Nike Metcon 4 Vs. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

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Cross training shoes are designed to be versatile in a variety of environments, and they continue to be developed to further match a strength athlete’s needs. These needs include things like breathability, a sturdy sole, flexible toe box, and lightweight construction. Nike and Reebok both continue to push the envelope for cross training shoes with their updated Metcon and Nano versions.

Nike’s currently in their fourth version of their popular cross training shoe the Nike Metcon 4, and Reebok is on their eighth edition with the recent release of the Reebok CrossFit® Nano 8 Flexweave. Both of these shoes offer similar attributes, but also a fair amount of differences. Both Nike and Reebok have incorporated their own spins on the popular models, and here’s how they compare.

Nike Metcon 4 Vs. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

Image courtesy Nike.com and Reebok.com.

Construction

Nike Metcon 4

The Nike Metcon 4 has a few standout construction features that we’ll cover. First, the material that encloses the shoe is a sandwich mesh and includes Nike’s Flywire material. This material is lightweight and offers various level of breathability, which is beneficial for the versatility of this shoe in workouts. Next, there’s a 4mm offset in the sole, and that’s a pretty useful feature for providing a solid base for various lifting movements.

Shop the Nike Metcon 4 and browse colors HERE.

There’s a heel clip in the back that sits between the arch of the foot and the heel. Nike has included this to support lateral movements in workouts. The forefoot’s material is sticky rubber, so there’s a fair amount of traction with these shoes, and that’s a good thing for anyone in a gym where it may be slightly humid, or working out on rubber surfaces.

Nike Metcon 4 Construction

Image courtesy Nike.com.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave, like the Metcon 4, has standout features that make it unique to previous models, and other shoes currently on the market. Possibly the biggest feature of this shoe is the Flexweave material, which is really flexible and breathable. Unlike previous Nano models, this model has a separate liner, or bootie, so there’s a liner that sits separate from the rest of the shoe, and it provides a sock-esque feeling.

Shop the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave and browse colors HERE.

This Nano has a heel cup that encloses the back of the shoe, and is used to provide additional support for the heel in weight bearing movements. In addition to the heel cup, there’s a minimal drop outsole, so the heel itself is sturdy to sit back on. Lastly, the toe box in this Nano is a tad wider than previous versions, so you can achieve full toe splay. You’ll also notice the traction in this Nano is slightly different than previous models, and does a good job gripping different surfaces.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave Construction

Image courtesy Reebok.com. 

Both of these shoes are solid options for functional fitness style workouts, but I have to go with the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave for the increased size in toe box and sock like bootie. I really like to grip the floor and spread my toes in compound movements, and this shoe allowed me to do so, while staying comfortable.

Winner: Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave 

Functionality

Nike Metcon 4

In terms of functionality, I think many strength athletes will really enjoy the Nike Metcon 4. The minimal offset provides a solid feeling of comfort when doing both power and strength focused movements. Also, the heel clips don’t get in the way, and provide extra support laterally, so things like box jumps and burpees over bar get a bump in security.

The Flywire material is also a plus for this shoe’s function. It’s lightweight and flexible, which is a nice feature for going through a workout with multiple asks such as a cardio and strength component.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

Similar to the Metcon 4, the Nano 8 performs well in both power and strength movements. The minimal drop outsole gives this shoe a solid base, and it doesn’t feel like there’s much give if any at all under heavier weight. Also, the heel cup is a nice touch for providing the shoe with a little extra security.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave Functionality

Image courtesy Reebok.com.

The Flexweave does a good job at providing breathability and flexibility, but it’s almost a little too much. I like how easy it is to maneuver in this shoe, yet I worry some may find it to be a bit too much. In addition, the increase size in toe box may not be for everyone, especially those with narrow feet.

