Home » Nike MC Trainer 2 Review | Great Budget-Friendly Training Shoe?

Nike MC Trainer 2 Review | Great Budget-Friendly Training Shoe?

The Nike MC Trainer 2 is designed to be a versatile and budget-friendly cross-training shoe. The original Nike MC Trainer was popular due to its performance for both lifting and cross-training.

As a fan of the original model, I was super excited to put the Nike MC Trainer 2 to the test. The MC Trainer 2 comes equipped with a few construction upgrades and it performed well in my tests, especially when compared to the market’s best cross-training shoes.

For its price, I feel as though the Nike MC Trainer 2 is one of the stronger budget trainers on the market for athletic-style sessions. There are a few cons that come along with this model, though, and I’ll discuss those below.

In my Nike MC Trainer 2 review, I’ll cover various topics to help you decide if this shoe is worth it for your needs.

 

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Who Should Invest In the Nike MC Trainer 2?

The Nike MC Trainer 2 delivers a strong performance for its price point. I think it will work best for those that want to spend less than $100 USD and need a shoe primarily for lifting and cross-training.

This shoe’s midsole provides a nice level of stability for heavier lifting sessions, and it also has a nice level of responsiveness for plyometrics and athletic-style workouts. If you like shoes with firmer midsoles, you’ll enjoy this about the MC Trainer 2.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Review

The upper in the MC Trainer 2 also feels improved and more “premium” compared to the original Nike MC Trainer. It doesn’t feel like a budget-friendly training shoe despite having a price that sits at $75 USD or less.

This shoe will resonate best with those with narrow and neutral-width feet and it won’t be a great pick for those with wide feet. For its price, I think the MC Trainer 2 is worth exploring if you’re not wanting to spend a lot on training shoes.

Nike MC Trainer 2

$75

Nike MC Trainer 2 Product Shot
4.3
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.1
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Narrow/Neutral Width Feet
  • Cross-Training
  • Sprints/HIIT Workouts
  • Budget-Conscious Shoppers

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Serious Barbell/CrossFit Training

Nike MC Trainer 2 Pros

Over the course of my training sessions and review process with the Nike MC Trainer 2, I’ve found multiple things to like about this model.

  1. Upper Construction Is Breathable and Lightweight
  2. Good Shoe for Athletic-Style Training
  3. Midsole Feels More Flexible That Original Model

The first thing to like about the Nike MC Trainer 2 is its upper construction. At times, budget-friendly training shoes can lack when it comes to the materials used in their upper constructions.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Upper Construction

The MC Trainer 2 features a breathable mesh that has a nice blend of flexibility and security. Plus, it feels more “premium” compared to the original Nike MC Trainer which is an upgrade and update.

The second aspect to like about the Nike MC Trainer 2 is its performance for athletic-style training. If you’re someone who on a weekly basis likes to lift, do HIIT workouts, do plyometrics, do agility work, and even some sprints, the MC Trainer 2 can be a good option to explore.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Performance Review

This shoe’s midsole is stable enough to accommodate heavier training and it’s responsive enough to give you a nice “pop” when doing explosive exercises. The low-profile upper also provides a nice level of security for multi-directional exercises.

Compared to other cross-training shoes, I think the Nike MC Trainer 2 is one of the better trainers for athletic-style training for less than $100 USD. They’re consistent and feel athletic, which is a perk of their overall construction.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Shoe Review

The final aspect that I like with the Nike MC Trainer 2 is that it feels more flexible than the original MC Trainer. One of my complaints with the first model was how stiff the midfoot and heel could feel at times.

The MC Trainer 2’s heel feels more forgiving for running and jumping and the base of the forefoot seems to articulate a lot easier in this model, and this model broke in a lot easier than the MC Trainer.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Shoe Flexibility

Nike MC Trainer 2 Cons

While I like the Nike MC Trainer 2 and think it’s better than the original model, there are a few cons to note about this shoe before investing in them.

  1. Tongue Lacks Security
  2. Heel Slip can Be An Issue At Times
  3. Not a Great Shoe for Wide Feet

The first drawback of the Nike MC Trainer 2 is its tongue construction and the security issues that can come with it. This model features a non-gusseted tongue that is fairly lightweight and wide.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Tongue Construction

I noticed that the tongue on this model moved during a few of my training sessions that had more lateral movement programmed, and I noticed it was tough at times to get the tongue to lay flush when putting these shoes on.

The Nike SuperRep Go 3 Next Nature Flyknit also suffers from this issue and it can be frustrating, to say the least. The Nike MC Trainer utilized two tongue loops that sat lower on the tongue, while the MC Trainer 2 only has one loop and Nike has brought it up.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Tongue Security

Another drawback that I noticed with the Nike MC Trainer 2 was the heel slip that I experienced when wearing this shoe looser and more casually. I’m not sure if this will impact everyone the same, but this issue is a knock against this model’s versatility.

