Nike Metcon 3

Designed for lifting and cross training the Nike Metcon 3 features a slew of updates including more durable components and enhanced stability. Don't be fooled by the similar look of the Metcon 3, the shoe is definitely a whole new beast. For all of your fitness activities, the third version of the Nike brand cross-trainer offers a great fit, a stable design, and a breathable feel. It's no surprise that the Metcon is a favorite for CrossFitters and lifters. With an affordable price tag and versatile construction, the Nike shoe hits it out of the park for the third time.

Our review below explores what's new for the Metcon 3 and what might still need attention in future versions. Overall, the third iteration of the Nike cross trainer is well thought out with a few problems that still need addressing.


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Pros & Cons
  • Attractive design
  • Very stable
  • Extremely grippy 
  • Responsive feel
  • Comfortable
  • True to size
  • Cons
    • Heel slippage still an issue
    • Rigid cushioning isn’t great for long distance training 
    • Key Features
      The Metcon 3 features a grippy rubber outsole with forefoot flex grooves. At the rear, the heel is flat to better provide stability. All around the shoe, including the outsole, areas on the shoe have been reinforced for better durability. Nike has opted to keep the outsole mostly the same as previous versions of the shoe with a few tweaks. The hexagonal tread pattern is no longer and instead has been replaced with triangular lugs. The new design is slightly stickier than before.

      Reviewers commented on the great outsole grip and stable feel of the Metcon's platform. There were still a few complaints from users about durability but otherwise, most were happy with the shoe's outsole construction.
      The midsole is barely existent in the Metcon 3, though reviewers did find that running in the 3 felt much better than with the 2. The drop-in midsole design provides excellent stability, especially for weightlifters. New to the shoe is a TPU heel clip that provides better lateral stability to users. It's also got some texture to it so it provides extra grip for those doing handstand pushups and other similar exercises.

      Reviewers found the shoe very stable, in large part due to the firm midsole and drop-in design. The cushioning, however, is rigid, so the Metcon is not a suitable choice for running. For sprints in a CrossFit workout, the shoe will feel fine.
      The Nike shoe's upper is made of snug-fitting mesh with a Flywire support system. Areas on the shoe, including the upper, have been made stronger to prevent early wear and tear. In this version of the Metcon, the upper is slightly softer, which promotes flexibility and reduces instances of cracking. The new upper, because of these changes, is much more comfortable than before.

      Some reviewers did note that the shoe felt narrower than previous versions but the majority found the Metcon 3 true to size and that overall, it provided a better fit than previous Metcon versions. Users appreciated the breathable mesh and supportive upper design. A few still mentioned fit issues with the heel clip. Even with a re-constructed TPU clip, users still encountered slippage issues - a common problem with the Metcon 2.
      Built to provide support and stability for cross-training activities, the Metcon 3 is not particularly lightweight, but that's the entire point. The men's version weighs about 11.5 oz and the women's just under 9.5 oz. While the Metcon 3 doesn't feature much midsole material, the weight comes from the shoe's other components like the reinforced upper and tough outsole.
      The mesh upper of the Metcon 3 is softer and more flexible than before. This new construction makes the 3 even more breathable than its predecessor. Many reviewers praised the improved fit, which they found felt supportive but did not cut off circulation.
      The Metcon 3 was described as comfortable by most reviewers. Though the shoe features limited midsole cushioning, the drop-in midsole design, breathable upper, flexible feel, and super stable construction make the shoe a perfect candidate for cross-training and lifting workouts. Reviewers found the shoe true to size, with a few users commenting that the 3 was a bit snug. Reviewers liked the breathable mesh and supportive upper feel, too.

