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Reebok Crossfit Nano 9: The best crossfit sneakers right now

A perfect balance of comfort, wearability, and durability

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As you can guess from the name, after 9 years, the 9th generation Reebok Nano was built with the CrossFit community in mind. Reebok worked closely with CrossFit athletes of all levels from around the world. They provided guidance and feedback in shaping this version and the result is a huge evolution in terms of comfort and overall fit.

Officially dubbed the “Nano for All,” this crossover shoe tries to be that perfect shoe to fit any variety of fitness activities, including for short distance runs, training at the gym, or just weight training.

In spite of the name, these sneakers are meant for more to be doing more than just CrossFit workouts, since they adapt for different use cases. Keep in mind, they’re not running shoes. In fact, they’re so much more. This is a pair you can wear across all types of routines and still look cool walking to the office in them.

The Nano 9 was released worldwide around June, and so far the feedback has been pretty great, so I was excited to try it out.

In Reebok’s Nano line of shoes, every odd numbered model gets a sizable update to improve performance and wearability. For the Nano 9, a couple improvements vs previous iterations include:

  • A redesigned new Flexweave outer construction to better move with your foot
  • Split outsole for better comfort and reactivity that features MetaSplit grooves for better traction and grip
  • Reworked midsole and heel construction

It’s quite a change in construction but turns out it makes the Nano 9 much better at performing in the gym, but also in your everyday setting.

A more flexible Flexweave

We’ll start with the upper part. The outer construction of the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 is made out of the company’s Flexweave material. Specific to this model, the Flexweave was designed to be slightly more maneuverable and accommodating compared to the usual Flexweave material on other Reebok sneakers.

Just like on the Nano 8, the Flexweave material wraps around your feet to create a nice lightweight construction.

There’s an additional layer of material towards the toe area, which will help protect the shoe from wear and tear during any heel or toe dragging gym movements like burpees or push-ups. The heel-to-toe drop, aka offset, is about 4mm which is much lower than most running shoes which are usually about 9mm, but this is in order to give your foot a more stable position that is close to a flat position for exercises.

On the lateral side, you’ll see Reebok’s vector symbol. Not as nice as their delta symbol but oh well.

Superb cushioning

Coming to the midfoot, there are six eyelets running up, with a design similar to Reebok’s Speed TR sneakers. The eyelets are reinforced, and the tongue is wide and padded to ensure comfort and protection during any gym movements like rope climbing.

You’ll also notice that the last eyelet extends higher than the rest, so you have a good amount of ankle stability with the laces.

Coming to the heel, the construction is a similar design to the Nano 8. The inside of the heel has good support, while the outside of the heel does a good job of resisting any heel slip.

Coming to the most important part — the midsole.

The midsole on the Nano 9 has been reworked to make the shoe even more comfortable. It has a nice supportive foam-like material towards the toe that has a good amount of reactivity, allows seamless toe flex, and is generally very comfortable. The additional EVA foam cushioning really feels great while running, or during exercises.

Every time you lift weights, you transfer your balance from either the front to the back, or back to front, or side to side, and this cushioning constantly alternates between compression and reaction, so it is much appreciated. Responsive cushioning is also really important to running shoes as well, which makes the Reebok CrossFit Nano 9.0 a pretty good option for short distance runs too.

Designed for comfort and stability

The midfoot of the lateral and medial side of the shoe has a TPU layer that goes all the way from the outsole, wrapping over the midsole for solid durability and additional support.

The TPU splits towards the back of the heel, to support stability and comfort.

The most talked about change with the Nano 9 is the split outsole. It gives much more flexibility for foot movement during workouts.

The split outsole also makes it MUCH more comfortable for runs, and thanks to the Reebok metasplit design, there’s no forefoot slap when you’re running around.

Lastly, there’s a bunch of colorways for the CrossFit Nano 9. You’ll notice I got the more subtle option from Reebok and they look pretty sweet! As usual, choices might depend on the country you’re buying it from.

