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The Nike Metcon 8 is interesting because it’s a model that I go back and forth on. Sure, I like this shoe for lifting due to its stability, however, it’s also a trainer that makes me sad because it’s worse than older Metcon models.
I’ve trained in every Nike Metcon to date and the 8 — along with the Nike Metcon 9 — are two of my least favorite iterations. Why is this? Well, the Metcon 8 lacks versatility and its upper feels snug at times and lacks breathability.
All that said, thus far, I’ve squatted over 400 lbs and deadlifted over 500 lbs in the Metcon 8 and they’ve performed well for these tasks. I think my main issue with this model is that it lacks in the context of cross-training and CrossFit.
For these reasons, the Metcon 8 didn’t make it into the mix with my favorite cross-training shoe list and only has average performance scores. It’s like a strong C+ and B- in school. It’s not bad, but it could be much better.
Table of Contents▼
Nike Metcon 8
- CrossFit and CrossFit-Style Workouts
- For Wide Feet
- For Running
My Metcon 8 Summary
I think if you want a training shoe with a large lifting bias then you’ll enjoy the Metcon 8. Stability under heavy weight is where this shoe truly excels and earns its most positive performance ratings.
For example, if you’re someone who’s primarily focused on heavy strength training and you only do a little cross-training and CrossFit on the side, then I do think you’ll enjoy the Metcon 8.
Again, it’s not a terrible training shoe by any means, it’s just not as good as models like the Nike Metcon 4 and 6. I also think it’s a miss for lifters with wider feet, especially lifters with EE-width or wider feet.
I also think this model is a miss for anyone who wants a training shoe for running and lifting. This will NOT be your best hybrid training shoe. You’ll want to explore other models like the Nano X4 if that’s your main ask.
- The Metcon 8 can be a cross-training shoe for the lifting-focused athlete who needs a shoe for heavy barbell exercises and free weights and machines.
- If you like the Nike Metcon 7’s fit and performance, then you’ll likely also enjoy the 8 as the midsole and outsole have remained unchanged in this shoe.
- The forefoot’s React Energy Foam midsole is responsive for forefoot-dominant work and it works well for CrossFit WODs that involve double-unders and box jumps.
- The Hyperlift heel gives these shoes a clunky and blocky feel limiting their versatility for short runs and plyometric-heavy sessions
- The toe box has a typical Nike taper and may feel too narrow for some. If you have wide feet, you’ll want to pass on this shoe.
- This shoe doesn’t “feel” like an upgrade from the 7 and is more of a continuation of that model with less breathability. Go 7 if you can find them on sale.
Metcon 8 Construction Specs to Know
- Price: $130
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Width: Medium
- Sizing: True to Size for Most
- Most Comparable To: Adidas Dropset Trainer 2
AUTHOR’S NOTE: I updated this article in January 2024 and added more context to my updated performance thoughts about this shoe. I also reworked the UX of this review to make it easier to navigate.
To discuss the overall performance in the Nike Metcon 8, I will break this section into a few key performance areas. I’m going to discuss how this model performs for CrossFit, lifting, versatile training, running, and daily wear.
This way, if you’re considering the Nike Metcon 8 for your training, you can better contextualize if this model aligns with your individual needs and wants.
Testing the Nike Metcon 8 for Lifting and CrossFit
For lifting, the Nike Metcon 8 is a fairly strong training shoe for most strength-focused training settings. This model did a good job at supporting some of my heavier barbell lifts.
As mentioned above, my top barbell lifts in the Metcon 8 thus far include a 555 lb deadlift and 405 lb squat. I never felt unstable for these lifts, and the blend of the Nike React foam with the Hyperlift insert in the heel gives this shoe pretty well-rounded stability.
Once you pass around 400 lbs, you will notice the forefoot’s midsole compress a tiny bit, but not to a degree that I think will hinder most lifters’ performances, especially if you’re maintaining a good tripod foot position.
My main gripe with the Nike Metcon 8 and lifting is that the toe box could be widened. This model has an “athletic-style” fit, which can be limiting for promoting full toe splay and grounding the feet.
In the context of CrossFit, the Nike Metcon 8 is a strong shoe. The lateral and medial outsole wraps on the midfoot give this shoe a boost for rope climbing support and durability.
The reworked upper also seems to be a positive change for long-term durability around this shoe’s toe box. I haven’t had issues yet with my model when doing burpees and other exercises that can put stress around this shoe’s upper in the toe box.
The Nike React foam also provides a nice level of maneuverability and “bounce” for WODs where you’re going to be doing more jumping or dynamic work like walking lunges and dumbbell snatches.
My main complaint with the Metcon 8 and its CrossFit performance is its heel construction. I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Metcon 7’s heel, and it’s a bummer that the Metcon 8 remains unchanged and blocky.
Testing the Nike Metcon 8 for Versatile Training
For versatile training, the Nike Metcon 8 did a fairly good job for circuit-style sessions, HIIT, and some class-style workouts. This model’s midsole is responsive enough to tackle these sessions without feeling too firm and stable like prior Metcon models.
