One of the biggest questions that I receive at That Fit Friend is how will a pair of Reebok Nanos feel compared to Nike Metcons or vice versa. If you’re into CrossFit or cross-training styles of working out, then more than likely you’ve worn a pair of Reebok Nanos or Nike Metcons.
The Reebok Nano and Nike Metcon are by far two of the most popular cross-training shoe options on the market. With new models coming out every year, it’s common to see athletes and lifters bounce from Reebok to Nike and Nike to Reebok.
However, if you’re someone who’s had an undying allegiance to one brand and you’re finally thinking about making the switch, then it can be a tad nerve-racking. After all, you’ve likely spent years training in one company’s take on a great cross-training shoe and now you’re trying anew.
To help ease your anxiety, I wanted to put together a quick article discussing some general differences that I’ve noticed training in countless Reebok Nano and Nike Metcon shoes over the last five years.
Different Lasts and Fits
The first and most important aspect to understand about the Reebok Nano and Nike Metcon training line is the differences in each shoe’s last. A shoe’s last is essentially its frame or as I like to think about it, its skeleton.
Every company uses different types of lasts for various models based on how they want and envision a shoe to fit. Some companies modify a shoe’s last more frequently than others, but there are typically commonalities seen across the board. This is why when we wear one model with a company’s shoe we oftentimes like how other models fit, too.
With the Reebok Nano and Nike Metcon, their lasts tend to get updated every 2-3 years from what it seems. This is why we’ll see major shifts between models every couple of iterations.
For example, the Nike Metcon 3-4 were similar in nature to how they, then the Nike Metcon 5-6 changed a lot. Vice versa, the Reebok Nano 9 and X were similar, then the Nano X1 was significantly different.
Reebok Nano and Nike Metcon Fit and Feeling
For specific Nike Metcon and Reebok Nano models, I’ve made comparisons diving deep into their differences. However, I wanted to talk about some commonalities that I always tend to experience with each shoe. Below are some general guidelines for how each company’s shoe fits and feels.
- Reebok Nano: Wider mid-foot construction and higher boot.
- Nike Metcon: Narrower mid-foot construction and lower boot.
Typically, lifters and athletes with wider feet will like the Reebok Nano due to its slightly wider construction especially through the mid-foot. Conversely, those who love the Nike Metcon usually like it for its “athletic-style” fit.
As for each shoe’s toe box, in the later models, they’re fairly similar. In fact, the Nike Metcon 6 and Reebok Nano X’s toe box are virtually the same widths so you can expect to have ample room to splay the toes in each model.
If you are someone switching from a Reebok Nano to a Nike Metcon regardless of model expect to have a little less room in the mid-foot. Also, the boot will be lower in the Nike Metcon line and it will fall well below the medial and lateral malleolus (ankle bones).
For anyone switching from a Nike Metcon to a Reebok Nano, you’ll likely feel as though you have more “space” throughout the shoe. The boot will also come up higher in the Reebok Nano line which will usually result in giving you a feeling of more security and less potential heel slip.
Is one better than the other? No. However, in my opinion, it’s important to recognize the differences between each model’s general construction as this can help mitigate expectations. Far too often I’ve seen athletes get annoyed because they expected the same fit and feel when switching models.
Outside of each model’s last, another important characteristic to assess is the heel-to-toe offset that comes along with each shoe. The heel-to-toe offset is the height difference between the base of the heel and forefoot.
Most of the Reebok Nanos and Nike Metcons are similar, however, it’s worth noting that some of the models do vary slightly.
- Nike Metcon Heel-to-Toe Offset: 4mm
- Reebok Nano Heel-to-Toe Offset: 4mm (Reebok X1 has 6mm)
- Early Nano models also featured <4mm heel-to-toe offsets.
A 4mm heel-to-toe offset suggests that each shoe will provide a low-to-the-ground feeling which is something most want when training heavy. Higher heel-to-toe offsets can push one’s momentum forward and generally come with thicker, less stable midsoles.
So, if you’re switching from one model to another, you can expect a similar heel-to-offset. This is good because it limits an adjustment period when training.