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With Regionals finished and the countdown to Carson well underway, Reebok launched its much anticipated Nano 6.0 today. I got the chance to put the new shoe to the test in a Nano 6.0 Throwdown, alongside other lucky CrossFitters from the London area, members of Team Reebok UK, and world-renowned CrossFit athlete, Tommy Hackenbruck. I also managed to grab Tommy for 5 minutes to talk Open Strategy, for those of you hoping to get to Regionals next year!

So grab a cup of bulletproof coffee and get comfy…

Initial Thoughts on the Nano 6.0

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Bringing out a new shoe each year, Reebok have made continuous improvements evolving the Nano from one that’s good for lifting and light cardio, to one that’s a genuine aid to your CrossFit workouts. I’ve had every model of Nano except the very first one, and in my opinion there have only really been two releases that have broken the mould and made huge improvements in its performance while still keeping it comfortable to wear: the step from Nano 2.0 to Nano 3.0, and now this one, the step from Nano 5.0 to Nano 6.0.

Here are a few of the main differences (how I see them… not in tech-shoe speak!)

  • Softer fit – if you read my post on what trainers to wear for CrossFit, you’ll know that I found the Nano 5.0 quite stiff. While this did ease with wear, it still wasn’t as soft as previous models. But the Nano 6.0 addresses this with a much softer feel. The only downside is they seem to have stepped away from attaching the tongue to the sides of the shoe, which I liked about the Nano 5.0 because it stopped it creeping round. But all in all, these bad boys feel super comfortable straight out of the box.
  • Arch support – all of the Nanos have felt quite flat-footed, but the Nano 6.0 has a more moulded fit, including a much better arch support. This adds to the comfort of the shoe, and makes it better for those who are prone to knee valgus (where the knees roll inwards) when jumping, lunging or squatting.
  • Increased heel drop – the Nano 5.0 had a 3mm heel drop (the difference between the thickness of the heel and the forefoot), but Reebok have increased this by 1mm to 4mm for the Nano 6.0. 1mm may not sound like much, but when you’re lifting, every millimetre can help with your form.
  • Sandpaper-texture – the inner quarter of the shoe is covered with a sandpaper-textured Kevlar webbing, promising ultimate grip for rope climbs, along with the RopePro+ technology in the sole. I haven’t tried these for rope climbs yet, but I’m excited to see the difference in grip and durability.
  • Look and style – the Nano 6.0 is much more understated than the Nano 5.0, which I liked, but felt looked a little busy at times. There’s a little more branding, with the Reebok Delta logo on the outer side of the shoe, but I like the logo because of its association with a life of fitness. Each side represents the changes – physical, mental and social – that occur when people take on an active lifestyle. This is similar to the thought process behind my own logo!

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The Nano 6.0 costs £90 and is currently available in 6 colourways (3 men’s, 3 women’s) from Reebok or Whatever It Takes. The launch of this shoe also comes with Reebok’s latest campaign, the #powertobemore, where they believe in the power of fitness to help you be a better you. You can even create your own graffiti photo using the Power Generator – just go to http://fitness.reebok.co.uk/power-to-be-more.

And if your goal to “be more” is to get to Regionals, then I’ve got just the thing for you…

How to Get to Regionals

A man who knows all about what it takes to get to Regionals is Tommy Hackenbruck. Hackenbruck is a six-time consecutive CrossFit Games competitor. From 2009 through 2011 he competed as an individual before switching over to the team side to captain Hack’s Pack UTE. In 2012 and 2013 Hack’s Pack established their dominance by winning back to back Affiliate Cup championships. In 2014, Hack’s Pack disassembled and Hackenbruck returned to individual competition where he won the South West Regional. Hackenbruck took sixth place overall this year at the Games but his best finish remains second place in 2009. Prior to CrossFit, Hackenbruck played linebacker at the University of Utah.

This year, he missed out on Regionals by 5 places in the Open, with 16.4 knocking him out of the top 20. He had good reason to be distracted, having his third child with wife, Ally, that week! I caught up with Tommy at the launch of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 6.0 last night, and he gave me his top tips for reaching Regionals:

  • Know your competition – look at the top men or women in your region; what can they lift? What are their benchmark WOD times? Really delve into the numbers and become a stats geek! These are your minimum target times and numbers to hit – remember that these athletes in a year’s time will be stronger and faster themselves!
  • Know your strengths – but more importantly, know your weaknesses. What areas do you excel at, and what areas need more work? It’s no use having a massive snatch (no pun intended) but being terrible at gymnastics; to reach Regionals you need to be a good all-rounder.
  • Make it your job – you need to make training your primary focus if you’re going to hit Regionals. The men and women who progress are the elite, and elite athletes aren’t usually hobby CrossFitters. You can do it alongside a day job, but it helps if you can really commit to the training, and get enough rest at the same time.

If you want a way to help you map your goals and identify your strengths and weaknesses, keep an eye out for one of my next posts where I’ll be sharing a method of performance profiling!

What do you think of the new Nano 6.0? Are you going to invest in a pair? Are you hoping to get to Regionals one day? Comment below, or on my Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. I’d love to hear from you!

Photos taken with my Olympus PEN E-PL7* and M.ZUIKO DIGITAL 45mm 1:1.8 Lens*.

Disclaimer: I received a complimentary pair of Nano 6.0 trainers from Reebok. As always, my opinion is my own and not affected by items or services gifted to me. To find out more about my policy on this and other matters, see my Disclosure page. * Affiliate link. Affiliate links do not affect the price that you pay, but any commission earned helps me to pay the costs of running this site. To find out more about my policy on this and other matters, see my Disclosure page.