A perfect balance of comfort, wearability, and durability

There’s a couple things you need to look for when trying to find a good pair of crossfit sneakers: comfort and wearability. Can you wear this to the gym and outside on your walk to work or back home?

Then, there’s also the overall stability of the shoe under various workouts, like squats or deadlifts or HIIT workouts. And then, there’s also reactivity and how the sneaker performs during cardio workouts like zumba or whatever you throw at it in the gym.

Overall I wore them at the gym for about an entire week, across a lot of different workout styles, and the overall comfort, stability, and reactive design actually makes these a really great pair of crossfit sneakers. They resist compression when you’re weight training, and the split outsole and soft midsole are super reactive to handle whatever you throw at them. Even a long run. I really enjoyed working out in the Nano 9. It’s no wonder so many crossfit people recommend these. I’m impressed.

Plus the material is pretty breathable so you can wear them on your walk to the office, and if you get the same colorway I did, it’ll look classy enough for corporate scenes.

However, these are slightly narrow sneakers. So if you’re going to get them, maybe try them on in a store, or go up half a size.

Which brings me to one special section because these are gym sneakers — durability. Most gym sneakers break down in a couple of months and show signs of wear and tear in the first couple of days.

The Reebok Crossfit Nano 9 actually seems like they’re pretty indestructible. Granted, I’ve only been wearing them for about a week but I haven’t noticed any breakdown on the outsole or material yet. With the additional TPU wrap and the strong outer Flexweave, plus that very strategically placed material on the toe area, I feel like these sneakers can really take a beating.

Is the Reebok Crossfit Nano 9 your Sneaker Match?

If you want a pair of gym sneakers that’s the jack of all trades, the Reebok Crossfit Nano 9 might just be perfect for you.

Not only do they look cool, they’re priced pretty much in line with other cross trainers in the market. It offers a comfortable, newly tweaked midsole, with that split outsole, and a very breathable Flexweave outer that definitely helps with performance in addition to comfort while you’re working out. If you’ve used any of the previous Nano versions, I gotta say, the Nano 9 has improved in almost every way.

All-in-all, as someone that’s been hitting the gym almost everyday lately, I’m a fan of the new Reebok CrossFit Nano 9. Usually I’m skeptical about cross trainer shoes but I think Reebok has done a great job here. They created a gym sneaker that brings together comfort and performance.

If you’re looking for a new all-in-one kind of shoe for the gym, I’m thinking you’ll be pretty happy with the Reebok Nano 9.

Pricing – The Reebok CrossFit Nano 9 retails for about INR 9,999 in India, while in the US (where shoes are generally much cheaper) they retail at about US$ 130.00.

Accessories

This case turns your AirPods into an iPod Classic

It screams retro

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The iPod was a revolutionary gadget when it was launched. Back then the market was filled with bulky music boomboxes ranging from a Walkman to a simple MP3 player. Apple changed the course of portable media forever thanks to close integration between the iPod and iTunes.

Today, the iPhone combines all legacy music requirements along with streaming via Apple Music. Further, AirPods have been a huge success due to the closed ecosystem and near-native support.

Case manufacturer Elago wants to take things further. Their AW6 case mimics the look of the iPod, complete with the iconic click wheel —  the circular touch-sensitive navigation ring.

The case is made entirely from high-grade silicone. It’s flexible and impact-resistant, and thick enough to ensure that all accidental drops have some level of protection. For AirPods 2 owners, there’s a special cut-out to show the charging indicator.

The case has been deemed an Amazon Choice product and have received some pretty high praise online. Not only does it look funky, but they also deliver a retro-feel to the now-defunct iPod Classic.

Last month, Elago also launched an ‌AirPods‌ case that was looks like the original Macintosh, followed by an Apple Watch inspired case.

Elago’s AW6 Case (iPod Classic) for ‌AirPods‌ is available on the company’s website and on Amazon for US$ 11.99. It also comes in black with a red click wheel.

