By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS
Photo credit: Amazon
The Nike Metcon 5 is the most functional weightlifting shoe I have ever used. It provides the ideal balance between lockdown support, comfort, and heel lift for both deadlifts and squats, thanks to the removable heel inserts. The revamped outer design also improves the grip so that your floor contact is more secure than ever. Knowing that your foot grip is secure gives you much-needed confidence when lifting heavy weight overhead. This shoe is also very breathable.
While it couldn’t really be described as stylish, this shoe is perfectly suitable for taking to the streets after your workout. However, it’s not as loud as some competitor offerings. The Metcon 5 is not really designed as a running shoe, and it is best confined to your gym workouts.
The Nike Metcon 5 is a great workout shoe. It is functional enough to meet the needs of every exercise on your workout regimen. If you are performing HIIT workouts with quick changes of pace and intensity, this may well be the best shoe you’ll find.
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For many years, my experience with workout shoes has been frustrating. My typical workout is a mix between compound weight lifting moves like squats and plyo-type exercises such as box jumps. But I could never find a shoe that was built for both. Short of changing shoes midway through my workout, I was out of luck. Recently, though, things have improved with the introduction of all-around training shoes that provide a happy medium between the heel lift, support, and stability that you need to power through your entire workout. When I had my first workout in a pair of Nike Metcon 5s, I knew that my frustrations were finally over.
The best gym shoes will allow your body to be in the ideal anatomical position for heavy compound strength training exercises like squats and deadlifts, as well as for plyometric exercises such as skipping and box jumps. But here’s the problem: squats require heel lift, while deadlifts and plyo moves depend on a flat heel. The best shoe will provide both.
Nike has solved this dilemma by creating a removable Hyperlift insert that provides an additional 8mm of lift for men and 6mm for women. This allows for greater heel-to-ground balance and contact when you’re squatting, doing thrusters, or rowing. But that’s just one of the innovations that Nike has introduced with version 5 of the Metcon.
Many people, including professional athletes, consider the Nike Metcon 4 to be the “perfect” training shoe. Yet, that didn’t stop Nike’s designers from striving to make it even better. Here is what they’ve done to improve upon perfection.
The later-model Metcons feature reinforced siding for protection during rope climbs, which is an update from its first version. The Nike Metcon 5 takes that protection to a new level with a tri-star shape that provides a higher peak. This gives even more protection for rope climbers. The directional pattern of the rope grip enhances the grip during rope climbs while also providing for a smoother slide on the way down.
The Nike Metcon 5 features a redesigned tongue to provide better cushioning than the Metcon 4. This allows for improved lockdown and support.
The Metcon 5 has a wider heel than all previous versions. This gives you better stability when you are performing exercises that involve grounding yourself by pushing your heels into the floor.
The midsole of the Metcon 5 features a dual-density drop in the midsole. This gives you a far more flexible forefoot, allowing you to perform better on your plyometric and multidirectional exercises. This design also provides added protection when you are doing high-impact moves like double unders and burpees.
The outsole on the Metcon 5 has been completely made over. It now provides stickier rubber on the forefoot to enhance your lockdown and prevent foot slippage. The rubber in the heel area has also been reinforced to make for a longer-lasting, more durable outer.
The Nike Metcon 5 features a heel clip that is designed to improve your stability when you are performing handstand push-ups. The clip also reduces wall friction when you are performing this exercise.
Buying a new training shoe isn’t all about functionality. You also want it to look good. In fact, you want a shoe that is stylish enough that you can take it directly from the gym floor to the street, knowing that it’s going to enhance rather than detract from your leisure style.
The Nike Metcon 5 has an understated style that allows it to complement your look, whether you’re decked out in jeans or track pants. This is a decent-looking shoe that features muted colors. The Nike Metcon logo has been refreshed with a larger, sleeker design than on the Metcon 4. However, if you’re looking for a more stylish trainer, check out the Nike Air Max 270 or the Chuck Taylor All Star High Top.
When Nike introduces a new workout shoe, they pass it to their stable of world-class athletes to put it through its paces before releasing it to the public. The Nike Metcon 5 has undergone more than 9,000 hours of hardcore testing by such crossfit legends as Matt Fraser and Lauren Fisher. Every single one of them gave it a resounding five-star rating!
“I really didn’t think there was much to improve from the Metcon 4. As soon as I got the 5, it became my new favorite. It’s the little things: the thickness of the new tongue that holds my foot in place, the new traction pattern that gives me exactly what I’ve been looking for to reduce slipping . . . the attention to detail makes this an amazing shoe.”Mat Fraser