Lifestyle

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

Huawei launches FreeBuds Studio before Apple’s AirPods Studio

Noise reduction upto 40dB

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Officially called the Huawei FreeBuds Studio, it marks the entry of the company in the over-the-ear Bluetooth headphone market. The FreeBuds Studio are designed to be premium and go up against offerings from Sony, Bose, and Sennheiser.

The headphones offer a 40mm driver with 4-layer Polymer diaphragm. The company claims that it can reproduce frequencies as high as 48KHz and can go down to 4 Hz. It supports L2HC codec for best possible audio output and features six mics for calls that reduce background noise.

It also comes with eight mics that team up and provide dynamic noise cancellation. Huawei claims the headphones can reduce noise by 40dB and the headphones can automatically choose between three modes based on the surrounding environment. These modes are called Ultra Mode, Cozy Mode and General Mode.

Coming to battery life, the headphones can go 24 hours on a single charge, and fast charging ensures you get eight houts of playback within just 10 minutes. Although, these are official figures from the company and actual practical usage will definitely vary.

The FreeBuds Studio are priced at EUR 299 (US$ 354) and sales start from November. However, the brand hasn’t been clear about country-wise availability yet.

Huawei is a very interesting company because on one side it launches unique and mindboggling products like the Mate series, but leaves no stone unturned to take a cue from Apple. The AirPods Studio have been rumored for a long time and Huawei jumped the gun to launch its product first but took a lot of inspiration from Apple’s marketing.

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Features

Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: GadgetMatch for the Casual User

So well-rounded, it simply works

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The Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra represents the current pinnacle of the Galaxy Note line. That’s why it’s not far fetched to think that it can seamlessly add value to people from different walks of life.

In this second of a three-part feature, we’ll explore how the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can be a reliable partner for the average, casual user.

In this first of a three-part feature, we’ll explore how the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra can be reliable partner for three specific people:

  1. The Manager
  2. The Casual User
  3. The Multimedia Creative

Note: Link to part 3 will be added when it’s published.

All-around for the well-rounded

Life is all about finding balance. Wherever you are in this walk of life, we always cut a portion of our time to do things that matter: self, hobbies, love, career, health, and more.

But how do you manage to find balance when it feels like we don’t have enough time? The answer is simple: Get an all-around phone that’s as well-rounded as you. In particular, the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra.

Let me set the record straight: I’m not a techie, a gamer, a selfie master, or an aspiring content creator. I simply don’t fall into any stereotype. While I can try to look like a D-lister, I’m just like the average consumer, using a phone to navigate life in the 21st century.

Though I work in the technology industry, I was never caught up in the hottest specs, highly innovative pieces, great hardware, or monster features. All I ever needed — as I’ve been saying for three years now — is a phone that’s smart enough to carry with for my everyday life.

Having the Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra helped me find the balance I need, accompanying me in juggling my hectic yet blissful life.

Work and play

Being in a remote work setup for god-knows-how-long, I’m used to being glued on my phone almost 24/7. While it’s a habit that I’m still trying to change, I’m thrilled with how I can do my tasks on-the-go. With a 6.9-inch screen, it’s easy to do your work even when you’re away from your desk.

You can browse through social media, switch between apps seamlessly, and multi-task. When you apply the 120Hz refresh rate? Oh, it’s so buttery-smooth, you won’t even consider going back to a lower refresh rate!

In essence, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is swift and powerful enough to do whatever tasks you need to do on your phone.

And when things get a little bit boring, you can hop to Spotify, YouTube, or watch your favorite shows on Netflix. With its massive screen, impressive display, and astounding speakers — you’ll feel like you have your portable home entertainment albeit a little bit smaller than the usual setup.

If you want a little bit of privacy, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra works seamlessly with my Galaxy Buds or with my wired USB-C earphones. Connectivity wasn’t an issue; be it via Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, cellular strength, and even connection between devices.

Not gonna lie, my gizmos are mostly Samsung’s. I’ve fallen in love with it and its ecosystem ever since I switched. I’ve enjoyed its exclusive features and I’ve grown accustomed to One UI.

Besides, Samsung never fails to provide an experience you won’t forget whether it’s through midrange or flagship smartphones.

The art of pleasure

Speaking of experience, the whole shebang with the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra teaches the art of pleasure. I played League of Legends: Wild Rift, watched Lucifer on Netflix, edited my photos on Lightroom, produced a video using Rush, and created art using the S Pen.

Being able to do what makes me sane, feeds my soul, and gives my heart joy is possibly the greatest pleasure I can find in my day-to-day life.

I was able to keep on doing it because of the impressive battery, which lasted me enough to finish one task before charging its juice again. After all, to achieve pleasure you must have enough juice to keep going and be long-lasting.

But if there’s one thing you must not forget: It’s finding beauty in every day, no matter how the weather (or your day) sucks.

Finding beauty in everyday

Beautiful is an understatement when I first saw the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra. It’s polished, sleek, gorgeous, and sexy. Touching it was like caressing someone you’re really passionate about; gentle, smooth, and oozing with desire.