I think because of this shoe’s low-profile boot construction and thicker midfoot midsole, some may run into slip issues when the laces on this model aren’t tightened a ton.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Heel Construction

Note, when training and tightening this shoe, I didn’t have slip issues, which is a positive thing for those that just want this model for training. However, if you are like me and enjoy wearing your training shoes on a daily wear basis, this could be a deal breaker.

The final drawback to note with the Nike MC Trainer 2 is that it’s not going to be the best training shoe for wide feet. This shoe has a neutral and narrower width, so wide feet will likely find this shoe to be pretty uncomfortable.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Width

On top of this, since this shoe has a low-profile boot construction and it can be prone to heel slip issues, sizing up will probably not be an option for most lifters and athletes. For wide and even flat feet, the size inclusivity of this model just isn’t there.

Performance

To discuss the performance of the Nike MC Trainer 2, I’m going to break down how this shoe performs in different training contexts. I’ll talk about this shoe’s performance for lifting, versatile training, shorter runs, and daily wear.

Since we all have different weekly training breakdowns and biases, it can be useful to cross-reference how different shoes will perform in different settings and align with your training needs.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Performance Overview

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for Lifting

For lifting, the Nike MC Trainer 2 does a pretty good job, especially for more recreational strength training. I could see this model being a good pick for the beginner and intermediate lifters that like doing barbell, dumbbell, and machine work on a weekly basis.

This shoe’s midsole provides a nice level of stability and when working with trap bar deadlifts over 425 lbs, I didn’t notice any glaring compression issues with this shoe. I also liked the level of tread the outsole provided on different surfaces.

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for Lifting

Another thing to like about this model for lifting is that I feel as though it articulates a little better than the previous MC Trainer and other budget-friendly training shoes. When doing sled work and lunges, this shoe’s toe box offered a fair amount of flexibility.

Outside of recreational lifting, I don’t think this will be your best model for maxing out your deadlifts and for tackling super heavy squats. The narrower width and thicker stack height are both knocks against this shoe’s performance in these contexts.

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for Weight Training

Additionally, these will not be the best CrossFit shoes on the market. They’ll work for casual WODs here and there but will fall short as you get more niche and serious with your training. The lifting performance with these shoes will be best for casual and recreational sessions.

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for Versatile Training

For versatile training, I enjoyed the performance of the Nike MC Trainer 2 and think it has an edge over the original model in this context, and that’s for two reasons.

First, I think the upper in the MC Trainer 2 does a better job for overall foot security. This model’s low-profile and lighter-weight upper locks the foot down well and it gives this shoe a cleat-like fit and feel. I could see this being a pro for some athletes.

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for Versatile Training

Second, the increased mobility in this shoe is awesome for explosive and multi-directional training. For HIIT workouts and athletic-style training, I thought the Nike MC Trainer 2 did a pretty good job.

I think this model will be a good fit for those that love firmer midsole shoes for versatile training and have narrower foot widths. Note, they don’t have a ton of cushion to them, so if you like more cushioned HIIT and class shoes, you may want to explore something like the Nike Air Zoom SuperRep 3.

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for HIIT Workouts

Overall, I’ve enjoyed the performance of the Nike MC Trainer 2 for versatile training. They’re a consistent model that delivers a strong performance for the price, and they can be a good shoe to beat up for both indoor and outdoor workouts.

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for Short Runs and Daily Wear

For short runs, the Nike MC Trainer 2 has a pretty average performance. This model will work best for sprints, short interval runs, and short mileages ranging from 1-2 miles pre and post-workout.

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for Running

It can be an okay budget model for hybrid workouts that have short runs programmed. This shoe’s firmer ride can get pretty uncomfortable for longer runs, so I’d suggest exploring models that are more running-friendly if you need a shoe for this ask.

For daily wear, I’d suggest passing on this model. With the heel slip issue, I ran into with this model, I’ve been less than impressed with this shoe’s performance for all-day wear and longer walks.

Testing the Nike MC Trainer 2 for Walking

I don’t like cranking my laces super tight in this context, so the heel slip issue can be a little frustrating, at times. If you want to use these for daily wear, I’d suggest keeping this in mind and making sure you don’t experience similar slip issues.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Sizing

For the Nike MC Trainer 2, if you have narrow or neutral (normal) width feet, then you should be safe going true to size in this model. This model’s length runs true and it has a narrow and neutral width or a more athletic fit.

Another thing to note about the MC Trainer 2’s sizing is that it has a low-profile boot and low upper volume. If you have custom orthotics or inserts, you may want to pass on this model due to the low-profile nature of this shoe.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Foot Width Sizing

For wide and flat feet, I think you’ll also want to pass on this shoe. Since they have a low-profile construction, I think sizing up could be problematic and lead to heel slip issues.

