The outsole of the Nike Free X Metcon is designed to provide hard cor exercisers, athletes and cross fitters
with all the features they need in a shoe to really excel during their difficult workouts. Its comprised of two different rubber compounds. The carbon rubber helps to provide extra durability and abrasion resistance while the blown rubber is present to help add an air of comfort as well as siding in the lightweight feel of the shoe. Nike chose to equip the Free X Metcon with their Free technology. This tech utilizes reverse flex grooves to provide additional flexibility while ensuring that the wearer's muscles are firing for performance and that their stabilizing muscles are activating properly to help ward off injuries. These grooves then help to promote natural movement of the foot as well. The tread features a tri-star pattern with some of the lugs boasting compressible capabilities while others remain firm to encourage multidirectional traction. Also on the outsole is a TPU wrestling from the bottom to the midfoot. This helps to provide further abrasion resistance during specific exercises like rope climbs where the outsole is often damaged due to drag.
The midsole of the Free X Metcon combines two layers of foam and Nike's cold fusion technology to provide a stable and comfortable option for your intense workouts. The midsole is built-in to prevent that annoying and distracting in-shoe squeak that sometimes occurs. We found the level of cushioning in these shoes to be fairly substantial for a training shoe. While they won't feel like you’re walking on a cloud by any means, most wearers should be satisfied with the amount of cushion provided here. That said, we did feel that the midsole provides a bit more cushioning than we would like to see in a shoe designed for heavy duty workout routines. We found that during certain exercises like deadlifts and squats
, where it is imperative to keep a close relationship with the ground in order to ensure proper form and maximum effort, the cushioning in the shoe prevented us from having that important contact with the ground.
The upper is just as technologically advanced as the outsole. It features a very lightweight design with TPU sidewalls for extra support and stability during your hardcore CrossFit WODs. It utilizes a traditional lacing system which allows users to really customize the way they need their shoes to fit. For any given workout the upper is TPU-faced to provide durability, stability, and flexibility all while maintaining the lightness of the shoe. It also features Nike's FlyWire technology. This tech is composed of threads of Vectran (a type of polyester fibre) that are strategically placed in the upper to help minimize overall weight while providing maximum support. This also helps to prevent the foot from slipping during runs. Metaphorically speaking, think of the FlyWire tech as we would cables of a suspension bridge. It allows manufacturers to put support cables (or Vectran threads in this case) wherever support is required.
Coming in at 11.2 ounces or 317 grams, the Nike Free X Metcon is around the average weight a solid training shoe should be. It manages to feel incredibly lightweight, however, much lighter than its 11 ounces. This may be due in part to those filaments that the upper is made of. When you’re wearing shoes for extreme workouts, you don’t want to feel weighed down. In order to boost performance, ensuring you’ve invested in a pair of lightweight trainers
is of utmost importance.
The mouth and heel area is made using a neoprene material that aids in the breathability found in those sections of the trainer. The material also adds an air of sweat proofing to help ward off any unfortunate odors that may arise after such grueling training sessions. The lightweight mesh
in the upper is both breathable and comfortable. You should never feel sweaty when you’re wearing these no matter how hard you are working.
The comfortably fitting booty construction of the upper adds a plush in shoe feeling. The soft foam midsole provides cushioning that is comfortable and prime for taking out on runs. We found these to be comfortable enough for an everyday shoe that will also remain functional as a fitness trainer. The cold fusion technology in the dual density midsole provides a plush comfort that other fitness shoes lack. That said, some wearers did find that the cushioning was too extreme when it came to performing certain heavy lifts. This is likely due to the cushioning creating a disconnect between the foot and the floor.
The Nike Free X Metcon is a deliciously modern looking shoe with a ton of colorway options available. It's similar in style to a street shoe with its tongue placement and minimal silhouette. If you’ve previously owned a Free or Metcon shoe from Nikes line up, you must be able to recognize the subtle nods to those shoes in the design of this hybrid. When it comes to colors, Nike has you covered with over ten different options ranging from more neutral like black/white or beige/white to more bolder like the shades of maroon style, red/black or the army green/ camouflage style.
The carbon rubber used in the outsole is an incredibly strong material that’s often used in the construction of tires. The decision to use it on the bottom of the Free X Metcon helps to prolong the lifespan of the ankles. The rubber guard found in the outsole to the midfoot area helps to add an air of durability by providing abrasion resistance during exercises that have been proven to damage shoe structures. The TPU material on the hole paired with Nike's Flywire filaments provide durability that ensures your trainers won't give up before you do.
