I Tried The Reebok Nano X4 And It Feels Like The Best Nano In Years

Reebok Nano X4 CrossFit shoes on a bumper plate
(Image credit: Harry Bullmore / Future)

There was a time when you could ID a CrossFit fan by the Reebok Nanos on their feet. However, in recent years it feels like some of the magic has gone for the “official shoe of fitness” and it has lost ground on rivals such as Nike and, more recently, R.A.D and TYR. 

That’s set to change with the release of the Reebok Nano X4. Having worn this shoe for two full training days, I’m going to stick my neck out and say this is the best Nano I’ve tried in years—particularly for lifting. A spot on my roundup of the best CrossFit shoes awaits. 

I ticked off a fair few CrossFit staples in those two days, using the shoe for strength work, metcons and accessories comprising heavy clean and jerks, rope climbs, biking, sled pushes, split squats, pistol squats, wall balls, wall walks and skipping. The shoe impressed me throughout.

Recent updates

Feb 21, 2024: My five-start Reebok Nano X4 review is now live.

The lift-and-run chassis—designed to provide stability for lifting and cushioning for explosive exercises—which debuted on the X3 remains, but it’s been improved. I found the X3 didn’t feel as stable or supportive around the heel as the Nike Metcon 9 or the TYR CXT-1 when Olympic lifting. Yet, wearing the X4 for heavy clean and jerks, my foot felt more secure in the catch. 

This is partly down to the upgraded chassis, but the shoe’s redesigned upper helps too. There’s a reworked TPU heel clip, added padding around the heel for a more locked-in fit and firmer panels on either side of the midfoot. 

Though my tape measure shows the dimensions of the two shoes as near-identical, the X4 feels marginally more roomy, without giving up the solid heel lock I liked in the X3. My toes were able to spread slightly more freely for balance when lifting, and I enjoyed a better ground feel. 

I was impressed by how well the added textured elements on the side of the shoe locked on during rope climbs, despite the absence of a rope guard system—something Reebok’s teaser social post describes as a feature “nobody asked for, but we’re told is vital for the elite CrossFit experience” in a thinly veiled dig at Nike’s Metcon range. 

The only area where I felt slightly let down was the grip during sled pushes, where my toes slipped a couple of times. At this early point, I'll give the shoe the benefit of the doubt since the gym floor wasn’t perfectly dry after a group class during a period of especially wet weather. 

I’ll keep a close eye on this while I wear the Reebok Nano X4 for all my CrossFit training for the next few weeks ahead of a full review. Though it’s still early days, the initial signs are promising. 

Harry Bullmore
Staff writer

Harry covers news, reviews and features for Coach, Fit&Well and Live Science. With over a decade of training experience, he has tried everything from powerlifting to gymnastics, cardio to CrossFit, all in a bid to find fun ways of building a healthy, functional body.