Nike Metcon 5 Review

At long last, the Nike Metcon 5 training shoe has arrived.

The Mat Fraser special edition (aka the “matcon”) sold out quickly at all retailers.

But, now there are many other styles available.

The Nike Metcon 5 Training Shoe is here - This is the Mat Fraser limited edition shoe.
The Nike Metcon 5 Training Shoe is here – This is the Mat Fraser limited edition shoe.

Here’s a peek at some of the styles available now. Other styles are coming soon – so check back often.

Nike Metcon 5 Cross Training Shoe
Nike Metcon 5 Men's Black/Gunsmoke Black/Gunsmoke will be available worldwide on Monday July 8th.
Nike Metcon 5 Men's Jade Horizon/Imperial Blue/Gunsmoke/Glacier Blue Jade Horizon/Imperial Blue/Gunsmoke/Glacier Blue will be available worldwide on Monday July 8th.
Nike Metcon 5 Cross Training Shoe
Nike Metcon 5 Men's Black/Sunset Pulse/Black/Oil Grey Black/Sunset Pulse/Black/Oil Grey is available now on Nike Plus.
Nike Metcon 5 - Coming Soon!
Nike Metcon 5 Men's Gold/Black Gold/Black is available as of July 8th.
Nike Metcon 5 Cross Training Shoe
Nike Metcon 5 Women's Pure Platinum/Imperial Blue/Black/Oil Grey Soon there will be several non-special edition options available in Women's sizes, including Pure Platinum/Imperial Blue/Black/Oil Grey
Nike Metcon 5 Mat Fraser Edition
Nike Metcon 5 Mat Fraser Edition Features signature details that pay tribute to 3X CrossFit Games Champ Mat Fraser. It was a very limited edition, and is now sold out.

What’s New in The Nike Metcon 5

Let’s look at what is new in the Nike Metcon 5.

We’re looking at the special edition Mat Fraser shoe here.

Let’s start with the upper – the top part of the shoe that covers your foot.

Nike Metcon 5 - the 3D printed "haptic" upper is back
Nike Metcon 5 – the 3D printed “haptic” upper is back

Like the previous shoe, the upper is 3D-printed. It is meant to be breathable and helps keep you cool.

You’ll also notice the wrap-around sole is back – for tough protection during rope climbs.

Nike Metcon 5 - The Rope Wrap area is bigger (and better) than ever
Nike Metcon 5 – The Rope Wrap area is bigger (and better) than ever

But, notice there’s a new directional pattern on the rope wrap – and it goes higher up the side of the shoe.

This should give you better grip and better protection when rope climbing.

Here’s a close-up of the rope wrap:

Close-up of the rope wrap on the Nike Metcon 5 - notice the directional pattern for better grip.
Close-up of the rope wrap on the Nike Metcon 5 – notice the directional pattern for better grip.

Above the rope wrap you can see the 3D print upper is changed. This new haptic chain-link pattern is meant to better withstand the abuse of rope climbs.

Here’s a close-up.

Close up view of the haptic chain link pattern on the Nike Metcon 5 - this helps make the shoe even more durable for rope climbs.
Close up view of the haptic chain link pattern on the Nike Metcon 5 – this helps make the shoe even more durable for rope climbs.

All together- this means more grip on rope climbs, and easier descents too.

The tongue has more cushioning for better support and lock-down.

Nike Metcon 5 Mat Fraser - Durable tread wraps up the midfoot to give you abrasion-resistant grip during rope climbs.
Nike Metcon 5 Mat Fraser – Durable tread wraps up the midfoot to give you abrasion-resistant grip during rope climbs.

The diamond shaped heel is now wider. This wider heel improves stability during heavy squats, snatches, cleans and any other heavy weightlifting.

Nike has also improved the drop-in midsole. It’s dual density foam – like usual – but they’ve raised the sides up a bit compared to previous years.

Why a dual-density midsole? It is softer and more flexible in the forefoot, but is denser in the heel – where you need weightlifting stability.

After having worn my shoes for several days – I can confidently say that the Metcon 5s are definitely more comfortable than the Nike Metcon 4 XD. There’s more cushion, especially in the heel area, but they are still OK for heavy weightlifting.

This dual-density foam is one of the big secrets to making the Nike Metcon shoes so versatile – box jumps, jumping rope, sprints and more all benefit from that flexible forefoot.

Nike Metcon 5 - Drop-in midsole has higher sides than past models
Nike Metcon 5 – Drop-in midsole has higher sides than past models

What’s the raised sides good for? Better lateral stability, most likely.

