Nike Metcon Review: An Elite Training Shoe You Should Own
Having spoken with many of my CrossFit friends about my love for the Nike Metcon 2 (I was lucky to own a pair of the 1’s as well), it was time to put pen to paper, sip protein and write a proper Nike Metcon review on Nikes latest offering to the CrossFit following.
The review is based on the following:
- I train on average 6 times per week
- I will wear my Metcon's as occasional day to day wear
- I wore my Metcon's for all aspects of CrossFit
My second pair is nearing the end of their life so this review will cover the shoe from start to absolutely broken to pieces and in need of replacement. Check out my Reebok Nano 6.0 review (coming soon) as these are replacing my Nike's to compare!
Table Of Contents
When it comes to aesthetic appeal my opinion could vary massively from the next. However, with every other CrossFitter wearing a pair I will safely say that the design is hugely popular.
With the Metcon 2 following in the Metcon 1’s footsteps (a shoe that sold out within minutes) it was a safe bet the 2 would continue to be popular among us and as it continues to evolve the range of colours is ever changing on the Nike store.
I opted for the black/cool grey/volt/black pair as black hides scuffs and also matches my hair bands. For me, this has meant that the shoe has remained presentable whilst continuing to perform well. I believe that some pairs are reflective (mine included) have some reflective properties, an unmentioned safety feature perhaps?
The heel of this shoe comes with a fantastic addition, Nike must have gone back to the whiteboard and taken note of our feedback. Handstand press-ups were a nightmare as friction worked against you when under fatigue. The solid plastic bar that has been added takes away one of the Metcon 1’s major flaws. In this shoe, you can glide effortlessly in the upside down position.
I have trained against many surfaces and smooth surfaces work well. I did not face any real issues when training against harder, grooved or ridged surfaces however the plastic panel did catch a few scuffs.
As well as the addition of the plate, more background work has gone into the heel. The heel plays a key role in many movements and connects our moving energy to the ground. As time passed the Metcon 1 became soft, losing its support and reducing the sense of balance through greater dispersal of mass. The heel feels as though it has been “hardened” giving us something to push back on and lay the power down.
Some people have had blistering issues with the top of the heel. Extra padding has been placed around the top of the heel adding stability and comfort to the ankle. I had no issues with blistering myself so this may be down to the fit as opposed to the design.
Although I mention that the heel area seems harder, I have experienced no discomfort at all through this change even when running longer distances. I found that squatting was comfortable and I moved well when wearing the Metcon 2.
There have also been changes to the front end of the shoe and I believe it has again been based on feedback from frequent users. The Metcon 1 was prone to ripping and tears across the front of the toe box. More rugged materials have been used and reinforced with heavier stitching.
The mesh across the front of the foot has also had some changes made. Rope climbs were the particular undoing in my first pair and this was down to the front of the shoe being a bit dainty. The mesh almost feels like it has been coated in plastic which allows for a much smoother movement when descending the ropes.
On the inside of the shoe, the extended sole reaches back up the foot giving fantastic grip for rope climbing. The small rubber bumps really do aid you in smooth ascents with the improved toe matching that on the way back down.
Stability in the shoe continues to wow under loads right up to 100%. I will put this down to the adjustments made to the sole which includes additional polymer to reinforce the sole.
Whilst reading the changes that had been manufactured by Nike I was a little apprehensive as to how the shoe would perform with all of the “hardened” features they had added. My mind was put at ease as the shoe aged as the stability was still great from front to back. Pistol squats (my Achilles heel in CrossFit movements) felt fantastic as the lace area flexed but the sole giving perfect balance.
As my shoes have hit the 6-month mark I compare them to my Metcon 1’s (same usage) and the Metcon 2 feels much firmer at the same stage in its life.
Nike Metcon Sizing
Straight out the box the Metcon 2 fitted like a dream. I found the fit around the ankle firm with little friction on the heel. I train with ankle socks that have a tab that creeps over the top of the shoe so perhaps this is why I did not suffer from blistering.
I would recommend going for your “usual” size as they run in line with all the other footwear that I would normally purchase.
The fit through the toe area would sit well for someone with an average foot width. I have slightly narrow feet so found that there was a small amount of room for movement in the toe area. If you have a wider foot, then it may take a few sessions for the shoe to mould around your feet.
Support across the top of the foot was on point for me. If you have “flat” feet then you may find that you have to lace the shoe a little more energetically than those with a tall arch. Any role from side to side is negated with the way that the shoe fits across the top of your foot.
Another key point to remember. I always train in thin cotton socks. I find that thicker cotton socks can have a huge difference in the overall fit of the shoe if I was to have decided on size wearing a thinner sock.
There is a small drop from heel to toe which gives a slightly noticeable change to squat positioning when deep in the movement. With all this said the shoe fits true to size and the added material has no negative effects on the breathability of the shoe.
Rope climbs can be the undoing of a poorly made shoe or one that is ageing and offers friction the opportunity to ruin footwear. I saw a brand new pair of Nike Free Runs lose the front of the sole as the athlete descended a rope.
I am 80kgs on a good day and have used the shoe for rope climbing in various intensities and the shoe has held up handsomely. The rope glides over the toe and the top of the foot whilst the bumps on the inside of the sole aid in grip on the way up. The coating across the front of the shoe really help in the shoe lasting a longer period of time.
I took part in 100 rope climbs for time with a few friends and other than a few surface marks, the shoes were good as new.
HSPU / Wall Walks
As I mentioned early on in this post the added functionality of this shoe when moving through handstand press ups could not get any better. Before the release of the Metcon 2, I would change into my lifters as they had a plastic heel that aided in the ascent.
The small plastic lip that has been added stops rubber (on the Metcon 1) from slowing you down on smooth surfaces or catching on brickwork, grooves or cracks.
Wall walks on the way back down can pose some issues for the toe end of the sole as some athletes under fatigue will drag their toes to control their fall. The seams between the top and bottom of the shoe have been glued and stitched in a way that has survived many an upside down workout.
Positioning in Olympic lifting is a key part of the movement. For me lifters allowed me to get around flexibility issues which in the long term caused me injury. I have now resorted to a structured stretching and rolling program that with the help of the Metcon 2, has increased the weight I can move but also helped with my technique.
The stability from the structure of the shoe and the sole has given great balance through both the clean and the snatch. The slight drop from heel to toe allows me to cycle bar movements smoothly whilst letting me keep my ankles pinned to the floor to help deliver the power.
Running / Double Unders
Running plays a key role in conditioning when it comes to CrossFit and it’s an important aspect to take into consideration when buying footwear. The Metcon 2 for me was a comfortable shoe to run in, even over the longer distances. Having spoken at length about the firmer feel when wearing this shoe, I still enjoyed wearing the shoes as part of my running drills.
Yes, there are softer and lighter shoes on the market that could make running a bit more comfortable, however, as a well-rounded shoe, the Metcon works well for me.
Double under’s can be carried out smoothly and at ease wearing this shoe. The slight spring from the toe box and the thinner sole allows for confident jumps when passing over your rope.
If you have made it to the end, I am pretty certain you know where my conclusion is headed. If you are looking for a GREAT trainer to run, skip, hop, jump and lift in then I thoroughly recommend the Metcon 2 as one of the best trainers for CrossFit.
Yes, there are slightly cheaper alternatives on the market but I feel that their performance and longevity just cannot cope with the Metcon’s attributes. The small price difference between the middle and high-end training shoe is negligible when you consider that you will wear these trainers every day for the next 6 months.
If you found this helpful in validating your next fitness shoe purchase and feel others would benefit from my Nike Metcon Review then please give the review a share.