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The Reebok Nano X3 versus Nike Metcon 8 is an epic cross-training shoe showdown. Since the Reebok Nano X3’s debut, I’ve had countless questions on the topic of, “Shoe I get the Metcon 8 or the Nano X3?”
Both of these shoes are strong contenders regarding the best cross-training shoes on the market. However, there are pretty significant differences between the Metcon 8 and Nano X3’s performances.
For example, the Reebok Nano X3 delivers a high level of versatility which can make it a slightly better shoe for cross-training and CrossFit while the Metcon 8 delivers a very strong performance for weight training.
If you’re on the fence between the Reebok Nano X3 versus Nike Metcon 8, I’ll cover key performance, construction, and sizing differences to know about each shoe before investing in one of them.
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Reebok Nano X3 Vs Nike Metcon 8 Performance
The Nike Metcon 8 and Reebok Nano X3 are designed to tackle various training contexts. When putting these shoes head-to-head I’ll discuss their performance for lifting, CrossFit, versatile training, short runs, and daily wear.
We all train differently, so if we can contextualize how a shoe performs for specific contexts, we can make the best-educated call for our training needs.
Comparing the Reebok Nano X3 Vs Nike Metcon for Lifting and CrossFit
The Nike Metcon 8 and Reebok Nano X3 both perform exceptionally well for lifting and for most recreational weight training contexts, I think both shoes will work well for most. However, there are a few subtle differences to note between these two models.
The Nike Metcon 8 features Nike React foam through its midsole, then the heel is built with a hard TPU Hyperlift insert. This heel construction gives the Nike Metcon 8 a super stable feel when doing things like heavy squats, cleans, and machine work.
In the Nike Metcon 8, I’ve had no stability issues squatting over 400 lbs and have deadlifted up to 555 lbs in this shoe with relatively minimal stability issues. The outsole on this model also has a good level of traction for lifting on different surfaces.
For accessory exercises and machine work, the Nike Metcon 8 also performs pretty well. The grooves in the forefoot give this shoe a fairly flexible forefoot so they feel comfortable when doing things like lunges and split squats.
The Reebok Nano X3’s midsole is built with Reebok’s Floatride Energy foam which also has a nice level of stability. I’ve used this model for squats up to 385 lbs and deadlifts up to 500 lbs and didn’t have any glaring stability issues.
The reworked outsole also has a nice level of tread and durability for lifting on different surfaces. For cleans, kettlebell work, and more dynamic dumbbell lifts, these shoes feel grippy and stable.
I do think the Nike Metcon 8 has a slight edge for those wanting a model strictly for lifting. This model’s stability is slightly better than the Reebok Nano X3. However, it’s worth noting that the Metcon 8 runs more narrow than the Nano X3 which could influence the model you should choose for lifting.
In the context of CrossFit, both of these perform pretty well and in years past, the Nike Metcon would have taken the edge due to the Reebok Nano X1 and Nano X2 suffering from durability issues when rope climbing.
This year, though, the Reebok Nano X3 has been reworked and made more durable which makes them a much more viable option for the CrossFit-specific athlete. The Nano X3’s ROPEPRO+ feels a lot more durable than the prior two models.
On top of this, the Nano X3 has received a couple of other useful versatility-focused updates like their Lift And Run (L.A.R) chassis system and reworked upper which is great for WODs that vary greatly with their demands.
The L.A.R makes the Nano X3 a little more comfortable for CrossFit WODs that include short runs and a lot of jumping, which is an area that the Nike Metcon 8 struggled pretty heavily with due to its blocky and clunky TPU heel.
I think if you’re wanting a decently stable cross-training shoe that has a good level of versatility, then the Reebok Nano X3 takes the edge over the Nike Metcon 8. In my opinion, Nike needs to update the heel in the Metcon as it tanks the shoe’s overall versatility.
That being said, the Nike Metcon 8 works well for CrossFit, but its Achilles heel is quite literally its heel. The Hyperlift insert can make it pretty uncomfortable for CrossFit WODs that have a lot of running intervals and jumping programmed.
