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History of the Reebok Nano | The Insane 14 Year Evolution

The Reebok Nano cross-training shoe line is built for anyone wanting a shoe for lifting, cross-training, and CrossFit. This shoe line started as a diehard CrossFit-focused line, but has since shifted to become more generalist over the years.

The Reebok Nano has been a staple for cross-training (and CrossFit) since 2011, and many consider it the “shoe of CrossFit.”

Ever since the original debut of the Reebok CrossFit Nano in 2011, we’ve seen this shoe line constantly get updated to accommodate athlete feedback and the increasing demands of training.

In celebration of the Reebok Nano being on the market for over a decade now, I thought it appropriate to dive into this shoe’s history. The original Reebok Nano and the latest Reebok Nano X3 look like completely different shoes, so how did we get here?

The Evolution of the Reebok Nano

The first formal CrossFit Games were held in 2007 at Dave Castro’s family’s ranch in Aromas, California.

It was at this time that CrossFit was just starting to gain more steam as a very real outlet for multiple types of athletes to highlight just how fit they were and to compete against their peers in a formal setting.

history of the Reebok Nano Training shoes

Fast forward three years to 2010 and Reebok became the official sponsor of the CrossFit Games, which was now titled the Reebok CrossFit Games. At the time, this sponsorship was undeniably huge for the sport and it helped to bring in more commercial recognition to CrossFit in general.

To highlight how big of a deal this was for the sport and its gear, in a 2011 article on, Dave Castro stated, “We have seen large gains in commercial success with bringing on Reebok as a partner to the CrossFit Games”.

2011: Reebok Nano

In early 2011 and prior to the 2011 Reebok CrossFit Games, we got to see the first Nano ever which debuted as the Reebok CrossFit Nano. This cross-training shoe featured a slightly wider toe box compared to other training shoes on the market and Reebok’s U-Form technology.

Reebok Nano
Reebok Nano

Both of these features were utilized to account for the versatile demands that CrossFit places on athletes and would kickstart years of innovation for the Reebok Nano line.

Innovation Every Year After

Every year following the initial Reebok CrossFit Nanos, Reebok produced a new model which all continually evolved with the sport.

2012: Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0

In 2012, Reebok released the Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0s, which are still to this date, one of the all-time favorites from the CrossFit crowd. In fact, Reebok re-released this model in the last few years due to popular demand. This model featured an even wider toe box compared to the original Nanos.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0
Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0 | Image Courtesy

In addition, this model featured and utilized Reebok’s Duragrip to promote durability and stability, and had an EVA midsole to promote overall stability when training heavy.

Key Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0 Features

  • Wider Toe Box
  • EVA Midsole
  • Duragrip Technology
  • Mesh and Synthetic Upper

2013: Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0

In 2013, the Reebok CrossFit Games were continuing to grow and be more well-known across the globe. Now in their third iteration, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0 boasted even more structural changes compared to the popular Reebok CrossFit Nano 2.0.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0
Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0 | Image Courtesy

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0 was the first model to utilize Reebok’s DuraCage construction, which was originally utilized to increase this shoe’s durability while keeping it lightweight. Additionally, this model still boasted a wide toe box, had RopePro tech, and a dual-density midsole for overall stability.

Key Reebok CrossFit Nano 3.0 Features

  • DuraCage Upper Construction
  • Wider Toe Box
  • RopePro Technology
  • Dual-Density Midsole

2014: Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0

The Reebok Crossfit Nano 4.0 was a model that could best be defined as hit or miss. It’s not really a model that many still talk about today and of all the iterations it’s never really made a strong comeback. This model was released during the 2014 Reebok CrossFit Games.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0
Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 | Image Courtesy

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 utilized a slightly firmer outsole to match the stability demands needed for heavy lifting. On top of that, this model still utilized Reebok’s DuraCage upper construction technology and has an added toe-wrap material to promote durability during exercises like burpees.