Additionally the “heel to toe drop” or just plain “drop” is the same at 4mm. This means your heel is 4mm higher than your toes.

This helps with versatility – you can lift, run, jump, and climb in these shoes.

But, with the Metcon 5, Nike has included removable lifts that can be inserted into the shoe.

Here’s what the Hyperlifts look like. They are the orange wedges to the right of the shoes. They simply drop into the heel area, and one is labeled left, the other right.

 A Nike Hyperlift insert gives an additional 8mm lift for men and 6mm for women to further improve stability. The higher offset helps you to maintain heel-to-ground contact and balance, which can create strong stability during heavy lifts as well as high-rep squats, wall balls, thrusters and even rowing.
A Nike Hyperlift insert gives an additional 8mm lift for men and 6mm for women to further improve stability.

These Nike Hyperlift inserts gives an additional 8mm lift for men and 6mm for women to further improve stability.

This helps the shoes work more like traditional weightlifting shoes (“lifters”) – which have a big heel raise to help with certain movements (like squats.)

Nike says that:

“The higher offset helps you to maintain heel-to-ground contact and balance, which can create strong stability during heavy lifts as well as high-rep squats, wall balls, thrusters and even rowing.”

Here’s what they look like in the shoe.

Nike Metcon 5 includes removable Hyperlifts - use these when you want 8mm of additional heel raise.
Nike Metcon 5 includes removable Hyperlifts – use these when you want 8mm of additional heel raise.

On the underside of the shoe, we have the outsole, or more simply the sole.

It’s sporting a new tread pattern. But just like last year’s shoe it has stickier rubber in the forefoot and a more durable rubber in the heel.

Nike Metcon 5 Mat Fraser - Mat's signature is visible through the translucent rubber outsole.
Nike Metcon 5 Mat Fraser – Mat’s signature is visible through the translucent rubber outsole.

Nike’s Flywire is back too. These are super-tough filaments that integrate with the laces of the shoe. They run through the body of the shoe and help to tighten up the fit when you tighten the laces.

Nike's Flywire integrates with the laces to give a perfect fit.
Nike’s Flywire integrates with the laces to give a perfect fit.

They provide a similar function to that of the midfoot strap on a weightlifting shoe.

Nike Metcon 5 Mat Fraser edition - The racing stripe nods to the chase for first place on the competition floor.
Nike Metcon 5 Mat Fraser edition – The racing stripe nods to the chase for first place on the competition floor.

Here’s a view from the heel. The low-drag heel clip is still in place. This has been a standard feature of the shoe since the earlier Metcon 3.

Nike Metcon 5 - The heel clip is still low-drag to ensure you can do HSPUs without a problem.
Nike Metcon 5 – The heel clip is still low-drag to ensure you can do HSPUs without a problem.

The Dreaded Metcon Squeak Is Gone

You want to know what’s NOT back?

The dreaded Metcon Squeak.

Previous models of Nike Metcons are some of the noisiest shoes around – it’s due to the movement between the outsole and that drop-in midsole.

But at last, Nike has eliminated the problem in the Metcon 5 for good – mine do not squeak at all.

Nike Metcon 5 Sizing

These new Nike Metcon 5s run narrower than the Metcon 4 did.

We, and many others on the Internet, recommend you order 1/2 size up from your normal shoe size.

Nike Metcon 5 – Regular Editions

The Mat Fraser edition is now sold out, but the regular versions of the shoe are now available – for both men and women.

Here’s a look at one of the options currently available.

Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5 – better than ever but Nike hasn’t changed what makes this training shoe great for CrossFit
Nike Metcon 5 Men's
Nike Metcon 5 has a 4mm heel to toe drop, but you can also use the included Hyperlifts to have heel raise when you need it
Nike Metcon 5 - Sole
The sole of the Nike Metcon 5 has a new tread pattern.
Nike Metcon 5 Men's
Nike Metcon 5 Men’s – The most prominent feature is the bigger rope wrap
Nike Metcon 5 - Heel
Nike Metcon 5 heel is still low drag on walls to allow you to do HSPUs with ease (Hand Stand Push Ups)

Here’s the women’s lead colorway – expect more options upon global release July 8th.

Nike Metcon 5 - Women's
Nike Metcon 5 Women’s – the best CrossFit training shoe yet?
Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon 5 Women’s – 4mm heel to toe drop, breathable mesh upper – and all the other features you need for the WOD

Nike Metcon 5 vs Nike Metcon 4 XD

How does the new Nike Metcon 5 stack up against last year’s Nike Metcon 4 XD?