Winner: For lifting, both shoes work well but the Nike Metcon 8 takes the edge slightly due to its overall stability. For CrossFit, I’d opt for the Reebok Nano X3 as it has a greater range of versatility for different WODs.
Nike Metcon 8
- CrossFit and CrossFit-Style Workouts
- For Wide Feet
- For Running
Comparing the Reebok Nano X3 Vs Nike Metcon for Versatile Training
Unlike lifting and CrossFit, when it comes to tackling HIIT workouts, athletic-style sessions, and even classes and class-style workouts, I think there’s a fairly larger discrepancy between the Nano X3 and Metcon 8.
The Nike Metcon 8’s React Foam in its forefoot gives it a nice level of responsiveness when doing things like jump rope, box jumps, and agility work. Essentially, if you’re training on your forefeet heavily, the Metcon 8 feels pretty good.
The upper locks the foot down pretty well as well so I don’t think you’ll have issues with foot security when doing multi-directional work in the Metcon 8. For sessions where you’re blending plyometrics with heavy lifting, I think the Nike Metcon 8 makes sense and performs well.
Outside of these versatile training contexts, though, I think that’s where the Metcon 8’s performance pretty much stops. I mentioned this above, but its clunky and blocky heel construction really tanks its performance when it comes to comfort for things like dedicated HIIT and class work.
The Reebok Nano X3’s Floatride Energy foam is pretty responsive and I think when blended with its new L.A.R chassis system, you get a much more comfortable and versatile ride with the Nano X3 during versatile workouts.
On top of this, the Nano X3’s reworked upper hugs the foot a little more snuggly than the knit upper in the Reebok Nano X2 did, so this shoe has a slightly more athletic fit when doing lateral jumps, agility work, and speed work.
It’s worth noting that the Reebok Nano X3 does run a little stiff out of the box and will take a few sessions to break in, so if you’re investing in this shoe primarily for versatile workouts, then I’d suggest giving it a week or two to break-in fully.
Winner: Reebok Nano X3. The Nike Metonc 8 can work for athletic-style sessions, but I think you’ll get a wider range of versatility with the Nano X3, and it’s more comfortable for this training context.
Reebok Nano X3
- Recreational Weight Training
- Functional Fitness/CrossFit
- Athletic-Style Training
- Short Runs/Sprints
- Casual HIIT
- For Minimalist Lovers
- For Long-Distance Running
Comparing the Reebok Nano X3 Vs Nike Metcon for Short Runs and Daily Wear
Much like versatile training, for short runs, there’s a pretty clear winner between the Nike Metcon 8 and Reebok Nano X3. If you’re doing sprints or fast-paced runs between 400-800 meters, then the Nike Metcon 8 can work.
However, the reason I say this distance of running for the Metcon 8 is that you’ll typically be more forefoot biased with your stride. For longer runs where you may have heel or midfoot contact with your stride, I think you’ll find the Metcon 8 pretty uncomfortable.
Compared to the Nike Metcon 8, the Reebok Nano X3 feels a lot better for short runs. This model is fairly comfortable for sprints, fast-paced intervals, and distances up to around two miles so it’s a much more short-run-friendly training shoe.
I also like that you can somewhat feel the L.A.R chassis system in the Nano X3, especially when running on the Assault Runner. This feature gives this model a more forgiving feel and the reworked upper contributes nice security when running, too.
All that being said, the Reebok Nano X3 is a far better shoe for those wanting a training shoe for short runs and I think it could also work well for things like HYROX.
Even in CrossFit WODs that only have 400-meter runs programmed I constantly find myself wanting to take the Metcon 8 off if that helps describe their discomfort at all.
For daily wear, the Reebok Nano X3 will also have the edge over the Nike Metcon 8. Similar to their running performance, the heel in the Nike Metcon 8 is the cause of its poor daily wear performance.
If you want a training shoe for standing and being on your feet all day, I think you’ll be way better suited with the Nano X3. Plus, this model has more width to accommodate a more comfortable fit for long-duration use.
