Reebok Nano 2 Shoe Review

The Reebok Nano 2 isn’t your run of the mill athletic shoe. It’s equal parts…

  • Barefoot/Minimalist shoe
  • Running shoe
  • Gym workout shoe

And unlike most of the hybrid shoes I have beta-tested in the past few years, it does a great job at blending the best parts of these three very different styles of athletic shoe.


  • It provides better stability than a pure barefoot shoe. This is important if you’re participating in activities that require rapid changes of direction – soccer, tennis, sprinting, fitness classes, football, Zumba dance fitness, ultimate frisbee, interval training workouts, etc.

Your foot stays in place when you’re moving from side to side or exploding from a dead-start into a full-out sprint.

  • Unlike most running shoes that have a built-up heel and force you into an unhealthy heel-toe running form, the almost completely flat profile of the Nano 2.0 allows you to adopt a natural “barefoot”  running style.


  • But before you go thinking that the Nano is a true minimalist/barefoot shoe, we need to look at the sole of the shoe. Because, unlike most barefoot shoes, the Nano has a thicker sole & midsole designed to…
  1. Provide more cushioning for runners, and
  2. Provide a flat, stable base for weightlifting

As this shoe was designer for Crossfitters who do all manner of exercise, this was the most necessary design feature of the shoe. And in my humble opinion, Reebok has done a fine job of engineering.

I have been running in barefoot/minimalist shoes for years, and while I did notice the loss of “ground-feel” caused by the thickness of the sole/midsole, I had no problems going for a 30 minute jog prior to hitting the gym for a resistance training workout.

[box type=”note”]This rigid sole would be a drawback for trail runners who want to “feel” the ground conditions and run “naturally”. Due to this, I wouldn’t recommend the Nano 2.0 for trail running or for runners who require high levels of proprioception.[/box]

  • While the Nano doesn’t provide optimal proprioceptive feedback, it does provide one of the most important features of a barefoot shoe – natural foot movement

The wide toe box and “natural” foot shape allows your foot to move as it was designed to move. Unlike most fitness shoes with a narrow toe box and all manner of corrective technology, the Nano 2.0 doesn’t force your foot into any un-natural positions. And this is a very very good thing.


 All in all, I am a big fan of this shoe. I have used them over the past month for a wide variety of workouts and I wasn’t disappointed by them once.

And I don’t think you will be either.


  1. Hey Doug, I know you seem to be bullish on the barefoot shoe revolution. Personally, I think it’s a lot of hype for an idea with a dubious basis.

    In other words, if you’re not build like a Tarahumara Indian barefoot runner (read guys like me who weight over 200 lbs), you have flat feet, or your feet pronate, put some proper running shoes on.

    When I was working with a sports medicine specialist, you have no idea how many people came in with medial knee pain, or ankle / foot pain who had tried running in minimalist shoes.

    It’s sort of like scuba diva in that respect. Sure there were women in Japan who could free dive without scuba gear, but that took years of training and self selection for people capable of doing those feats… For the rest of us, we have scuba gear.

  2. Hey J

    I know lots of people who have gone barefoot and RUINED their feet. IMHO, the idea behind barefoot is solid – your feet are designed to carry your load.

    However, even if we ignore physical damage caused to bare feet being exposed to a modern environment – sidewalks are not the same thing as running on open grass fields. – newbies have to recognize that a lifetime of wearing modern shoes means that their feet are not prepared to go barefoot. Our barefoot ancestors (or the Tarahumara) started out as little barefoot kids…and as their bodies grew, their feet musculature adapted as well. Their feet are not the same as our feet. Our feet can’t do what their feet can do.

    As well, the most important aspect of barefoot running isn’t the shoes…it’s the running style. Instead of landing on the heel and rolling forward, a barefoot runner makes use of the shock absorbancy of their foot structure by landing on the midfoot. As well, the centre of gravity during barefoot running is completely different – a barefoot runner carries their weight in a forward, almost falling face first kind of way – helping force the midfoot landing and reducing joint strain.

    There are a few more technical aspects to barefoot running that help make barefoot running a more efficient way to run…especially for us big guys.

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