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Reebok Nano X2 vs. Nike Metcon 7: Which CrossFit Shoe Holds the Crown?

We put two of the most popular CrossFit shoes to the test to see which training sneaker takes the cake.

reebok nano x2 shoe and nike metcon 7 shoe sitting on top of a duffel bag
Ben Emminger

There's plenty of room for healthy competition when it comes to your training. Whether aiming to beat a training partner's time or best your latest P.R., a little bit of gamesmanship is always a nice touch for your fitness journey.

The same can be said when it comes to workout gear — and over the past few years, no two brands have gone head-to-head quite like Nike and Reebok. With each iteration of their Nano and Metcon lineups, the two athletic brands are constantly compared to one another, especially in the eyes of CrossFit enthusiasts.

I've been a big fan of both stables since their inceptions, with the latest iterations — Reebok's Nano X2 and Nike's Metcon 7 — ranking highly in Gear Patrol's best gym shoe and best CrossFit shoe roundups. But in the spirit of competition, as well as the upcoming 2022 CrossFit Games, I decided to pit these two gym kicks against one another to finally determine which sneaker stacks up the best.

black and white nike metcon 7 shoe sitting on top of a red and white reebok nano x2 shoe
Ben Emminger

Across multiple workouts and disciplines, I compared the two shoes in lifting scenarios, as well as their capabilities in agility or run-based training. Finally, I took a good look at the overall build of each silhouette, highlighting the durability components as well as comfort and overall aesthetics. Here's what I learned.

The Metcons are slightly better at maxing out your heavy lifts

It's very clear that both the Nano X2 and Metcon 7 were designed with the gym in mind. Across multiple strength training modalities, I felt a great sense of support and stability thanks to the proprietary features in each build. Both feature a heel clip and a grounded feel thanks to limited drop — 4mm in the Nikes, 7mm in the Reeboks — and I was able to get a suitable footing with either of the workout-ready outsoles.

Similarities aside, though, I did feel better underfoot in the Metcon 7s, especially when squatting or deadlifting. A major reason for this is the built-in Hyperlift construction in the heel for a firmer, more rigid platform. Plus, the extended rubber overlay in the medial and lateral portions of the Metcon 7 gave more of that locked-in experience, which I prefer in a lifting shoe.

black and white nike metcon 7 shoe
Ben Emminger

The Nano X2s keep a better pace, but neither are daily runners

Naturally, though, your CrossFit workouts aren't solely focused on strength training movements. There are plenty of agility-based modalities and sprints that make up a well-rounded regimen. In these scenarios, I felt the Nano X2 outperformed the Metcon 7 thanks to a more comfortable midsole construction. The Floatride Energy Foam used in the Nano X2 provided the perfect blend of responsiveness and cushioning, which made plyometrics and short runs more enjoyable than the Nike React Foam in the Metcons.

I wouldn't recommend either gym shoe for runs longer than three miles, however. Because of the more rigid heel profiles, especially in the Metcons, these are best served for shorter jogs and sprints. If you want to maintain a solid training pace with longer routes, I'd suggest swapping your gym sneakers for a pair of running shoes better suited for higher mileage.

red reebok nano x2 shoes
Ben Emminger

Durability favors Nike, but Reebok is right on its tail

Both the Nano X2s and Metcon 7s feature exceptional uppers that should last multiple seasons of intense training. However, the chain-link mesh upper in Nike's offering feature multiple overlays, which helps them stand out in terms of durability.

I also appreciated the extended rubber in the medial and lateral portions, which help protect the foam midsole during agility training. While the Flexweave upper in the Nano X2 is sturdy enough for normal training routines, I prefer the added security delivered by Nike.

This is not to say, however, that Reebok hasn't created a worthwhile shoe for extended use. While I personally prefer the Metcon upper, the fit is more aligned with my footprint. As is the case with other Nike silhouettes, the midfoot does run on the narrower side. For instances not related to training, I often found myself wearing the Nano X2s for this added room and comfort.

So, if you're an individual with wider feet or don't prefer a more locked-in, athletic feel, this is something to consider. There's plenty of durability built into the Reeboks for daily wear and general training.

The Verdict: the Nike Metcon 7s Take the Win

I want to preface this conclusion by saying that both the Reebok Nano X2 and Nike Metcon 7 are more than capable of handling even the most intense training regimens. Regardless of which one you opt for, you can rest assured these kicks are ready for the tasks at hand.

However, because of the built-in Hyperlift heel plate and more athletic silhouette, the Metcon 7 takes home the crown in this CrossFit duel. The stability and support, along with the enhanced medial rubber overlay, makes it hard to deny this sneaker's performance in the gym. If you're looking for a premium footwear option, then Nike still takes the cake.

The 2022 CrossFit Games begin on Wednesday, August 3 and conclude on Sunday, August 7. Be sure to be on the lookout for these quality footwear options. They may just be the deciding factor when it comes to taking home the title.

Courtesy
Nike Metcon 7 Training Shoes
nike.com
$130.00

  • Hyperlift heel construction provides excellent stability for heavy lifts
  • Athletic profile that's more aligned to serious training

  • Rigid heel is not as ideal for run-based training
  • Narrow midfoot, which could deter athletes with wider feet
Reebok
Reebok Nano X2 Men's Training Shoes
reebok.com
$135.00

  • Durable outsole that provides a great base for training
  • Floatride Energy Foam offers great comfort in sprints and agility workouts

  • Some might not enjoy the wider toe box
  • Lack of extended medial and lateral grip for rope climbs
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