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Apps

Airbnb partners with the Olympics in 9-year deal

Just in time for Tokyo 2020

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Airbnb and the International Olympic Committee (IOC) has signed a new deal to support five Olympics and Paralympics for the next nine years, making the platform a Worldwide Olympic Partner. Apart from the 2020 Games in Tokyo, the partnership covers Beijing 2022, Paris 2024, Milan 2026, and Los Angeles 2028.

According to the IOC, the joint effort will be “in line with the UN Sustainable Development Goals to provide travel options that are economically empowering, socially inclusive, and environmentally sustainable.”

The partnership hopes to minimize construction of new infrastructure for host cities to accommodate not just athletes, staff, and workers, but the surge of tourists as well. This also means generating extra income for new and existing hosts in the local communities during the Games.

IOC President Thomas Bach said that the partnership underpins their strategy to ensure that staging the Olympic Games leaves a legacy for the host community.

Airbnb is also launching a new category of Experiences to be hosted by Olympians themselves. These activities can help provide financial support for athletes while they train, as well as career opportunities even after competing.

Airbnb as a more sustainable option

Airbnb has previously supported Rio 2016 and PyeongChang 2018 as a domestic sponsor. A recent World Economic Forum study found that in Rio, the additional capacity provided through Airbnb was equivalent to 257 hotels. This saved the city unnecessary construction and carbon emissions, while also providing approximately US$ 30 million in direct revenue for hosts. It also generated an estimated total economic activity of US$ 100 million in three weeks.

Similarly, during the Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games PyeongChang last year, Airbnb hosts earned approximately US$ 2.3 million collectively by providing accommodation to 15,000 visitors who would have required 46 hotels.

Most recently, Airbnb hosts across Japan welcomed more than 650,000 travellers during the Rugby World Cup, and earned more than US$ 70 million collectively.

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Her GadgetMatch

Peloton: A cult I want to join

Can a Peloton bike replace going to a spin studio?

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I’ve heard and read about Peloton mostly from the hype in tech news and commercials on TV. When people talk about it, I hear them refer to it as the cult of Peloton. As someone who recently fell in love with spin class, my curiosity is peaked. If you’re a Peloton customer, you don’t just like it — you love it! It’s not a piece of exercise equipment; it’s a lifestyle.

On a recent trip to New York, I noticed my hotel was close to a Peloton studio. My hotel also had a Peloton bike in the gym. As I roll towards 40, I’ve accepted that my body needs me to pay attention to it. So I fed my Peloton curiosity and went to the studio to take a class. I also took a virtual one in my hotel — more on that later.

Peloton studio experience

If you’ve ever been to a high end spin studio you’ll be familiar with the set up at Peloton. For those who haven’t done a modern spin class, you basically get shoes, locker rooms that have many products, and someone to help you set up your bike. The experience screams premium and makes dropping US$ 35 seem justified.

Like most workout studios, the room is very cold when you walk in. Today’s spin classes are done in the dark with very loud music — almost like going to parties. At the Peloton studio, the bikes are set up around a stage on three sides. As we waited to get started, Jenn, the instructor, was already interacting with everyone online. I’ve heard and read of Peloton before, but I didn’t realize that the class I was attending was being live streamed to hundreds, maybe thousands of people.

“RoadCruiser, it’s your 400th ride! Congratulations and thanks for being part of the Peloton nation,” screamed Jenn. “RidnMama happy 100th ride, Pelotooooon!”

Hearing the word Peloton happened consistently throughout the ride. Like being in actual cults, being in a Peloton class felt a bit like being indoctrinated. The same way cults repeat ideologies and phrases, Jenn would randomly scream Peloton for all of 30 minutes. When I started counting midway, I heard her say it 11 more times.

