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Nike Free Metcon 4 Review (2022 Update) | Best Nike Shoe for HIIT?

The Nike Free Metcon 4 is the fourth model to debut in the popular Free Metcon line. This model boasts a reworked upper and huarache-inspired heel strap as a nod to the legendary 90s huarache Nike shoe line.

Overall, the Nike Free Metcon 4 is somewhat similar to the Nike Free Metcon 5, but there are a few key differences worth noting. As a fan of the Nike Free Metcon line, I was excited to put the Nike Free Metcon 4 to the test.

As a whole, I’ve enjoyed the Nike Free Metcon 4 for my HIIT workouts, class-style training, and lighter lifting. I do think the Nike Free Metcon 4 could be improved in some areas and I’ll discuss those below.

Who Should Invest In the Nike Free Metcon 4?

The Nike Free Metcon 4 is a good training shoe for anyone who likes to tackle HIIT workouts, classes, and versatile training on a regular basis. This shoe performs strongly in all of these settings I like how maneuverable the Nike Free Tech makes this shoe for jumping, agility training, and shorter runs.

The Nike Free Metcon 4 is also a comfortable training shoe so they’re a good option for anyone who wants a model for standing, walking, and being on their feet all day. The breathable upper construction and lightweight build help these excel as a hybrid day-to-day shoe.

For CrossFit and heavy lifting, this model will fall short but that’s not what they’re designed for. That being said, if your needs and wants fit into the training context above where the Nike Free Metcon 4 excels, then I think you’ll enjoy this model.

Nike Free Metcon 4

Nike Free Metcon 4 (1)

Best For

  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Light Lifting
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Training
  • For Fitting Wide Feet

Nike Free Metcon 4 Pros

Over the course of my training sessions, I’ve found four things that I really enjoy about the Nike Free Metcon 4s.

  1. Nike Free Tech Is Versatile and Mobile
  2. Reworked Upper Is Breathable
  3. Huarache Heel Strap Helps Lockdown the Foot

The first that makes the Nike Free Metcon 4 a solid training shoe is its Nike Free technology. I’m always generally a fan of shoes with the Nike Free tech because they’re typically highly maneuverable and help provide you with a nice level of ground feedback. I like the blend of stability and versatility that you get in the Nike Free Metcon 4.

nike free metcon 4 performance review

You can use the Nike Free Metcon 4 for casual lifting and light loading, and then also use them for classes and athletic-focused workouts. This is awesome for giving this shoe a nice edge of being a model that can play well in multiple realms of activity and training.

I’ve deadlifts up to 315 lbs in this shoe and have squatted 225 lbs and for these weights, the Nike Free Metcon 4 was pretty good. I’d suggest using these as thresholds for lifting though, as going heavier may lead to more compression of the midsole in this shoe which could impact balance and performance.

Another aspect that I like about the Nike Free Metcon 4 is the reworked upper construction. For this model, Nike brought back the chain-link upper that they originally used in the first Nike Free Metcon (which is one of my favorite general training shoes to date!). This upper is lightweight, breathable, and decently durable across the board.

Nike Free Metcon 4 Construction

On the heel, Nike has used a huarache-inspired strap to promote stability and a locked-down feeling. Overall, I enjoyed this addition and thought it did its job really. I never had heel slip issues in this model whatsoever and if you’re jumping, cutting, or doing agility work, then you shouldn’t have issues with heel slip in the Nike Free Metcon 4.

The last thing that I enjoy about the Nike Free Metcon 4 that is worth noting is the lightweight construction of this shoe. If you want this model for versatile training, then I think you’ll enjoy this model.

It feels light on the feet and the bootie construction feeds really well into this feature and feel. Additionally, with their overall lightweight construction and build this is an easy model to wear for longer durations.

Nike Free Metcon 4 Cons

Despite having multiple things that I like about this shoe, there are a couple of cons that I think everyone should be conscious of.

  1. Tight Sizing With Limited Volume

The one major con worth mentioning is the sizing of this shoe. I’m not the biggest fan of how this shoe fits. The Nike Free Metcon 4 has a pretty snug fit through the forefoot and midfoot, which could definitely be problematic for those with wider and flatter feet.

