Nike Metcon 4 Cross Training Shoe Review – Get It Or Keep Your 3?
Today we’re going to be reviewing and looking at the Nike Metcon 4.
The Nike Metcon 4 is Nike’s latest iteration for their famous cross-training shoe model, the Metcon. That been said, we’re going to look at the shoe’s construction, how it performs, who could benefit, and then we’re going to look at the pros and cons that come along with this shoe model.
So without further ado, let's get started ...
Nike Metcon 4 Training Shoes
When it comes to the construction of the Nike Metcon 4, there are a few standout features worth mentioning. For this review, we’re going to work from the toe to the heel
The upper features a sandwich mesh and has a kind of a gritty material on top and that helps with durability during rope climbs and other movements that might actually fray the mesh.
On the medial side of the toe area there’s an extra material and that’s going to be good for pushing off. It’s also not going to break down super quick and it’s going to make sure you’re not going to experience your big toe shooting out of the mesh for that matter.
Moving down the midfoot, there's Nike Flywire technology which is going to provide a little bit more natural movement and stability through running and other jumping movements and stuff like that. The Flywire is going to wrap the sides and go under the foot to kind of enclose and give you that natural feeling and a little bit of rebound in the shoe.
The lateral midsole wraps up just like other Metcon models, similar to the medial side. This is to provide extra stability in rope climbs and kind of help with the long duration, wear and tear of the Nike Metcon 4.
Working towards the heel, the heel cup itself doesn’t sit very high. The clip is similar to other Metcon models, feels pretty sturdy and feels pretty good for what it’s worth.
If we look at the midsole on the heel, there’s a TPU layer and if you want to listen to it, it’s really tough. I think this is one of the toughest heels that I’ve actually seen on a cross training shoe model.
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There’s a sticky rubber material. Nike said it’s kind of used to grip on multiple surfaces, whether it’s rubber, top of the box or if you’re outside for that matter.
When it comes to the performance test for the Nike Metcon 4, I did four tests. The first was a 185-pound power clean, the second was a 275-pound back squat, the third was a 415-pound deadlift, and then lastly I did some box jump burpees. In every test I was assessing something different.
For the power clean, I wanted to assess how the forefoot and midfoot flexed and then how I sat on the heel. I think the front of the shoe bent pretty well. It had took a little time to break in than I’m used to with some cross-training shoes, but all in all, it did pretty good and didn’t hinder my performance whatsoever.
In the back squat I wanted to see how stable the shoe felt and if I rocked to the side (I even put some weight back in my heels in the low bar squat). The Metcon 4 did pretty good complementing all the weight I was putting in different areas. It displays pressure pretty well. I felt confident squatting in this shoe even over 200 lbs, maybe close to 400 lbs.
Next, I did a deadlift with 415 lbs. My main concern with that was to see how the outsole compresses. Some cross-training shoes can compress under 400 lbs and more, and the Metcon 4 held pretty stable and I didn’t notice any compression on my last rep. I even bounced a little bit at the top and again I didn’t exeprience much compression which I was pleasantly surprised by.
Last, I did some box jump burpees and my main concern with that was the outsole. I know I’m going to get a lot of toe drive from the lip up in the front and the extra material on the toe box. I wanted to see how the sticky rubber performed when hitting the box. That all been said, when I hit the box I almost felt like a dart. These shoes have no movement at the top which is really cool. I think this is a great feature especially if you’re working out on a floor that might be a little bit wet from sweat. It's also great for keeping stability and ensuring you’re not going to slip on a box.
There are three pros I realy like about the Nike Metcon 4. First and foremost, I like the heel. I think this is the most stable heel I’ve ever tried in a cross training shoe. You can really feel the TPU layer which sits very firmly under deadlifts, squats and any kind of movement.
Next, I like the midsole and how it wraps up on the lateral and the medial side compared to previous models. That’s a nice feature for keeping the shoe healthy for a long amout of time. Also, it helps with things like rope climbs and grabbing a ball between the feet.
Lastly, I liked the sandwich mesh and the Flywire. I think they complement each other very well and they provide the foot with a lot of stability, breathability and a lot of natural reaction to movements. That’s a big plus for comfort and long duration workouts.
All in all, those are my three pros.
When it comes to cons of the Nike Metcon 4, I actually don’t have any cons in terms of constrcution. My cons come with the functional fitness athlete who’s maybe reaching for this shoe and who needs a specific purpose.
That been said, I think if you’re an athlete with a wider foot who wants full toe splay, this shoe might feel a little bit limiting. It fits a little bit tighter and its toe is a little bit skinnier compared to other cross-training models in the market.