What caught me off guard was the fact that Jenn essentially ignored the class and was in constant eye contact with the cameras around the room. One camera would slowly go from the left side of the room to the right, and her gaze would follow it. It was distracting and felt like I was watching something I wasn’t supposed to.

Having done no actual research on Peloton before going, I left the class confused. Being the journalist that I am, I asked the sales girl at the front desk a ton of questions. I found out that there are only two Peloton studios in the whole world: one in New York, and the other in London.

Suddenly I felt very lucky to have taken a class in one of the two studios. Then almost immediately I realized that I was doing things completely wrong. Most Peloton customers will never step foot into a physical Peloton studio, and they probably will never want to. Peloton’s main focus is giving virtual classes, and that’s what they’re good at.

Peloton only set up studios to livestream the instructor for the virtual classes. The London studio starts putting classes online in the morning and the New York studio has classes until late at night, covering all of Europe and US timezones. Unlike other spin studios, real world classes at Peloton are only a byproduct of content creation for their virtual community.

Virtual Peloton class experience

The next day I went to my hotel’s gym to take my first virtual class. When I logged on, there were no live classes about to start, so I took one of the many pre-recorded ones. The bike lets you choose by class type, instructor, genre of music, and style of ride — I chose a 90s hiphop class.

When the class started, I found Jess, the instructor, looking at me straight in the eye from the 21.5” HD display of the bike. Suddenly the thing I found the creepiest from the live class was the thing I loved most of the virtual class. The connection I felt with Jess was far stronger than the one in the studio — even stronger than I’ve ever felt at a traditional spin class at SoulCycle or ride.bln.

Being more engaged resulted in a much better work out compared to the one I did in the studio. Admittedly, I’ve only taken a single virtual class, but I’m already convinced Peloton can bring the same high end spin class I take in studios into my own home.

The traditional spin class experience

In Berlin, I take spin classes at ride.bln. They have beautiful locker rooms and attentive staff. The environment is pretty much identical to Peloton’s NYC studio, except smaller. That’s pretty much where the similarities end.

My favorite instructor at ride.bln is Malin. Her style of dancing around the studio, correcting people’s postures, and reading the room so that we’re getting the best workout we can are the little things that make going to a real world spin class great — things you won’t ever get from a virtual class. Seeing my instructor pushing through with her eyes closed honors my struggle. Her energy makes me want to give her spin class everything I’ve got.

Photo from ride.bln

I am genuinely curious what her take would be if she tried to adapt her style to Peloton. Closing her eyes through a tough segment is not something she would be able to do as a Peloton instructor. Her style would have to completely change and having gone to her classes, I fear they would become soulless. Can she bring the same engagement to a class while staring into a camera? I’m afraid not.

Is this your GadgetMatch?

If you were to get a Peloton bike and join the cult, you can probably replicate the dark room with the same loud music at home, but I’m not sure it would really be the same as going to a good spin studio. What Peloton is is not exactly a replacement, but an alternative for people like me who don’t have a 9-to-5 routine.

What the cult of Peloton has done is remove several barriers of having to go to spin class. Spin classes may only last 30-60 minutes, but you also have to factor in the time to go to the studio, get ready, and everything that comes after. Peloton also made it easy for its customers to start and do spin classes more consistently. You can be a newbie and not get intimidated by the people around you and just spin at your own pace. You can even do the same classes when you’re traveling, no matter which timezone you’re in.

The best part of being part of the Peloton cult is not the high end equipment nor the classes; it’s the strong virtual connections it’s been able to create to motivate you to achieve your own fitness goals — whether you’re on your bike at home or some other place in the world.

Cult or not, both Peloton and traditional spin classes are great workouts if you’re already into fitness. If not, hearing people talk about it all the time can be annoying and does you no good. All of these classes are just tools to achieve our goals, and no amount of tech is good enough a motivation as the one that comes from within.

SEE ALSO: Confessions of a non-runner


Editor’s note: This is a slightly modified excerpt of an article written by the same author published on MobileGeeks.com.

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