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Reebok Nano X1 Review: Our First Dive into Training Footwear
By Contributor Ryan Flugaur

The Reebok Nano X1 is a very different shoe than many of the other shoes reviewed at Doctors of Running. It is not a running shoe but a functional fitness shoe designed to make your gym workout more productive and enjoyable. The Nano X1 returns as Reebok’s 11th version of the Nano series and brings many changes over previous models. I think one of the biggest changes is the inclusion of the Floatride energy foam used in many of Reebok’s running shoes. With these new features, the X1 compromises some of the stability features of previous versions with the goal of bringing a more comfortable running experience to the Nano Line. Whether or not these changes matter to you depends on what your goal in the shoe is.

Reebok Nano XI
Price: $130 at Reebok
Drop: 7 mm
Classification: Cross Trainer


The Nano X1 is designed to be a versatile workout shoe that can be worn for high intensity gym exercises such as HIIT, general strengthening activities, jumping and cutting activities, and light running.  It is not designed for long distance running but performs well when used for short interval sprints or lateral cuts.  It is best suited for the individual looking to perform exercises such as box jumps, lateral shuffle, drop jumps, and general strength training.  If your goal is to find a shoe designed for running longer distances, over 1 mile, or to set a 1 repetition personal record squat, there are better options out there.


The Reebok Nano X1 fits true to size in my Men’s size 9.  The width of the mid and forefoot offer a wider fit throughout that I appreciated giving the toes adequate room to splay during jumping and squatting activities.  The wider forefoot also adds to the stability during heavy lifting or jumps as your feet push into the ground.  The tongue is lightly padded but lacks a tongue loop and I frequently had to adjust it as it would travel to the lateral side of the shoe.  A simple tongue loop for the laces would likely prevent this from happening.  The Flexweave knit upper is breathable and helps to keep your feet from overheating while performing an intensive HIIT workout.  Due to the higher than normal heel counter, the Nano X1 is not a shoe to go sockless in and I recommend wearing a pair of socks that sits above the top of the heel counter to limit achilles irritation.  The heel counter is pretty rigid and with a lightweight heel clip that travels down the medial and lateral sides to the midfoot. The heel clip does an adequate job stabilizing the foot during lateral cutting motions and helps to provide stability when landing during a box jump.  The Flexweave knit upper does have some give and on occasion I did feel my foot slip in the shoe during high intensity cuts.


This is not a shoe designed for running long distances.  For me, that was anything over a mile.  In the X1 we have the addition of Floatride Energy Foam in the forefoot while the heel remains rigid and firm to assist with stability during lifting tasks.  When sprinting and performing quick cutting drills, I minaly ran on my forefoot where the foam assisted with cushioning the landing.  However, when completing a Murph, which consists of running a 1 mile, 100 pull ups, 200 push ups, 300 squats, and running another mile, the Nano X1 feels firm and lacks the cushion and smooth transitions that you would expect in a traditional running shoe.  This made the run feel clunky and lacked a smooth initial contact transition with a slight foot slap as the shoe transitioned to midstance.  The heel is minimally beveled which helps to smoothen out the landing but the firm, flat sole doesn't do much to soften the landing.  The forefoot is fairly flexible which does help when performing jumping and sprinting activities.  I found the Nano X1 to be tolerable for short distances but would likely bring a pair of running shoes to use if I was running longer during my workout.  If you don't have the option of changing shoes mid workout, the Nano X1 will handle short distance intervals and distances up to 1 mile and maybe even a 5k.   

The outsole of the shoe grips the ground well whether on a hard lifting platform or artificial turf for a HIIT.  I had no issues with the shoe slipping when performing box jumps or cutting skills.  While performing a heavy squat I was able to feel the rubber outsole stick to the platform as I extended my knees and pushed the weight up.  Gym goers should have no issues with traction on this shoe


The Nano X1 excelled during both plyometric and high intensity interval drills.  The wider forefoot coupled with the Floatride energy foam provided a stable landing surface while cushioning the landing when jumping from a box.  Reebok made a few changes to the Nano this year which somewhat decreases the overall stability of the shoe.  I believe these changes were made to help make the shoe a better running option.  First, the heel drop was increased from 4mm to 7mm. This will assist those individuals that prefer running in a shoe with a higher heel drop but you do lose some of that proprioceptive input when lifting heavy as your feet push into the floor.  Second is the addition of the Floatride energy foam under the forefoot.  This adds to some of the instability in the forefoot during heavy lifting tasks as the foam compresses and may even limit performance of these exercises. However, unless you are running long distance or lifting very heavy weights the Nano X1 is a great training option for the majority of gym goers.  


