Home » 5 Best Nike Training Shoes In 2021 | Top Nike Shoes for Your Workout Needs

5 Best Nike Training Shoes In 2021 | Top Nike Shoes for Your Workout Needs

When it comes to working out and training shoes, we all have our favorite brands and models. For my Nike friends, I wanted to put together a round-up that highlights some of my favorite Nike training shoes. There are a ton of Nike training shoes on the market and not all models are created equal.

I’m constantly fielding Nike training shoe questions on my written reviews and YouTube channel, so I thought it was about time to put together an article discussing my favorite picks. Instead of just talking about something like Nike CrossFit shoes, I wanted to make this round-up inclusive of a wider range of training activities.

Below, you’ll find my top Nike training shoe picks for HIIT, lifting, CrossFit, running, and much more. If we can contextualize how we train and relate that to our preferences, then we can make more educated choices on our Nike training shoes.

If you’re on the market for new cross-training shoes, make sure you also check out my best cross-training shoes of 2021 article. This round-up features over 15 shoes and dives into a variety of cross-training asks!

Best Nike Training Shoes for HIIT

When discussing Nike training shoes for HIIT, I’m considering three key construction aspects. First, the midsole needs to be responsive for jumping, sprints, and other bounding activities. Second, the upper needs to breathe well and be lightweight.

Lastly, the outsole needs to be highly maneuverable and accommodating for multi-directional activity. Below, are two of my favorite Nike training shoes for HIIT.

1. Nike Free Metcon 4

The Nike Free Metcon 4 is the fourth iteration in the Nike Free training shoe line and it has multiple aspects going for it when supporting HIIT training. This model’s midsole provides a decent level of support for lighter lifting and if you do want to use this model for lifting, then it can support loads up to 275-315 lbs in exercises like deadlifts with relative ease.

In addition to its midsole, this shoe’s outsole construction features a highly maneuverable build that gives you a nice level of “connection” with the ground. Basically, if you’re performing jumps, sprints, or other activities where you’re really digging into the ground with the forefoot, then you’ll get ample ground feedback with this shoe.

  • Best For: HIIT Workouts and Classes
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 10.2 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but Toe Box Fits Slimmer
  • Read My ReviewNike Free Metcon 4 Review

Nike Free Metcon 4

$120

Nike Free Metcon 4 (1)
4.4
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Light Lifting
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Training
  • For Fitting Wide Feet

 

2. Nike Renew Retaliation TR 3

The Nike Renew Retaliation TR 3 is an awesome budget-friendly training shoe from Nike. This model has a price point of $75 USD brand new and has a few key construction features for the HIIT-focused individual. For starters, this model features a fair amount of mid-foot support which can be a great feature for anyone who finds themselves constantly overpronating when training.

Additionally, the Nike Renew Foam midsole provides a nice level of responsiveness for various forms of HIIT training. This model isn’t going to be your best bet for heavy lifting, but for light loading and HIIT training, it’s tough to beat this model’s price point.

  • Best For: HIIT Workouts and Classes
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 12.8 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size

Best Nike Training Shoes for Lifting

When looking into Nike training shoes for lifting, the name of the game is stability. You’re going to want a model that can ground the foot and not compress easily under different loads.

Since we all have different strength levels, it’s important to recognize that different Nike training shoes will have their lifting thresholds. As in, some models will fair better under heavy loads while others may only work up to a certain point.

1. Nike Metcon 6

For maximal stability, it’s really tough to fault the Nike Metcon 6. This model is an awesome pick for a wide variety of lifters, which is why it’s also a top choice for providing maximal stability when lifting. The Nike Metcon 6 features a dual-density insole for lifting support and a midsole that has no issues with compression even training up to 500 lbs.

Outside of these aspects, I also really enjoy the additional Hyperlift insert that comes with this model. The Nike Metcon 6 has a 4mm heel-to-toe drop and with the Hyperlift insert which has an 8mm elevation, you can use them to provide yourself with a 12mm heel-to-toe drop. This is awesome for lifters that want an elevated heel for training, but don’t necessarily want to buy a separate pair of weightlifting shoes.

