Here is a head to head comparison review of the new Reebok Nano X vs Nike React Metcon 5 AMP based on the 4 core competency areas CrossFit and Functional Fitness shoes must be able to perform in:
- Stability and balance
I will tell you where each shoe stands in each area, cover the best features of each and give you my recommendation, as a fellow CrossFit athlete.
Let’s get started!
- Which is Better for Running?
- Which is Better for Weightlifting?
- Which is Better for Balance and Stability?
- Which is More Durable?
- Pros and Cons of Reebok Nano X and Nike React Metcon 5 AMP
- Bottom Line: What Shoe do I Recommend?
- Article Summary
Which is Better for Running?
The Reebok Nano X for Running
The Nano Xs are good for running, while still being very stable for other CrossFit movements.
They have a stretchy, flexible weave upper that conforms to your foot. The flexible forefront of the sole, great traction and just a little bit of bounce in the midsole make this CrossFit shoe good for running.
What I like, personally, about this shoe in terms of running, is it has great traction. I felt comfortable zipping around corners without losing my footing and doing Burpees in the Nano X, my feet never slipped like they did with the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP Reacts.
The Nike React Metcon 5 AMP React for Running
Metcons have had a bad reputation of being uncomfortable and feeling like running with planks strapped to your feet.
Nike has remedied the situation with the React foam and a flexible forefoot, which really makes these React Metcon AMPs better to run in than the Metcon 4 and original Metcon 5.
They were able to make this shoe more comfortable to run in, while maintaining the stability Metcons are known for.
The downside, while I loved the flexibility and the added bounce from the thin layer of react foam, the traction of the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP is not great.
The react foam, however, was nice. It was just enough cushion, without losing the stability the Metcon is known for. The React foam is my favorite addition to this shoe.
Running CrossFit Shoe Verdict
While the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP are an improvement over the Metcon 4s in terms of running, I feel the Nano Xs did slightly better in this category because the traction made me feel more secure running on less than perfect terrain.
Want to see more CrossFit shoes that are good for running? I have a list of my favorite’s right here.
Which is Better for Weightlifting?
How the Nano Xs Perform for Weightlifting
The Nano Xs feel more stable to lift in than the 8s. They have a 4 mm drop and feel very grounded and stable for Olympic lifts and other heavy lifts.
The Nano X flare out where the Achilles tendon meets the collar, making these shoes even more comfortable to wear while flexing your feet. They are wide, flat and super stable, and I felt very secure lifting in them.
One of the Nano Xs best features, the wide toe box, is excellent for lifting, allowing your toes to splay while you lift so your feet create a solid stable base.
Bottom line, this shoe is excellent for lifting, unless your feet are really narrow.
How the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP Perform for Weightlifting
The Nike React Metcon 5 AMP also has a 4 mm drop with a low flat wide heel. At the widest point on the sole, it is as wide as the Nano X, but the metcon 5 narrows from there.
The Nike React Metcon 5 AMP was also comfortable and stable to lift in, but again, this shoe does not have the traction of the Nano X, so there is potential for slipping.
The original Metcon 5 have a hyperlift insert. These Nike React Metcon 5 AMP do not have that insert. The insert makes the Metcon 5 more like lifters. If you are curious about what lifters are, or want to see a list of weightlifting shoes reviewed, they are right here.
Weightlifting CrossFit Shoe Verdict
Both shoes are excellent for weightlifting, but I feel the Nano X are superior. They offer better traction, and they simply feel like they have more substance.
When I lift in the Nano X I feel like my feet are glued to the ground, and I do not get that from the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP.
Which is Better for Balance and Stability?
Nano X for Balance and Stability
The Nano Xs have improved their stability game from the previous Nano 8s. The outsole is wider and has more contact with the ground.
These shoes have sidewalls that extend from the midsole that cradle the foot. This feature, combined with the flat outsole provide excellent lateral stability.
They keep your feet in place when squatting, and provide stability for other side to side type movements.
Keep in mind, the heel and tongue of the Nano X come up higher than on the Nano 9, plus the shoelaces are hearty and strong, you can lace them tight and they will not fall apart and break, so you can get a really locked-in fit. The new Nano X shoes are also a bit heavier than the Nano 9s.
Note the strong laces and how high the tongue comes up.
Another characteristic of this shoe that I really like is that even though the upper is softer, the base stays solid and stable, and I think that has to do with the midsole wrap which allows the sole to be more solid and inflexible, while allowing the upper and front to flex.