Nike knew when manufacturing these shoes that they needed to outfit them with a number of protective features in order to not only boost the performance of the athletes wearing them but to provide safety features that will protect them during their hard workouts. There is a toe clip present on the front of the shoe that provides an ample amount of protection on the inside of the foot during exercises like burpees. There is a section on the middle of the outsole that wraps around the sidewalls of the shoe to provide an element of protection against abrasion during exercises like rope climbs.
These shoes are fairly responsive. We found that they performed well against most exercises we tried while testing them, save for heavy Olympic lifts
where the cushioning was a little too extreme to allow us to properly feel the ground under our feet. The Free X Metcon respond well during both high impact exercises (think box jumps, burpees, and double unders) as well as during lower impact and more steady state cardiovascular activities.
Nike really held nothing back when it came to designing this shoe. It is rife with supportive features that will provide a safe environment for your workouts. The TPU heel counter supports around the ankle and up into the lacing system. For a more supportive fit, you can lace the heel counter even lower. The forefoot is wrapped in TPU and the tri-star tread on the outsole is able to provide both compression and rigidity wherever necessary. The Flywire filaments on the upper wrap around the foot to provide a more supportive in-shoe feel.
This cross trainer is made for your hardcore workouts, whether they're helping you whip your legs up into a handstand push-up, climbing up a door or completing grueling hill sprints, the Nike Free X Metcon will perform for you. They will provide exactly what you’re looking for in a trainer for your gym workouts and even on the road during everyday runs. We wouldn't suggest that you wear these for powerlifting workouts or on any long trail runs, but users should find that they perform rather well for most other applications.
With a Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price of $120.00, consumers can rejoice in the fact that they’ve found an incredibly durable, comfortable and supportive cross trainee for their extreme workouts at a very affordable price. Because these are actually a newer release at the time if publication (they came out in April 2018), you’ll be hard pressed to find them at a cheaper price point than that. Even a $120 price tag feels a bit like a steal, though, when you consider the value you’re receiving in return.
The outsole of the Free X Metcon is designed to provide omnidirectional traction. The laser-siped flex grooves found on the sole of the shoe provide a grip that will ensure you are able to wear these during your workouts that demand lateral movements without fear of getting hurt when your sneakers lose traction. The rubber that wraps around the middle of the shoe provides grip when it comes time to traverse the dreaded rope during rope climbs.
There are a number of features in the Free X Metcon that add to the flexibility of the trainers. Working our way from top to bottom, we will first look at the outsole. The multidirectional grooves on the bottom of the shoe provide an outcome flexibility that lends itself well to certain exercises like sprinting or box jumps. The midsole foam is flexible and very comfortable, but we found these features do not necessarily perform the best during particularly heavy Olympic style lifts. The GPU-faced mesh upper adds a lot of flexibility for the top of the foot, providing a great in-shoe feeling for running. The bootie construction of the upper also adds another element of flexibility, allowing for just the right amount of movement for your workout. When it comes to performance, the Free X Metcon is flexible enough to be worn during a number of different activities like CrossFit WODs, sprinting, or even just an everyday run.
The heel clip helps to provide stability for your foot during lateral movements, a feat that definitely comes in handy during many WODs. The lacing system allows you to adjust the laces as necessary depending on what exercises you’re doing during any given workout. For example, if your workout calls for barbell thrusters, you will likely benefit from using the lace holes found close to the sole of the shoe. This will help to provide a tighter fit around the ankles, thus boosting the overall support and stability. While the Free X Metcon doesn’t offer as much stability as Nike’s dedicated Metcon line, users can still expect to be provided with an ample amount of security regardless.
The drop for the Nike Free X Metcon is 5mm, making them a moderately low to the ground shoe. Having a pair of training shoes in this heel to toe drop range helps to reduce the torque on the body as well as helps to improve the stability of the wearer as well. The general consensus is that shoes with a lower drop will cause runners who don’t currently heel strike to hit the ground prematurely during their stride. This can cause them to try to run against their natural stride, making the perfect breeding ground for injuries. This is something to take into consideration during your decision-making process.
-Nike Flywire filaments in the upper to provide support and stability
-Dual density midsole for comfort
-Durable in high abrasion areas tone
-Bootie construction for a sock-like fit
-Flexibility from deep grooves in the outsole
The bottom line is that the Nike Free X Metcon is a fantastic cross training shoe option for the serious exerciser. It was made to be worn in your CrossFit box and put through the wringer during all of your difficult and demanding WODs. Not a CrossFitter? You can definitely still benefit from what these shoes have to offer. They’re fantastic for running or gym workouts and with their unique combination of cushioning, stability and flexibility, most people should find that these perform very well in many different applications. With such an affordable price tag considering the value and the brand name attached to the Free X Metcon, even the most novice exercise will be able to find value in this product. We highly recommend it.