Nike Metcon 2 Review
updated September 5, 2018
The Nike Metcon 2 is an all-round general purpose exercise shoe from the Nike Metcon line. You can use it in the gym as well as doing your workout outside in the parking lot or even when going for a short sprint.
In this article, we’ll break down the Metcon 2 to reveal what this shoe is all about. We’ll also provide an alternative shoe for comparison purposes to help you make a smart buying decision.
The Nike Metcon 2 Up Close
The Metcon 2 comes in a range of color options. While this is a shoe designed for general training, it has become popular as a CrossFit trainer due to it’s great mix between solid support and flexibility.
The shoe design is pretty standard. However, the heel does stick out slightly. The sole gives an even amount of traction but, in contrast to targeted running shoes, there is no special structure to enhance your step.
There is some mesh on the front of the shoe. This is good for ventilation, while also keeping the weight of the shoe down. There is a slight bumper pad on the toe of the shoe. This provides extra protection and prevents excessive wear when doing exercises where you make foot contact through the toes, such as push ups and burpees.
The instep features extra grip that will be great for rope climbing during your Crossfit workout. This shoe features what Nike call a zero-drag heel, with a portion that protrudes slightly from the base. This is designed to assist with moves like handstand push ups to prevent you from gliding across the wall.
Unlike dedicated weightlifting shoes, the Nike Metcon 2 does not have a raised heel for squatting. The heel height is about a half inch (considerably less than a weightlifting shoe), which is another thing that makes this a very good all round training shoe.
The Metcon 2 hs a traditional lacing system. The heel is solid but not too hard, providing a little bit of give. The footbed inside the shoe is very snug, which gives you a stable platform for explosive lifts, like overhead barbell work or even squats. A problem with the insole is that, after a few weeks of wear, users have reported an annoying squeaking sound with every step they take.
There is a minimal amount of cushioning in the heel, which is ideal for your lifting stability. That means that there is enough structural integrity here that you will not be wasting your training strength and energy into the shoe rather than the lift. Still, the heel is not too solid that it will not provide you with a bit of give when you are doing sprint work.
The Metcon 2 features what Nike refer to as dual rubber zones. This adds to the integrity and comfort of the shoe, providing an element of give, but not too much, so you can exert power when needed. This shoe has more give than your traditional weightlifting shoe, making it more comfortable wearing and meaning that you won’t have to change shoes as the nature of your workout changes.
The toe box is large enough to provide a decent amount of wiggle room. At the same time it is tight enough to give you the confidence to plant your toes properly. The heel cup is nicely padded, but not excessively so. This makes the shoe nice and easy to get into. The addition of a small lip on the back to help pull your foot into the shoe, however, would have been helpful.
The sole of the shoe provides plenty of sticky rubber to give you good grip. However there are no differentiated zones on the sole.
The tongue of the shoe is fixed inside, but still provides plenty of room to comfortably get your foot in and out. In terms of size, Nike shoes tend to come at slightly smaller than standard. Your size may technically fit, but there will be hardly any wiggle room. If you cannot try them in store, our advice is to go half a size larger.
In summary, the Nike Metcon 2 is a solid all round training shoe. It is stiff where it needs to be, has a simplified, minimalist look and provides you with one shoe that you can wear for a variety of training modes. You will feel comfortable in this shoe right away. It’s a good shoe to introduce you to the world of fitness training. If you decide in a year’s time to specialize on weight lifting or CrossFit, then you will probably want to advance to a more specialized shoe.
Alternative to the Nike Metcon 2
The Asics Men's Lift Trainer Cross-Trainer is a great option for those who want to mix up their training. It provides gel cushioning for minimize impact when running and jumping. At the same time it provides the rigidity that a weight lifting gym shoe demands. Those looking for the best shoes for weightlifting at the best price should seriously consider this shoe.
The Asics lift trainer has a mesh upper that provides a lot of structural support. This allows the heel to remain stable, providing a lot of lateral stability. Synthetic overlays lock down the lace up system. There is also a hook and loop system for even more security. The mesh is lightweight and breathable.
The Asics weightlifting shoe has a soft collar that keeps out moisture, providing enhanced comfort. The removable foot bed cushion provides for a lot of shock absorption. The midsole of the Asics lifting shoe features a lot of foam reinforcing and there is enhanced structural integrity on the sides of the heel.
The sole of the Asics Lift Cross-trainer is made from non-marking rubber. It is also perforated to push out the unwanted moisture. The toe box provides flexibility without compromising the rigidity of the mid shoe.
The Asics Lift Trainer Cross-Trainer shoes have a raised heel and flat sole. A raised heel allows the wearer of a men’s weightlifting shoe to utilize 100% of their foot power. With regular trainers, the gel cushioning of the sole absorbs a lot of the foot’s force, leading to less power exerted into your weight movement. The Lift Trainer Cross Trainers flat sole means that all that power goes from the foot and straight up the leg and into the exercise movement.
The flat sole also protects the back from placing stress on sensitive muscles and vertebrae. The raised heel helps channel the foot power through the leg, making them an ideal shoe for squatting, deadlifts and overhead power lifts. A raised heel ensures that pressure is placed where it needs to be, the heel of the foot, and not on places like knee joints or the lower back.
The lift trainers are comprised of a synthetic upper with breathable mesh panels. It has a sturdy sole with a cushioned insole that can be removed to allow space for orthopedic inserts or for those who choose to use these weightlifting shoes without socks; the inserts can be washed, making these shoes smell as fresh as when first purchased for as long as you have them.
The lift trainer cross-trainer is equipped with Asics’ patented Personal Heel Fit (PHF). This is a custom design which molds to the foot and hold it in place, preventing slipping – the last thing you want if you are trying to pump some serious iron.
The Asics lifting shoe features a lace up fastening, coupled with a leather wrapper. This leather wrapper makes the shoe more durable. If you work your shoes really hard and find you are wearing them out too fast this may be a good option for you. The wrapper can be tightened to what feels comfortable for you, which gives the ability to customize your shoe to what feels right for you to perform at optimum level.
Unlike many men’s weightlifting shoes, the Asics men’s weightlifting shoe has considerable forefront flexibility. This means that they are ideal for CrossFit classes where there is rapid transition from Olympic style training into jumping exercises such as burpees and box jumps.
Users have commented that they are flexible enough to be comfortable to walk through the gym in, but they are not recommended for any activities where a cushioned sole is needed, such as running or skipping. .
The Asics lift trainer is significantly cheaper than their Nike or Adidas counterparts, which make them an excellent choice for people who are new to weightlifting shoes and want to experiment before investing in a more expensive, ‘professional’ shoe.
Asics men weightlifting shoes will not last as long as other, pricier weightlifting shoes, as these shoes are made from the same upper materials as Asics regular trainers, which regularly are faulted for quick wear and tear. Unlike some of their competitors, the upper of this shoe is comprised of many pieces stitched together, which is where they will wear when they stitching starts to unravel.
If you are looking for a general purpose exercise shoe that will allow you to range from heavy lifting to slip, burpees and box jumps, and even the odd sprint, then the Nike Metcon 2 is a great option for you. However, if you are intent on focusing on heavy lifts and don’t see yourself being much involved in cardio, the Asics Lift Trainer is a better call. Just keep in mind, in both cases, that the shoes tend to run a little small, so you are advised to order up by half a size.