Winner: Nike Metcon 4

Shoe Material

Nike Metcon 4

We brought attention to the material above, but the Nike Metcon 4 has sandwich mesh. The outer most layer of the sandwich mesh is Nike’s Flywire, which I like for both the feeling and function of this shoe. Flywire feels comfortable and lightweight, but also adds a level of durability to the mix, and that’s a big deal for shoes that take a repetitive beating in the gym.

Nike Metcon 4 Material

Image courtesy Nike.com.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

As the title of the shoe mentions, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave is composed of Reebok’s Flexweave material. This material is breathable and makes the Nano 8 possibly the most flexible iteration to date. While the Metcon 4 has sandwich mesh, the Nano 8 has an updated bootie that lies separate from the other layer Flexweave.

This gives the shoe a sock like feeling, which I was a big fan of. In terms of material alone, I think the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave takes the edge because of its comfortable updated bootie design.

Winner: Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave 

Security

Nike Metcon 4

The Nike Metcon 4 will feel like previous models in terms of shoe security, but it does have one addition that’s pretty nice. Previous models came with five eyelets, and the 4s have six, which is nice for anyone who likes to lace their shoes up a bit higher. Also, the heel clips sit a bit more forward on this model, so like stated before, a lifter’s heel and foot will feel pretty secure in both normal weight bearing movements, along with lateral exercises.

Nike Metcon 4 Vs. Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave Security

Image courtesy Nike.com and Reebok.com.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

When it comes to available eyelets and security, the Nano 8 has the edge with seven available eyelets. If ankle stability is a concern, then you have more options to lace higher with this shoe. Another feature for shoe security is the heel cup that comes on this model. The only gripe I could potentially see others having with this shoe, and I mentioned it above, is how flexible it is. For many, it will fit and feel perfectly fine, but it does feel slightly less secure than the Metcon 4s.

Winner: Nike Metcon 4

Price

Nike Metcon 4 & Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

In terms of price, neither shoe has an edge over the other. As of right now, they’re both listed around $130.00, and this price can vary depending on if you want a standard model, or to customize your own. These prices are pretty normal for new models of cross training shoes and run true to previous model Nike and Reebok iterations.

Shoe ModelPrice 
Nike Metcon 4$130.00
Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave$130.00


Winner: Tie

Overall Winner: Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave (But Not By Much; These Shoes Are Pretty Evenly Matched)

Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave

Image courtesy Reebok.com.

My overall winner is the Reebok CrossFit Nano 8 Flexweave, but not by much. In reality, I like both shoes and think they’ll serve a strength athlete well. The reason I took the Nano 8s over the Metcon 4s is because I weigh cross training shoes’ construction a tad heavier than things like security. I liked the changes Reebok made to this model compared to the 7 (which wasn’t my favorite whatsoever), and the newly constructed bootie. It’s a shoe I can both workout in and wear in my day-to-day with comfort.

If you’re considering either of these shoes, I’d suggest stopping and thinking about what attributes you weigh heaviest in cross training shoes. For me, it’s construction, but yours may be different, and both of these shoe models could easily fit one’s bill.

Feature image from Nike.com & Reebok.com. 

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Jake holds a Master's in Sports Science and a Bachelor's in Exercise Science. Currently, Jake serves as one of the full time writers and editors at BarBend. He's a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) and has spoken at state conferences on the topics of writing in the fitness industry and building a brand. As of right now, Jake has published over 1,100 articles related to strength athletes and sports. Articles about powerlifting concepts, advanced strength & conditioning methods, and topics that sit atop a strong science foundation are Jake's bread-and-butter. On top of his personal writing, Jake edits and plans content for 15 writers and strength coaches who come from every strength sport.Prior to BarBend, Jake worked for two years as a strength and conditioning coach for hockey and lacrosse players, and was a writer at the Vitamin Shoppe's corporate office. Jake regularly competes in powerlifting in the 181 lb weight class, and considers himself a weightlifting shoe sneaker head. On the side of writing full time, Jake works as a part-time strength coach and works with clients through his personal business Concrete Athletics in Hoboken and New York City.