A few weeks ago I had to take a long hard look in the mirror and admit a simple truth - I am a Reebok Nano addict. That’s not to say other brands aren’t great. I’ve always loved Nike and I’m sure way back when they were trending in the late 90’s I had a pair or two of New Balance’s. I wouldn’t be where I am now, physically, without my trail of athletic shoes along the way.
After four years of bad eating habits during college, I returned home 20lbs heavier. I joined my local gym and hit the cardio machines along with bootcamp classes. I was feeling stronger but my weight stayed the same. I began to run more and was getting really bad shin splints. After talking to some trainers at the gym, I was told it could be the sneakers I was wearing that were putting me in so much pain.
The sneakers I was wearing at the time were a couple years old. I didn’t realize that you should be buying a new pair every six months if you have a high activity level. After researching and looking into different shoes and brands I ended up picking a pair of Nike Shox. They were supposed to help lessen the impact of your feet hitting the ground. I had read many reviews saying how comfortable they were and how the little springs in the heels really helped their feet and legs while running. I noticed the difference right away and within a few weeks I never experienced shin splints again. I loved that first pair of Shox and I wore them for about a year before I made my next purchase.
I had fully intended on buying another pair of Shox until I saw the Nike Lunaglide2 online and read the reviews. By that point, through exercise and seeing a nutritionist for a short period of time, I was 20lbs down and really into running (on the treadmill). I was worried that varying from my Shox would reintroduce me to shin splints, but I took the risk anyway and went for the Lunaglides and their fun color combinations (yes, color is important when buying a sneaker!). The first few days of using my new Lunaglides, I was very hesitant with running. Despite their rating as a top Nike shoe, I was still a bit skeptical that the smaller amount of padding would protect me from shinsplints. Thankfully, after a few days of treading lightly – literally - I discovered no pain in running and could continue to enjoy it in my brand new, comfortable PURPLE Lunaglides.
I was getting ready to invest in my next pair of sneakers when I decided to take a chance on CrossFit. I immediately became hooked! It wasn’t until one of the coaches mentioned that there were specific sneakers better equipped for CrossFit, that I abandoned my plan to buy my 5th pair of Lunaglides.
That same night I went online and started looking up Reebok CrossFit Nano’s and Inov-8’s. It didn’t take long for me to choose which type and color I wanted. My first pair of Nano’s 2.0 arrived, fit great and I immediately noticed why they were so much better versed for CrossFit then my Nike’s had been. I felt more stabilized when I was lifting because Nano’s bottoms are flat and rubbery whereas running shoes are meant for just that, running, and tend to have a lot of foam cushioning between the bottom of your foot and the ground. They are also better for rope climbing because sliding down the rope won’t wear away the rougher bottoms like it would on that soft cushioning. The Nano’s are equivalent to a decathlon athlete; good at everything but not great at any one thing.
Ten months deep into CrossFit, I am on my third pair of Nano’s and also invested in a pair of Reebok CrossFit Lifters that are strictly for weightlifting. Along with my original pair of Nano’s, I have another pair of Nano 2.0’s and a pair of Nano 3.0’s. There are differences in look and foot caging between the two versions, but I love wearing both equally. I wear all three pairs interchangeably and love the variety in colors.
My fitness journey, like my shoe selection, has been a long and varied progression. I’m happy to be where I am now and I still own and occasionally wear almost all these sneakers that were mentioned because they still have their purposes and place in my heart for that portion of my life. I feel lucky and spoiled to live in a world full of so much variety in sneakers; brand, purpose, color, fit.
And the Nano 4.0’s come out in July… I really do have a sneaker problem!
UPDATE: Nano 4.0's were purchased a week later at Regionals!
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