Home » 4 Best Nike CrossFit Shoes In 2021 | Picks for Lifting, Versatility, and Price

4 Best Nike CrossFit Shoes In 2021 | Picks for Lifting, Versatility, and Price

The Nike Metcon cross-training shoe line has continued to surge in popularity since its original debut in 2015. Four of the most popular and “newer” Nike CrossFit shoes include the Nike Metcon 4XD, Nike Metcon 5, Nike Metcon 6, and Nike React Metcon Turbo. All of these Nike CrossFit shoes offer a ton of great construction features for supporting CrossFit.

On the never-ending quest of reviewing the best cross-training shoes, I wanted to put together a comparison article breaking down the Nike Metcon 4 versus Nike Metcon 5 versus Nike Metcon 6 versus Nike React Metcon Turbo. Make sure you also check out my latest Nike Metcon 7 Review!

For this Nike Metcon comparison article, I wanted to create three key breakout sections to discuss each model’s pros, cons, and performance.

Whether you’re a first-time Nike Metcon and CrossFit shoe buyer or a weathered fan of Nike CrossFit shoes — hopefully, I can help you best model your needs below. Also, check out the That Fit Friend cross-training shoe calculator to find the best shoes for your needs.

Best Nike CrossFit Shoes for Lifting

Do note, all of the Nike CrossFit shoes (Metcon) models mentioned in this article are equally solid in a lifting setting. However, I have broken them into a hierarchy based on small details and how easy they are to find for a variety of men’s and women’s sizes.

best nike metcon for lifting 2021

My Top Nike CrossFit Shoe Choice: Nike Metcon 6

The Nike Metcon 6 is still widely available and performs really in the gym from a stability-focused point of view earning it my top spot. The 4mm heel-to-toe offset gives this shoe a nice low-to-the-ground feeling, and the firm midsole and outsole construction limit compression across the board.

The Nike Metcon 6 also features a split insole that provides a firmer material towards the heel and a slightly more responsive material on the forefoot. This construction detail and the additional Hyperlift inserts make this a great option for lifting.

  • Stable Outsole and Midsole
  • Responsive and Supportive Insole
  • 4mm Heel-to-Toe Offset

Who Should Grab This Model: The lifter that wants stability and loves having the option to use the Hyperlift inserts to elevate the heel for various exercises.

The Runner-Up: Nike Metcon 5

The Nike Metcon 5 is eerily similar to the Nike Metcon 6 in regard to its stability and midsole and outsole construction. The main difference however is the upper construction. The Nike Metcon 5’s upper is slightly “heavier” and isn’t nearly as breathable which isn’t a huge knock on this model’s performance, but more so, a knock on a lifter’s personal preference.

Similar to the Nike Metcon 6, the Nike Metcon 5 also features a Hyperlift insert that can be used at a lifter’s discretion and the split insole construction.

  • Stable Outsole and Midsole
  • Slightly Heavier Upper Construction
  • 4mm Heel-to-Toe Offset

Who Should Grab This Model: The lifter that wants to save a little money and wants a shoe that provides a lot of stability across multiple exercises.

My Third Choice: Nike Metcon 4 XD

I’ll admit it, I’m a sucker for the Metcon 4 models. I really enjoy how this model fits and it provides a ton of stability in the gym setting. The Nike Metcon 4 fit more “athletically” and doesn’t have the same width in the toe box as the Nike Metcon 5, 6, and React Metcon Turbo which does make it a slight turnoff for some lifters.

Overall though, I really enjoy the Nike Metcon 4 XDs despite them being a slightly older model. If you can them and like “athletic-fitting” shoes, then I’d say grab a pair.

  • Stable Outsole and Midsole
  • Athletic-Style Fit
  • 4mm Heel-to-Toe Offset

Who Should Grab This Model: The lifter that loves more athletic-fitting cross-training shoes and enjoys tried and true classic models.

Last But Not Least: Nike React Metcon Turbo

Don’t get me wrong, the Nike React Metcon Turbo is a great performer for lifting. However, from a pure-stability approach, it does fall a bit short compared to the previous three models. The Nike React Metcon Turbo features an insole created with Nike React material which provides this model with a slightly more responsive feel than the other Metcons.

In addition, this model’s reworked outsole is a hit for many, but a miss for some as it’s not as consistent as the previous three mentioned Nike Metcon models.

