I will state it unequivocally. I can be a bit of a brand snob.
I dont need to validate why I do or dont like certain brands. Thats what it means to be a brand snob.
Whilst I dont live and breath Nike like "true" Nike devotees, needless to say there are lots of Nikes (and Vans) in my wardrobe.
When the word came out that there would be a Nike CrossFit Training shoe to go up against the bohemoth that is the Reebok Nano, I was super keen to see what Nike would deliver.
At the 2014 CrossFit Games I was lucky enough to snaffle a pair of the (at the time) yet to be released Nike Metcon via our mate Brandon Swan.(Kate was Brandons Chiro for the Games)
LIke many athletes at the Games, Brandon had been flowed a pair of Metcons by the Nike marketing team who had wisely selected the CrossFit Games to guerilla market their new baby to the CrossFit massed.
I think I was stopped 25 times in one day and asked what they were, how did they feel, had I trained in them, when can people buy them..
So how do the two shoes compare? Its hard for me to compare the most recent reebok Nano 3 & 4 to the Nike Metcon as I only had the Nano 3 for about a minute and hated it so much I got rid of them. I am a loyalist to the Nano 2 which I think is a great training shoe and what I am comparing to the Metcon.
Metcon: Oly Lifting, Colourways, Tongue Anchors, styling, attention to detail.
Nano - Lighter (Nano 242 grams v Nike 303grams per shoe), Breathability, fit my foot better.
Nano - Mediocre colourways, floppy tongue, dorky styling. (classic example of a brand trying way too hard to prove itself)
Metcon - Price, everyone is wearing them.
Aesthetically the Metcon is miles above the Nano. Mountain Hiking inspired laces and eyelets (Nike ACG) elastic tongue anchors (the tongue on my Nanos oftens slips slightly to the side) far superior colourways, a more progressive profile and a better overall design simply make the Nano look clumsy. Which in many ways it is.
Reebok have had the market sewn up simply by putting the word 'CrossFit' on what at the time was a pretty basic/ugly shoe. Now that there is a genuine competitor they will naturally make changes to upcoming Nano's.
So, will I buy more Nike Metcons, Yes. Because I think they are a better looking shoe and they do exactly the same job as the Nano.
Will I buy more Nanos 2's - Yes. When these all black bad boys are done and dusted they will definitely be replaced. Will I buy Nano 5's and future Nano's - only if they seriously tweak up the styling (and marketing) and get some better coulourways. (I have heard that the Nano 5 is a great improvement but I am yet to try them out)
Ed's note: Before I got involved in fitness I had many years in the 'Active Lifestyle' market, working with brands such as Alphanumeric, Elwood Clothing, Aesthetics Skateboards and Apparel, Globe Apparel and Footwear, VANS, and Pointer Shoes. I have always had a passion for observing trends, counter culture fashion and watching whats going on.