsole stack, 2.5mm drop and incompressible outsole make for some of the most stable lifting shoes for either weightlifting or powerlifting. I haven’t had any issues with the midsole being overly soft, even hitting deadlifts over 500lbs in these shoes.

IMG_8906

There are other shoes with excellent power delivery, but they’re usually pretty bad for anything that requires you to be quick on your feet. The flexibility of the Chill-Pills in combination with their stability make them some of the overall best training shoes around. I did the Open workout 17.5 in my Chill-Pills, which in total was 90 thrusters and 350 double unders – and yes, my feet did hurt, but it was minimal and wasn’t enough for me to take my focus off the workout. I don’t think you could do that workout in any shoe without any kind of foot pain. I couldn’t imagine how much my feet would have been burning up if I were using Nano 7’s.

Another massive benefit of the Cross Platform outsole is just how grippy it is. I have smoother rubber mats in my gym that even some weightlifting shoes have issues gripping and the Chill-Pills have never left me with a loss of footing. Landing box jumps feels sure footed, as is gripping the rope while climbing.

The only real difference between the Transit and Mid just comes down to the cut; Functionality wise, they’re pretty much identical. Personally, if I had to recommend one, it would be the Transits because I think the low cut is just a little more comfortable for training and running. If you wanted more of an all purpose shoe for hiking as well, then I would go with the Mid’s. They work well both ways and I don’t keep my Mid’s laced up all the way anyways.

IMG_8908

Value/Conclusion:

Transit’s will set you back $115 and Mid’s $129, which fall in line with just about everything else out there. Strike-Mvmnt is a small brand with not a ton of brand recognition, but in my experience, they’re a great company. It’s up to you if you want to support the big dogs, or if you want to support a brand that actually has real passion in what they’re doing. The quality and performance of their goods is excellent, so you won’t be disappointed in their product. Brand whores might not acknowledge you, but if you want to swim away from the mainstream, Strike-Mvmnt is one of the best ways to go.

The first day I laced up my Collection 5 Chill-Pills and hit the gym, was one of the best lifting days I had in a long while, especially after hurting my back. I knew that whatever movements I was doing that day, I had the shoes to perform in. Confidence defines your lifting and I’m just sure I can do anything when I have my Chill-Pills on. Doing what I do, I don’t get to spend a lot of time with shoes that I really like, so getting to review the new Chill-Pills was like coming home. 2017 has already been a big year for training shoes, and as of right now, Chill-Pills are my top choice of available training shoes. If you care about movement at all, I’m sure you’ll feel the same.

As always, big shout out to Marc over at Strike-Mvmnt for hooking it up with the shoes. Much appreciated!

https://strike-mvmnt.com/

(You can currently get the still excellent Collection 4 Chill-Pill Camo’s for only $78!!!)

 

Inov-8 F-Lite 235v2 (Late 2016)

IMG_7012

With all the talk about Nano this, Metcon that, it’s easy for Inov-8 to get overshadowed by the bigger companies. The grand papi of minimalist training shoes, and really the first functional fitness shoe (besides Vibrams), Inov-8 just keeps on chugging along making great trainers that often get overlooked because their marketing budget just isn’t quite as big as the other giants. They’re still producing the widely loved and well regarded 195, which you can find being worn in many boxes to this date. The 195 was a workhorse of a shoe that just did everything right, without any fancy bells or whistles.  Sure, it has it’s share of shortcomings, but if you wanted flexible, comfortable, minimal and lightweight, the 195 is the shoe to get…well…until Inov-8 brought out the 235.

Last year’s model of 235’s took Inov-8’s training shoe know how and upped it 100%. Many issues that plagued their previous training shoes were addressed, and it was one of the finest training shoes I had ever used. The 250 was a spin on the 235’s, and ended up being one of my favorite training shoes of the year. Fresh off the press, the 235v2’s look to up the ante by improving on everything that made the 235’s excellent to make a play for the title of the best functional fitness shoe.