To be honest, the fit and feel of the Nike Metcon 5 and the Nike Metcon 4 XD are very, very close.

(With the caveat that the Metcon 5s run a little narrower – so order 1/2 size up from the size of your Metcon 4 XD.)

Nike Metcon 5 vs Nike Metcon 4 XD
Nike Metcon 5 vs Nike Metcon 4 XD – Has Nike made the 5 better than the 4?

But, there are improvements in the Nike Metcon 5 that should prove themselves over time.

There’s more cushion in the 5s – they are more comfortable for all-day wear and walking long distance. I could imagine they are going to be better for running too – but I haven’t run long distance in them yet.

We’ve talked about the “Rope Wrap” at length already. The Metcon 5 is definitely going to be the superior rope climbing shoe – the wrap is bigger and has a better tread pattern to it.

Here’s another difference, the drop-in midsole is deeper on the Metcon 5. Here’s a side by side shot.

Drop-in midsole - the Nike Metcon 5 (orange) has higher sides as compared to the Nike Metcon 4 XD
Drop-in midsole – the Nike Metcon 5 (orange) has higher sides as compared to the Nike Metcon 4 XD

The outsole tread pattern is very different on the two shoes as well.

I think the Metcon 5 will fare better on a variety of surfaces, especially outdoors.

Nike Metcon 5 has a more diverse tread pattern on the sole, as compared to the Nike Metcon 4 XD
Niket Metcon 5 has a more diverse tread pattern on the sole, as compared to the Nike Metcon 4 XD

The Metcon series have traditionally been meant for indoor gym use.

And to be honest, I DO NOT want a deep, squishy tread on my shoes I use for heavy lifting.

Lastly, my pair of Metcon 5s have zero squeak to them (even after removing and replacing the midsole several times.).

My Nike Metcon 4 XDs (and my 4s, and 3s) all squeak.

Nike Metcon 5 vs Nike Metcon Sport

Nike is promoting the Nike Metcon Sport as the best shoe for agility.

Nike Metcon Sport vs Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon Sport vs Nike Metcon 5 – What are the key differences?

Differences as compared to the Metcon 5?

The obvious difference is that there are no laces – it’s a slip fit shoe that incorporates pull tabs and a midfoot hook and loop strap.

You might think it would fit too loose – I assure you it does not. You are going to need those pull tabs to get these on. And you can tighten things up nicely using the velcro strap.

The Sports are a lot taller as well.

Nike Metcon Sport is taller than the Nike Metcon 5
Nike Metcon Sport is taller than the Nike Metcon 5

But there’s other key differences.

The outsole tread is much more aggressive – the Nike Metcon Sport is better for outdoors usage – especially on turf, grass, etc.

Nike Metcon Sport has a very aggressive tread intended for outdoors use - the Nike Metcon 5 is less so.

The Nike Metcon Sport also has significantly higher sides on the drop-in midsole. Here’s a comparison.

Nike Metcon 5 drop-in midsole vs Nike Metcon Sport
The Nike Metcon Sport (red) has significantly higher sides on the drop-in midsole.

Most comfortable shoe?

It’s still the Nike Metcon Sport. It’s my go to shoe for all day wear.

Nike Metcon 5 vs Reebok Nano 9

How does the Metcon 5 stack up against it’s main competitor the Reebok Nano 9?

This is a tough call to make – because both shoes are very good.

Read our full head to head comparison here.

Nike Metcon 5 vs Reebok Nano 9
Nike Metcon 5 vs Reebok Nano 9

Nike Metcon 5 vs UnderArmour Tribase Reign

Check back soon and we’ll have details here.

Nike Metcon 5 – In Summary

Overall, it looks like Nike has made some great incremental improvements to a shoe everyone loves.

Check back soon – we’ll have a full hands on review and we’ll compare these to the best cross training shoes.

Nike Metcon 5 - Women's
Nike Metcon 5 – Women’s
Why Rogue Fitness Products? We’re a Rogue Fitness affiliate – so if you order equipment after clicking the links in this article we receive monetary compensation. But that’s not why we recommend Rogue. It’s because their equipment is tough, durable, well-made, and offers the “best of the best”. Their innovative designs and diversity of options make your training better – allowing you to reach your personal goals faster. And that’s why we love them.

Photo Credits

  • Nike Metcon 5 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.

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