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Nike Metcon 9 vs Reebok Nano X4 | Performance Breakdown

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Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9

The Reebok Nano X4 versus Nike Metcon 9 is an epic showdown. We have two top shoe dogs deep into iterations bringing very different types of training shoes to the table.

There are a lot of similarities and differences between these shoes and the beauty lies in the nuance that differentiates them. Reebok Nano X4 boasts a more “hybrid-focused” construction while the Nike Metcon 9 is dialed for CrossFit and lifting.

To date, I’ve worn and reviewed pretty much every Reebok Nano and Nike Metcon model, and every year, I make a point to put both of these shoes head-to-head and dissect which model is best for certain contexts.

In my reviewer’s opinion, I think the best way to approach this comparison is to start with your performance needs. Then, move into your construction preferences with training shoes. Doing this makes it much easier to decide.

Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9 | Summary and Winner

For a long time, the Reebok Nano and Nike Metcon were comparable regarding their construction and performance intent. However, more than ever these shoes are starting to drift away from one another.

A lot of this has to do with shifts in marketing and direction for each shoe line. The Reebok Nano X4 has gone much more generalist with its features and construction while the Nike Metcon 9 continues to be hyper-focused for CrossFit and lifting.

Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9 On Feet

On top of this shift in performance intent, the fit of these models also varies greatly. This separation helps in many ways because it makes it a little easier to navigate which trainer you should go with based on your needs.

Construction Specs Overview

 Nike Metcon 9Reebok Nano X4
Heel-to-Toe Drop4mm7mm
Weight12.9 oz (size 10 men’s) 13 oz (size 10 men’s)
Removable InsoleYesYes
WidthMedium/WideMedium/Regular

Performance Summary

To set the record straight, I think for most recreational lifters and athletes both of these models can be great. For my weekend warriors and casual lifters, I wouldn’t stress or overthink your decision and I’d go with the colorway and price that makes the most sense for you.

To add context here, the stability that you get from both shoes and their midsole should be fine for most strength thresholds. For example, I’ve deadlifted over 500 lbs and have squatted over 400 lbs in both of these shoes and they’ve been stellar.

Me Deadlifting 505 lbs In the Reebok Nano X4

Me Deadlifting 505 lbs In the Reebok Nano X4

The versatility is where these shoes start to vary more, though, and that’s where you’ll want to be strategic with your selection. This can vary greatly and can greatly influence how each shoe will perform.

  • Nano X4 vs Metcon 9 for Lifting: Metcon 9. The Metcon 9 will be a little more stable for lifters who want a shoe primarily for lifting. Plus, this model’s toe box is wider which is great for accommodating toe splay.
  • Nano X4 vs Metcon 9 for CrossFit: Reebok Nano X4. While both shoes can work well in this performance category, the Nano X4 will feel better for WODs that have more jumping and running.
  • Nano X4 vs Metcon 9 for Cross-Training: Reebok Nano X4. If you’re taking classes or needing a shoe for athletic-focused workouts the Nano X4 will be your better bet. The TPU plate ruins the Metcon 9’s versatility, in my opinion.
  • Nano X4 vs Metcon 9 for Short Runs: Reebok Nano X4. Hands down. No contest here.
  • Nano X4 vs Metcon 9 for Walking/Comfort: Reebok Nano X4. Again, the Hyperlift TPU plate in the Metcon 9 is a major knock against this shoe’s walking and comfort performance.

The Overall Winner: If you forced me to pick one shoe to train in every day, I’d have to give the edge to the Reebok Nano X4. Reebok wins in 2024. With the growth of hybrid training and the want for more versatility out of your shoes, the X4 is the better pick here.