IMG_7013

Looks/Construction/Fit:

Quite possibly the only thing that’s going to prevent the 235v2’s from being a star in the functional fitness world, are it’s hate it or love it looks. Personally, I don’t hate the way the shoes look, but I don’t love them either. I can appreciate them trying to do something different with the styling, which to be honest, is pretty true to Inov-8’s standards. Most people are not going to see it the way that I do and will go for one of the more “safe” choices. The actual silhouette of the shoe isn’t awful, but some of the colorways don’t quite get along with the lines of the shoe. The grey/blue/black scheme that I got is definitely the best of the bunch and I have gotten compliments on it. Though I have heard quite the opposite about some of the others. This can easily be remedied down the line, as Inov-8 usually does this and then adds in more “safe” colorways later on.

The F-Lite 235 is a completely new shoe designed specifically for functional fitness, but it still carries on the creed of the 195, with enhancements for today’s athletes. Sporting the new “Standard” fit, the 235v2’s has a wider base and much denser heel for stability during lifts. A well known issue with the 195’s was the durability; a few rope climbs and you’d see some pretty substantial damage to the shoe. Inov-8 added the Rope-Tec guard a little bit later on in the 195’s life, but honestly it didn’t do a ton to fix the issue as you couldn’t always count on the rope being in that exact spot. The redesigned 360 Rope-Tec system now carries onto the 235v2’s upper and with the inclusion of the much denser outsole, provide excellent tracking and durability against rope climbs.

IMG_7018

On the feet, the 235v2’s feel just as well built as any of the top fitness shoes on the market. You can definitely feel the solidity of of the Powerheel, but also how incredibly flexible the new “AdapterFit” technology upper is. During movement the upper conforms to your foot and provides one of the most natural feeling shoe experiences around. Upon entering the shoe, you’ll notice the midfoot “hug” from the Met-Cradle, which provides a more customized fit in the midfoot. Also new to the 235v2’s is the external heel counter that was present in the 250’s, working hand in hand with the Powerheel to up the shoe’s stability.

The flat laces are more dense but have the tendency to become untied unless you really tighten them up. Another slight annoyance is that the toe area of the shoes have a tendency to attract dirt and marks that take a little more than water to wipe away; nitpicking here, but it drives my clean shoe OCD crazy.

This time around, I went with a size 10 compared to my normal size of 9.5. I’ve been finding myself needing to size up lately as deep into workouts, my feet have the tendency to swell and my toes jam up into the front of them. The front toe guard is kind of a double edge sword here: it’s gives extra protection when doing burpees, but if you’ve got Morton’s toe like me, it’s inability to flex will end up smashing your second toe. Only an issue I had deep into workouts with the 250’s, but isn’t an issue with my size 10 235v2’s. The fit is comfortable and never feels too big, so consider going up half a size ONLY if your second toe is longer than your big toe.


IMG_7014

Performance:

Zero drop.

The 235v2’s are FLAT, just the way I like it. Since the fall of “minimal” shoes happened (Vibram?), there hasn’t been a ton of zero drop shoes on the market. Personally, I like to do everything in flat shoes, and the flatter the better; granted this might not be the same for everyone, especially those with poor mobility. Is this a huge departure from the popular training shoes on the market? Nope, most of them have a 4mm drop, which is pretty darn close to nothing, and it doesn’t take long at all to get acclimated to a zero drop shoe. What is quite different than most of the shoes out there, is the amount of ground feel that you get from the 235v2’s due to its low (10.5mm/3mm insole) stack height. The 235v2’s are as close to “barefoot” shoes as you can get without sacrificing protection. This makes for a very responsive, if not the most responsive feeling training shoe out there.

The outsole brings back some familiar technology in the Meta-Flex split grooves and Dynamic Facia Band (DFB). The latter keeps you in motion while the former makes it so your foot doesn’t feel constrained doing it. The pattern used is designed to maximize the contact area of the shoe’s sticky rubber outsole, giving you a sure step every time.  Traction in any terrain has never been an issue and is maximized if you’re stepping into a gym with rubber flooring. Tread with confidence.

