The Evolution of the Reebok CrossFit® Nano
Ten years ago, back when the CrossFit Games were in the infant years, with no major sponsor, there was no real ‘go to shoe’ for competing athletes.
It wasn’t until 2011 when Reebok released the first ever CrossFit specific shoe: The Reebok CrossFit® Nano. Since then, more than half a dozen new versions of the shoe has been released. Each year, Reebok has worked on improving the design to provide an even better shoe for CrossFit community across the world.
The Nano is now synonymous with the sport of CrossFit and regarded by many as the leading shoe in the functional fitness market.
Go to any CrossFit Sanctional event across the world, or the CrossFit Games itself in Madison later this year, and just have a look at how many spectators are wearing a pair of Nano’s. It is clear, the Nano franchise has established itself well and truly on the CrossFit map.
Here is a quick breakdown of the evolution of the Nano and how it has changed over the 8 years since its released back in 2011:
Shortly after announcing a partnership to become the official provider of licensed CrossFit footwear and apparel, Reebok released the original Nano in 2011. The shoe was designed to support athletes in all functional-fitness based movements including gymnastics, weightlifting and running.
One of the main features of the original Nano was the spacious toe box as well as the U-Form technology, which helped form your shoe to your foot size more efficiently.
In 2012 Reebok released the Nano 2.
The shoe had an even wider toe box than the first generation, to allow an athlete’s foot to splay more naturally and maximize stability. It also featured an improved grip area around to inner sole to help athletes with movements like Rope Climbs.
The Nano 3 was released globally in 2013 and came with several new innovative features.
A protective layer in the midsole prevented fraying caused by rope climbs. A dual density platform was also included which assisted in forefoot cushioning and heel stabilization. While the Nano 3 also featured “DuraCage” to the entire upper area for more protection. Additionally, an anti-friction lining was added to the breathable mesh to prevent abrasion and heat build-up.
Reebok released the Nano 4 at the 2014 CrossFit Games and the shoe saw a return of the “DuraCage” protection layer and introduced an enhanced toe-wrap for durability. The more rigid sole provided more grip and stability than the previous three models.
Key improvements had also been made to ensure lightweight breathability for longer endurance workouts and strategically constructed abrasion zones for protection and durability. Kevlar aramid fiber was also added to ensure the Nano 4 was lightweight and extraordinarily strong.
Reebok’s fifth release of the Nano came in 2015 and came with the biggest modifications; this time was the fact the entire shoe was wrapped in Kevlar.
For the first time ever, the Nano’s mesh upper was infused with durable Kevlar for elite-level abrasion protection and improved airflow. The entire midsole shape was also re-engineered to provide better support during heavy lifts.
In 2016, the Nano 6 was released and continued to feature a Kevlar, however smoother and softer than in the past. The fit was also different from the 5 with a thicker tongue like we saw in Nano 4.
The Nano 6 brought back a low-cut design for better movement inside the shoe and to allow for quicker transitions. It also had an improved sole grip area for rope climbs and featured fewer graphics than previous models giving it a clean aesthetic look.
Reebok released the Nano 7 in 2017 with a new and improved NanoWeave technology for upper comfort and breathability. A 360-degree heel wrap was also built to really feel like your foot was locked into your shoe and a 4mm heel-to-toe drop made it better for running and weight-forward balance.
In 2018, Reebok released the CrossFit Nano 8. Flexweave Technology replaced the NanoWeave technology by using woven fibres in a figure-8 pattern to create a stronger, more flexible upper area. It also came with a new Interior Bootie Construction for added comfort.
The Nano 8 also featured a low-cut design to encourage full ankle mobility. The focus of the shoe was more on traction, mobility and flexibility.
Reebok is yet to released details of the Nano 9.0 but I’m sure we can expect an announcement shortly.
Let us know your thoughts in the comment section below on what you’d like to see in Reebok’s next shoe!