If you haven’t been living under a rock or in the woods for decades, you are familiar with the brand Nike. The world's largest supplier of athletic shoes and apparel, they have put 110 percent into every shoe they develop since they started operations in the 1960s.
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Nike’s Metcon 5 training shoe is no exception to their focus on quality and reliability. They are an extremely durable option for CrossFit enthusiasts. These shoes have been developed with a focus on stability, speed, explosive movement and grip, perfect for CrossFitters looking for an ideal combination for agility and fast movements during intense HIIT.
Below we are going to look at some of the features of the Nike Metcon 5, see what Nike has to say about their own shoe, some advantages and disadvantages we found in our research, and a final verdict on how the shoe pertains to the overall CrossFit experience.
Notable Features of the Nike Metcon 5
Nike’s new iteration of their popular Metcon offering has been manufactured with further reinforcements on the uppers, stretching from the toe all the way to the heel. Additionally, Nike has added six more eyelets. These serve to provide a more snug fit, as well as more accurate overall lacing. Important note: you will need extra long shoelaces for these CrossFit shoes.
Nike has designed the newest Metcon iteration with dependability as a primary point of focus for CrossFit enthusiasts. Their light weight, breathable construction, and snug fit ensure that these shoes will have no problem keeping up with the rigors of CrossFit.
These shoes come with Nike-only proprietary technology that sets them in a league of their own. The Nike Metcon 5 is made from filaments that are spaced perfectly through the length of the CrossFit shoe. These filaments work similarly to how the suspension cables spanning bridges do when being used. They exert tension, assisting in cradling the mid-foot without adding weight to the shoe.
What does this mean for workouts performed while wearing the Nike Metcon 5, though? Well, for starters, you can expect to receive extremely accurate support and stability, an experience that moves with you. Also, expect stellar levels of tension absorption when you need it most (like during calf raises and box jumps), and a loose flow when necessary during a workout.
What Nike Says
Nike has plenty to say about the Metcon 5 CrossFit shoe. Per Nike, it is their most well-tuned Metcon-line option yet. This means extensive stability for heavier lifting, traction that is perfect for speed, as well as extreme durability when it is needed most. Additionally, Nike has included Hyperlift inserts that are compatible with all versions of the Metcon. As Nike says: “meet your secret weapon for high impact training and weightlifting”. Benefits include:
- Zone-focused durability. A textured print along the top of the CrossFit shoe adds surprising amounts of durability where needed, without adding weight to the shoe.
- Strategic stability. Flat, low, wide heels now feature their removable Hyperlift insert. This feature of the Nike Metcon 5 adds offset, which assists in improving stability for such exercises as wall balls, thrusters, and squats.
- Diverse levels of cushion. The foam of the Metcon 5 is more firm under the heel, providing a more secure feel. Additionally, they are softer throughout the forefoot, cushioning higher impact moves.
- Extreme enhanced grip. The Metcon 5 comes with directional traction through the out-sole. This wraps up the sides of the shoe, providing strong grip when climbing ropes, and speed when sliding down afterwards.
The Nike Metcon 5 versus the Metcon 4
One of the nice things about Nike lifting and workout shoes is that they don't roll out new versions all the time. Contrast this with their running shoes where the Pegasus is now on version 36! This means that if they do come out with a new version you can be sure there are some big changes and advantages they have put into them.
The transition from the Metcon 4 to the Metcon 5 is no exception. There are changes across the shoe, some minor and some major.
The major change with the Metcon 5 is the redesigned in-sole. The new removable in-sole is compatible with all previous versions of the Metcon (so you can take it out and stick it in a Metcon 4, if you were so inclined). The big improvement here is that the new in-sole is a dual density design, with a soft, cushioned forward section for your toes, and an incredibly dense sturdy rear section under your heel, so provide support during heavy lifting.
This dual-density in-sole really helps the Metcon 5 stand out in terms of providing a shoe that can handle heavy lifting as well as a bit of running and other training activities. This insole is around 15mm thick, and can be equipped with Nike's hyperlift inserts (that come included with the Metcon 5) that can add an additional 8mm to the heel. These inserts are specifically designed for using the Metcon 5 as a lifter, particularly useful when doing squats and Deadlifts.
The other changes from the Metcon 4 to the Metcon 5 are a bit more cosmetic: some minor changes to the upper, a redesigned tongue, and somewhat improved traction on the outsole.
The retail price is the same from the 4 to the 5 as well. (Of course, you can now get used 4's for a decent discount if you can find them.)
Pros and Cons of the Nike Metcon 5
We here at Shoe Guide prefer to do our own comprehensive due diligence before recommending any shoe for any reason. Regardless of extensive recommendations, great reviews, and a whopping list of features, every shoe will come with advantages and disadvantages.
The Nike Metcon 5 is no exception to our credo. Through our in-depth research, reviewing and comparisons, we noted some specific advantages and disadvantages of the Metcon 5. Below we break them down.
Pros of the Nike Metcon 5
- This shoe contains what Nike refers to as a “drop-in mmidsole. The drop-in mid-sole provides extensive support in the sole and heel areas.
- In addition, the Nike Metcon 5 has sticky forefoot rubber, as well as molded flex grooves. These provide incredibly solid design and very strong levels of flexibility.
- Maximum provided heel support will ensure that ample pivoting and movement through the course of a CrossFit workout will not lead to pain points.
Cons of the Nike Metcon 5
- The Nike Metcon has a far tighter toe box than most alternative CrossFit shoe options. This makes for extremely difficult movement in the front of the foot, as well as limited levels of roominess.
- Laces on the Nike Metcon 5 tend to be slicker than most people will prefer. Think of the waxy laces found in oxford dress shoes. This means that it is common they will come undone a bit more often than expected. This occurs even when the laces, which are longer than average from the start, are double knotted. We recommend either changing the lacing structure, or getting new shoelaces.
Our Verdict on the Nike Metcon 5
Participation in the levels of exercise provided by intense CrossFit workouts causes an extensive amount of friction and heat throughout the body. Most of this heat and friction is centered around the feet, as they are the most heavily layered and covered.
The mid-sole of Nike’s Metcon 5 is comprised of filaments that are abrasion-resistant. This greatly assists to reduce both workout-related heat issues, and burns and rubbing caused by excessive friction.
Overall, the Metcon 5 is a supportive, comfortable, lightweight, and traction-centric footwear experience. It is ideal for CrossFit workouts, and to be expected from the workout shoe juggernaut that is Nike.
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For more CrossFit shoe options, check out our article: CrossFit Shoes – Find The Best CrossFit Shoe for You.