NOBULL vs. Nike Metcon 3 vs. Reebok CrossFit Nano 7

With the rise of functional fitness training came the growth and formulation of cross training shoes. These shoes are designed to support a variety of activities strength athletes may encounter in a functional fitness workout including strength, power, and cardio based exercises.

Nike, Reebok, and NOBULL are a few of the top brands in this space, so we analyzed their latest cross training shoes. It’s not easy picking a definitive winner between these three companies because each shoe they offer has their own strengths and weaknesses. For this comparison article, we compared the Nike Metcon 3, Reebok CrossFit Nano 7, and NOBULL Trainers in a variety of categories.

The categories we compared each shoe in are: construction, security, material, durability, and price.

Construction

Nike Metcon 3

The Nike Metcon 3 has a few characteristics that make its construction unique. First, it’s composed of mesh-like cables, which are said to provide the shoe with flexibility and durability. In addition, the shoe features a full rubber outsole, which is said to be designed and used to provide better traction.

The heel is composed of TPU, which is a material used in many lifting shoes, and is known for its resilience to abrasion, lightweight feeling, and durability. There’s also a plastic heel cup. The heel cup is supposed to provide the heel with increased stability, while assisting with things like hand stand pushups.

Nike Metcon 3 Construction

Image courtesy Roguefitness.com.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 7

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 7 is composed of Reebok’s signature NanoWeave, which is a synthetic weave to promote flexibility, breathability and durability. There’s a TPU full rubber outsole that encloses the whole shoe to provide traction. In addition, there’s a 4mm heel-to-toe drop.

Similar to the Nike Metcon 3, the Reebok CrossFit Nano 7 has a plastic cup for additional heel support. Reebok also utilizes an anatomical toebox that’s low cut, which is said to provide the foot with a natural feeling in the shoe.

NOBULL Trainer

The NOBULL Trainer is composed of a mesh-like material that’s made out of NOBULL’s SuperFabric cover. They use this material to provide the shoe with protection from things like rope climbs, and premature wear and tear. Unlike other trainers, these shoes are fully enclosed by this material with no seams breaking them into separate parts.

Their tongue is constructed of a lightweight mesh, and is made this way to support the shoe’s breathability. In addition, these shoes have an extended outsole, and a 4mm heel-to-toe drop like the Reebok CrossFit Nano 7.

NOBULL Trainer Construction

Image courtesy nobullproject.com.

It’s hard to pick a clear winner in terms of construction, as all of these shoes have somewhat similar attributes. Their differences lie in the company’s signature materials and cross training construction style.

Winner: Tie

Functionality

Nike Metcon 3

This shoe offers a few features that make it a good fit for the functional fitness athlete. It’s sole is made of a tougher TPU, and provides adequate support for strength and power movements. There’s a plastic heel cup, which is said to support the heel in heavy lifts and various hand stand movements.

The bottom TPU layer wraps pretty far up the shoe, so there’s grip on all sides of the shoe with a medial divot supporting rope climbs.

[Want to find the best weightlifting shoe for you? Read our full rundown of the lifting shoes on the market to find the perfect model!]

Reebok CrossFit Nano 7

Similar to the Nike Metocon 3, the Nano 7 has a plastic heel cup that’s designed to support heavy lifts and squat movements. There’s a 360-degree TPU heel wrap around the shoe, which is meant to provide additional support in a variety of movements and foot angles. The shoe is made low-cut, so a lifter doesn’t feel bogged down with a heavy shoe.

Reebok Nano 7 Functionality

Image courtesy Roguefitness.com. 

The 4mm heel-to-drop is used to give a lifter a slight feeling of support when sitting under lifts, and performing squat movements.

NOBULL Trainer

The NOBULL Trainer’s design differs slightly from the other two shoes. They don’t offer a plastic heel cup, but have a heel that comes up slightly higher than the other two shoes. There’s a medial divot in the outer sole made to support rope climbs. And like the Reebok Nano 7, there’s a 4mm heel-to-toe drop for lift support.