  • Disassociated Outsole Construction
  • Athletic-Style Fit
  • Nike React Insole

Who Should Grab This Model: The lifter that likes to train with a bit more of an agility and HIIT focus. This model’s upper construction and reworked outsole/midsole make it great for these activities.

Best Nike CrossFit Shoes for Versatility

When I rank shoes for versatility, I’m looking for shoes that can tackle things like shorter runs, HIIT-style training, lifting, agility, and plyometrics, all in one workout. Basically, I look at how a model stands up across the board to any task you can throw at them.

best nike metcon for versatility
My Top Nike CrossFit Shoe Choice: Nike React Metcon Turbo

If you’re someone looking for the ultimate shoe for versatility, then the Nike React Metcon Turbo is a really good bet. This shoe is designed for diverse training and excels in HIIT training, plyometrics, and agility-focused workouts.

The disassociated outsole construction gives this model a really nice level of maneuverability, BUT it does limit rope climbing, so if that’s high up on your priority list, then opt for the models below!

On top of that, the Nike React insole provides a nice level of responsiveness, especially for a Nike Metcon. Do note, this model is NOT great for rope climbing, so that is one drawback to this shoe’s overall versatility.

  • Breathable Upper Construction
  • Athletic-Style Fit
  • Nike React Insole

Who Should Grab This Model: The athlete and lifter that wants a model for athletic-style training, and need a shoe that’s great for agility, HIIT workouts, and heavy lifting.

The Runner-Up: Nike Metcon 5

The Nike Metcon 5 is earning my runner-up spot for this ask. Truthfully though, the Metcon 5, 4XD, and 6 could all fill this spot fairly equally. However, the reason I placed the Nike Metcon 5 in the second spot here is for two key reasons. First, the upper construction is durable and fairly heavy so it resists abrasions really.

Second, you can generally find this model for $10-30 less than the Nike Metco 6 and it has a lot of similar construction traits. So, it’s a better budget-friendly option for the versatility-driven athlete and lifter.

  • Good Outsole Traction
  • Low-Profile Design
  • Great for Rope Climbs

Who Should Grab This Model: The lifter that wants stability, durability, and likes to train with things like rope climbs fairly often and needs a model to resist abrasion/friction.

My Third Choice: Nike Metcon 4 XD

Once again, the Nike Metcon 4 XD is earning our third spot. This model is consistent across the board which is something most really enjoy. It has an athletic-profile so it feels light on the foot during agility work, HIIT training, and plyometrics. On top of that, the sticky rubber outsole construction gives this model a great level of traction.

  • Athletic-Style Build
  • Lightweight Construction
  • Low-Profile Design

Who Should Grab This Model: If you love Metcon “classics” and like more narrow-fitting cross-trainers, then the Nike Metcon 4 XD will be a great option for you.

Last But Not Least: Nike Metcon 6

Again, the Nike Metcon 6 is arguably just as versatile as the Nike Metcon and 4 XD. The reason I’m placing it last in this respective list is due to the fact that it does feel slightly heavier than the other models listed here. In addition, due to its stability, it’s not a favorite for me when it comes to shorter runs and plyometric workouts.

All that being said though, the Nike Metcon 6 will get the job done for you and I like the breathable mesh upper construction but do note, it might not “feel” as athletic as some of the other options in this list.

  • Low-Profile Design
  • Breathable Mesh
  • Decent Outsole Traction

Who Should Grab This Model: The lifter and athlete that biases their training towards lifting, but still wants to get some casual versatile training work.

Best Nike CrossFit Shoes for Budgets

One of the only consistent drawbacks to Nike Metcons is their price. Typically, Nike Metcon models are not going to be the most budget-friendly option on the market.

best nike metcon for the price 2021
Ironically, some of the older colorways for the Nike Metcon 5 and 4 XD are pricier than the new Nike Metcon 6s. For this reason, I placed them third as you will have to do some searching to find great deals on these models.

Closing Nike Metcon Thoughts

The Nike Metcon Training shoes are popular for a reason. They’re consistent with their performance delivery and provide an adequate amount of stability under a variety of loads.

If you’re on the market for Nike Metcon cross-training shoes, then use this guide to help you navigate which model would fit your needs best. As always, if you have any questions, please reach out!

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Jake Boly

I've been in the fitness and strength training industry for nearly a decade. In that time, I've trained hundreds of clients, created thousands of articles, reviewed countless products, and produced a large list of training videos. And truthfully, I'm only getting started! As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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