      Reviewers did, however, complain about the heel area fit. While the newly designed TPU heel clip certainly provides lateral stability, some users still complained of heel slippage occurring.
      The Metcon 3 comes in various colors including dark stucco, black, grey/orange, red/black/white, and more. The look of the shoe is basically the same as before, with a few small tweaks. Reviewers were happy with the style and liked that Nike didn't deviate too much from previous designs. Both men and women should find a Metcon colorway that appeals to them.
      While a few reviewers still mentioned issues with durability, the Metcon 3 includes newly reinforced areas around the shoe for better longevity. A softer upper helps prevent cracking that was a huge issue with the Metcon 2. A newly designed TPU heel clip also helps provide lateral reinforcement in the Metcon 3. Around the shoe, you'll also notice new rubber components. These are meant to help protect against excess friction that might lead to durability problems down the road.
      The Metcon will protect you from poor form, slippery floors, and overheating. The grippy outsole with its new triangular tread and stickier material will keep you stable as you perform CrossFit exercises or lift weights. The flat heel of the shoe and drop-in midsole will ensure you smash your own records all while staying injury free. Likewise, the airy mesh upper of the Metcon will ensure your feet stay cool even when the rest of your body is on fire.
      The Metcon 3 isn't particularly responsive and it doesn't need to be. Meant for crosstraining and lifting, the intent is to provide users with a stable, supportive package that helps them perform their workouts to the best of their ability all while maintaining a baseline of comfort.
      Let's first talk about the Metcon's Flywire support system. The Flywire guides, connected to the lacing system, allow users to customize and adjust the fit with precision. In addition to this system of shoe cables, the shoe features a rear TPU heel component that provides lateral support for wearers. It does its job in terms of providing support, but quite a few reviewers found the heel cup didn't improve the slippage issue seen in past versions of the shoe. Thankfully, the mesh upper still provides a firm hold for all foot shapes.
      We're willing to bet you're probably only going to be using the Metcon 3 indoors. Whether you're at your favorite CrossFit box or in your local gym's weight room, the Metcon will help keep you firmly planted as you lift or perform bodyweight exercises. The grippy outsole's new triangular tread pattern and flexible forefoot grooves allow for easy movement without compromising stability on flat surfaces.

      Remember, the Metcon 3 isn't designed for running outside. While some users may find the shoe appropriate for running sprints during HIIT-style CrossFit workouts, the shoe is better suited for weightlifting and bodyweight exercises.
      The Metcon 3 is offered at a fair price point and reviewers felt the shoe offered a great deal of value. It's designed with specificity in mind to offer users a solid platform for cross-training activities. The Nike cross trainer doesn't try to be all things at once. While it's certainly versatile and can be used for a variety of cross-training activities, it doesn't also try to be a running shoe. Thanks to a few smart updates, the Nike Metcon 3 is a worthwhile purchase.
      The rubber outsole on the Metcon features a new tread pattern. Underfoot you'll find multiple little flexible triangles instead of hexagon shapes. The new outsole is more pliable, slightly more durable, and stickier than before. Reviewers nearly unanimously agreed that the outsole on the Nike shoe provided excellent grip.
      While the midsole definitely has a super firm feel to it, the outsole with its flexible triangular lugs and forefoot grooves is a bit softer. The upper, too, feels softer than before. Gone is the rigid upper material of previous versions. The result is a better overall fit, no more ugly cracking of the upper material, and a more breathable shoe. Reviewers liked the flexible breathable mesh and appreciated the enhanced ventilation of this new version of the Metcon.
      Stability is incredibly important for lifters. A stable base helps to ensure proper form and allows exercisers to use leverage to their advantage. The Metcon 3 introduces better lateral stability with a new heel clip design. The new upper, while softer, doesn't slack when it comes to stability. The fit is better and more supportive than ever. A slightly narrower fit also helps to ensure the shoe is stable. The grippy outsole's stickier material provides a more stable base. A drop-in midsole also helps with overall stability as does the low 4mm drop height.
      The drop height of the Metcon 3 is 4mm. It's a low drop, which helps to encourage better stability. The overall design of the shoe is low to the ground, as well. Since the Metcon features a drop-in midsole and little midsole cushioning, the stack height is smaller, meaning users aren't standing on a pile of extra material that might compromise stability.
      Key Features
      - 4mm drop height
      - Designed for lifting / cross-training
      - NEW TPU heel component with texture for grip and stability
      - NEW more durable overall construction
      - NEW enhanced upper flexibility
      - NEW triangular lug pattern and stickier outsole for enhanced flexibility and traction
      - Flat heel for stability
      - Rubber outsole provides grip
      - Forefoot Flex Grooves
      - Drop-in midsole design for stability
      - Mesh upper with a snug fit
      - Flywire upper system for a supportive fit
      Bottom Line
      The Nike Metcon 3 is a worthwhile addition to the Metcon lineup. Complaints about previous versions were clearly heard and improvements were made. The Metcon 3 offers better lateral support, has more rubber dots for enhanced durability, and a softer mesh that helps prevent the material from cracking such as in previous versions. A slightly grippier outsole delivers a more stable platform. Despite all these changes, Nike has chosen to minimally change the look of the Metcon, which was very much appreciated by loyal fans of the shoe.

      The Metcon 3 is a lifting shoe with great grip, a stable base, and a solid foundation. An affordable price tag and comfortable fit round out the reasons why you should consider adding the third Metcon to your athletic shoe collection.

      For versions down the line, Nike might consider rethinking the heel cup design in order to eliminate heel slippage. A thicker outsole might also help enhance durability. These are small issues, however, that shouldn't discourage anyone from purchasing the Metcon 3 for cross training.
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      By Steph Coelho
      Last updated:
      Brian Price
      Where to buy
      Best offer on: Jul. 29. 2021

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