Should you use your running shoes when performing a gym or high intensity workout? 
Research performed by Anderson et. al (2014) showed that participants that performed squats and Bulgarian squats on a stable surface such as the floor vs a foam pad resulted in reductions in 6 rep max loads of 7% and 10% respectively. This was likely due to the loss of stability on an unlevel surface.  Running shoes typically have a softer EVA midsole which may limit the ability to lift heavier weight as it may be equivalent to standing on a foam pad. The softer midsole may also compress more during a box jump limiting the stability in a running shoe. For this reason, I find the Nano X1 to be a great tool for any runner looking to get into cross training. The firm heel will add to the stability when pushing through the floor while the extended heel clip will assist with lateral motion. The inclusion of the Floatride energy foam into the forefoot does limit the Nano as a heavy lifting shoe as the foam is likely to decompress under heavy loads and those individuals looking for a stable platform, heavy lifting shoe may want to look elsewhere.      

Andersen V, Fimland MS, Brennset O, Haslestad LR, Lundteigen MS, Skalleberg K, Saeterbakken AH. Muscle activation and strength in squat and Bulgarian squat on stable and unstable surface. Int J Sports Med. 2014 Dec;35(14):1196-202. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1382016. Epub 2014 Sep 25. PMID: 25254898.


One of the main recommendations I have is to add a tongue loop to help hold the tongue over the dorsum of the foot.  The tongue shifting to the lateral side of the shoe became irritating and required adjusting it mid workout more than once.  To make the Nano X1 a more comfortable running option, I would love to see how a slightly more beveled heel would help with transitions during initial contact.  My only concern in doing this would be the loss of stability in the heel during lifting tasks. 


Senior Contributor David Salas gives his impressions of the Reebok Nano X1!


The Reebok Nano X1 is a shoe for the individual that is looking for a functional trainer that performs well during HIIT workouts, general strength training, plyometric tasks, lateral motions, and short distance running.  It truly excels with low weight interval sets which I  The stable heel limits the shoes ability to be a great running shoe but it is not designed to be. For individuals that don't plan to do a lot of running or heavy lifting but want a comfortable and stable cross training shoe for, this would be a great option. 


Fit: A- (Comfortable and secure  upper but I couldn't keep the tongue from sliding lateral.)                     
Performance: A- (Does a great job doing what it is designed to do.  Don't expect to run long distance or set your 1 rep PR in this shoe.) 
Stability: B+ (Wide midfoot, heel clip, and firm heel help to hold the foot in place during dynamic tasks.) 
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (The softer Floatride Energy Foam may limit some of the stability and heavy lifting the shoe can handle)
Personal: A- (The Nano X1 excelles during plyometric and HIIT exercises which I perform most often at the gym.  I didn't enjoy running over 1-2 miles in the shoe and would just chose a running shoe for those activities since I have that option)
Overall: B+/A- (For the majority of individuals the Reebok Nano X1 will work great just understand its limitations.)     


Find the Reebok Nano XI at Reebok here. This is not an affiliate link! The following links, however, are links that do go towards support us via Running Warehouse. Thanks so much!

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Ryan Flugaur, PT, DPT, TPI
Certified Doctor of Physical Therapy

Dr. Flugaur began running four years ago when he was looking for a change to his current exercise program of body building. He continues to do some light strength training but running has become his true form of exercise to stay healthy. He has met some great friends through running and loves the camaraderie that the running community brings. He typically runs 20-40 miles a week depending on his training schedule. Dr. Flugaur lives in Wisconsin with his wife Olivia and 2 kids, Lucy and Jack. When not running he enjoys mountain biking, fat biking in the snow, camping, and cheering on the badgers, brewers, and bucks. PRs Include: 5K:20:05 (2021), 10 K: 43:36 (2021), Half-Marathon 1:42:22 (2021)

Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the  people at Reebok for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run run as well as a warm up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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