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Although Reebok is no longer the official sponsor of the CrossFit Games (NoBull took over that role in 2021), its Nano series has remained a popular choice for CrossFit athletes for nearly a decade. And the brand’s latest installment in the series, the Reebok Nano X2, lives up to the reputation.
Released in April and dubbed by Reebok as the “The Official Shoe of You” and “the most wearable Nano training shoe ever,” the Reebok Nano X2 has new design upgrades that not only keep it at competition level but make it more durable and stylish than its predecessors.
When I got the chance to test and review the Reebok Nano X2 shoes through my everyday training routine, I was curious to find out whether they would hold up on the platform and during quick shifts to quick cardio sessions and moving heavy objects on the turf — or if I would need to eventually change shoes for different activities. After several weeks of lifting, straining and sweating, I found the X2s did the job every time and stood up to competitor models like Nike’s Metcon 7, NoBull’s Trainer and Trainer+ and Inov-8’s F-Lite G-300.
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They fit my feet like a good shoe should
When it comes to performance, the first marker is feel, and the X2s feel both firm and cushiony at once.
Paul Litchfield, former Reebok designer and current head of product at sporting equipment company GoRuck, previously told FN that the best cross-training shoes should never hurt your feet, but rather be an extension of them. I often have a hard time finding any shoes that feel comfortable for my flat feet and softball-size bunions, but the Nano X2s never let me down. I even manipulated my testing method to make these fail — from tying the laces tight to wearing extra pairs of socks with them, but nothing could sabotage the comfort these shoes provide.
It’s in part thanks to Reebok’s malleable Flexweave knit design. The shoes also provide just enough arch support to prevent my feet from rolling inward while I perform squats, push or drag sled, run or simply walk to and from the gym. I wouldn’t call my feet, nor the X2’s toe box, exceptionally wide, so these were a good fit for me. My toes had room to splay comfortably.
They got me through the workouts
Admittedly, I don’t do a lot of CrossFit or WODs, as I stick with weight training, running and a variety of conditioning drills. I also recently added jiujitsu to my routine, although now I wish I rope climbed just once to see what the brand’s Ropepro outsole midfoot was all about. My numbers are far from world class, nevertheless, I believe my testimony can speak to the majority of gym goers searching for a shoe that can keep them moving forward and not sabotage any gains.
I wore the Nano X2s during the core exercises of my workouts — including squats, treadmill runs and functional moves like sled pushes and kettlebell movements — in which the right shoes make a huge difference, and found the X2s excelled.
For squats, some muscle micromanagers may call out the shoe’s X2s Floatrde energy foam as being too soft and unstable for leg day. And although many athletes in this case would opt for a weightlifting or squat shoe that may be better equipped to handle a 1RM, I felt the cushioning to be comfortable but not overly pilllowy. The X2’s lugged outsole connected me with the floor securely so I could complete five sets of 10 reps or heavier rounds of six reps.
While I’ve long struggled to find a shoe that can handle my heavy sled pushes — aka not cause my heel to slip out while I’m digging in and eking out a few extra yards — Reebok’s X2 is an exception. (Gone are the days when I have to pull up short due to a shoe “blowout” or sneaker flying off my feet no matter how securely it’s laced). The shoe’s heel clip keeps my feet locked in so I can focus on pushing and pulling. The same held true while I performed movements like side lunges and kettlebell cleans or snatches.
For long-distance Sunday runs (think five to 10 miles) along the waterfront, the X2s would be far from my first choice, and I would think Reebok would even steer you toward a more run-centric style like its new Floatride Energy 4. But when it comes to quick two-to-three-mile treadmill finishers to wrap up a workout, the X2s lug outsoles transitioned smoothly from platform to treadmill. During slow warmups to what I would classify as “sprint-like” intervals, not once did I feel my feet slipping, rolling or overgripping the tread surface while wearing these shoes. The comfort factor was also superb in this instance — shout out again to Reebok’s Flexweave upper and Floatride foam.
Of course, a shoe should look good, too, and the black, white and gray model I checked out is certainly one I can wear with virtually any outfit. The X2s currently come in seven men’s colors, including a Hint Mint color combo for those who prefer something brighter.
The final verdict
Even if it wouldn’t rank as a top choice for any specific training category, Reebok’s X2 is an excellent workout shoe that performs exceptionally well in nearly every fitness category.
The X2s checked off all my boxes: they work for squats, short runs, heavy pushes and lateral shifting and have the specificity and durability you would normally find in a cross-training shoe — and let’s not forget, they look good as well.
Keep in mind that reviews are always a helpful resource, but ultimately, finding the best cross-training shoe for you comes down to testing the style yourself. I recommend Reebok’s X2 as a great choice to start (and most likely) end your search.
The style is currently available for $135 on Reebok.com as well as retailers including Rogue, Dick’s Sporting Goods, RoadRunner Sports and Amazon.
- Comfortable and sturdy
- Outsoles are exceptional for gripping platforms
- Solid for short distance runs
- Come in variety of colors for men and women
- Wider toe box
- Heel clip keeps feet secure
- Floatride Energy Foam may turn off serious CrossFit lifters
- Toe box may be too wide for some
- Not built for long-distance runs
Meet the author
Jeff Tomko is a fitness journalist and enthusiast. He is currently the senior editor at Muscle & Fitness magazine whose work has also appeared in Men’s Health, Esquire, Runner’s World, GQ and Metro, among other publications. When he’s not writing, he loves to hit the gym while wearing the best cross-training shoes for men.