Can you hear that? That’s the sound of Reebok crying, because their once held monopoly on the CrossFit shoe market has now been seized by the largest footwear manufacturer in the entire world… NIKE!
The Nike Metcon has had a ton of hype, more than any other product release I’ve seen since being around training equipment, and for good reason. A company that nearly every person has owned a pair of their shoes, is now creating a shoe specifically for the CrossFit community and other’s who are part of the functional training scene.
But, is the Nike Metcon all glitz and glam and simply a good looking shoe, or an actual contender to the almighty Reebok Nano series?
Let’s find out.
Looks are very subjective. There are some shoes that I find absolutely hideous while others I can’t understand why anybody wouldn’t like them (for example, Chuck’s. I love throwing on a pair of Converse Chuck Taylor’s and ripping the bar off the floor.) However, through the use of the interwebs it’s pretty easy to gain a collective understanding of what people like–and don’t like. And people LIKE, dare I say LOVE the Nike Metcon.
In fact, CrossFitter’s are clamoring so hard for the Nike Metcon that it’s constantly sold out. There’s many conspiracy theories behind this (cue Jesse Ventura,) but the main reason the shoe has sold out is because Nike wants to keep people clamoring for more. Nike and it’s subisidiary the almighty Jordan brand were the first shoes to ever have collectors. The reason is because Nike would create a shoe, or a colorway and not release it again, and that is exactly the tendency they’re trying to get CrossFitters to buy into.
And it’s working.
I recently saw a photo of a guy with every color of Nike Metcon available. To each his own, but you must really like a shoe to have every color.
Then you have the camp that loves their Nano’s. In fact, I’m in that camp. I’ve used every single iteration and love them all. However, the Nano 4 is my personal favorite. But, in retaliation to the Nike Metcon, Reebok has upped it’s fight and now has the following that are all currently for sale:
- Reebok Nano U-Form
- Reebok Nano 2.0
- Reebok Nano 3.0
- Reebok Nano 3.0 Mid
- Reebok Nano 4.0
- Reebok CrossFit Compete 6:14 (The Rich Froning Nano, which by the way is no longer listed on Reebok’s website.)
- Reebok Nano 5.0
- Reebok Nano Pump (Yes, you read that right. This baby will PUMP YOU UP!)
With all the Nano-ness how does one decide which shoe to buy?
Well Reebok tried to make a mad dash with CrossFitter’s money trying to follow the Apple iPhone model (the even use 1.0. 2.0, etc.) and in my opinion has over-saturated the market.
However, I still love the Reebok Nano’s and still use the 4.0 as my daily driver.
The looks of the Reebok Nano 5.0 on the other hand don’t do a whole lot for me. I like the use of Kevlar, as I think it’s a great material, but to me they are simply U-G-L-Y.
Even Froning likes the Metcon, JK JK
We’re CrossFitter’s right?! We don’t care how we look, or if our gear has bells and whistles, we just want it to perform!
WRONG! There’s a reason people are eating up the skittles pack of Nike Metcon’s.
But, what really matters in a shoe is that it performs and both the Nike Metcon and Reebok Nano perform admirably.
The Nano is time-tested. It’s been through the brutal CrossFit Games. It’s taken down the myriad of events that are thrown out each year and there’s a reason the CrossFit community has adopted it as their own. But does it perform better than the Nike Metcon? Ehh.
In my opinion, both the Metcon and Nano perform as a shoe should. They don’t slide around, they have a low heel drop, feel secure on many different surfaces and don’t rip when used on rope climbs.
So based upon pure performance, which one wins?
It’s a tie. But I hate ties, so the Reebok Nano wins by default because it’s been around longer.
This is the main difference I see thus far between the Reebok Nano’s and the Nike Metcon’s.
I have put my Nano’s through everything. Trail runs in the rain, burpee’s on concrete, left them outside on a 100 degree day and they still perform like the day I got them. I haven’t seen a ton of issues with the Nike Metcon’s, but I have seen multiple cases of the rubber attached to the toe ripping some.
Also, Nano’s have been used a ton, by a whole lot of people and many hold up for a long time, especially based on the conditions they were put through.
So, as far as durability, I say the Reebok Nano wins.
Can you really go wrong with either Reebok Nano’s or the Nike Metcon’s?
No. Both are shoes that perform well and should for an extended period of time. Really, it comes down to which feel the best to you personally, and which ones you like the look of the best.
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