Nike Metcon 3 Trainer Review
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One of the first big releases in footwear this year was the Nike Metcon 3, which became available everywhere on January 6. Designed for serious crossfit training, the shoe came with a few upgrades, building on the great reputation of the original Metcons.
Its arrival on the scene caused quite a stir within the crossfit community, after the release date was announced online a few weeks before launch date by Matt Fraser, 2016 Crossfit Games Champion. Since then, the low-profile sneaker has gained quick popularity for its definitive styling, lightweight construction, and stable platform.
We were already fans of the Metcon line, so it was only natural that the new version would eventually wind up on the list for review. With prices hovering near $150, it seemed pricey but worth it based on the reputation of previous models. I was able to test a pair for about a week and I was not disappointed. Now, I did notice some online reviewers mentioning that it was not an ideal shoe for running long distances, but I do have other shoes for that, so I have just stuck to training in these.
A lot of thought seems to have gone into designing the upper of the Nike Metcon 3. While it doesn’t seem to stray much from its predecessors, the mesh is distributed in a more strategic manner, allowing for breathability in the ankle and heel area. Also, the TPU heel counter seems to provide even more reinforcement for strenuous training activities, such as power lifting and jumping, and the toe box has been re-done to feel more flexible. I actually felt more sure-footed when doing my squats, lifts and stretches and it does seem to react pretty well to sudden movements.
Nike also incorporated the lacing with Flywire technology, so when the shoe is laced up, it provides a truly glove-like feel. Light padding on the tongue and collar, as wells a soft lining add an extra level of comfort, and there are also enhanced areas of the upper where high wear is expected. So far, there aren’t any noticeable scuff marks on the upper of my Metcon 3, even after several rigorous WOD routines.
The Nike Metcon 3’s sole unit is truly engineered for comfort and durability. First of all, the enhanced heel counter does provide the extra support I need for demanding lifts. As for the forefoot, it is a little softer than what I’m used to, but it does offer a more flexible fit and the flex grooves are a nice touch.
The midsole, which is described as drop-in, also offers sturdy cushioning and it is all backed up by a flat rubber outsole that provides good grip on most surfaces. The outsole actually consists of two types of rubber, textured in the mid region that helps to bolster the snug fit, and a softer, sticky rubber in the front to provide more traction when doing climbs and other stunts.
If you’re into serious crossfit training, the Nike Metcon 3 is a shoe that could work for you. Its ‘rad’ design also stands out, making it good for casual occasions, although I haven’t used it much outside the gym. Besides, I like how it has been performing for training so far.
Now, although I really like the Metcon 3, it does have a few drawbacks. First, it does fit a bit small, so go for a half-size up and you should be fine (that’s what I did). Also, while it is cushioned enough for comfortable crossfit training, it doesn’t stand up well for running long distances. One more thing, some people find it to be a bit noisy, but the soft flapping sound doesn’t bother me.
The Metcon 3 is a decent upgrade and really lives up to the hype, although probably a little pricey. Nike can make further inroads in the crossfit market if they continue refining this model.