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Reebok Nano X2 Froning Review: Revving Up Your Cross Training

We see if this all-new silhouette is truly capable of competing at the highest level.

reebok nano x2 froning shoes next to a weight ball
Ben Emminger

When a gym shoe carries the name of one of CrossFit's most legendary athletes, you expect that sneaker to be ready for high-stakes training. Well, that's the goal of the latest Reebok offering, the Nano X2 Froning.

Built for pushing performance toward the podium and beyond, these lightweight CrossFit shoes feature key upgrades from the standard Nano X2, including a lighter, reworked upper and updated paint scheme. The silhouette isn't a complete overhaul, however; it still relies on some of Reebok's tried and proven features, such as the Floatride Energy Foam midsole for well-cushioned yet responsive performance.

When the Nano X2 Fronings released earlier this month, we immediately pictured these kicks as the perfect companion to a leader's jersey at the CrossFit Games — but celebrity endorsements can only do so much for a shoe based in function. So, to see if the latest Nano X2 iteration was worthy of the Froning moniker, I laced up these high-octane cross trainers for a handful of painstaking sessions. Across strength, cardio and agility regimens, I paid close attention to this new shoe's performance, even swapping footwear mid-training to see how these fared in comparison to the original Nano X2s.

Would the Fronings come out on top, or is this latest silhouette nothing more than a special edition addition to an already-impressive footwear stable? Here's what I found.

Reebok
Reebok Nano X2 Froning Training Shoes
reebok.com
$150.00

  • The lightweight, breathable, open-mesh upper makes this a great shoe for cardio sessions
  • The sleek aesthetic is far more appealing than past Froning collaborations

  • Your heel can slip at times, especially when sprinting or broad jumps
  • The upgrades don't dictate a $15 price increase from the standard Nano X2s

What's Good About the Reebok Nano X2 Froning?

The lightweight upper is easy to pick up, making this great for cardio-based cross training.

One of the clearest distinctions between the normal Nano X2s and the Nano X2 Fronings is the latest silhouette's slimmed-down weight across the entire profile. The reinforced, breathable, open-mesh upper with perforated details takes away a handful of ounces, making this one of my favorite cross training shoes for days that are more rooted in cardio and agility workouts. Pickups are a breeze, and the Floatride Energy Foam really delivers in terms of comfort and energy return.

close view on the uppers of the reebok nano x2 froning shoes
Ben Emminger

I was already a fan of the Nano X2s for sprints and other mobile regimens, but the addition of this featherweight upper puts this edition far above the original. While the silhouette is still not a go-to for me when training at longer distances — there's plenty of other, more run-based sneakers for those needs — I'm really happy with how fast these new X2s have proven to be.

The overall look of the shoe is some of Reebok's best work.

Collaborations can be hit or miss when it comes down to aesthetics, and the Froning-Reebok partnership is no different. Over the years, the two parties have produced some impressive kicks performance-wise, but the looks have left something to be desired. For this Nano X2 iteration, however, the brand really flexed its design muscles, and the colorways easily showcase the race car-inspired theme present in the lineup — according to the brand, the design was inspired by Froning's family history in the automobile industry.

While the Core Black / Pure Grey 8 / Neon Cherry silhouette is my personal favorite, I was also enamored with the Ftwr White / Neon Blue / Neon Cherry scheme I tested. They give off this notion of clean, efficient power and definitely add some personality to any training wardrobe. I understand that style isn't the first factor to consider when deciding on a quality training sneaker, but if you feel motivated by your wardrobe, that confidence can easily translate to better results when push comes to shove — or pull.

reebok nano x2 froning shoes
Ben Emminger

What's Less Than Ideal About the Reebok Nano X2 Froning?

The lightweight frame doesn't have enough muscle behind it for a tight, locked-down feel.

I really enjoyed the reworked upper across this special edition sneaker — but that's not to say it's completely without flaws. The mesh does offer a little more stretch and flexibility than the woven upper of the standard silhouette. This wasn't the biggest issue during static lifts like squats and deadlifts, but I did notice some slipping and travel when performing agility ladder drills and exercises targeting change of direction. For athletes wanting a tighter upper for added security, I'd suggest sticking with the original.

reebok nano x2 froning shoes on weights next to a weight ball
The original Nano X2 (left) and Nano X2 Froning (right) offer different levels of upper security and sturdiness.
Ben Emminger

Additionally, there were a few instances where I noticed some heel slipping, particularly during aggressive sprint takeoffs. Reebok does add some padding around the collar to help eliminate this issue, but alas, the sliding can still happen from time to time.

In my opinion, I think the Reebok Nano X2 Fronings could've greatly benefited from including an extra eyelet to allow for a lace lock knot system. This would've created a sturdier lockdown without compromising any of the lightweight features.

There aren't enough upgrades to warrant the heftier price tag.

The Nano X2 Fronings go for $150 — $15 more than the original Nano X2s. While it's understandable that there would be a higher cost, what with the reworked upper and Froning moniker attached to its profile, I don't think the upgrades warrant a price jump of this degree. The upper is a nice change of pace, but I wouldn't call it game-changing. If you're just wanting a well-built sneaker for training purposes and aren't as invested in getting the most lightweight profile possible, you can be more than satisfied with the base model Nano X2s.

Reebok Nano X2 Froning: The Verdict

In terms of special projects and one-off releases, I think the Nano X2 Fronings are my favorite from Reebok this year. The changes to the upper design definitely showcase an added emphasis on speed and power, and the visual appeal is spread across the entire silhouette.

While you will end up paying more for these features — as well as the Froning cosign — if you want to compete with the best, these can be the shoes to help you stand a chance. Hitting the gas doesn't need to be a bland endeavor, and these new trainers from Reebok can be primed for putting the pedal to the metal in training.

Reebok
Reebok Nano X2 Froning Training Shoes
reebok.com
$150.00

  • The lightweight, breathable, open-mesh upper makes this a great shoe for cardio sessions
  • The sleek aesthetic is far more appealing than past Froning collaborations

  • Your heel can slip at times, especially when sprinting or broad jumps
  • The upgrades don't dictate a $15 price increase from the standard Nano X2s
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