  • Best For: Heavy Lifting
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm (with removable 8mm Hyperlifter insert)
  • Weight: 12.8 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but Toe Box Fits Slimmer
  • Read My ReviewNike Metcon 6 Review

Nike Metcon 6

$130

4.6
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.1
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Lifting Heavy
  • Functional Fitness Workouts
  • Casual Agility Workouts

Falls Short

  • Daily Comfort
  • Longer Runs
  • Budget-Friendliness

 

2. Nike Metcon 7

The Nike Metcon 7 is a solid runner-up option for lifting due to its midsole and outsole construction. This model lacks some of the forefoot stability that the Nike Metcon 6 offers due to its Nike React Foam midsole, but as a whole, most shouldn’t experience stability issues in this shoe. I’ve made a point to deadlift over 500 lbs in this model and did so without a ton of stability issues.

Additionally, this model has a built-in Hyperlift inset in the heel, which gives this shoe a nice base to squat from. The heel of this model almost resembles the heel of a weightlifting shoe and I personally enjoy it for my lower body sessions. It doesn’t compress and provides adequate stability.

  • Best For: Moderate to Heavy Lifting
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 12.4 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewNike Metcon 7 Review

Nike Metcon 7

$130

Nike Metcon 7
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Heavy Training
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Rope Climbs
  • Plyos and Agility Workouts
  • Short Runs

Falls Short

  • For Long-Distance Runs
  • For Wider Feet

 

Best Nike Training Shoes for CrossFit

The best Nike training shoes for CrossFit will provide three key performance aspects including stability, versatility, and long-term durability.

Since CrossFit is so diverse, a great CrossFit shoe will need to tackle a variety of tasks and be an “all-in-one” style of a training shoe. This is also why regular training shoes don’t really work for serious CrossFit training.

1. Nike Metcon 6

The Nike Metcon 6 is locking up another first pick in this round-up. Despite the Nike Metcon 7 being the newer model with new features, I still think the Nike Metcon 6 is a better performer for CrossFit-style training. The stability and durability of this model are consistently solid and this model is marked down right now due to the Metcon 7’s release.

I like the Nike Metcon 6’s mid-foot construction for assisting with rope climbs and as a whole, the upper breathes well and has reinforced construction on the forefoot for resisting abrasion from training. The Hyperlift insert, as mentioned above, is also a nice touch for adding to the Nike Metcon 6’s versatility for CrossFit workouts.

  • Best For: CrossFit-Style Training
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm (with removable 8mm Hyperlifter insert)
  • Weight: 12.8 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but Toe Box Fits Slimmer
  • Read My ReviewNike Metcon 6 Review

Nike Metcon 6

$130

4.6
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.1
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Lifting Heavy
  • Functional Fitness Workouts
  • Casual Agility Workouts

Falls Short

  • Daily Comfort
  • Longer Runs
  • Budget-Friendliness

 

2. Nike Metcon 7

Despite having the second spot on this list, the Nike Metcon 7 is a strong performer in CrossFit workouts as well. The chain-link upper construction does a fairly good job at abrasion resistance and this model has additional mid-foot overlays for rope climbing durability support.

I like to recommend the Nike Metcon 7 for CrossFit-focused athletes that care slightly to have versatility over stability. With the Nike React Foam being in the forefoot of this shoe, you get a bit more of a responsive fit and feel compared to the Nike Metcon 6. Plus, the Nike Metcon 7 does a better job for shorter runs compared to the Nike Metcon 6 if that’s something you prioritize with your CrossFit-style training.

  • Best For: Moderate to Heavy Lifting
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 7mm
  • Weight: 12.4 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Read My ReviewNike Metcon 7 Review

Nike Metcon 7

$130

Nike Metcon 7
4.5
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Heavy Training
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Rope Climbs
  • Plyos and Agility Workouts
  • Short Runs

Falls Short

  • For Long-Distance Runs
  • For Wider Feet

 

Best Nike Training Shoes for Running

When talking about the best Nike training shoes for running it’s important to note that we’re talking about “training shoes” that you can run in and these are not running shoes.

If you’re doing long-distance runs or putting in serious mileage, then I’d suggest looking into a pair of running-specific shoes because these will match your needs best.

1. Nike Free Metcon 4

If you’re hitting shorter and mid-range runs, then the Nike Free Metcon 4 is worth exploring. We discussed this model being a good option for HIIT already, so if you’re someone who likes tacking on some extra miles before or after a training session, then the Nike Free Metcon 4 is a good model for doing so.

The only caveat to this model for running is that if you’re training outside, I’d suggest limiting using this shoe on gravel due to the gravel getting stuck in out the outsole. For treadmills and concrete though, this model is pretty solid across the board and I like that it can be used for other forms of training.

