The following post is sponsored on behalf of Fitfluential LLC on behalf of Reebok.
There are plenty of perks that make the latest evolution of the Reebok CrossFit training shoe, the Nano 4.0, a winner. First, the nearly indestructible yet lightweight upper holds up to intense workouts filled with jumping, lifting, running and even rope climbing (special RopePro protection). In terms of sole performance, the shoe provides enough stability for Olympic lifting without sacrificing the flexibility and light cushioning that keep feet springy and safe during high-impact moves like jumping and running. Available in a kaleidoscope of colors, the Nano 4.0s not only look cool but they also keep your feet cool with improved breathability on the uppers. Feet that sweat less mean fewer blisters and less overall foot stench in the CrossFit box – thank you very MUCH! Even though the Nano 4.0 might seem kind of pricy at an ARV of $119, it’s like getting at least two pairs in one – a pair for running and high-impact activities and a pair for stability on deadlifts, overheat squats, kettlebell swings and such!
However, what really impressed me about the Reebok Nano 4.0 was the overall flexibility it brings to a cross-training shoe. By flexibility, I don’t mean “versatility” — but I should add that as a benefit too, since I did everything in them from box jumping, sprinting, agility course running, rope climbing, gymnastics, weight lifting and even some post WOD yoga! As far as flexibility, Reebok reports that they re-engineered DuraCage from the Nano 3.0 for greater benefits in the fore foot and toe area. While I don’t have any experience with the shoe’s predecessor, I can tell you that the Nano 4.0 is the most comfortable and flexible cross-training shoe I’ve ever worn without a doubt.
I could share my woes of really black toe nails thanks (make that no thanks) to wearing rigid shoes during a burpee-filled WOD – but I’ll spare you those nasty details. But, I do want to share that as a CrossFit athlete who likes to compete in running (and vice-versa), flexibility in a shoe is a really big deal for me. It was about five years ago when I worked with Master Pose Method and CrossFit Endurance Coach, Valerie Hunt, to change my running form from heel striker to the much more forgiving mid-foot striker and I have nary an injury to report, knock on wood! Obviously, it’s not merely luck; this type of running is just better for my body biomechanically and, with the addition of CrossFit and proper recovery, has kept me a competitive runner well into my 40s. While, it’s not the shoe that makes the athlete, I won’t argue the proper shoe can certainly help in the process.
While, I probably wouldn’t make the Nano 4.0 my go-to shoes for everyday running or . . . er, like the crazy 50 miler I did on a whim last year , I totally could wear them for casual running – they are really quite light and have that low-profile heel (4mm) I like which aids in proprioception with every foot strike. Whoa, I know – big word. But what I’m talking about when I say “proprioception” or the “proprioceptors in your feet” is the overall body awareness transmitted through the neuromuscular system with each foot strike that can help improve stride and speed. The same idea applies to other taxing physical activities you may be doing in CrossFit as well– just imagine how much quicker you could do box jumps in light, responsive shoes rather than in a pair of clunky cowboys boots! While no one actually wears cowboy boots to the gym, some of those rigid, thick-soled gym or running shoes sure feel like ‘em.
My final thoughts on the Nano 4.0? They are all-around performers for all around performers – just the shoe to wear for a WOD filled with my favorite things like running, lifting and throwing your body weight around (just like one I made for you above)! And, YES, that’s four MILES of running. ENJOY!*
*Or, if you’re not up to that much running, you can do 4k which is about 2.5 miles!
So, do you wear a separate shoe for running and going to the gym?
What is your favorite WOD or exercise in CrossFit?