The Metcon is one of Nike's most stable and durable shoes and latest version - The Nike Metcon 4 - does not disappoint.
It shines in workouts that involve lifting, functional movements and metabolic conditioning — and especially during exercises that are really going to push a shoe to the max (say, going for a snatch balance PR or climbing a rope).
When it came time to update the shoe for the fourth time, designers had plenty of feedback on what was working well and what could be better. They took a don’t-mess-it-up approach and kept some things exactly the same, and improved what needed improving. Here are the specifics:
NIKE METCON 4 - WHAT HASN’T CHANGED
The outsole. It has the same allover-rubber tri-star design (for traction in multiple directions) and the same 4-millimeter offset (which is relatively flat for a stability shoe) as the Nike Metcon 3, so you get the same underfoot experience you’ve grown to love.
The underfoot cushioning. All the cushioning you need for high-impact movements comes from a drop-in midsole — not the full rubber outsole (most traditional running and training shoes get their cushion from foam that’s exposed on the outsole, which doesn’t offer great traction and can get shredded during high-contact movements such as rope climbs).
The durability. The most significant update to the Nike Metcon 4 is the use of haptic technology on the upper. The tri-star shapes (think of this as a rubberized TPU, inspired by the rubber outsole) can be individually printed big or small anywhere on the shoe, adding strategic durability where it’s needed most (high-wear areas like the toe box and sides) and leaving mesh for breathability and flexibility in other spots.
The forefoot cushioning. Designers used a sandwich mesh (essentially a two-layer mesh with vertical fibers running through it) on the upper. This provides a sensation of cushioning on top of the foot for the first time and also hugs the foot better than previous models.
The eyelets. There are six lace eyelets (versus five) so you can fine-tune your laces for more precise comfort and support.
The tongue. A soft tri-star at the top of the tongue provides a little extra padding between the forefoot and laces.
The heel counter. More for aesthetics than performance, the carved-out heel counter is more minimal than past silhouettes.
When athletes provided feedback to Nike designers about the new shoe, most agreed that their biggest surprise was how comfortable it was. “It feels different — it almost hugs your foot and is so much softer,” says Josh Bridges, a Nike athlete and functional fitness professional.
And the best part is that the designers didn’t add cushioning, but the mesh is more flexible and gives the sensation of cushioning — all while being a lot more durable than ever before.
The Nike Metcon 4 is available on Nike iD December 19 on nike.com, at select retailers in North America January 1 and retailers globally January 4.