Key Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 Features

  • DuraCage Upper Construction
  • Added Toe-Wrap
  • Firmer Outsole/Midsole
  • RopePro Technology

2015: Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0

In 2015, the Reebok CrossFit Games started to really pick up more steam and for the individual competitors, this was the first year that 4-time reigning CrossFit Games champion Rich Froning was not competing in the individual competition. The Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0 experienced a big shift compared to the 4.0.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0
Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0 | Image Courtesy

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0 was the first model to feature DuPont’s Kevlar material throughout the entire upper. This was used to promote overall durability and breathability. In addition to Kevlar, the Nano 5.0 also utilized a slightly reworked last to fit the foot better anatomically, Reebok’s RopePro tech, and a firm midsole and outsole.

Key Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0 Features

  • DuPont Kevlar Upper
  • Reworked Last
  • RopePro Tech
  • Stable Midsole/Outsole

2016: Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0 is another model that athletes tend to enjoy and gravitate to. It was a model that featured DuPont’s Kevlar material, but with the addition of some key construction changes. Whenever there’s a major shift in a training shoe, it usually takes a company a couple of tries to nail, in my opinion.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0
Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0 | Image Courtesy

Similar to the Reebok CrossFit Nano 5.0, the 6.0 also featured DuPont’s Kevlar throughout its upper. In addition, Reebok brought down the boot in this model and utilized a tri-blend foam for the midsole. On top of that, the Nano 6.0 also had Reebok’s RopePro tech and a lugged outsole pattern.

Key Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0 Features

  • Kevlar Upper Construction
  • 4mm Heel-to-Toe Offset
  • RopePro Technology
  • Lugged Pattern Outsole

2017: Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.0

In 2017, we saw the Reebok CrossFit Nano take another pivotal shift with its construction. With the release of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.0, we experienced the first step toward a weave upper construction. Of all the Reebok CrossFit Nanos, the Nano 7.0 is generally one of the models that gets less love than its peers.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.0
Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.0 | Image Courtesy

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.0 features a weave upper construction and a plastic heel clip on the boot to promote a locked-down feeling. In addition, the outsole features Reebok’s meta-split for forefoot maneuverability and stability along with an EVA midsole for additional support.

Key Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.0 Features

  • Weave Upper Construction
  • Plastic Heel Cup
  • Meta-Split Outsole
  • EVA Midsole

2018: Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave

After a slightly less than-impressive Nano 7.0, Reebok released the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave in 2018. This model was considerably different from the 7.0 and featured a two-layer upper construction with a Flexweave outer portion and a mesh inner.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave | Image Courtesy

The key callout for the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 is the Flexweave upper construction. Reebok utilized this to boost this model’s durability and overall maneuverability. In addition, the Reebok CrossFit Nan0 8.0 features Reebok’s meta-split forefoot construction, a plastic heel cup for added support, and RopePro technology.

Key Reebok CrossFit Nano 8.0 Flexweave Features

  • Flexweave Upper Construction
  • Plastic Heel Cup
  • Meta-Split Outsole
  • RopePro Technology

2019: Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0

In 2019, Reebok continued to utilize and innovate the Nano model with its Flexweave tech. The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0 featured a few key changes compared to the Nano 8.0 and is a model that many lifters and athletes still enjoy training in.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0
Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0 | Image Courtesy

Compared to the Nano 8.0, the Nano 9.0’s Flexweave has a bit more stretch to it. Additionally, this model features a reworked plastic outer material that wraps the mid-foot and heel. Another major change with this model is the split outsole construction.

Key Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0 Features

  • Split Outsole
  • Flexweave Upper Construction
  • Plastic Mid-Foot Heel Wrap
  • RopePro Technology

2020: Reebok Nano X

In early 2020, the tenth Reebok Nano model graced the market. The Reebok Nano X featured some key details that the Nano 9 offered but with additional changes based on athlete feedback from the 9. For many, this model is one of the top picks for training hard.



Reebok Nano X
Reebok Nano X | Image Courtesy Reebok

The Reebok Nano X features a host of similarities compared to the Reebok Nano 9. For example, the midsole, plastic heel wrap, and split outsole are all very similar. The main change between the 9 and the X is the upper construction. The Nano X’s upper is much more durable and is void of the material overlap experienced in the 9.