It’s no wonder anyone can fall in love at first sight upon seeing this dandy. Of course, the Note 20 Ultra isn’t the epitome of beauty — but it’s a great accessory to wear to look astonishing.

While it seems like I’m asking people to keep on looking at the phone, beauty can really be found everywhere. The search won’t be difficult, seeing how the Note 20 Ultra is equipped with capable cameras.

You can capture whatever type of beauty you’re looking for. In my case, it’s capturing myself through my mirror selfies and portraits, as well as coffee and furniture.

Like any other consumer, having great cameras is one of my major concerns before buying a smartphone. Thankfully, I was able to capture Instagram- and Pinterest-worthy photos using the Note 20 Ultra — which I may or may not upload to my social media accounts.

Is the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra fit for the Casual User?

Definitely. The Galaxy Note 20 Ultra — to most people — can be too much. Yet it’s perfect for those who just want a smartphone smart enough to get things done.

You don’t have to worry about running out of space, lagging, tinkering to install apps you don’t have, or encountering issues you normally would on a midrange phone.

It’s so well-rounded, it simply works. And for a person who tries to find the balance in doing a little bit of everything, the Galaxy Note 20 Ultra is the perfect GadgetMatch — only the best for someone who deserves the best.

SEE ALSO: Galaxy Note 20 Ultra: GadgetMatch for The Manager | Samsung Galaxy Note 20 Ultra Review: Last of Its Kind?

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Reviews

Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Renew Crater Review

The most sustainable Chucks ever

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Today we’re looking at a really special sneaker — its the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Renew Crater. As you can guess from the name, it is a sustainably made shoe as part of Nike’s Move to Zero initiative.

These actually dropped in North America back in July 23rd, but they only just went on shelves here in Asia, available in Converse stores in Malaysia and Singapore and online at Lazada.

Sustainability is the way to go

The Converse Chuck Taylor All Star Crater is a complete re-imagining of the classic Chuck Taylor 70 silhouette, but with completely new and updated recycled materials.

The entire shoe uses at least 40 percent recycled materials by weight.

The midsole is made entirely out of Nike’s Crater foam which is made from 12% recycled rubber. That recycled rubber comes from Nike Grind, which is made from recycled surplus manufacturing materials.

Meanwhile the upper inherits from Converse’s Renew initiative, and is made out of a new material called Morphlon. It combines recycled polyester with industrial textile waste scraps to create a material that feels like classic canvas.

Converse’s popular Renew line has always been a personal favorite of mine in the way they use recycled materials. It gets a nice little jumpstart thanks to Nike’s Move to Zero initiative and the use of the new crater foam.

The Converse Craters might not have the same hype as Nike’s Sustainably made Space Hippie Collection when they dropped, but I really think these are one of the most interesting takes on the Chuck Taylor 70s in a while.

They come in three colorways right now, there’s the Charcoal Chambray Blue, which is the one I’m checking out.

Then there’s the White/Chambray Blue which looks okay, and then there’s the Black Chambray Blue which is my personal favorite of the three.

ICYMI: Nike owns Converse now

Starting from the box, I have to admit it’s still weird seeing the Nike branding on a Converse box.

It’s the same Nike Move to Zero Box you’d get with any of Nike’s Move to Zero shoes, like the Space Hippies, the Air Jordan 1 Crater, or any of the new Air Force 1 Craters as well.

Only difference here is the Converse branding. I feel like this box is going to be very confusing for people that don’t know that Nike owns Converse, so imagine you head into a store and buy this shoe and get a Nike box.

It’s weird but I’m guessing Nike was hoping that the branding power of their Move to Zero initiative would give some hype to this shoe. That’s why the Nike branding has been used on the box.

Materials and design

Coming to the shoes themselves, the first thing you notice when you take them out of the box is how crazy light they are. Usually with a pair of Chuck Taylor 70s you expect some amount of weight but these, they’re just so light. It’s crazy.

Starting with the upper, the Morphlon material feels smooth, like canvas, but is made from a blend of recycled polyester and waste scraps, putting old materials to new use.

As you might already know, Morphlon is a 100% recycled blend composed of 50% recycled polyester and 50% recycled post-industrial waste scraps.

It actually feels and looks pretty great, in this Chambray Greyish color here.

Snazzed up Chucks

Like all Chuck Taylor 70s, the lateral side has a clean, minimalist look while the medial side has the Converse Chuck Taylor All Star badge which also seems to be made out of recycled materials.

The lateral side also has these two ventilation holes at the bottom of the mid-panel to help with breathability, with a little bit of white stitching around it to give this area a bit more structure.

Moving on to the toe box area…

The toe cap is one of the most iconic parts of the Chuck Taylor 70s and the reinterpretation here looks a little weird admittedly.

They’ve given the toe cap an unfinished kind of look which you’ll either love or hate but the material on the toecap, which is also the material used for the eyestays, is 85% recycled, which is awesome.

