Reebok's Nano X2 surprised me slightly. The latest iteration of these workout shoes looks less hip than the all-white Nano X1, but they are so comfortable that I don't really mind the lack of style. It's not like the Nano X series was ever uncomfortable, but wearing the new Nano X2 shoes is just an enjoyable overall experience, whether for workouts or as part of an athleisure outfit.
Are these the best workout shoes for people who need versatile training partners? They kind of are, especially if you need cross-training shoes you can use for a variety of workouts, including rope climbs, heavy lifts and even some moderate cardio, although don't expect the Reebok Nano X2 to replace your favourite running shoes anytime soon.
Interestingly, the Reebok nano X2 reminded me of the coveted Nike Metcon 7, both in terms of style and comfort. The shoes are wider than they used to be and have a lower profile – ideal for keeping balance when you dangle heavy weights over your head. The Nano X2 also bends the same way the Nike does (only the forefoot is flexible enough to be folded); coincidence? I think not.
Reebok Nano X2 review: Price and availability
The Reebok Nano X1 can be bought for essentially half the price of the X2. In the UK, you can bag a pair of Nano X1s for £66 at SportsShoes.com, while in the US, Nano X1s retail for around $85 at Reebok. If you want Nano shoes more tailored to workout, check out the Nano X; that's also cheaper than the Nano X2 (currently retails for around $75 in the US).
Reebok also recently launched the Nano 6000 (links to Reebok US) that "fuses Reebok's iconic lifestyle design heritage with the key performance features of the new Nano X2." These shoes cost the same as the Nano X2 but have a strong sneaker vibe to them.
Take a look at our Reebok discount codes page for the latest offers straight from Reebok.
Reebok Nano X2 review: What's changed?
The Reebok Nano X2 features a re-engineered FlexWeave Knit Upper that is said to provide improved protection and breathability as well as looking more stylish than the X1 (this latter claim is questionable, but I appreciate that 'beauty is in the eye of the beholder' so I could be wrong).
The shape of the heel has also been redesigned to provide added stability and the "more defined" heel clip further enhances this effect. Loose heel areas are the plague of cross-training shoes and I'm happy to report that the Nano X2 is definitely one of the better models when it comes to heel support.
What stayed the same is the inclusion of the Floatride Energy Foam, adding extra cushioning and responsiveness to your stride as you walk/run. The Floatride Energy Foam is used in many of Reebok's running shoes and although this doesn't mean I'd recommend the Nano X2 for running, the cushioning certainly helps with short bursts of cardio.
Reebok Nano X2 review: Fit
One of the best aspects of the Reebok Nano X2 is how well it fits. I read reviews of the shoes, and they have been criticised for the toe box being too wide; it might just be me and my wide feet, but the toe box on the Nano X2 is perfect. If anything, the Nano X1 had a too narrow toe box which the Nano X2 doctored with its fit.
The updated FlexWeave upper also helps keep the fit on point. It's flexible but also firm, as well as being supportive without being too snug. I referenced the Nike Metcon 7 already, but I have to do it again; the Nano X2 reminds me of those shoes, in a good way.
The midsole is very much geared towards cross-training. It provides a stable platform for lifts but bends in the forefoot for added agility during runs and box jumps. There is some arch support going on here, too, which also helps keep things stable when you're trying to balance that barbell or kettlebell during a snatch.
The Nano X2 features a wide lace cage that dispenses the force on the metatarsal bones, further improving comfort.
A men's UK size 10 Reebok Nano X2 weighs 343 grams and has a 7 mm heel-to-toe drop.
Reebok Nano X2 review: Workout performance
I tried the Reebok Nano X2s mainly for kettlebell workouts; sadly, I haven't got the shoulder mobility to do barbell snatches (my mild scoliosis doesn't help either, I guess). I used them outdoors on hard, sometimes even slippery ground to see how they fare when traction is limited.
Long story short, they performed really well. Ventilation was on point, thankfully, something I was slightly conscious about when I first tried the shoes; the FlexWeave knit upper looks less breathable than it actually is. Admittedly, I didn't use the shoes for long runs, but for jogs around the block, they were more than ventilated enough.
The sole provided plenty of support for lifts thanks to the thick rubber coat and wide forefoot platform. I like the midfoot stability of cross-training shoes, and despite the Nano X2 moving towards being a more lifestyle franchise, it still offers a lot of support where it needs to.
I haven't got rope-climbing facilities at home, so I didn't try the shoes for that exercise. They are suitable for double-unders and box jumps, though, and I didn't mind wearing them for deadlifts either. Excellent workout performance overall.
Reebok Nano X2 review: Verdict
The Reebok Nano X2 are brilliantly-versatile workout shoes for people who prefer wearing their cross-trainers both inside and outside the gym. They might not be as stylish as some sneakers or as competent as dedicated workout shoes, but the Nano X2 makes up for these shortcomings by offering the best of both worlds with as little compromise as possible.
The updated FlexWeave Knit upper, combined with the wider forefoot platform and more spacious toe box, makes the shoes an ideal choice for people with wide feet. The updated heel design adds to the stability and keeps your feet securely in place when you need it the most – during heavy lifts and jumps.
Admittedly, the Reebok Nano X2 isn't the most stylish of shoes, but if you're after more style, you'd better opt in for the Nano 6000; that's essentially the same as the X2 but with bags more style.
Reebok Nano X2 review: Also consider
An obvious alternative to the Nano X2 is the Reebok Nano X1. It's a versatile offering best suited to those looking for a gym shoe that’ll offer all-around support for functional fitness activities as opposed to focusing solely on high-impact moves and strength training.
The Under Armour Tribase Reign 3 inherits most of the best qualities of its predecessor and improves on some to make it even more appealing than ever before. It's less rigid than the Reign 4 and by now costs less than the Nano X2, if the price is of concern.