Nike Free Metcon 4 Detailed Review

The upper in this model does stretch and break in a bit after a week or so, but if you have a wider foot, then there’s a good chance that this model will never feel great for your foot anatomy.

I also think this shoe’s sizing could be problematic for those who like to use inserts and custom insoles in their shoes. This model lacks adequate volume through the midfoot and toe box so if you’re using inserts, then you may feel limited in this shoe.


As mentioned above, the Nike Free Metcon 4 has grown on me after wearing it for a few training sessions. Here’s how the model performs in the gym, a plyometric/agility setting, and a day-to-day/shorter run basis.

Nike Free Metcon 4 Performance

Nike Free Metcon 4 for Lifting and CrossFit

When it comes to lifting, the Nike Free Metcon 4 performs as you’d expect for a training shoe designed for versatility with Nike Free technology. For example, this shoe will be a good performer for casual and recreational lifting where you don’t plan to go super heavy with your loading.

For lifting context, I started to notice midsole compression once I passed 225 lbs when squatting and 315 lbs when deadlifting. I’d suggest using those numbers as lifting thresholds though if you do plan to tackle some barbell training in the Nike Free Metcon 4. For dumbbell accessories and lighter lifts, this model was fine and I like their moderate amount of stability. 

testing the nike free metcon 4 for lifting and crossfit

For CrossFit, you’ll want to pass on the Nike Free Metcon 4. This model is not designed for CrossFit training and their durability and overall stability could be problematic during WODs.

I find myself most often reaching for the Nike Free Metcon 4 for my conditioning days when I’m doing light or power-focused lifting or on my upper body days where I want a comfortable training shoe to wear around the gym

Nike Free Metcon 4 for Classes, Agility, and Plyometrics

For classes, agility training, and plyometric work, I like this shoe. The Nike Free tech gives the forefoot and mid-foot a nice level of maneuverability and this model’s outsole traction has done well for supporting multi-directional activity. If you’re training on rubber gym floors, wooden floors, or outdoors you should have adequate traction in this shoe.

testing the nike free metcon 4 for versatile training and plyometrics

Additionally, I like the bootie construction and how it feeds well into giving the Nike Free Metcon 4 a lightweight and “athletic” feeling. This also helps give the Nike Free Metcon 4 a light feel on the feet and makes them easy to wear for longer versatile training sessions 

To add to this, I think the huarache heel strap is also a nice touch for giving this shoe a locked-down feeling when doing single-leg work and power-based training. In class-style training sessions, this shoe worked well and I find myself opting for them often when doing explosive work.

testing the nike free metcon 4 for classes

Nike Free Metcon 4  for Daily Wear and Shorter Runs

On a day-to-day basis, I like this model and think the midsole and outsole are comfortable. While this model is a comfortable option, do make sure you get the sizing right. If I went up a half size in this shoe, then I think it would be even better on a day-to-day basis as right now it’s fairly tight.

If you want a shoe for standing all day, wearing to work, or walking, then the Nike Free Metcon 4 is a good option. They’re comfortable, lightweight, and offer a nice level of support.

testing the nike free metcon 4 for runs and daily wear

For shorter and mid-range runs (1-5ish miles), this model is fairly solid. The Nike Free tech is great for supporting and promoting forefoot running and the chain-link upper is breathable and lightweight.

Sizing and Fit

This model’s mid-foot construction and toe box are pretty slim. Out of the box, it makes this model feel super tight — even without socks on. Over a couple of training sessions, the upper has stretched a tiny bit and feels better, but all of this brings us to my sizing thoughts.

I think for most folks, you’ll want to size up a half size in this shoe. If you have a wider and flatter foot, then a full size might be the call. As always, I’d recommend trying these on first before you buy.

Nike Free Metcon 4 Vs Nike Metcon 7

I like the Nike Free Metcon 4 and Nike Metcon 7 for training, but for different reasons. These shoes are designed to be used in different training settings and I think if you make your decision per each shoe’s best use context, then either model will work for your training needs.

The Nike Free Metcon 4’s midsole and outsole are more versatile than the Nike Metcon 7 which makes them the superior shoe for classes and more versatile training. Their sole is composed with Nike’s signature Nike Free technology which helps give this model a highly maneuverable fit and feel.

nike metcon 7 for squats

The Nike Metcon 7 utilizes Nike React Foam in their midsole and they have a built-in Hyperlift insert in the heel. This helps provide the Nike Metcon 7 with a more stable feel when training so they’re a good model for heavy training. Additionally, the Nike Metcon 7 features an upper construction with durability features designed for CrossFit which the Nike Free Metcon 4 does not.