  • Nike MC Trainer 2 Sizing Thoughts: Narrow/Neutral width feet, go true to size. Wide feet, pass.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Sizing and Fit

If you have additional questions on the sizing and fit of the Nike MC Trainer 2 or how they compare to other cross-training shoes, drop a comment below.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Vs Nike MC Trainer

If you’re considering the Nike MC Trainer versus the Nike MC Trainer 2, it’s a good idea to understand some of their key differences. There are three major construction differences that are worth noting about these models.

First, the Nike MC Trainer 2’s tongue construction isn’t the best. The MC Trainer didn’t have issues with its tongue due to it having two tongue loops that sat lower on the tongue versus the singular loop that’s placed higher on the MC Trainer 2.

Nike MC Trainer 2 versus Nike MC Trainer

The second difference to note is the upper constructions of both models. The MC Trainer 2 has a lighter weight mesh upper that feels a bit more “premium” than the thicker and clunkier upper on the MC Trainer.

The third and final difference to note is each shoe’s flexibility. The MC Trainer 2 feels less “stiff” through the midfoot and toe box compared to the MC Trainer. In my opinion, this is a big pro for training with the MC Trainer 2.

Nike MC Trainer 2 vs Nike MC Trainer

My Advice: Opt for the Nike MC Trainer 2 if you’re on the fence between the two. If you have a really good deal on the MC Trainer, then you’ll be fine going with that model. However, the MC Trainer 2 is the stronger shoe.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Product Shot

Nike MC Trainer 2

Pros: Price, Stability
Cons: Tongue Security
Size/Fit: True to Size/ Wider Width
Lifting Threshold: ~455 lbs
Mileage Threshold: <3 miles
Price: $75
TF2 Rating: 4.3
Nike MC Trainer

Nike MC Trainer

Pros: Versatile, Price
Cons: Blocky Heel
Size/Fit: True to Size/Neutral Width
Lifting Threshold: ~455 lbs
Mileage Threshold: <3
Price: $70
TF2 Rating: 4.2

Price Breakdown

For the Nike MC Trainer 2, you can expect to pay around $75 USD. I think compared to other training shoes at this price point, the MC Trainer 2 is a pretty superior model.

Plus, you can often find this model on sale for around $55 USD, which definitely helps make this shoe’s value even better. In terms of other Nike training shoes, the MC Trainer 2 is a much better model than something like the Nike Legend Essential 2.

Nike MC Trainer 2 Outsole Construction

Despite having a great price, if you are more specific with your training, you may want to find a model that is more dialed in for your needs. While the MC Trainer 2 is a good shoe for its price, it’s going to fall short for certain areas of training like CrossFit and powerlifting.

Nike MC Trainer 2

$75

Nike MC Trainer 2 Product Shot
4.3
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.1
Durability
4.3

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Narrow/Neutral Width Feet
  • Cross-Training
  • Sprints/HIIT Workouts
  • Budget-Conscious Shoppers

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Serious Barbell/CrossFit Training

Construction Details

The construction of the Nike MC Trainer 2 is relatively simple without any major high-tech frills. Below are some of the key construction details to note about this shoe.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: N/A (feels like 4-6mm)
  • Weight: 11.10 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: No (held in with light adhesive)
  • Breathable Mesh Upper
  • Medium-Density Foam Midsole
  • Elastic Midfoot Strap
  • Full Rubber Outsole
  • 5 Core Eyelets

If you have additional questions about the Nike MC Trainer 2’s construction, drop a comment below.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q:
Are the Nike MC Trainer 2 true to size?

A:
For narrow and neutral-width feet, go true to size in the Nike MC Trainer 2. If you have wide feet, you'll want to pass on this shoe.

Q:
Are the Nike MC Trainer 2 good for running?

A:
The Nike MC Trainer 2 will work for sprints and short runs ranging from 1-2 miles. For longer distances, I'd suggest passing on this model and finding something more comfortable.

Q:
Are the Nike MC Trainer 2 good for lifting?

A:
The Nike MC Trainer 2 is a good budget-friendly training shoe for lifting. If you want to spend less than 100 dollars and need a relatively stable training shoe, the MC Trainer 2 can be a good option.

Takeaway Thoughts

The Nike MC Trainer 2 is arguably the strongest budget-friendly Nike training shoe on the market. This model has a few improved upgrades compared to the original Nike MC Trainer.

For $75 USD, I like the performance of this shoe for lifting, cross-training, and athletic-style workouts. It’s a shoe that can hold its own against some of the market’s top premium training shoes.

That all being said, there are a few issues that I have with this model like its lack of tongue security and its heel slip issues.

If you have additional questions on the Nike MC Trainer 2, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

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!

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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, 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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