- Some Nike Metcon 5 product photos are courtesy of Nike
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At long last, the Nike Metcon 5 training shoe has arrived.
Let’s find out what is new and improved.
The Mat Fraser special edition (aka the “matcon”) sold out quickly at all retailers.
But, now there are many other styles available – here is the Men’s Black/Gunsmoke color combination.
Here’s a peek at some of the styles available now. Other styles are coming soon – so check back often.
Nike Metcon 5 – Hands On Review from our YouTube Channel
Want to see the Metcon 5 close up? Check out our review from our channel:
Let’s talk about what’s new in this shoe.
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.
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.
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:
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.
All together- this means more grip on rope climbs, and easier descents too.
The tongue has more cushioning for better support and lock-down.
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.
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.
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.)
A lot of people are using the hyperlifts for pistol squats (one-legged squats). That’s a tricky move for most people – and it requires much more ankle flexion than a bilateral squat – so I can see where that’s a great idea.
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.
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’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.
They provide a similar function to that of the midfoot strap on a weightlifting shoe.
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.
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.
Here’s the Men’s Black/Gunsmoke colorway.
It’s got all the great features of the special edition shoe – but is much easier to get. It’s also $20 cheaper.
There is some text on the heel that displays some of the performance stats of the shoe.
Here’s a good look at the “sticky rubber” up front. It’s labeled as 004 Sticky RB.
The heel has less sticky (more durable) rubber on the sole. You can also clearly see the diamond shaped, wide heel.
Here’s the women’s lead colorway – expect more options upon global release July 8th.
Nike Metcon 5 UT “Utility”
In October 2019 Nike released a new version of the Metcon 5 – the Nike Metcon 5 UT.
It’s got all the great features of the Nike Metcon 5 – but adds a cross-over hook and loop (aka velcro) strap for the ultimate in locked in fit and feel.
What’s the benefit of this? Well it’s just like the mid-foot strap on a weightlifting shoe like the Romaleos 3.
The unique aspect in the Metcon 5 UT is how the strap criss-crosses over the shoe.
Is this overkill?
After all, the Metcon 5s have laces and Nike’s FlyWire – is a strap needed too?
I haven’t tried these yet, but I am fine with the fit and feel of the regular edition Metcon 5, personally.
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.)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The Nike Metcon Sport also has significantly higher sides on the drop-in midsole. Here’s a comparison.
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.
Or check out our YouTube hands on review:
Let’s move on and look at some more shoes…
Nike Metcon 5 vs UnderArmour Tribase Reign
You know what’s the best CrossFit shoe you haven’t heard of?
The UnderArmour Tribase Reign.
It’s a really good CrossFit shoe.
The fit and feel is real close to the Nike Metcon 4 XD. It’s very firm in the heel – and low drop at only 2mm.
They’ve even got their own proprietary “FlyWire” like system for a locked in fit and feel.
It also has preformed flex grooves in the forefoot.
And it’s got a low wall drag heel clip – wonder where they got that idea?
It’s clear that UA did their homework when they designed this shoe – they took A LOT of inspiration from the Nike Metcon line.
The biggest difference between the Metcon 5 and UA Tribase Reign is the cushioning.
There’s just more of it in Metcon 5 – that’s in the forefoot and the heel.
If you want to deep dive into more about UA’s Tribase Reign, read our thorough review.
Nike Metcon 5 vs New Balance Minimus Prevail
What’s the lightest CrossFit shoe for 2019?
It’s the Minimus Prevail from New Balance.
It’s over 2 ounces lighter per shoe as compared to the Metcon 5.
How do we know? I weighed all these shoes. The next lightest was the NOBULL Trainer.
Nike Metcon 5 – In Summary
Overall, it looks like Nike has made some great incremental improvements to a shoe everyone loves.
The biggest change in the Metcon 5? More cushioning.
They also got rid of the “metcon squeak”.
Nike has taken a great shoe, and made it even better.
How will they ever top this? You’ll just have to wait and see.
Nike Metcon 5 – Photo Credits
Tim is the founder of FitAtMidlife.com – an avid gym rat for 30+ years, he’s a reviewer of many, many shoes – and founder of the Speed Bag Gathering – the world’s only gathering of speed bag punching enthusiasts. See more gym reviews at Tim’s YouTube channel.