Review: Reebok’s New Nano X4 Is for Anyone Looking to Get Strong

The "official shoe of fitness" is lighter than ever this year

The Reebok Nano X4. We recently tested and reviewed the latest version of the cult-favorite training shoe.
Use them for lifting...or any other activity you can think of.

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Each year, Reebok tinkers with its cult-favorite training shoe, the Nano. I’ve tested the sneaker going back half a decade now, and the changes run way deeper than fresh colors. One of my favorite iterations was the Nano X, a ridiculously comfortable shoe that served several “lives” in my fitness routine. It started, naturally, as a workout shoe. I’d bring it to the gym for traditional compound lifts. Over time, I started wearing it for activities like hiking and tennis. In its retirement years, it’s now a reliable pair of gardening shoes, if you can believe that.

It performed admirably for all the above, which is sort of the overarching promise of Reebok’s Nano line. At its best, the shoe is a versatile workhorse, capable of handling most fitness pursuits (aside from long-distance running). There’s a reason Reebok dubbed the trainer “The Official Shoe of Fitness.”

There’s also a reason I was so excited to get my hands on the newest edition: the Reebok Nano X4.

What’s in a Nano?

The Nano X4 dropped earlier this winter, and I’ve spent a month in a pair. It’s a real return to form for the brand, following online complaints that recent models had veered a tad too clunky.

This is the lightest and most breathable Nano model to date, and it shows — the Flexweave upper features less material this time around, and there’s a mesh ventilation system, in a nod to typical running shoe technology. The back heel, meanwhile, pares back on the plastic bulkiness that can sometimes plague lifting shoes.

How I Use My Pair

But to that point: this isn’t a “lifting shoe,” per se.

It’s a shoe to get stronger in, yes, but Reebok seems acutely aware that there are innumerable ways to get stronger these days, beyond conventional weightlifting. Think: bodyweight calisthenics, plyometrics, circuit training, martial arts, bouldering. It’s hard to think of a strength-training activity that the Nano X4 wouldn’t be well-suited to.

Crucially, the shoe is sturdy without losing its liveliness. During a recent trip to the gym, the wide base gave me a nice platform to sink my toes into as I performed kettlebell farmer’s walks. Then I hit the plyo platform for box jumps, where the trainer’s Floatride system gave me some extra bounce and energy return.

I happened to get a call on the way home and ambled around the park for a half hour, forgetting I was in my gym shoes. Not that it really mattered — the Nano X4s can handle just about any activity, sweat-inducing or not, at a moment’s notice.

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