Next, if you’re a functional fitness athlete who wants to perform a workout with more cardio movements, this shoe maybe a little bit tough. The bottom is really stable and really hard which is a great perk to the shoe. But at the same time if you’re going to do a lot of running or any other kind of cardio-based movement and a lot of jumping, it might a little bit tougher on the legs.
Those are all potential cons that come down to the individual, not necessarily cons that come down to the shoe’s construction.
Who could benefit with the Nike Metcon 4
As a whole, I think a lot of functional fitness athletes can benefit with this shoe. I think the Metcon 4 is probably the best Metcon produced to date. It feels so sturdy and feels very stable in workouts. I think it’s going to benefit a wide variety of athletes.
Yet, I would say that the Metcon 4 is great for skinnier-footed athletes because it fits pretty snugly on the foot and does not offer a lot of wiggle room. So if you have a skinnier foot without a lot of toe splay, the Metcon 4 is great option for you.
The Metcon 4 is also great for the functional fitness athletes who really want a hard outsole. The outsole is TPU and it’s pretty hard that you can hardly notice any compression during your lifts.
So I think those two niches within the functional fitness athlete realm would benefit most.
I was a fan of the Nike Metcon 4 because it’s definitely one of the better cross-training shoes I’ve tried and I’ll definitely give it 9/10.
And that concludes my review of the Nike Metcon 4.
Now, let's talk a little bit about the Nike Metcon 1, 2 and 3.
Here we go ...
Nike Metcon 3 Training Shoes
before I start talking about the Metcon 3, I'd like you to know that when a reviewer from steadyfoot puts some new training shoes to the test, they write a review according to their experience with the shoe. So for the Metcon 1 and 2 below, the reviewer didn't actually like them because they felt way too big for him and he found they just looked like clown shoes on his feet. Does this mean all other athletes think the same? Absolutely not.
That's where Runrepeat.com comes in. Runrepeat pulls reviews of running, hiking, training, basketball and football shoes from all over the web and just gives them a 0-100 score. You can read about their corescore on their website.
So the next time you read someone's review, it's kind of too soon to form your judgement. Insead, head over to Runrepeat to read about what others think and just see what opinion you find yourself more comfortable with.
So, after reading the Nike Metcon 3 quick review below, read Runrepeat's review: 10 Reasons to/NOT to Buy Nike Metcon 3
Very clean and simple, the Nike Metcon 3 is ready for your most demanding workouts. Whether you’re sprinting, climbing or weightlifting, the Metcon 3 is cushioned and stable for high-impact training. But where the Metocn 3 do perform well is weightlifting and especially with lower body lifts.
Its embroidered reinforcement in high-wear areas means the Metcon 3 is strong enough for intense training yet also light enough to help you stay fast while on your feet. The engineered mesh on the heel and ankle provides nice breathability to keep you cool and comfortable.
Also, Flywire cables in the midfoot offer a powerful lockdown without restricting natural movement. It has a flat platform and a firm rubber heel which help give you the perfect stability you need for explosive lifting. Because of the flat platform you won’t be leaning forward when squatting which can cause some knee pain for some people. This is one of the main selling points for me as I want to be able to sit back as much as I can when squatting and deadlifting.
The Metcon 3 offers a dual-density drop-in midsole that’s firm in the heel to handle heavy lifting yet softer and more flexible in the forefoot to provide your foot with comfort and cushion while running. Talking about running, if you’re going to do any long distance running, you’d rather get yourself a good pair of running shoes like the Kayanos from Asics.
The shoe has molded flex grooves to allow for natural flexibility. As for the outsole, the Metcon 3 has firm rubber in the heel to provide you with durable stability for high intensity intervals. You’ll find excellent traction with the sticky rubber in the forefoot while the thin web rubber in the midfoot wrapping from the outsole onto the upper, your feet are protected from abrasion.
As far as comfort, these Nike Metcon 3 shoes are right up there with my Nike Free Run shoes that I absolutely love. Shoes can sometimes feel stiff when wearing them for the first few times, but that wasn’t the case with these Metcons. The first time I tried them off the comfort was amazing and I knew I would love training in them.
If your workouts demand intense traction, flex and comfort, The Metcon 3 is a great training shoe for you. So far I’m loving the Nike Metcon 3 training shoes and I will be rocking them as my go-to shoes in the gym as long as I can keep them pearly whites somewhat clean.
Nike Metcon 2 Training Shoes
The Metcon 2 and 1 were reviewed by the same reviewer, but different from the one who reviewed the Metcon 3.
Just like the original Nike Metcon 1, the Metcon 2 just didn’t fit my feet great. It was still comfortable and I think they looked awesome on my feet. Yet, there was just something about the shoe that didn’t feel right. It kind of reminded me of clown shoes on my feet because it was big.