Key Reebok Nano X Features

  • Split Outsole
  • Durable Upper
  • EVA Midsole
  • Plastic Heel Wrap

2021: Reebok Nano X1

In June 2020, Reebok and CrossFit cue ties with one another formally before their contract ran out. In 2021, Reebok released the Nano X1 which is designed to accommodate multiple fitness needs and not just CrossFit. In fact, the Nano X1 is often referred to as “The shoe of fitness” by Reebok itself.

Reebok Nano X1
Reebok Nano X1 | Image Courtesy Reebok

Compared to previous models, the Reebok Nano X1 feels the most like a traditional training shoe and not so much a hardcore cross-trainer. This model features Reebok’s Flexweave and utilizes Floatride Energy Foam in the midsole to increase this model’s responsiveness.

Key Reebok Nano X1 Features

  • Flexweave Upper Construction
  • Plastic Heel Wrap
  • Floatride Energy Foam Midsole
  • Lightweight Build

2022: Reebok Nano X2

In 2022, we saw the debut of the Reebok Nano X2 which was an updated continuation of the Reebok Nano X1’s core silhouette. This shoe has some similarities to the Nano X1 but featured a better overall construction and improved wearability.

Testing the Reebok Nano X2 Stability for HIIT workouts

After the polarizing Nano X1, the community started to rally behind the Nano X2’s updates. This model’s reworked Flexweave upper, low-profile heel clip and wider fit were all features that tended to resonate well with athletes from all walks of life.

Key Reebok Nano X2 Features

  • Flexweave Upper Construction
  • Floatride Energy Foam Midsole
  • Full Rubber Outsole With Lugs
  • Low Profile TPU Heel Clip
  • For More Info: Read My Review

2023: Reebok Nano X3

The Reebok Nano X3 has some similarities to the Nano X1 and Nano X2 but with a performance edge that the prior two models lacked. This shoe has been popular across the board for Reebok and has resonated with athletes from all different backgrounds.

Reebok Nano X3 ROPEPRO

The major performance changes made in the Reebok Nano X3 were the addition of the Lift and Run Chassis System and the reworked RopePro in the midfoot. The chassis system has increased this shoe’s functionality and running capabilities, while the RopePro tweak fixed the durability issue that plagued the Nano X1 and Nano X2

Reebok Nano X3 Key Features

  • Reworked Flexweave Upper
  • Lift and Run Chassis System
  • New RopePro Midfoot Construction
  • Reworked Full Rubber Outsole
  • For More Info: Read My Review

2024: Reebok Nano X4

The Reebok Nano X4 continues the essence of the Nano X3 but with a few major updates, including a reworked upper and Lift and Run Chassis system. This model is what I would refer to as far more refined with its “built out” feeling — in reference to the Nano X3 FYI.

Testing the Walkability of the Reebok Nano X4

The Nano X4 is a model that has received relatively positive regard with its construction changes. While some diehard CrossFit athletes and Nano lovers haven’t loved its narrower toe box and more “generalist” feel — the vast majority of users enjoy the well-rounded nature of this shoe.

Reebok Nano X4 Key Features

  • Flexweave Upper
  • Lift and Run Chassis System
  • Floatride Energy Foam Midsole
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • For More Info: Read My Review

What Will 2025 Bring for the Reebok Nano?

I might be getting ahead of myself here, but I’m excited to see what 2025 brings for the Reebok Nano model line. Every year, we see constant ebbs and flows in each model’s construction to match feedback and the demands that lifters and athletes place on the shoes.

The Reebok Nano X4 is pretty well-rounded, but I’m ready for a massive rework of this shoe. I feel like it’s a “good” shoe, but it could be better and I’m excited to see what the odd year brings for the Nano line’s growth.

Do note that in this history piece, I didn’t cover special edition Nanos and stuck to the core line. I felt that the core cross-trainers better reflect the true shifts in construction this line experienced over the years!

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

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.

4 thoughts on “History of the Reebok Nano | The Insane 14 Year Evolution”

  1. Thoroughly researched article Jake! I see that the models come every year, though at this moment almost all Nano X3 designs in Europe seem sold out.
    Considering your research, do you think they will come out with bewer designs of the same model afain after summer or would the new releases will now come next year?

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