IMG_7016

Power delivery is excellent with anything from Olympic lifts to plyometric movements. This has been my “go-to” shoe, and I haven’t ever looked back towards any of my big named shoes. Not saying they’re not excellent picks either, but the 235v2’s are just as good, if not better at things. Squatting in the 235v2’s couldn’t feel any better due to the zero drop and extremely dense Powerheel. I’ve saved some snatched that had gone awry from the 235v2’s keeping my feel planted into the ground. Did I mention that these are the most flexible trainers I’ve ever used? I did, but just so you know, moving around in the 235v2’s is like a breath of fresh air. Speaking of which, the 235v’2s are also the most breathable shoe I’ve ever used. Probably awesome during the summer, but also could be a bad thing if you live in cold areas. It’s getting California cold (50-60 degrees, lol), and sometimes my feet can get really cold.

If you’re looking for a true, minimal training shoe, this is the one. Zero drop, flexibility of a Yogi, reflexes of an F-1 car and light as a feather at 8.2 oz.

IMG_7015

Value:

The F-Lite 235v2’s run for a standard price of $129.99 per pair. This puts them in direct contention with the major manufacturers. I know you’re thinking you might as well go with the popular options for that price, but if you’re looking for a minimalist fitness experience, the big names just can’t deliver. Don’t get me wrong, they’re excellent shoes and some people might be looking for a little more support, or like the styling better, but give the 235v2’s a shot and I promise you won’t be disappointed.  The purist experience just can’t be replicated by anything other than the Inov-8 F-Lite 235’s.

Now to check out the crazier All-Train 215’s…

Get your Inov-8 F-Lite 235v2’s here!

Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0 Review + Video Review

IMG_6124

Six years, six iterations of the Reebok CrossFit Nano.  My first pair and in some ways still my favorite are the 2.0’s, mainly due to the sentimental value I have for them being my first CrossFit shoe. This should go without saying, but every year Reebok makes a better version of the shoe. Now you might not like the shoe, but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s not a better shoe than the previous year’s. From adding in the Ropepro, to the Duracage, and the Powerlaunch toe box, there’s always something Reebok is adding in an effort to make the best CrossFit shoe possible. The thing that I really like about Reebok is that at the end of the day, they were the first to actually invest in CrossFit; without them, you might still be WODing in running shoes.

A shoe design has a typical life of two years, with the Nano 6.0’s being an evolution of the 5.0. This is very apparent if you look at the previous Nano’s as well and something that also applies to other brands of shoes. The big changes from the 4.0’s are still here: we have the Kevlar reinforced overlay, improved Ropepro, and multi-directional outsole. The only thing we’re “missing” is that the 3mm drop has been upped back to the 4mm that’s been the standard for Nano’s.  It’s slight, but some people will miss it (including myself), though most people won’t ever notice a difference. What’s new to the Nano 6.0 is a new overall look with a huge Reebok logo, a tough medial guard, a heel loop, slight changes to the fitment, and the new Powerlaunch toe box.


IMG_6116

Looks:

From an aesthetic standpoint, comparing the Nano 6.0 to the 5.0 would be like comparing your freshman yearbook picture to your senior picture.  You look the same for the most part, but you’re a little more fleshed out and slightly more mature looking, though you still have a lot of growing up to do. Honestly, when I first saw the Nano 6.0’s, I didn’t think they were as bad looking as a lot of people did; or at least one side of the shoe wasn’t. In my opinion, the delta isn’t as cheesy looking as some people say it is; it’s a hell of a lot better than all the junk they put on the 5.0’s. Going around the the medial side of the shoe is a different story, the new medial guard is an eyesore on certain colorways as it totally clashes with the refined look of the shoe. It’s not so bad on the dark colorways, but it really sticks out like a sore thumb on the brighter colors. Function over form I guess.