The forefoot moves well and has a nice tread level for sessions on turf, rubber gym floors, and wooden floors. I never had issues with traction or slip for things like sled pushes and skater strides on turf.
This shoe feels pretty athletic, and I could see it being a good model for someone who needs a shoe for sessions that include lifting, plyometrics, agility work, and multi-directional training.
The upper in this model also seems to provide a little more security than the Nike Metcon 7’s mesh. Note, I didn’t have issues with the 7’s upper security, but if you are someone who is keen to have a lower-profile upper in your shoes, then I think you’ll enjoy this.
My main con with the Metcon 8 and versatile training is that the heel can be pretty unforgiving in sessions where you’ll be running, interval cardio sessions, or doing things like broad jumps. In these contexts, the heel is pretty uncomfortable and can be annoying.
Testing the Nike Metcon 8 for Running and Daily Wear
The Nike Metcon 8 is not going to be your training shoe for running. This model will work for short runs programmed in WODs, but if you’re running anything over a half mile in this shoe, I think you’ll find them uncomfortable.
The heel doesn’t flex that much, and if you’re a midfoot or heel striker, then I could see this being even more problematic. The lack of flexibility in the heel gives this shoe a firm and rough ride.
If you do choose to run in the Nike Metcon 8 for any distance, I’d suggest being adamant and working to adapt a forefoot strike. Doing so will give this shoe a slightly more comfortable ride.
For daily wear and walking, I’d also suggest passing on the Nike Metcon 8. Their comfort for all-day wear just isn’t there, and you’ll get more out of this shoe if you limit its wear to workout sessions only.
Similar to walking, I think the heel of this shoe will be the main drawback for most individuals. Since you make heel contact first when walking, this is something that you can’t really avoid or soften in the Nike Metcon 8.
The Nike Metcon 8 will not be the training shoe that you can wear out and about comfortably and then to the gym for serious training sessions.
Nike Metcon 8 Vs Nike Metcon 7
The Nike Metcon 8 versus the Nike Metcon 7 has been a popular topic since the 8’s release. Many athletes and lifters are now wondering, should I go with the newer model or stick with the Metcon 7s?
Like the Nike Metcon 5 and Nike Metcon 6, the Metcon 7 and 8 both echo similarities with one another’s construction with a few key differences. Nike typically will do full shoe updates on the Metcon model every two years, so the 9 will be a drastically different model.
Regarding similarities, you can expect the Nike Metcon 8 to feel similar to the Nike Metcon 7, with stability and versatility in the gym. Both models have the same midsole and outsole constructions, so the Nike React foam and Hyperlift in the heel insert remain unchanged.
This is a big point to understand because if you liked how the Nike Metcon 7 felt in the gym, you’ll likely like the Metcon 8 since they’re pretty much the same. If you weren’t of the 7’s fit and feel, I’d suggest passing on the Metcon 8 because it’s not that different.
There are four construction changes that I think are worth noting between the Metcon 7 and Metcon 8. The first, and most notable update, is the upper construction used in the Nike Metcon 8.
One of my gripes with the Nike Metcon 7 was the chainlink mesh upper around the toe box and how it can be pretty prone to ripping over time. In the Metcon 8, you now have a mesh with additional synthetic overlays, which seem to give this model’s upper a nice buff in durability.
While it’s still tough to say if this update will make a major difference due to the newness of the Metcon 8, I do think it’s a good change from the 7. The second difference is the removal of the bottom lace lock on the 8.
In the Metcon 7, you have a lace-lock mechanism that could be used or velcroed down at the bottom of the tongue. In the Metcon 8, you only have the lace-lock on the tongue’s upper part; this mechanism also serves as the tongue’s loop for security.
The third difference is the removal of the medial rope guard on the Metcon 8. On the Metcon 7, we have a rubber wrap that extends up the medial midfoot’s sidewall for rope climbing durability and support. In the 8, this has been removed, which has been hit or miss for most athletes.
The fourth and final difference that I think is worth noting is that Nike removed the Flywire feature on the Metcon 8. Honestly, this is a construction feature that I could take or leave. I don’t think this will make a big deal with the 8’s performance and midfoot security.
Regarding sizing differences, I think you should be fine with sizing the Nike Metcon 8 like the Nike Metcon 7. The Metcon 8 does run a tiny bit longer than the 7, but not enough to warrant a sizing adjustment. Note, the width of the 8 does feel like it’s narrower due to its heavier upper construction, and the 7’s upper stretches more.
- Which Is Better for CrossFit: Nike Metcon 7
- Which Is Better for Lifting: Tie
- Which Is Better for Cross-Training: Tie
- Which Is Better for HIIT: Tie
- Which Is Better for Running: Neither. Sprinting can be technically okay in both, though.
Nike Metcon 8 Vs Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2
There are a lot of differences to factor when considering the Nike Metcon 8 versus the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2. If you’re on the fence between the Nike Metcon 8 and Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2, I’ll outline three key construction differences for each model.