Reebok Nano X4

$140

Reebok Nano X4 Product Image
4.4
Stability
4.4
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4
Quality
4.2

Best For

  • Strength Training
  • HIIT and Versatile Workouts
  • Sprints and Short Runs (<2 miles)
  • CrossFit and Functional Fitness

Falls Short

  • For Feet Wider Than EEE-Widths
  • For Runs Longer than 2-3 Miles
  • For Minimalist Lovers

Nano X4 vs Metcon 9 Sizing Differences

  • Reebok Nano X4: True to size for most. Wide feet, size up a half-size.
  • Nike Metcon 9: True to size for most.

For most lifters and athletes with narrow, neutral, and slightly wider feet (D to E-widths), the Reebok Nano X4 and Nike Metcon 9 should fit true to size.

The Nike Metcon 9 has a wider toe box, so I do think it’s a better pick for lifters with wider feet, and if you are concerned with the Nano X4’s width then I would size up a half-size.

Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9 Sizing

The Nano X4 feels a tad snugger in the toe box out of the box which wasn’t the case in the Nano X3. My pair took 2ish tough sessions to break in and I have an E-width foot. That said, EE-width feet or wider, save yourself the trouble and go up a half-size.

Another thing to keep in mind with the Nano X4 is that it has more arch. If you have a flatter foot I’d avoid this model and look into training shoes like the VIKTOS Core Gym which will align better for your foot anatomy.

Nike Metcon 9

$150

Nike Metcon 9 Product Shot
4.0
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.0
Durability
4.0
Quality
3.8

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit
  • Athletic Focused Training

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Overpronators

Individual Reviews, How I’ve Tested These Shoes

I’ve performed individual reviews on the Reebok Nano X4 and Nike Metcon 9 using similar tests. When reviewing shoes, I try to keep my tests consistent so it’s easier to recognize subtle differences between shoes in different performance settings.

For context, I train in a hybrid style so I regularly blend a lot of different training styles into singular sessions. This gives me the ability to test cross-training shoes properly across different settings. Below are some of the tests I performed in the Nano X4 and Metcon 9.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Deadlifting

  • Strength Tests: 505 lb deadlifts, 415 lb squats, 3-rep max walking lunges
  • Strength & Power Tests: Power cleans, dumbbell and kettlebell snatches
  • CrossFit Tests: Fran, Cindy, and self-programmed WODs (I use them for conditioning)
  • Cross-Training: Broad jumps, skater strides, and plyometric/agility sessions
  • Running: Sprints, 800-meter intervals, 1.5 mile runs
  • Walking: 2-3 mile dog walks, all-day wear tests

And this is only naming a few of the tests I perform. I know it might seem excessive, but at That Fit Friend, I like to nerd out on shoe details.

Plus, I try to approach every shoe from a coach’s standpoint, and also from a friend’s standpoint — who would I recommend different shoes for?

Check out my reviews below if you want more details on the Nano X4 and Metcon 9.

Nano X4 vs Metcon 9 Construction Comparison

The construction features and materials on the Metcon 9 and Nano X4 heavily influence how each shoe performs and how durable they are in the gym. I’ve broken the following section into different parts to make it easy to understand each shoe’s differences.

Midsole

In the Nike Metcon 9, you have a midsole built with dual-density foam. This foam is more dense and “stable” on the lateral parts of the shoe and the internal parts of the midsole are more plush and responsive.

Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9 Midsole

This is utilized to give this shoe a blend of stability and responsiveness for lifting, CrossFit, and cross-training. I find that the midsole is much more biased for lifting and stability. The heel features a non-compressive TPU plate that’s interjected into the midsole.

The Reebok Nano X4’s midsole features Reebok’s Floatride Energy Foam. This material is proprietary to Reebok and more plush variants of this midsole are used in Reebok running shoes.

This material feels dense and doesn’t compress super easy. The Nano X4 has a Lift and Run (LAR) Chassis system built-in which is a TPU dome/plate that interjects into the heel to provide the shoe with more versatility.

Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9 Heel Midsole

Outsole

The Metcon 9 features a rubber outsole with a few breaks in the forefoot and midfoot where you can see exposed foam. Traction-wise, this outsole works well. The break in the midfoot has been a feature that I don’t necessarily love with this model.

