The Metcon is known for two things: superior stability and durability for functional movement. Variety was — and remains — the key driver and challenge for iterating the shoe. That’s because one workout can include movements focused on strength, power, speed and endurance. Meaning the Metcon needs to handle a rope climb, a heavy clean and jerk, a 400-meter sprint and handstand push-ups.
But not all athletes are doing advanced gymnastics skills or going for their one-rep maxes. That's why, since 2015 (when the first Metcon released), Nike designers have been working to create other versions of the shoe to help master skills like agility ladders and lateral cuts — things that, admittedly, the original Metcon wasn't built for.
The Metcon family now includes four silhouettes. Each has the stability and durability the Metcon is known for, and also include unique features that make them great for particular movements and workouts, ensuring there is a Metcon for every athlete.
Metcon 5: WODs
This fifth iteration features a directional pattern on the rope wrap that provides exceptional grip during rope climbs and allows for a smoother slide during descents. A heel clip reduces friction during handstand push-ups. The shoe’s wide heel improves stability during heavy squats, snatches, cleans and shoulder-to-overhead movements, while a Nike Hyperlift insert helps improve stability during heavy lifts as well as high-rep squats, wall balls, thrusters and even rowing. Stickier rubber in the forefoot and a more-durable rubber in the heel improve linear traction during sled pushes and sprints. Both rubbers add durability over weak points and prevent wear-down.
Metcon Flyknit 3: High-Intensity Interval Training
High-tenacity Nike Flyknit yarn in the forefoot serves up flexibility to efficiently complete movements like double-unders and box jumps, while the reinforced skin overlay on the toe toughens the shoe up for burpees. TPU eyestays support and lock down the ankle during sled pushes. The Flyknit 3 is lighter, softer and more responsive than the Metcon 5 — making it a great go-to for workouts with sprints and gymnastics exercises (for example, bodyweight movements and isometric holds performed on the floor, rings, pull-up bar, climbing rope and so on).
Free x Metcon 2: A Little Bit of Everything
With a flexible Nike Free outsole, firm-ish foam in the midsole, tooling that wraps up around the arch to stabilize the foot during impact and a durable midfoot strap, this shoe performs well during a variety of functional exercises across all movement patterns. It’s built strong enough for free weights and kettlebells; supportive enough for moderate lifts; flexible and light enough for short runs; stable enough for jumps and lateral bounds.
Metcon Sport: Speed and Agility Drills
Explosiveness and quick cuts in every direction are this shoe’s bread and butter. The traction pattern, which is grippier and more aggressive than any other Metcon, makes sprinting forward and to the side easier — even on turf. A drop-in midsole has raised sides that enhance lateral stability, while the lace-less upper has a Velcro strap (similar to that on a weightlifting shoe) that locks the foot in place, providing a dash of the stability Metcon is known for. Synthetic skins over the toe and heel add durability during burpees, mountain climbers and other “contact” movements.