That being said, if you’re debating between the Nike Metcon 7 and Nike Free Metcon 4, then I’ll provide my thoughts before for which models you should go with.

  • Nike Free Metcon 4 Vs Nike Metcon 7 for HIIT/Classes: Nike Free Metcon 4
  • Nike Free Metcon 4 Vs Nike Metcon 7 for Outdoor Training: Nike Free Metcon 4
  • Nike Free Metcon 4 Vs Nike Metcon 7 for Lifting: Nike Metcon 7
  • Nike Free Metcon 4 Vs Nike Metcon 7 for CrossFit: Nike Metcon 7
  • Nike Free Metcon 4 Vs Nike Metcon 7 for Short Runs: Nike Free Metcon 4

Hopefully the above helps you make a more educated buying decision if you’re on the fence between the Nike Free Metcon 4 and Nike Metcon 7. If you want, you can also reach out to me and I can help you choose the best model based on the context of your training needs.


For the Nike Free Metcon 4, you can expect to pay $120 USD. I think this price can be justified if you get the sizing right and you’re able to wear this model on a day-to-day basis and for your training sessions.

Additionally, if you want them to go the distance and your investment to last, then I’d suggest limiting their wear to only training sessions.

Nike Free Metcon 4

Nike Free Metcon 4 (1)

Best For

  • HIIT Workouts
  • Classes
  • Light Lifting
  • Shorter Runs

Falls Short

  • For Heavy Training
  • For Fitting Wide Feet

Construction Details

If you’re interested in the construction of the Nike Free Metcon 4, then I’ve provided some of the bigger callouts for this model below. These are the features that I think most matter for this model’s performance.

If you’re interested in a visual breakdown of the Nike Free Metcon 4’s construction, then skip to 7:46 in the video above!

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: N/A
  • Weight: 10.6 oz (size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Huarache Heel Strap
  • Chainlink Mesh Upper
  • Bootie Style Construction
  • Rubber Outsole
  • Nike Free Midsole

If you have additional questions on this shoe’s construction, drop a comment below and I’ll answer what you have accordingly.

Takeaway Thoughts

Overall, I’ve been enjoying the Nike Free Metcon 4 for my versatile training and lighter runs. It took a minute for this shoe to grow on me due to its tight sizing, however, after a few training sessions this model has felt much better.

If you’re not looking for versatility and instead a trainer designed for stability, then I’d recommend checking out some of the other Nike Metcon models.

If you have additional questions on the Nike Free Metcon 4, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly).

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

4 thoughts on “Nike Free Metcon 4 Review (2022 Update) | Best Nike Shoe for HIIT?”

  1. Hi, Jake. Thanks for the in-depth review on the Nike Free Metcon 4. I have a question for you. Currently I’m wearing UK9.5 for my Nike Free Metcon 1. Should I still get UK9.5 or up half a size to UK10 when buying Nike Free Metcon 4?

  2. Hi, great review! I currently have a pair of metcon7 and free metcon 4, sitting in front of me, trying to decide between them. Here is what I do. I’ve just gotten back in the gym after 5 years. I’m about 4 months in. I work with a trainer and I’ll do upper body and lower body lifts (nothing heavy yet, im just starting out again), and then do conditioning work which includes (indoor) battle ropes, sled drags, farmer carries, air bike, jump rope, medicine ball work, etc. It also will include a outdoor hill climb sometimes, but not a lot, and sledgehammering tires. No climbing of ropes, and sprints are mostly done inside in a training area. I do not run outside at this time.

    I have a flat foot, and my foot pronates inward. With that info, what’s your thoughts between these shoes? I do like the lateral support these offer, including the additional support from the metcon7 composite sides, but the tread on the 7 has me concerned for any outdoor use.

    With all that info, what are your thoughts?

    1. IMO, I think the Free Metcon 4 would be a good model to work with for the time being. Then, as you progress on with your training journey if stability needs to be increased, you could always come back to the Metcon 7 (plus they’ll likely be more on sale with the 8 coming out soon!).

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