You can just tell by looking at the Nano 6.0’s that they’re a bit more sturdy.  The quality of the upper feels a lot more premium than the 5.0’s did. Areas like the toe box and the rear of the shoe are more reinforced and a lot harder to depress. The shoe holds it’s form better than the flimsy upper of the Nano 5.0. A huge upgrade that might not sound like much is that the tongue is way more substantial and padded. You won’t have to worry about it sliding to the side like the 5.0’s did. Lastly, the shoe laces are much nicer in general with a wider, flatter, and better looking set. I never had an issue with the laces of the 5.0’s, but the new speckled laces adds some character to the 6.0’s.

IMG_6120

Fit:

It seems to be a pretty normal thing for the first complete overhaul of the Nano to be big and wide, and it’s successor to be more fitted and narrow. That’s not saying much since the Nano’s are wide shoes in general. I’m a fan of the wider fits because I have a bunion on my right foot, but even the more narrow models fit me just fine.  You’ll find the biggest change in fitment at the vamp (toe box) of the shoe. The front is now optimally sized for toe splay, without being overly wide and less stable. The upper is now mainly a new more breathable mesh in this area, allowing for greater flexibility over the 5.0’s. These factors essentially equate to the Powerlaunch toe box. What this feels like is a more competition-ready feel, as there’s going to be less of your toes sliding around.

The fitment is generally the same everywhere else, but overall it’s a tighter fitting shoe. Keep this in mind when sizing the Nano 6.0; if the 5.0’s fit you tight, consider going up half a size. Once again, you might notice the difference with the drop being increased back to 4mm, but it’s slight and you’ll probably forget about it in minutes. If you’ve got Morton’s toe, you might need to go up half a size due to the flat shaped front. My second toe rubs a bit in a size 9.5, not totally uncomfortable but I might consider purchasing 10’s in these shoes from here on out.

UPDATE: Purchased a pair of 10’s and they fit much more comfortably than the 9.5’s did. Overall, I would say size up half a size.

IMG_6118

IMG_6117

Performance: 

Every year a new Nano comes out, everyone in the CrossFit world says the same damn thing.

“This is the best one yet.”

I hate that it’s so cliche, but it’s true. Every year, I find myself liking the new one better than the last; as you or I should. Improvements have varying degrees of usefulness, but they are always improvements. I don’t think I’d actually say the Kevlar introduced on the Nano 5 was an “improvement”, but things like the 3mm drop and the outsole pattern were to me. With the Nano 6.0, you’re basically getting a better version of the 5.0, similar to when Apple releases an “S” version of their phones. For the most part it’s looks the same, but it’s the stuff that you can’t really see that makes the difference.

Though it sounds gimmicky, the Powerlaunch toe box feels great during lifts; which probably has to do with it being more fitted, so you’re not bleeding power all over the place. Like all Nano’s the outsole is dense and extremely responsive. My squat volume has been down lately, but I still went up to my 95% back squat at #385 without any hesitation or missed lifts. I had some troubles with oly on the first day I used the shoes (probably lack of mobilization), but after getting used to the platform, the 6.0’s are nothing short of confidence inspiring. Every jump feels effortless, every landing feels stable as a rock. Moving throughout WOD’s with varying movements is no short task for any shoe, but the Nano 6.0’s prove to be the worthiest of contenders. Box jumps and double under rebounding feels as responsive as ever and since the flexibility has been increased, my feet don’t hurt as much after repeated bounding. Win.


IMG_6179

The redesigned mesh area at the vamp doesn’t crease in any way that it would ever make your toes uncomfortable. Don’t get me wrong, these are still Nano’s and Nano’s are clunky due to the general shape of the shoe and density of the outsole. Running in them is just okay, but that’s on par to how they’ve always been. I wouldn’t gripe too much about this because there are still only a handful of shoes that you can really do any and everything a WOD throws at you, in. Nano 6’s being at the top of that list. Unlike all other Nano’s, they’re also actually pretty comfortable to just wear on the daily. Though I am in the process of reviewing these shoes, I find myself actually wanting to wear them at all times.


