Fans of the Nike Metcon line of cross training shoes have a new footwear option for 2019: the Nike Metcon 4 XD.
The Nike Metcon 4 XD is now available online from Rogue Fitness.
How does this versatile cross training shoe stack up against the Nike Metcon 4?
How has Nike improved upon what is arguably the best cross training shoe for lifting weights?
That’s what we’ll talk about here. Let’s review what is new and improved on the Nike Metcon 4 XD.
Improved Durability – New Upper
First and foremost – the biggest update is the upper.
That’s basically the “top” of the shoe – that covers the toes and foot and attaches to the outsole.
Nike claims greater durability by using a new 3-D print that reinforces the shoe from toe to heel.
First, let’s take a peek at the upper on the Nike Metcon 4.
You can clearly see that the haptic print varies in size – it covers high wear areas more thoroughly, and is smaller or non-existent in other areas.
Now, let’s look at the upper of the Nike Metcon 4 XD.
It’s definitely the visible difference – as you can see here, the diamond like print is larger and covers more of the underlying mesh fabric than the prior version’s “tri-star” design.
It provides a more complete covering, with room between the “scales” to allow your foot to breath.
For the heel, there’s not as much of a difference. In fact, the Nike Metcon 4 appears to have the more complete coverage.
The Nike Metcon 4 XD is on the left, and the Nike Metcon 4 is on the right.
The new 3D Print on the Nike Metcon 4 XD covers more area, and more thoroughly.
It is certainly going to make the shoe last longer.
But, the key question – this is certainly covering up more of the breathable mesh fabric underneath also – will the Nike Metcon 4 XDs breathe as well as the prior version?
Check back for a real world update in the near future.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder – but to me, the Nike Metcon 4 line is the best looking cross training shoe.
And the first batch of Nike Metcon 4 XD colorways look like the tradition will continue.
Personally, I just can’t get into the looks of the Reebok Nano 8 or the NOBULL Trainers – even if they are excellent shoes.
Nike has historically churned out new colorway options on a regular basis with the Nike Metcon 4 line, so we expect the Nike Metcon 4 XD line to be no different.
Here’s a look at the currently available colorways for men.
By the way, if you see a color combination you like – snag it now while you can find it in your size. They won’t make the same color options for the entire manufacturing run of the shoe.
There are complex, eye catching color schemes such as the “Black/Anthracite/White/Wolf Grey” combination.
But there’s also more conservative choices – such as good old black and white.
For a super-versatile color choice, you can’t go wrong with grey.
It goes with everything.
The “Cool Grey/Dark Grey/Wolf Grey/Black” colorway has all the grey you need.
Lastly for a more vibrant look for men’s shoes, we have “White/Racer Blue/Back/Flash Crimson”.
And, we’ve already got the next round of colorways.
“Hyper Crimon/Gunsmoke/Black/White” is a radical look – but wouldn’t look out of place in the gym at all.
“Sequoia / University Red / Olive Canvas” is another great looking color combo.
All of them look pretty sharp, in my opinion.
The other thing I love about the Nike shoes – if you don’t see what you want you can probably have something customized just how you want it via Nike ID. That’ll cost more (about $30), and it takes up to 6 weeks to receive them though.
There’s lot of great options for women’s shoes as well.
“Atmosphere Grey/Plum Dust/Summit White/True Berry” or “purple and grey” – as I would call it – looks fantastic.
The vibrant color option for the ladies is “White/Flash Crimson/Sail/Racer Blue”.
So, that is what is new and improved with the Nike Metcon 4 XD as compared to the Nike Metcon 4.
The upper uses more robust 3D print – this improves durability, and we have some sharp new color options.
Let’s switch gears now and talk about what Nike didn’t mess with in the Nike Metcon 4 XD.
What’s Unchanged in the Nike Metcon 4 XD
Nike knew to leave well enough alone with many of the beloved features of the Nike Metcon 4 shoe.
Let’s start from the ground up.
The outsole (sole) is composed of two types of rubber.
There’s extra sticky rubber up front for maximum traction – like you need when performing a sled push.
And there’s firmer rubber in the heel – to ensure your foot doesn’t compress too much into the shoe as you are lifting weights.
The heel in the Nike Metcon 4 XD is FIRM just like in the plain 4s.
These shoes tend to make a “clip-clop” sound as you walk around in them – just like a real pair of squat shoes or Olympic weightlifting shoes.
And that’s why we love them for lifting weights.
But the Nike Metcon 4 XDs are meant to be WOD versatile – just like the Nike Metcon 4.
They’ve kept the pre-formed forefoot flex grooves in the sole, which ensure you have flex in the shoe where you need it. This is helpful for running, jumping, skipping rope, and more.
They’ve also kept that great “tri-star” design on the sole – for grip and traction in all directions.