Moving upwards, you’ll see that the eyestays also have this textile overlay in a unique unfinished rough design to them, almost seemingly broken up into three sections by this orange stitching.

This is different from the usual minimalist metal eyestays you’d see on a usual pair of Chuck Taylors.

The webbing and stitching you see around here is all 100% recycled as well. Apart from that, you’ll see these charcoal colored flat laces weaving through the eye stays.

Underneath the laces, there’s the tongue which is made from the same recycled canvas material as the rest of the upper, with this white pull tap nylon piece on top. that has the Converse logo branding in different orientations, and “2020” stitched on.

This pull tap fabric on the tongue seems a little unnecessary to me but I’m not sure if it’s here for just aesthetic reasons or whether it was necessary to hold the laces in place.

Coming to the inside of the shoe…

There’s a 100% recycled dark grey mesh sockliner, with a neon green cushioned ortholite insole that is 20% recycled, and looks very similar to the one on the Nike Space Hippies.

Apart from that, coming to the back of the shoe, you have this orange stitching that is done throughout the back that I think is supposed to simulate a heel cup.

There’s a tiny bit of reinforced material here as well, so this section is a little stiff to ensure no heel slippage.

At the back of the shoe, you’ll see more of that white stitching that runs up the sneaker towards the white pull-tab on the heel that has black stitching.

That entire upper sits on a full length Nike Crater Foam midsole that is shaped to look exactly like the midsole on a pair of Chuck Taylor Highs.

Crater foam holding things down

We’ve seen Crater foam used on several of Nike’s sustainable series of shoes, from the Space Hippies to the Jordan Crater, the Air Jordan 1 High Crater, the VaporMax 2020, and even the more recent Air Force 1 Craters.

Nike’s Crater foam basically uses about 12% Nike Grind rubber for a lightweight and responsive cushioning. Nike Grind materials are created from recycled athletic footwear and surplus manufacturing scraps.

So basically, they’re taking all leftover materials from outsoles and midsoles in the manufacturing process. They grind them all up together and create the Nike Grind Rubber that is used in the Crater Form in this midsole and outsole.

A fun little bonus of this process is that no two midsoles will ever be the same because of the sheer amount of different recycled materials used with all these different speckles of materials.

What I love about the implementation here is that instead of the vulcanized midsole you’d see on a usual pair of Chuck Taylor All-Stars, you have this one piece Crater form that is shaped exactly like the midsole on a standard pair of Chucks.

Even moving downwards, the thread pattern on the outsole is exactly the same as a standard pair of Chucks, with the Converse All Star branding.

It’s just so awesome and so well done.

But the main advantage here is that instead of the usual flat kind of feeling you’d get from a standard pair of All Stars, with the All Star Craters you have a really lightweight pair of shoes that also feels a lot more flexible, plush, and responsive compared to the flat stiff cushioning you’re used to getting from All Stars.

Granted its not Nike React or Adidas Boost levels of cushioning but it’s much better than a standard pair of Chucks, which makes these probably the most comfortable pair of Chuck Taylor All Stars you’d ever wear.

Which was a fun surprise because I really did not expect much from these shoes.

Fit and sizing 

Coming to sizing and fit, these fit the same as any other pair of Chuck Taylor All Star Highs.

All Star highs generally tend to fit a little large so you’d want to go down half a size for sure. For example I’m a UK 11 but I generally go down to a size UK10.5 for All Star Highs.

Of course, the best way to know for sure is to head on over to a store and try out a pair.

Is this your SneakerMatch?

All in all, I think Converse has actually done a great job with the All Star Craters.

As a huge Converse fan, from a purist point of view I will admit that there’s a few things I wish they did not do here. The orange stitching at the back for example, to simulate a heel cup, is a little out there. Maybe if they used a more subtle muted color, or just left that area alone, it would have been a much cleaner shoe.

Honestly, I’m just not a fan of the little orange stitching everywhere, so it’s mostly just the color choices, maybe. But I get that they were going for a more unfinished look here.

From a comfort point of view…

You guys have to check out this shoe. If you’re a fan of the Chuck Taylor All Star Highs and you want a more comfortable version, this is where it’s at.

It’s quite impressive how Converse and Nike made such a lightweight shoe here. With the soft recycled materials used and the soft Crater foam, it’s just way more comfortable to wear than a standard pair.

I just wish that maybe they made a more purist version but that’s just me.

I also feel like a low top version of these shoes would just be crazy popular.

These do seem to be sitting in stores though so if you want to know what I’m talking about, just head on over to a Converse Store to try out a pair and let me know what you think about them.

At the end of the day, the Chuck Taylor All Star Craters are Converse’s most sustainable shoe ever. They are literally reducing the carbon footprint of footwear manufacturing.

I’m really hoping these shoes catch on. Maybe if Converse makes a more purist looking version because that might catch on really well, and more people switch to that shoe instead of the standard All Stars which almost everyone has.

Now that might actually make a huge impact for sustainable footwear.

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