Nano’s have always been rough and tumble shoes, just a workhorse designed to take a beating and keep on ticking. The 6.0’s are no different feeling. This alone is probably why I like Nano’s so much. Don’t get me wrong, I love my Metcon’s, but if the WOD came to throwing around tires, getting dirty, or climbing ropes, I’d be coming with my Nano’s that day. (I’m not going to comment on the medial guard until I get some solid time on the rope.)


UPDATE 7/28: Finally got to testing rope climbs and I have to say that these are the best rope climbing Nano’s yet; previously the 4.0’s were my favorite. The inclusion of the heavily textured kevlar medial guard provides excellent “grip” when climbing the rope, though it does require some positioning with your feet. I found it most beneficial while I was fatigued and needed to take “breaks” as I was climbing. Best of all, it does an AMAZING job of attenuating the amount of friction the rope has on your shoes. After all the rope climbs I did, my shoes have almost no signs of wear!

Personally, I weighed the shoes in at 10.94oz for a men’s size 9.5, though I’ve seen lower listed weights. Not the lightest of the Nano’s yet, but not as heavy as some of the competition either.

IMG_6183

Compared to:

Nano 5.0 – If you weren’t a fan of the ultra wide toe box of the Nano 5.0, you’ll definitely like the 6.0’s.  Otherwise, the difference in the drop is only going to be noticeable to the pickiest people. Looks wise the 6.0’s are also better, but that’s always subjective.  If you’re a Nano fan, the 6.0’s are a must buy, but if you’re not in need of an upgrade, the 5.0’s (or any Nano prior) will do just fine.

Speed TR – Nano’s are a little bit wider and more squarish at the front than their agile younger brother. I would opt for the Speed TR’s if you have a very narrow foot, or if you have Morton’s toe, or if you just wanted a bit more midsole cushioning. They’re still a great performer day to day, but if you really wanted to move serious weight, I’d go Nano.

Nike Metcon 2 – The Nano 6.0’s are a more minimal feeling shoe with a slightly lower outsole height. Both are great performing shoes, but if you have issues with your toes jamming up in the front of Nano’s due to the flatter front, you might want to look towards the Nike’s. Otherwise styling is subjective, but most people tend to think the Metcon’s are a better looking shoe.

NoBull Surplus – The Nano 6.0’s are a flatter shoe overall with less cushioning, but the feel is very similar to NoBull’s Surplus trainers. The fit is similar to the Metcon’s though. If you’re looking for something that’s kind of a cross between the Metcon’s and 6.0’s, that’s the NoBull Surplus trainers. Beware of the slight upwards slope in the front outsole of the NoBulls; if you’re constantly on your toes, you might want to look into the flatter 6.0’s or Metcons.


Value:

Just like the 5.0’s, the Nano 6.0’s carry a fairly hefty price tag of $130. Most people are used to this by now, but I remember what it feels like to be a first time buyer of CrossFit shoes.  Reason it out like this, if you’re at the box more than 5 times a week and spending multiple hours a week working out, you’ll probably want to be wearing the best that’s out there. If you’re that person, you probably don’t need much persuasion to get the newest Nano’s though. For the more casual person that goes around 2-3 times a week, you could opt for the still great Nano 5.0 that you could easily snag for just around $50 nowadays.

IMG_6177

Conclusion: 

Reebok has been on a roll lately with the Speed TR’s and now, Nano 6.0’s. I haven’t found myself as in love with another shoe since the Nike Metcon 1 came out. Fitment preferences aside, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0’s are simply one of the best shoes out there, if not the best shoe, for CrossFit. It took a while, but the Nano’s are finally starting to mature into that senior about to leave for college. Styling still has a bit of ground to make up before catching up to Nike, but it’s getting there; you can’t really fault Reebok for sticking with that bulldog-ish look. Where the Nano 6.0’s shine the brightest, is where it matters the most, performance. You can argue all day and night that the Nano’s aren’t a good looking shoe, but no one can question the Nano 6.0’s ability to perform any task given.

Hats off to you for reeling me back in, Reebok.

Please help support these reviews and use my links to purchase your gear!