For example, some lifters in my community have reported having issues with the midfoot pulling apart at the break when doing rope climbs. I also don’t love how the rigidity of the material varies from the rest of the outsole which you feel when doing heavy single-leg work.

Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9 Outsole

The Reebok Nano X4 has a full rubber outsole with grooves through the forefoot and midfoot. The outsole is similar to what the Nano X3 had and it does a good job with traction on most surfaces.

On the heel of the Nano X4, you can see where the dome of the LAR plate sits with the circular tread pattern. In general, the Nano X4’s outsole tends to last a while. However, there have been some occasions with the outsole lipping at the forefoot for some users.

Upper

The Nike Metcon 9 is built with a layered mesh and textile upper. This upper is a lot heavier than the uppers used in the last few Metcon iterations and there’s also a haptic overlay over the medial forefoot.

Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9 Toe Spring

The lateral and medial midfoot features aggressive rubber wraps for rope climbing protection. I don’t love these overlays, to be honest, and I constantly find them to feel bulky and excessive. I hope the Metcon 10 changes this.

The Nano X4 comes with a Flexweave upper with Reebok’s proprietary knit material. They’ve [Reebok] used variations of the Flexweave in their last 6 Nano iterations and in the Nano X4 this material is lighter in weight compared to the X3.

Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9 Upper

There are synthetic and textile overlays with ventilation covering the medial and lateral midfoot in the Nano X4. Compared to the Metcon 9, the upper in the Nano X4 feels much more breathable on the feet.

Laces and Tongue

The Mecon 9 has a gusseted padded mesh tongue. From a tongue security standpoint, this tongue does a good job of staying in place when training. There’s a lace-lock feature on the top of the tongue and this also serves as a tongue loop. 

There are five core eyelets on this model and despite not having an extra eyelet for lace-locking, I don’t think most lifters and athletes will have an issue with heel slip in this iteration.

Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9 Laces and Tongue

One nice quality-of-life update in the Nano X4 includes its higher tongue gusset. The tongue in this model no longer suffers from sliding like it did in the Nano X3. The tongue itself is still built with a padded mesh.

There are six eyelets on the Nano X4 and this shoe breaks in a lot faster than prior iterations because of the reworked tongue gusset and general securing of the lacing system.

Is the Nano X4 or Metcon 9 Better for Lifting?

The Answer: I hit on this above, but from a pure stability point of view, the Metcon 9 and Nano X4 both do a job for general strength work. The midsoles don’t compress super easily and they have good outsole traction for most lifting settings.

Some differences to note, though, include their arch support and toe spring. The Reebok Nano X4 has a little more arch support compared to the Metcon 9 which could be something to consider for lifters who like having more medial structure in their shoes.

Me Doing Heavy Hatfield Squats In the Reebok Nano X4

Me Doing Heavy Hatfield Squats In the Reebok Nano X4

There’s also a little more toe spring in the Nano X4 which can be useful for versatile training contexts, and it’s not the biggest deal, per se. However, it can pitch you forward a smidge at times during things like cleans and snatches if you’re already too have on the toes.

The Metcon 9 feels “flatter” when lifting which is great for feeling stable while doing things like squats, leg press, and hack squats. In addition, the wider toe box is nice for promoting toe splay while lifting.

My only gripe with the Metcon 9 for lifting revolves around its midfoot. I think if you typically have to battle your medial midfoot collapsing while lifting then you’ll notice that this shoe falls short for heavy single-leg work.

Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Leg Day

For example, when doing walking barbell lunges with 275 lbs, I noticed that the midfoot collapse hindered my ability to stabilize. It’s a very niche lifting issue that shouldn’t impact most lifters but it’s worth mentioning.

Is the Nano X4 or Metcon 9 Better for CrossFit?

The Answer: For CrossFit, the Metcon 9 and Nano X4 both excel but for different reasons. The Metcon 9 is a little more “dialed” for CrossFit compared to the Nano X4 which has become more generalist with its construction since the Nano X.

