In the year following its first shoe, Nike has wowed the CrossFit community with updates to both design and technology. For all the benefits of being comfortable and aesthetically cool, we were disappointed with how rigid Metcon 1 shoes felt when running long distances. Though Nike didn’t change the appearance of the Metcon, significant changes were made throughout the shoe.
Drew Conant, Nike training footwear product director says that their goal with the Metcon 2 was to improve flexibility as well as durability “among other considerations.” They sought feedback from world-class CrossFit athletes like Mat Fraser and Josh Bridges during the development process.
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After a week of workouts, it’s hard to say how durable the Nike Metcon 2 shoes are. However, Ryan Conant says that Nike added abrasion-resistant TPU skins to the parts of the shoe where wear was most likely: on toe box, upper forefoot area and quarter panel (heel area). While the maker also added in a waterfall heel which is an addition to help cushion the foot, it feels like any high-end running footwear. The foam hugs your foot while still moving as you jump or run, for all day comfort. Compared to the Metcon 1 shoe, the new heel of the Metcon 2 is less irritating and rubs much less on the Achilles.
“Though we didn’t notice a noticable difference in cooling,” says Conant, “the Metcon 2 felt like it had ample ventilation and our feet didn’t feel just like these were overheating during extra-sweaty sessions.” Although the new design feels more stable than before, its improved flexibility made it feel even better. We were able to run three miles without feeling any soreness in our feet.
The strongest feature Nike says it added is the hard plastic ridge on the back of heel. This creates less drag when athletes press their feet against a wall during handstand pushups. More importantly, this upgrade came from athlete suggestions and it’s exactly what CrossFitters need- yet others have failed to provide it in time.
The Nike Metcon 2 is available online and in store, starting at $130. Online customers are entitled to the customized option for an additional price, which Nike says will take six weeks before delivery.