Reebok Nano X3
Nike Metcon 8
Reebok Nano X3 Vs Nike Metcon 8 Construction
There is a lot of construction between the Nike Metcon 8 and the Reebok Nano X3. I’ll cover the key details to know for each shoe’s construction below in different sections.
Hopefully, this makes this section more digestible and easy to sift through regarding understanding the differences between the Nano X3 and Metcon 8’s construction.
The Nike Metocn 8 and Reebok Nano X3 both feature full rubber outsoles. The Nike Metcon 8 features a grooved rubber tread through the forefoot and heel. Its midfoot has a rigid grooved design for rope climb support and you can see the Hyperlift insert through the heel.
The Reebok Nano X3’s outsole is consistent throughout regarding its tread pattern and has a split design through its forefoot and midfoot. Its heel has a circular tread and it has slight compression when you press into it due to the L.A.R system.
The Nike Metcon 8 features React Foam through its forefoot and it has a moderate level of compression and responsiveness. The midfoot’s midsole is covered by an outsole wrap and in the heel, there’s a stacking of the React Foam and Hyperlift insert.
The Reebok Nano X3 features Floatride Energy foam throughout the entirety of its midsole. This material is fairly dense and has a fair level of responsiveness to it. The midfoot is covered with Reebok’s ROPEPRO+ rubber wrap which is dense material.
The L.A.R system inserts into the midsole and wraps from the medial to lateral side with a TPU layer that sits below the heel’s midsole. This layer compresses and condenses as you put weight into it.
The Nike Metcon 8 is built with a fairly low-profile upper consisting of a mesh with synthetic overlays. These overlays cover the forefoot and midfoot and the boot of this shoe is built with synthetic layers and has a fair amount of padding.
The Reebok Nano X3 features a Flexweave upper that covers the forefoot and midfoot. The heel has a fair amount of padding and is built with synthetic overlays and the L.A.R system. Compared to the Metcon 8, the Nano X3’s upper is a little more spacious.
Laces and Tongue
The Nike Metcon 8 features a traditional lacing system with five core eyelets. The gusseted tongue is built with a padded mesh and there’s a Lock Laces feature to help provide additional lacing security when training and tackling WODs.
In the Reebok Nano X3, you have six core eyelets with a seventh eyelet for lace-locking. This model features traditional eyelets and the non-gusseted tongue is built with a padded mesh and features two loops for tongue security.
Both shoes have an adequate amount of security to them regarding their lacing system. I do think the laces on the Reebok Nano X3 run a little long especially if you’re tightening this model a lot.
Weight, Drop, and Insole
The weight, heel-to-toe drop, and insole are all fairly different in the Reebok Nano X3 and Nike Metcon 8. Personally, I think this is a good thing because it makes these models easier to navigate when deciding which shoe’s specs resonate best with you.
- Nano X3 Weight and Heel-to-Toe Drop: 13.8 oz (for my size 10 model), 7mm Drop
- Metcon 8 Weight and Heel-to-Toe Drop: 12.4 oz (for my size 10 model), 4mm Drop
Both of these shoes feature thin foam removable insoles and if you use custom orthotics, then I think you’ll be better suited to use them in the Reebok Nano X3 due to its upper construction being more spacious.
Reebok Nano X3 Vs Nike Metcon 8 Sizing
The Nike Metcon 8 and Reebok Nano X3 have a fairly significant difference to them when it comes to their sizing and fit. You’ll want to size these shoes slightly differently based on your foot anatomy.
For narrow and neutral-width feet, you should be safe going true-to-size in the Nike Metcon 8. This model is definitely biased towards narrower feet widths and it has a lower-profile upper construction.
In addition, the Metcon 8 has a fair amount of arch to it, so if you like training shoes with a little more arch support then you may enjoy the Metcon 8’s fit. If you have wide feet, I’d pass on the Metcon 8 entirely instead of trying to size up.
The Reebok Nano X3 has a wider width throughout its sole compared to the Metcon 8. This model should fit a wider range of foot anatomies and is typically more “wide-feet-friendly” with its fit.
