Is it still the best functional fitness shoe Nike has to offer?
I did a first impressions video of this shoe on my YouTube page upon release a year ago (click or scroll to the bottom).
Metcon’s are ever evolving as they’ve had many iterations and offshoots of the main product over the years. They come in substyles such as the “Repper,” the “Flyknit,” the “Free X,” and most recently the “Sport.” I appreciate Nike constantly innovating off the original design and taking chances with new ideas.
Well, it’s a Metcon. It has the same quality you would expect from any of its predecessors. It’s a beautiful design that has taken notes from the shoes before it and refined them over the years. It is better than it’s brothers in all ways but one… that incessant squeak, but more on that later.
Fit and Performance
I wear a size eleven and have a narrow foot. It fits snug, but not tight in the toe box, and for those with a wider foot, it’s the reason why most people dislike the shoe. It fits about the same as the Metcon 2 & 3 but has taken notes from the Metcon Flyknit and has a bit more “flex” in the toe box. Despite that, it still feels like a brick on your foot when you go for long runs, but luckily in CrossFit, those runs don’t come often.
Nike Metcon’s still have the best inner arch for rope climbing grip out of any functional fitness shoe. It is “grabby” and highly durable. The plastic toe clip on the back (for handstand pushups) is still there and it is the one feature I wish other brands would emulate. The upper is a lot more grippy and sturdy this time out and if you purchase the new “XD” design, it becomes even sturdier as the name implies: “Extra Durable.”
Running is still a chore in this shoe. As stated earlier, they feel as though you have bricks tied to your feet, and a run over a mile feels awful. I dislike them so much on runs that in the first 400 meters, I promise myself that I’ll be more vigilant in seeing what the workout is before deciding to wear them. Lifting and general working out however is perfect in this shoe. Nike has really mastered how to make a stable shoe that moves well in gym based cardio movements and Olympic lifts. Some people claim that there is “heel slippage” but I have yet to encounter this problem in any shoe, let alone the Metcon.
Then there’s the squeak, that awful, awful squeak. I have recently found the culprit in these shoes as the squeak comes from the insert and not the shoe itself. But, it’s just an awful sound and really stands out when you’re walking around the house after a workout. I wish Nike would sell separate inserts or investigate better materials for them, but I usually just pull the insert out of my newest set and exchange them in the pair I’ll wear that day. Unfortunate because this issue plagues not only the main Metcon series, but the Metcon Flyknit’s as well. No squeak issues to report with the Free X and Sport (thus far).
Value and Final Thoughts
Value is in the eye of the beholder here as a flagship shoe demands a flagship price. And as early adopters know, they will pay the premium for being able to say they have them first. Upon initial release the Metcon 4 was $130, which is standard across the board for top tier functional fitness shoes. As of now, they can be picked up for as low as $100 and the newly released “XD” version of the shoe can copped for the standard $130. As with most of their flagship brands, they are available in Nike ID and can be customized anyway your heart desires. Although, they come in so many different colors and styles (the whiteboard and patch editions are pretty cool), that you probably won’t have to spend extra to find one that matches your style.
Is it still the best functional fitness shoe that Nike has to offer? Well, the short and easiest answer to this question is yes. Without them you don’t get Nike’s newest innovations and their fashion forward designs. The more complex answer depends on the buyer. If you have a wide foot, I would try these on and see how they fit you, otherwise the Nano becomes the better option. If you’re a runner, I would pass all together since running isn’t this shoes strongsuit at all. If you’re a runner who also likes to CrossFit, the New Balance Minimus 40 and Metcon Free X are great options. If you’re a newbie, I still recommend the Reebok ROS Workout 2.0 as it runs about $40 on Amazon.
If you’re like me and like a shoe you can lift in, run in, and do your daily errands in, there are better shoes out there. I myself love the Metcon Free X and am beginning to really enjoy the Metcon Sport. As an all-around, functional fitness only shoe though? It’s hard to top. Reebok hasn’t made a better shoe and they have the exclusive contract with CrossFit. Even the fittest man on earth wears Metcon’s …when he’s not forced to wear Reeboks at the games.