Generally, the toe box on crossfit shoes is pretty wide and I actually liked that. But for some reason, the first two Nike crossfit shoes out there just didn’t sit great on my feet because they felt way too big all the way aound. With that said, ignoring the fact that the Metcon 1 and 2 are not probably the right shoes for my feet, I have friends that absolutely loved the fit of these shoes. So it’s definitely a person-by-person thing.
The Metcon 2 had a toe box area that was further reinforced which did help with durability a bit. With the Metcon 1, a lot of people had complained that they were getting the toe box area chopped up.
Regardless of what I think, these were killer crossfit shoes and a big number of athletes were just loving them. The metcon 2 was exactly the same as the original Metcons but with a few minor changes most of which didn’t make a big difference in terms of performance.
The heel area on the Metcon 2 featured a new slider, which was actually just a little bit of a plastic strip. This new feature did actually help athletes slide against the wall for handstand push-ups and that actually worked perfectly. I was a little bit concerned that it was more of a gimmick but it ended up being my favorite thing about the metcon 2.
The other thing is that the Metcon 2 had a little bit more stable of a heel not like the Rich Froning Crossfit shoes but a little bit more stable than the original Metcons.
rope resistant panels
Other than that, the Metcon 2 still had that ultra-durable rope resistant panels in the inside and the outside of the shoe. The panel actively gripped for rope climbs.
The tread on the bottom was great for the gym and for road running though I used to keep my workouts to under 2 miles with these shoes.
The Metcon 2 has a 4-mm heel-to-toe offset which is pretty standard for crossfit. The Metcon 2 wasn’t designed for running but I’d say it was probably better for running than a lot of other crossfit shoes at the time. Also, it was pretty breathable and it had decent lockdown though.
I think that’s really it with the Metcon 2 actually. It was breathable and durable, it looked awesome, and it was comfortable. The Metcon 2 did actually run 1 size small like all Nikes do and it weighs around 11oz.
It was not the right crossfit shoe for my foot but again, it was hugely popular because a lot of athletes loved and swore by it.
Nike Metcon 1 Training shoes
If you didn’t know, the Metcon 1 trainers were Nike’s crossfit shoes though they were not in any way connected to Crossfit, the company. That did not stop Nike from trying to enter the market in a big way.
First off, they sponsored some of the biggest athletes in Crossfit like Lauren Fisher, John Bridges, Kenny Leverage, just to name a few and they rolled out a massive social media heavy marketing campaign that really seemed to get a lot of people fired up so much so that when the shoes finally hit the market they sold out almost instantly.
I have to say that I liked them at the time, but they just didn’t seem to be the best crossfit shoes out there at any rate.
Here’s what you need to know about these shoes ...
First up, the Metcon 1 fits one size small as is common with Nike shoes. It has a 4-mm heel-to-toe drop just like the Nanos, which really seems to be the sweet spot in terms of a drop for a lot of crossfit shoes. Actually the Metcon 1 is very cushioned throughout particularly in the heel and the forefoot, which I thought made it ideal for running, but there is quite a lot of compression when you’re doing lifts.
Also, it has very thick but grippy rubber that surround bot the inside and the outside of the shoe, which helps protect against wear from the rope. That not only protects but actually grips the rope, which is really nice and not alot of shoes take this approach. Generally, it’s more about protection and not so much about trying to actively grip that rope.
Related to the grippy rubber that’s on the side of the shoe, the outsole is great and sticky and is pretty good for most surfaces.
That’s the basic overview stuff, but the real questions is how did they perform?
Well, the Metcon 1 training shoe was very comfortable and there was no doubt in my mind it would be a durable shoe. But despite the fact that the Metcon 1 was lightweight and breathable, it was a big shoe. It featured a lot of material and I think it was a lot wider than I anticipated at the time. The toe box was wide and I liked that, but the whole shoe fit very wide and that meant that most athletes could not get the fit they were hoping for. Also, my heel kept slipping, which was kind of annoying.
The Flywire cables on the outside did help a lot to lock down the midfoot, but I just could not get the shoe fit quite right. I also found the Metcon 1 to be inflexible and rigid especially when compared to the CrossFit Compete 614 shoes.
So overall, I really did like the Nike Metcon 1, but I was not sure it was right for me. I think it looked really great and it was certainly among the best-looking crossfit shoes at the time. There was no doubt that it was breathable, lightweight and very durable, but I was not sure that it was going to be my go-to crossfit shoes.
That's it folks. If you made it this far, thanks for your time. I'd love to hear from you in the comments section below and I'd love to know which of the versions above you've had and how your experience with them was.
Keep ... working out.