  • Best For: Shorter and Mid-Range Runs
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 10.2 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but Toe Box Fits Slimmer
  • Read My ReviewNike Free Metcon 4 Review

Nike Free Metcon 4

$120

Nike Free Metcon 4 (1)
4.4
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Light Lifting
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Training
  • For Fitting Wide Feet

 

2. Nike SuperRep Go 2

If you’re a class-focused athlete and lifter and love tackling casual runs here and there, then the Nike SuperRep Go 2 will be a good option for you. This model is designed for the class-focused individual and provides a nice level of responsiveness for shorter runs. This is a great model for anyone that loves tackling 1-3 miles as a warm-up or cooldown.

The forefoot has grooves to promote overall comfort and connection with the ground and I also like that Nike increased the rubber used on this model’s outsole to increase its overall tread and long-term durability. Like the Nike Free Metcon 4, I do think this model is better for indoor running or running on smooth pavement.

  • Best For: Shorter and Mid-Range Runs
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 9.8 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but Toe Box Fits Slimmer

Nike SuperRep Go 2

$100

Nike SuperRep Go 2
4.3
Stability
3.9
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Classes
  • HIIT Training
  • Light Lifting
  • Casual Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For Long Runs

 

Best Nike Training Shoes for Classes

For the class-focused individual, I’m looking for two key aspects and these include versatility and breathability. Since most classes offer a wide range of activities, you’ll need a shoe that can tackle things like jumping, light lifting, and running.

Breathability is important for keeping the feet cool and if you’re in a hot class setting, then you obviously don’t want overly hot feet that can also be prone to, you know, being smelly (I’m guilty here).

1. Nike SuperRep Go 2

Personally, I’d rather take the Nike SuperRep Go 2 over the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 2. For starters, I think the fit on the Nike SuperRep Go 2 is better all-around and it doesn’t feel nearly as tight through the forefoot as the Air Zoom SuperRep 2. Don’t get me wrong, the Air Zoom SuperRep 2 is a good shoe, but I think for anyone with a neutral or wide foot, you’ll be limited with it.

In regard to classes, I think the best two parts about the SuperRep Go 2 are its breathability and ankle construction. This model’s mesh upper breathes really well and is lightweight. The ankle construction is also comfortable and it never really rubs a ton creating friction which is huge for classes that feature a ton of jumping and running.

  • Best For: Class Workouts
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 9.8 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but Toe Box Fits Slimmer

Nike SuperRep Go 2

$100

Nike SuperRep Go 2
4.3
Stability
3.9
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • Classes
  • HIIT Training
  • Light Lifting
  • Casual Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Lifting
  • For Long Runs

 

2. Nike Free Metcon 4

If you like the casual class, but primarily do weight training and casual runs, then the Nike Free Metcon 4 will be a really good option for you. This shoe has been mentioned a few times in this round-up and that’s for good reason. This model is a good “best of all worlds” style of shoe for the person that likes doing a little bit of everything.

As opposed to a Nike Metcon that is a bit more limited with its versatility due to its increased stability, the Nike Free Metcon 4 does a good job at providing enough stability without taking away from its capabilities to excel in activities like classes.

  • Best For: Classes and Light Lifting
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 10.2 oz
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Sizing: True to Size, but Toe Box Fits Slimmer
  • Read My ReviewNike Free Metcon 4 Review

Nike Free Metcon 4

$120

Nike Free Metcon 4 (1)
4.4
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.4

Best For

  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Light Lifting
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Training
  • For Fitting Wide Feet

 

Takeaway Thoughts

Every year, Nike comes out with multiple new training shoes and I think it’s crucial to recognize how you like to train when selecting your perfect shoe. If we can better understand what types of construction features are needed for our preferred style of training, then we can better select models to help us perform our best.

If you have any questions about the Nike training shoes featured in this article, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).

That Fit Friend is a site that is supported by myself (Jake Boly) and its readers. If you purchase products through affiliates links on this site, then I may receive a small commission on the sale. These commissions help keep the lights on here at That Fit Friend so I can continue to create content and they help me purchase new models to review!

nv-author-image

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, written thousands of articles, reviewed over 100+ pairs of training shoes, and have produced a large list of training videos. I live and breathe fitness and training gear, and I think it's important that reviewers walk the walk with the gear they're testing. As for my educational background, I have my Masters in Sports Science, Bachelors in Exercise Science, and have my CSCS.

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