Nike Metcon 2 Review: The Ultimate Shoe?
Twelve months after targeting the CrossFit community with the Metcon 1, Nike has returned using its first update. Working out shoe quickly built an extraordinary fan base following its launch, and previews of the Metcon 2 have already been met with unabashed enthusiasm. We’re fans of the Metcon 1, but saw room for improvement: The shoe was too stiff to comfortably run greater than a mile, and the forefoot felt too soft for moves like double-unders and push presses, where we’re driving through leading or mid-foot, rather than our heel. Though Nike didn’t radically change the appearance of the Metcon, it did make significant changes through the entire shoe.
“Our goals with Metcon 2 were first and foremost to build after and improve flexibility, breathability, durability,” says Drew Conant, Nike training footwear product director. To accomplish those objectives, Conant and his team sought feedback from world-class CrossFit athletes that included Mat Fraser, Josh Bridges, and Sara Sigmundsdottir.
After weekly of workouts, we’re not prepared to talk with the durability, but Conant says Nike added abrasion-resistant TPU skins to the surface areas that saw the most wear: the toe box, the upper forefoot area, and quarter panel (heel area). The maker also added what it calls a “waterfall” heel for a far more snug but comfortable fit. The feature feels as though what you’d find on a high-end running footwear, cupping the trunk of your heel with a dense foam that still moves together with your foot as you jump or run. One tester noted that as the Metcon 1 rubbed against his Achilles when running, the brand new heel didn’t.
The boost in overall flexibility and breathability, says Conant, originates from increased mesh over the forefoot. Though we didn’t notice a noticable difference in cooling, the Metcon 2 felt enjoy it had ample ventilation and our feet didn’t feel just like these were overheating during extra-sweaty sessions. Even though the brand new Metcon 2 feels more stable from toe to heel – even bettering the softness we felt in the forefoot – we were more impressed by the improved flexibility. We finished a three-mile run in the Metcon 2 feeling fresh – no sore feet as with the first generation.
The largest upgrade Nike is touting, however, may be the hard plastic ridge on the trunk of the heel. This feature nearly eliminates drag from your own shoe on a wall during handstand push-ups. Conant says the ridge came directly from athlete feedback, and it’s really such an ideal addition for CrossFit athletes, it’s a wonder nobody added it earlier.
The Nike Metcon 2 is available online and to get now, starting at $130. Nike.com offers the Metcon 2 iD ($170), which enables you to customize your shoes with phrases, graphics, and 16 colors. Nike says delivery on the iD occupies to six weeks.