Do Reebok CrossFit shoes stand up to the hype?

Reebok CrossFit shoes are probably the best known line of CrossFit shoes on the market today; Athletes wear them in the CrossFit Games and logging more than 18 months in research and design, they were the world’s first shoes designed by and for CrossFitters.   But are they really any good? And if so, what makes them so? This post will outline the two types of Reebok CrossFit shoes – the CrossFit Nano and the CrossFit OLY – pointing out their strengths and weaknesses.  Ultimately, you’ll find out why Reebok CrossFit shoes are, in fact, great shoes, and more importantly, which model is best for your needs.

Reebok CrossFit Shoes
Reebok CrossFit Nano
CrossFit Shoes
Reebok CrossFit OLY

Reebok makes two models of CrossFit shoes, the CrossFit Nano and the Reebok CrossFit shoe has a minimalist design. As you would have read in the other CrossFit Shoes articles on the site, you want your running style to be as natural as possible, and a minimal heel to toe drop is essential for this.


Reebok Nano crossfit shoe
The Reebok Nano has a minimal heel to toe drop

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The next great feature, and something that definitely distinguishes it from its competitors is the roomy toe box.  Several CrossFitters have commented that other available CrossFit shoes tend to cramp their toes or make them feel uncomfortable at the very least, and the Reebok Nano really delivers in this area.  Two other very important features of any great CrossFit shoe are comfort and durability, and the Reebok CrossFit Nano shoes also delivers on these. The shoe has plenty of mesh to ensure breathe-ability and comfort, and the toes are protected by a “DuraGrip Toe Cap”, which reinforces areas prone to wear and tear from excessive push-ups, weighted planks and burpees.

reebok crossfit nano shoes
Notice the roomy toe box, mesh and toe cap

Finally, there is the U-Form technology, which is what makes the Nano truly remarkable. Reebok offers U-Form technology in several models of shoes; simply heat up the shoe (depending on the instructions, using either with an oven or a hairdryer), put them on and lace them tightly for a performance-enhancing, custom fitting shoe. This U-Form sole also includes an optimized gripping pattern, perfect for rope climbing along the interior arch, as well as a “landing pad” at the balls of the feet.

So is there anything wrong with this Reebok CrossFit Shoe? Well, one shortcoming of the Reebok Nano is the shoelaces. Reebok might have taken minimalism a little too far with the undersized laces. Another consideration is that the uber stiff construction of the U-Form sole cannot grip wet surfaces nor is it meant for long distance running. But, how often does your WOD involve a 10 mile run in the rain, anyway? You should probably have other shoes for that!

In summary, the Reebok CrossFit Nano are excellent CrossFit shoes for all round performance. They will help you excel in everything from box jumps and rope climbs to dead lifts and snatches.

Reebok CrossFit OLY shoes are excellent for big lifts

For CrossFitters focusing more on weightlifting than anything else, the Reebok CrossFit OLY shoe has been designed with your needs in mind. OLY’s design considers all the important aspects of weightlifting and uses them to create a superior weightlifting shoe available to men and women. Just like the Nano, the OLY has U-Form technology that provides a custom fit without much arch support or heel cup.

Distinguishing itself from other weightlifting and Crossfit shoes, the Reebok OLY is incredibly lightweight thanks to a less pronounced heal and carbon rubber sole. Despite each shoe weighing at least 2.4 ounces less than competitors, OLY still maintains a stable to heel and an effective heel height of 0.75 inches. And while on the subject of the carbon fiber sole, OLY offers superior grip on nearly every type of surface; the unique pyramid-shaped indentions around the outer heel have been added to assist with gripping and climbing rope. In terms of Reebok CrossFit gear, OLY delivers on the hype.

reebok crossfit oly shoes
Notice the stable heel as well as the indentations for improved rope climbing

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So what are the downsides? Well, the exterior of the shoe is comprised of synthetic suede and full grain leather at the toe. Perhaps the biggest gripe about the shoe is the leather toe since softer leather is notorious for wearing down quicker. However, this is quite easy to get around.  Simply avoid getting the leather wet, or air-dry immediately if OLY’s come in contact with water and voilà, a major flaw becomes inconsequential.

In sum, the OLY is best viewed as a CrossFit weightlifting shoe. At the end of the day, a show can’t be the best at everything, and if you’re doing a WOD that’s heavy on lifting exercises (and there are plenty of them), this is your best bet.  If you’re really serious about CrossFit, it’s a great idea to have two pairs of CrossFit shoes.  The Nano for all round WODs and the OLY for WODS that focus on lifting.

Both the Nano and the OLY are stylish and attractive

Before we finish off, it’s important to point out that Reebok CrossFit shoes simply look great! Obviously, the most important function of your CrossFit gear is performance, but there’s nothing wrong with looking good in the process.  The Reebok CrossFit Nano seamlessly combines the two; it’s one of the most stylish and chic CrossFit shoes around. Men have the option of choosing from the following colors: yellow and black; black and silver; red and black; and white, black and blue. The ladies’ Nano is available in four fantastic color ways— pink and grey; pink and white; grey, white and black; and yellow and blue.

OLY is a high performance-lifting shoe that doesn’t look too shabby either. The Reebok OLY will give you the edge you need to outperform your former self and look good doing it too. The men’s version of the shoe is available in black and red. Women have the option to choose from white and black or purple and grey.

reebok crossfit shoes for women
Notice the Nano’s range of attractive styles

 And the verdict is

Reebok made the bold claim that it has produced a line of superior CrossFit shoes, and their claim is backed by products thoroughly researched, experimented with and improved upon.  The Nano is a great all round CrossFit shoe, and the OLY is ideal for WODs that are heavy on lifts.

3 thoughts on “Which Reebok CrossFit shoe is best for you?”

  1. Pingback: The Superiority… | reebokshoe65

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