If you have narrow feet, I’d suggest sizing down a half-size in the Reebok Nano X3. For neutral-width feet, size down a half-size if you like a snugger fit and go true to size if you like a little more room at the end of your toe box.
For wider feet, I think you’ll be safe going true to size in the Reebok Nano X3 and I wouldn’t size down for your foot anatomy. The Nano X3 is also the better shoe for athletes and lifters using orthotics due to its upper construction, in my opinion.
- Reebok Nano X3 Sizing Thoughts: Narrow feet, size down a half-size. Neutral-width feet, size down for a snugger fit, and go TTS for a little more room. Wide feet, go TTS.
- Nike Metcon 8 Sizing Thoughts: Narrow and neutral-width feet, go true to size. For wide feet, pass on this model.
If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Nike Metcon 8 and Reebok Nano X3, drop a comment below and I can help you out accordingly.
Reebok Nano X3 Vs Nike Metcon 8 Durability
The Nike Metcon 8 and Reebok Nano X3 perform pretty well when it comes to durability. The Nike Metcon 8’s upper has been reworked so it doesn’t suffer from the same issues that plagued the Nike Metcon 7’s chainlink-mesh toe box.
If you do run into durability issues with the Nike Metcon 8, then you’ll generally see them pop up around the outsole on the forefoot. The grooves can at times cause the rubber outsole lip especially if you train outdoors often.
I think if you’re primarily using your Nike Metcon 8s for gym workouts that consist of lifting, some CrossFit, and versatile training, then you should get at least 6-8 months of good use out of them. Granted, this can vary slightly based on shoe quality.
The Reebok Nano X3’s durability has been showing promising signs across the board for my training sessions. If you run into durability issues with the Nano X2 and Nano X1, then you would typically see them pop up around the midfoot.
While still new to the market, the Nano X3 has performed exceptionally well when rope climbing which is awesome since those issues plagued the last two models, and the upper is showing good signs of long-term durability.
The Flexweave upper in the Reebok Nano X3 reminds me of the upper used in the old Reebok Nano 9 and Speed TR which were both models that would typically last a while.
As I test the Reebok Nano X3 more and get more data points from the That Fit Friend community I’ll be sure to update this section accordingly to reflect durability changes if any persist.
Reebok Nano X3 Vs Nike Metcon 8 Price
For the Nike Metcon 8, you can expect to pay $130 USD for the base model and $160 USD for the custom Nike By You iterations. This price point is similar to the Nike Metcon 7 and has remained unchanged over the last eight years.
The Reebok Nano X3 has a price of $140 USD which is an increased price point compared to prior models. The Reebok Nano through Nano X all cost $130 USD while the Nano X2 cost $135-140 USD.
If you’re wanting to save as much as possible, then I’d suggest looking into the Nike Metcon 8s as they’re on sale at the moment, or the Reebok Nano X2 which is also on sale.
Since the Nike Metcon 9 is rolling out in the next few months, we’re seeing a nice downtick in Metcon 8 pricing. Additionally, the Nano X2 is also on sale and you can typically find additional coupons to add on top of their sale price points.
Reebok Nano X3
Nike Metcon 8
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:Is the Nike Metcon 8 or Reebok Nano X3 better for running?
Q:Is the Nike Metcon 8 or Reebok Nano X3 better for CrossFit?
Q:Are the Nike Metcon 8 or Reebok Nano X3 good for beginners?
The Nike Metcon 8 and Reebok Nano X3 are both fairly strong training shoes in their own right. Each model excels for slightly different activities and they fit fairly differently as well.
If you want a shoe that is primarily for lifting, then the Nike Metcon 8 delivers a strong stable performance. For those needing a shoe for CrossFit and versatile training, I’d suggest opting for the Reebok Nano X3.
I do think there are contexts where the Nano X3 and Metcon 8 will fall short and since each shoe fits differently, you’ll want to make sure you choose the best model per your foot anatomy.
If you have additional questions about the Nike Metcon 8 versus the Reebok Nano X3 and which you should go with, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).