Cross Training In the Reebok Nano X4

The Metcon 9 is great for WODs where you’re doing a lot of heavy strength work and it works fine for things like double-unders and box jumps where you’re primarily on the forefoot.

The Metcon 9’s downfall for CrossFit revolves around WODs that have more running programmed in them. The TPU plate can be super offputting for these WODs, especially if you’re traditionally a heel striker. I notice this most when fatigue sets in.

The Nano X4 — despite being a generalist — works well in a wider range of WODs. The LAR system makes this shoe much more feasible for running 400-1,600 meter bouts and it feels better on the feet.

Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for CrossFit

My only concern with the Nano X4 is its midfoot durability for rope climbing. Some lifters who rely heavily on their feet for J-wrap climbing have issues with this model’s midfoot outsole pulling away from the midsole. This is due to the sharp edge of this model.

Is the Nano X4 or Metcon 9 Better for Versatility?

The Answer: If you need a shoe for things like workout classes, HIIT, and cross-training sessions where you’re doing full-body workouts then the Reebok Nano X4 will be the stronger pick between these two shoes.

Don’t get me wrong, the Nike Metcon 9 can work for versatile workouts but it will be somewhat limited regarding its comfort. For example, when doing things like broad jumps and agility exercises, I don’t mind this shoe being super comfortable.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for running cross training

I think the TPU plate gives you an uncomfortable “hard” feeling when making contact with the heel and the ground which is why I don’t love the Metcon 9 for classes like F45, Barry’s, and other workouts where you’re doing a lot of running and explosive movements.

The Reebok Nano X4 will be a lot more accommodating from a versatility context and should be much more comfortable for most users. This model is easy to wear for workout classes and “athletic-style” training sessions.

The LAR system, Floatride Energy Foam midsole, and upper all contribute to this shoe’s comfort and versatility in this training vertical.

Skater Strides In the Reebok Nano X4

Nano X4 vs Metcon 9 for Running, Walking, and Comfort?

The Answer: For running, walking, and general comfort, the Reebok Nano X4 is once again taking the win. In the context of running, both shoes can work for sprints and short intervals where you’re primarily on the forefoot.

I think their separation of performance comes in when you start pushing distances past 800 meters. In this context, the Nano X4 will be a lot more accommodating, especially for heel strikers.

Are the Nike Metcon 9 good for running

Similar to running, you can probably already guess that the Nano X4 is taking the win for walking and comfort as well. The upper is more breathable for all-day wear and it doesn’t have a heel that clicks when walking.

I think if you’re like me and enjoy wearing your training shoes out and about to run errands and then to the gym, you’ll enjoy wearing the Nano X4 better in that context.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Is the Reebok Nano X4 good for flat feet?

A:
The Reebok Nano X4 has a bit of an arch built into so flat feet typically find this shoe to feel uncomfortable. For flat feet, I'd look into options like the Born Primitive Savage 1.

Q:
Can you run in the Nike Metcon 9?

A:
The Nike Metcon 9 can work for sprints and short intervals where you're primarily on the forefoot. For long runs, pass on the Metcon 9. The TPU plate in the heel can click and feel uncomfortable and clunky.

Q:
Is the Reebok Nano X4 a good CrossFit shoe?

A:
The Reebok Nano X4 works exceptionally well in most CrossFit WODs. This shoe has a nice hybrid construction so it's runnable while being stable for lifting.

Final Verdict

At the end of the day, I think the Reebok Nano X4 is the stronger shoe for 2024. It delivers a more well-rounded performance for lifters and athletes who like to lift, run, and do versatile workout sessions.

The Nike Metcon 9 is good, but it has a narrower scope and will be best utilized for those who need a shoe primarily for lifting and CrossFit.

After reading this article — I have to know, are you team Metcon or Nano? Let me know in the comments below which you prefer to train in.

Jake Boly

Jake Boly

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

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