Every one of these shoes does an exceptional job at providing an athlete with functionality, but we think the Nike Metcon 3 takes the cake in terms of pure functionality. We liked their elevated medial outer sole divot for rope climbs, and heel cup for extra support.

Winner: Nike Metcon 3

Material

Nike Metcon 3

The upper portion of this shoe is made out of a mesh and thermal wrap. Their mesh is lightweight and pretty maneuverable, which makes this shoe’s material pretty resilient to early fraying. On the posterior, the heel has a plastic heel cup that’s made out of TPU plastic. The outsole wraps high on the shoe and has an extended medial divot.

Nike Metcon 3 Material

Image courtesy Roguefitness.com. 

Reebok CrossFit Nano 7

These shoes feature Reebok’s NanoWeave on the outer construction, which is a material designed to be resilient to rope abrasions and wear and tear. There’s a plastic TPU heel cup on the posterior side, and rubber outsole that wraps evenly around the whole shoe.

NOBULL Trainer

This trainer is completely enclosed by NOBULL’s SuperFabric mesh material. Their material is made to resist stress from functional workouts, and resist premature stretching. Like the Reebok Nano, this shoe has a similar outsole that wraps fairly evenly around the outside of the shoe. The tongue is made out of a microsuede material.

Winner: NOBULL Trainer

NOBULL Trainer Material

Image courtesy Nobullproject.com. 

Security 

Nike Metcon 3

The Nike Metcon 3 has pretty moderate security. This shoe’s eyelets have a reinforced string that helps limit stress and stretch on the shoestring holes. In addition, the plastic heel cup supports the posterior portion of this shoes form. It helps prevent the shoe from bending and easily giving with any form of flexion.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 7

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 7 has an added heel cup to promote the shoe’s posterior health. Also, the NanoWeave is designed to hold the foot tight, and provide a locked in feeling. Other than those call outs, this shoe doesn’t offer many other security features. It has normal laces and eyelet holes.

Reebok Nano 7 Security

Image courtesy Roguefitness.com. 

NOBULL Trainer

The NOBULL Trainer offers a standard amount of security for a cross training shoe. There are metal rings that enclose the shoelaces eyelets, and every shoe comes with two pairs of laces (one thicker than the other). There’s no additional heel cup, but the heel comes up slightly higher on the NOBULL, which provides the heel with a fair amount of security.

Winner: Tie

Price

Nike Metcon 3

This cross training shoe costs $97.50 – 129.99, which is slightly higher than other shoes on the market. If you find a pair marked down, then it’s a standard price for a regular pair of sneakers. Yet, at a price of $129.99, even with their specific performance design I feel as though it’s a little pricey.

Reebok CrossFit Nano 7

The Reebok CrossFit Nano 7 costs $79.99, which is a markdown from the original $129.99. This price is pretty great for a shoe that’s only one year old and has performance specific asks, such as the heel cup and NanoWeave material.

Reebok Nano 7 Price

Image courtesy Roguefitness.com.

NOBULL Trainer

The NOBULL Trainer starts at $129.00, and doesn’t really waiver from this asking price. Out of the three shoes, I feel as though the NOBULL are consistently priced the highest. If you like the deign and construction of this shoe, then it may be worth the price, but of the three shoes this is generally the priciest option.

Winner: Reebok CrossFit Nano 7

Overall Winner: Nike Metcon 3

Image courtesy Roguefitness.com. 

Overall, we thought the Nike Metcon 3 performed the most consistently in the asks we looked for. They’re well constructed with the functional fitness athlete in mind, and have features that compliment performance in all areas. In addition, their color schemes are the most diverse, and provide a more visually stimulating shoe. The only real downfall to this shoe was the price, but there are a few on-sale options out there.

All of these shoes will likely meet the needs of the functional fitness athlete, and an athlete’s final choice is going to have to come down to which shoe they feel complements their training style most.

Feature image from Roguessfitness.com and Nobullproject.com. 

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