I’ve known for a while that my CrossFit shoes have been worn out (I’ve had them for almost a year and wear them 3-4x a week) and so I’ve been on the hunt for the best CrossFit shoe. I really hate buying new workout shoes, which is really silly considering how much use they get, but I finally took the plunge and bought a pair of Women’s Nike Metcon 2 shoes.
I consulted Google (obviously), other online reviews and a friend at the gym, Jason, who is stupid good at everything CrossFit related, and — more importantly — extremely knowledgeable about bio-mechanics and ways to smartly improve performance at the gym without getting injured. All things Google and Jason both pointed to the Nike Metcons as a solid option if I was only going to buy one pair of shoes for CrossFit. Which leads me to my next point…
An annoying thing about CrossFit is that it can “require” many different types of shoes – lifters, metcon trainers, hybrids. There are many different types of moves in (aptly-named) CrossFit and your body often needs different types of support depending on the workout. I didn’t want to buy a pair of lifters since I just couldn’t justify a shoe that I’d use exclusively for lifting only 1-2x a week (maybe someday, but not now). But I knew I also needed something with more support than my Reebok Nano Sprints since my feet have been aching post-WOD for a while, especially if there is heavy weight involved.
After wearing the Nike Metcons 2 for a few different types of workouts (including wall balls, running, box jumps, burpees, heavy heavy deadlifts, double unders, kettlebell swings, and rowing), here’s what I like and dislike about them.
- GREAT for heavy deadlifts and squats. I felt more stable and my feet didn’t ache after the workout. I felt like I had better control in the movements. And it bears repeating – my feet didn’t hurt afterwards!!
- Good support and stability for wall balls, kettle bell swings and slam balls. I hadn’t realized that I felt a bit wobbly in my Nano Sprints until I had the Nike Metcons to contrast.
- Fine for rowing. I don’t really know how much a shoe could help me improve rowing but I’m listing this as a pro anyway since they weren’t uncomfortable.
- Wide toe box. I have a narrow foot through the middle of my foot and a high arch, but then I have a wider than average toe box, which makes finding comfortable shoes difficult. These have a nice wide toe box, but can be tightened around my foot so they don’t feel floppy.
- I know some people at my gym with really narrow feet who don’t like the wide toe box and others who like the wide toe box feel, but think they look goofy. So this is probably total individual preference.
This is a comparison of the width of the Nano Sprints vs. Nike Metcons.
- Stiff, wide heel. This is what gives those suckers stability.
- Cute colors. And that’s what really matters.
- Extremely uncomfortable for anything jumping, like box jumps, burpees and double unders. I felt like I had lead on my feet, and there is no spring in them. I think the sole may loosen up over time, but there really isn’t going to be much rebound like some other shoes out there. And they were borderline painful for double unders.
- Just meh for running, but I never expect anything great out of running at CrossFit given the short distances. They weren’t noticeably uncomfortable during running like they were for box jumps and doubles, but if it was a running-intensive workout, I would wear something else for sure.
- Expensive at $130. I couldn’t find a coupon code for the life of me and paid full price. And if you want custom colors, they go up to $170. No thank you.
Bottom line: Am I keeping them? Would I recommend them? Yes, and yes.
The “But”: I don’t think they’re the end-all, be-all shoe. You likely still need a shoe with more rebound for more jump-intensive workouts. For that, I still like the Nano Sprint. I think I may try Nike Free TR 5 Training Shoes when I replace my Nano Sprints, since (a) Nike has great colors and (b) I think they’ll have more flexibility and bounce while the Nano Sprints are still relatively stiff.
Note: This is not a sponsored review and I didn’t get any freebies from Nike (I wish!). I researched and purchased these with my own moolah.