Nike React Metcon 5 AMP for Balance and Stability
Nike React Metcon 5 AMP have good stability. For wall balls, box jumps, squats, they perform beautifully. The React foam is thin, so it does not cause instability.
Between the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP and the Nano X, these are the lighter shoe, and you can feel it.
The ground feel is good with the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP because even though they have bouncy react foam, the layer of foam is thin and your feet are still well connected to the ground so you can still feel where your feet are and perform double unders and box jumps securely.
The downfall of the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP is the laces, if you can even call them that. The laces are internal and the lace itself is flimsy. The laces do not tighten the shoe, so you must depend on the flex weave upper and collar to keep your feet locked.
I honestly feel that this feature makes these shoes more of a fashion casual shoe than a serious sport shoe. But they are comfortable and they did not come off as I was running, lifting and jumping.
Balance and Stability Verdict
I slightly favor the Nano Xs for balance and stability. They are heavier than the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP, but they feel secure and stable. I can get the Nano Xs laced tight, and I like that.
Which is More Durable?
Nano X for Durability
I have not experienced any problems in terms of durability from my Nano X shoes. They still look new after about 10 workouts.
The shoe looks and feels well built. I believe Reebok puts a lot of attention to detail into their shoe. They are just really, really nice shoes. I am gushing, I know.
The only thing I can say is the flex weave upper in the color I got does show dirt and the toe of the upper is slightly stained. I guess that’s what I get for ordering white shoes, right?
Metcon 5 for Durability
I did not suffer and durability issues from the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP either. They too have held up great after about 10 workouts, so I cannot complain.
I will say this though, the lacing system just does not feel robust enough, so I do not even use it. I just slip the shoe on and off, and it seems to stay in place just fine.
I think both shoes are very durable, but I am going to have to give this round to the Reebok Nano X. They have a stout lacing system, the upper seems more durable and they just feel like they have more substance.
Pros and Cons of Reebok Nano X and Nike React Metcon 5 AMP
Outside of the 4 core areas I talked about above, here are some things I like and do not like about the Reebok Nano X and Nike React Metcon 5 AMP.
What do You Love about the Nano Xs?
I love the wide toe box of the Nano X. This shoe has plenty of room to splay your toes while lifting and works great for people with wider feet.
Thanks to the Flexweave upper, the Nano X is very breathable.
The Nano X has a higher heel, which flares out. I find it quite comfortable and I feel like my feet will stay locked in.
The traction of this shoe is excellent, I love it for running, box jumps and lifting. I do not feel like my feet will slip out from under me.
The laces are strong and tough. There is an extra eyelet at the top that allows me to really get my feet snug and secure.
What do You Hate about the Nano Xs?
The Nano X shoes are NOT sexy, at all. They are wide, boxy and heavy.
I also wish there were more bold color choices available.
But having said that, I have received far more compliments than I expected wearing them, so what do I know? They look good in the pictures, so maybe it is just because I see the shoe from the top, and they look really wide from this vantage point.
View from the top, wide and boxy.
What do You Love about the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP?
The Nike React Metcon 5 AMP are comfortable to run in for short distances, they are flexible, super comfortable, and the react foam is just right, in terms of cushion.
I love, love, love the color. That is my favorite aspect of the shoe.
I also like the sock-like form-fitting upper. I think it’s great for a casual shoe, but they work as sports shoes, too.
The forefront of this shoe is far more flexible than the Nano X, too.
They are also cute, they do not look wide and boxy like the Nano X.
What do You Hate about the Nike React Metcon 5 AMP?
The lacing system needs improvement. Real laces would make this shoe way better.
This shoe is narrow in the collar and cannot be adjusted. I find myself struggling a little to get my wide a$$ feet past the collar of the shoe, but once I have them on they feel great.
The traction needs improvement. I was slipping while doing Burpees, and that made me feel insecure.
Bottom Line: What Shoe do I Recommend?
At this point, you may wonder what shoes I chose.
I choose both! Seriously. But for different purposes.
The Reebok Nano X is the better sports shoe, period. It has better traction and stability. My feet feel locked into the shoe and planted to the ground when they need to be. I will continue to wear this shoe for my workouts.
The Nike React Metcon 5 AMP are for me, a shoe I will wear for more casual workouts or day trips. For sure when I travel these will be on my feet.
These would make great travel and touring shoes, with the react foam and flexible front, plus they are wide so when your feet get swollen from sightseeing all day, these will still be comfortable.
If you can’t decide to go with the Reebok Nano vs. Nike Metcon why not take a look at some other great CrossFit shoes.
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