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.