You can also see that the outsole still wraps around and up the sides of the shoe at the mid-point. This is right where you’d grip a rope during rope climbs.
This isn’t a need that everyone has – but it’s great for those that need it.
Climbing ropes with regular shoes will annihilate them quickly. The friction of the rope against the unprotected upper shreds shoes like crazy.
But, in the Nike Metcon 4 XD you can see the wrap around outsole puts only the toughest part of the shoe (the outsole) in contact with the rope.
Moving to the back of the shoe – the TPU heel clip is still in place.
TPU is a tough, durable plastic. It’s also quite firm and helps retain shape.
This gives you correct heel support for lifting heavy weights, and also for lateral stability.
Similarly the heel counter is made from low-drag material and will let your feet glide with minimal friction against the wall when doing HSPUs (Hand Stand Push Ups).
Nike has really thought through all the possible requirements of the CrossFit WOD!
The other big feature that Nike has carried over from the Nike Metcon 4 – these are low-profile or low drop shoes.
The “heel to toe drop” (also called the offset) on these is minimal – about 4 mm. Just like the Nike Metcon 4.
In a nutshell, that means these shoes don’t have a oversized heel raise.
This helps encourage mid-foot striking when running and overall yields a more versatile shoe.
It also makes for a stable platform all around.
A raised heel would be more of a benefit for getting deep on squats. That’s why pure weightlifting shoes like the Adipower and Nike Romaleos 3 have a very high heel.
But, an outrageous heel raise isn’t good for much else.
So, for a versatile shoe – low heel to toe drop is the way to go.
(It also makes these great deadlifting shoes – in my opinion.)
The midsole is the layer of material between the inner and outer soles of a shoe, primarily for absorbing shock.
It also ensures you have proper arch support.
In the Nike Metcon 4 XD the drop-in midsole is firmer in the heel and softer in the forefoot. As it was in the Nike Metcon 4.
What’s a drop-in midsole?
It’s removable – it literally drops in to the shoe. This gives Nike the freedom to build the midsole from advanced materials – like dual-density foam.
Here’s the underside of the midsole. You can see the pre-formed flex grooves are in the midsole, as well as the outsole.
The firm heel provides improved stability for weight lifting, and at the same time the softer forefoot improves cushioning for sprints and short runs.
Short runs? Yes, short runs.
The Nike Metcon 4 XD will excel as a weightlifting shoe – and not as much a running shoe.
The firm heel and relative lack of cushioning are considered important for lifting heavy weights, whereas for running distance you want more cushioning and shock absorption.
Therefore, if you lift more than you run, this is probably the shoe for you.
We’ve discussed the upper already, it’s the site of the biggest change.
But, what’s not changed is the breathable mesh fabric that is under all that 3D print.
As anyone wearing leather shoes or boots can attest – working out in them would be miserable.
You’ve got to have a breathable shoe.
Moving on to the laces – in the Nike Metcon 4 XD we’ve got 6 lace eyelets – just like the Nike Metcon 4.
Flywire is also still here. This is Nike’s trademarked filaments that integrate with the laces and through the entire shoe to ensure a secure, locked-in fit.
Think of it like a light-weight version of the mid-sole strap on a purpose built weightlifting shoe.
You can see the Flywire is color coordinated in parts of the shoe – a nice touch.
Think it looks weak? It’s not. Those filaments are made from vectran. It’s pound for pound stronger than steel – despite it’s thin, threadlike appearance.
That’s why it’s called Flywire.
That’s a lot of info – but a picture is worth a thousand words – here’s some of the best features of the Nike Metcon 4 XD represented visually.
And here’s one for the ladies…
Nike has given consumers a mid-life revision of the Nike Metcon 4 shoe.
The Nike Metcon 4 XD has a new upper that is tougher.
At the same time, they didn’t forget what made the Nike Metcon 4 shoe great – low drop, firm heel, and maximum versatility.
The Nike Metcon 4 XD is a worthy successor to the Nike Metcon 4 – and will hold us over until the next Nike Metcon training shoe is available.
Should you upgrade to the Nike Metcon 4 XD from the Nike Metcon 4? Only if your current pair is worn out. But, if you need a new pair, buying the Nike Metcon 4 XD is a solid choice.
The release of the XD may also help drive discounts on existing inventory of the Nike Metcon 4 shoes!
And lastly, the Nike Metcon 4 line is a great weightlifting shoe and you can sprint or run with it.
But it is not a runner’s shoe.
- Nike Metcon 4 XD product photos are courtesy of Nike
- Some product imagery on this page is property of Rogue Fitness and provided by Rogue Fitness.
- This website is not affiliated or associated with CrossFit, Inc. CrossFit is a registered trademark of CrossFit, Inc.