Home » History of the Reebok Nano | The Insane 10 Year Evolution

History of the Reebok Nano | The Insane 10 Year Evolution

The Reebok Nano has been a staple for cross-training (and CrossFit) since 2011, and for many, the Reebok Nanos are often thought of as 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 for athlete feedback and the increasing demands of training.

In celebration of the Reebok Nano being on the market for well over a decade now, I thought it was appropriate to dive into this shoe’s history. The original Reebok Nano and the latest Reebok Nano X1 look like completely different shoes, so how did we get here?

history of the Reebok Nano Training shoes

It All Started With a Partnership

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 really were and to compete against their peers in a formal setting.

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 Forbes.com, 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 Amazon.com.

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 Amazon.com

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 Amazon.com

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 4.0 utilized a slightly firmer outsole to match 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 Amazon.com

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 Amazon.com

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 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 Amazon.com

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.0 features a weave upper construction and 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 in 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 Amazon.com

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 their 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 to train in.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0

Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0 | Image Courtesy Amazon.com

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

Suggested Read: Reebok Nano 9 VS Reebok Nano X: Opt for the X?

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

  • Check out why this is the top Nano for many. Shop the Reebok Nano X!

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

Suggested Read: Reebok Nano X VS Reebok Nano X1: Which Model Is Better?

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 for multiple fitness needs and not just CrossFit. In fact, the Nano X1 is often referred to as “The shoe of fitness” by Reebok themselves.

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

What Will 2022 Bring?

I might be getting ahead of myself here, but I’m excited to see what 2022 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/athletes place on the shoes.

Will 2022 bring a more “hardcore” cross-training Nano like in previous years, or will Reebok continue making Nanos for more general fitness?

Do note, I didn’t cover special edition Nanos in this article and stuck to the core line. I felt that the core cross-trainers are more reflective of the true shifts in construction this line experienced over the years!

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Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, created thousands of articles, reviewed countless products, and produced a large list of training videos. And truthfully, I'm only getting started! As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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