Agent Athletica · Mar 21, 2016

Nike Metcon 2 Review: Performance, Fit, and Metcon 1 Comparison

Since Nike’s Metcon 1 was released for women last summer, it’s been my go-to shoe for my workouts. I absolutely love the fit, function, and the beautiful design. I originally reviewed the Metcon 1 here. So, my interest was definitely piqued when Nike announced that a newly designed Metcon 2 was coming.

The new iteration was released in January of this year. I was a bit disappointed with the selection of ready-to-ship women’s colors, but thankfully, Nike now allows you to customize Metcons! It does cost an extra $40, but I’d rather pay extra to get exactly what I want, especially given how often I wear them. My custom design finally arrived last week! It took exactly 7 weeks from placing my order to their arrival on my doorstep. This was a bit longer than Nike’s promised 6-week timeline, but may have been due to increased order volume around the Metcon 2 release.

After testing the shoes out during my CrossFit workouts, here’s my Metcon 2 review on fit and performance, plus how they compare to the original Metcon 1.

Design details

First, let’s talk about my shoes specifically. Again, these aren’t a stock color, they were my customization via NikeID. I resisted the temptation to make my pair an explosion of colors and patterns, and instead stuck to the idea that less is more. I love the sleek simplicity of black and white. If you’re looking for details on how to mimic this design, here’s what I did.

First, I selected black for the collar, vamp, and outsole. I really like for the collar and vamp match since it creates a nice clean line. The midsole was the perfect place for a contrast of white, since this area is less likely to get dirty than the outsole or the forefoot.

I chose white flywire and laces for a pop of white on the top; it echoes the white midsole quite nicely. Finally, I topped it off with an accent of metallic gold on the swoosh (this selection also changes the lettering on the tongue). The gold was the absolute perfect detail of feminine sophistication that brought this shoe to the next level. I chose not to add any lettering because I preferred the clean white midsole.

I absolutely love how it all came together!

Metcon 2 fit and function review

Right out of the box, these shoes fit perfectly. I ordered these in a size 6.5, which is the same size as my street shoes, my Metcon 1’s, and my Reebok Nanos. Overall, they definitely fit true to size. Compared to Reebok Nanos, they do feel a little narrower. That said, I have a somewhat wide forefoot and still have a comfortable amount of room in the toe box.

One of the great things about the fit of the Metcon is the arch support. I have high arches and can overpronate a little. While Reebok’s Nanos feel wide, flat, and overall a bit “loose” and unstructured, Metcons hug your foot and feel more supportive. I mentioned in my Metcon 1 review that my gait has noticeably less pronation in the Metcon 1 versus the Nanos. For that reason, as well as the overall feel, I vastly prefer the support of the Metcons.

The stability is particularly helpful for me during running workouts. These are comfortable for me during shorter distance workouts, though I’d probably prefer a different shoe for runs longer than a couple miles. They also hold up well for plyometric movements like box jumps.

The Metcons do feel like they have a thicker sole at the heel compared to Reebok’s Nanos or other minimalist shoes, but I didn’t find them to “squish” too much during lifting movements. I’m happy in these for both Olympic and powerlifting movements. The forefoot is flexible and comfortable as well. The sole doesn’t have the springy feel of a traditional running shoe or crosstrainer, but instead has a more firm feel.

Comparison of the Nike Metcon 1 versus Metcon 2

Some reviews brought up the lighter weight of the new Metcon 2, but I did not notice any change in weight. I even put the shoes on my kitchen scale and the difference was less than 1/2 oz. My Metcon 2’s weigh in at 8.5 oz per shoe in a size 6.5. Perhaps the weight difference is more noticeable in larger sizes. While these are not an ultra-lightweight shoe, they don’t feel any more clunky or heavy on my feet than my other shoes.

Some people also complained that the Metcon 1’s laces would come undone and that that’s been addressed with the Metcon 2. This never happened to me, so I can’t personally speak to any changes here.

There aren’t any visible changes to the outsole.

One thing that pictures don’t convey is that my Metcon 1’s eventually became quite squeaky/noisy when I walked. The Metcon 2’s are totally silent, and hopefully will stay that way.

Another improvement in the Metcon 2 is the addition of the heel clip. The idea is that the extra bit of material helps reduce friction against the wall during handstand push-ups. I put one shoe on each foot (Metcon 1 and 2) and practiced a few HSPU, both strict and kipping. I didn’t notice a substantial difference in drag on my heel–both shoes moved smoothly along the wall. However, I do appreciate the heel clip anyway, since it being the main friction point should help reduce wear and tear on the back of the shoe.

You can also see in the above photo that the loop on the back was removed. The back fabric strip is instead sewn flush against the back of the midsole now, matches the color of the rubber, and makes the reflective detail more visible.

I’ve worn my Metcon 1’s for virtually every workout I’ve done in the past 8 months. As a result, they’ve definitely formed to my foot in a way my new pair obviously hasn’t (yet). I put one shoe on each foot anyway to test the differences. They do feel very similar, and overall I would say the differences are subtle. According to Nike, the material and support at both the forefoot and heel has been improved. The changes at the heel weren’t really noticeable to me personally. However, the shape and feel of the forefoot and toe box area definitely does feel improved. Although I liked them before, the new pair fits just a little bit better and feels more flexible in the forefoot.

When my Metcon 1’s were new, they were a bit slippery at the heel right out of the box. As I broke them in, that issue did go away. However, the Metcon 2’s fit nicely around the heel right out of the box. You can see in the photos that the shape at the top of the heel cup is slightly different in the Metcon 2.

Visually, you can also see a couple of other minor changes from the 1 to the 2, such as the size and placement of the swoosh on the inside. You’ll also notice the vamp looks a little bit different in terms of where each material starts and ends. The inner arch area is different now (where the swoosh used to be), perhaps for ventilation and rope climb grip.

Overall, the Metcons still reign supreme as my favorite CrossFit shoe. I’m happy to see some of the changes in the 2 and expect they’ll be loved at least as much as my first pair. They’re perfect for my feet and are beautiful to boot. If you like the Metcon 1’s, I’d wager you’ll love the 2’s, too. Besides CrossFit, they’ll also work well for any fitness routine where you’re mixing weightlifting, plyometrics, and other bodyweight movements. I would definitely recommend this shoe overall, and would buy it again!

Get the Nike Metcon 2

To get your hands on a pair of Metcon 2’s, you can shop the stock colors here, or customize your own pair.

The post Nike Metcon 2 Review: Performance, Fit, and Metcon 1 Comparison appeared first on Agent Athletica.

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