The first major difference between these shoes is their midsole constructions. In the Nike Metcon 8, you have a traditional Nike React Foam midsole. This midsole contributes pretty heavily to the Metcon 8’s versatility and stability.
In the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2, you don’t have a formal midsole, and the insole is what gives this shoe its stability and versatility. The Zoom Metcon Turbo 2’s insole features Nike React foam and a Zoom Air packet in the forefoot.
The second major difference between these shoes is their outsole constructions. The Nike Metcon 8 features a full rubber outsole with medial and lateral midfoot wraps for rope climbing support and durability.
In the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2, you have a split outsole construction. The forefoot and heel outsoles feature different types of rubber with varied densities and are separated by a rubber/TPU midfoot material. This gives the forefoot and heel a dissociated feel.
The third and final difference is the upper materials used in each model. In the Nike Metcon 8, you have a mesh upper with synthetic overlays around the lateral and medial forefoot and midfoot.
In Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2, you have a full mesh upper construction with a breathable mesh midfoot cage. The upper volume in the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is slightly lower than the volume in the Metcon 8.
Outside of their construction differences, I also feel the performance of the Nike Metcon 8 and Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 vary pretty greatly. I’d suggest picking the model that aligns best with your training style.
- Which Is Better for CrossFit: Nike Metcon 8
- Which Is Better for Lifting: Tie
- Which Is Better for Cross-Training: Nike Metcon 8
- Which Is Better for HIIT: Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2
- Which Is Better for Running: Neither. Sprinting can technically be okay in both, though.
Nike Metcon 8 Sizing
For the Nike Metcon 8, most athletes and lifters in this model should be safe going true to size. The length fits true, and the width of this model is what I would describe as neutral or normal.
If you’ve ever worn Nike Metcon 7s, I suggest sizing the Nike Metcon 8 the same. The last constructions are very similar in these models, however, the 8 does feel narrower as mentioned above.
I think with its reworked upper construction the toe box volume can feel snugger in the 8. If you’re nervous about this, then you may want to explore the 7 as I have found that model to break in a little better over time.
For wide and flat feet, the Nike Metcon 8 will likely not resonate well with your anatomy. This model has a fairly pronounced arch and lacks width through the midfoot and forefoot.
- Nike Metcon 8 Sizing Thoughts: Go true to size.
Drop a comment below if you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Nike Metcon 8 or how they compare to other Nike training shoes.
Is Nike Metcon 8 Good for Wide Feet?
Not particularly. The Nike Metcon 8 typically feels and fits a little more narrowly for most lifters and athletes. In addition, the Nike Metcon cross-training shoe line is notoriously known for having a neutral and narrow bias to their width.
For additional Nike Metcon 8 width context, my foot fits a US size 10 true to size regarding length, and the width of my foot at the widest part of my forefoot is around 4.15-4.25 inches/10.54-10.79 cm. This puts my foot between a medium and wide width for most brands.
My Nike Metcon 8’s insole measurement has a width of around 3.85 inches/9.77 cm at the widest part of the forefoot. Per Nike’s sizing chart, this puts the Nike Metcon 8 between a narrow (3.8″ width) and medium width (4.0″).
If you have notably wide feet that exceed an E-width or more, then I think you’ll want to pass on the Nike Metcon 8. While they can work for some wide feet here and there on typically rare occasions due to the upper stretching, I think most will find them to be snug.
On that note, if you have wide feet and notice that you have a little spillover when training in the Nike Metcon 8, you can run the risk of having this shoe break down at a faster rate due to stressing the upper around the forefoot.
Who Should Buy the Nike Metcon 8?
Thinking about buying the Nike Metcon 8? Here are two contexts where I think this shoe makes a lot of sense.
1. Great for lifters wanting stability with CrossFit and lifting
The Nike Metcon 8 will be a good cross-training shoe for lifters and athletes who want a model primarily for CrossFit and lifting. This shoe does a good job in these training contexts and has a nice level of stability.
The durability of the Nike Metcon 8 also seems pretty strong across the board. The reworked upper around the toe box feels a bit more durable than the chainlink mesh in the Nike Metcon 7.
Must Read: Nike Metcon 8 Vs Nike Metcon 9 | Is Newer Better?
2. Good pick for Nike fans who love their shoe’s fits
I also think if you enjoy the Nike Metcon cross-training shoe line and like the Metcon 7, then you’ll likely enjoy the Metcon 8. It has a similar fit, feel, and performance and a few refined construction features, which can be argued as good things for this model.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Nike Metcon 8
While the Nike Metcon 8 will work for some lifters and athletes, I don’t think it’s going to be the best cross-training shoe for everyone.
1. Didn’t like the Metcon 7? Don’t buy this model
That being said, there’s nothing revolutionary about the Nike Metcon 8. If you didn’t like the Metcon 7, you most likely won’t like the Metcon 8 so I’d pass on this shoe.
Must Read: Nike Metcon 9 Review | A Wider and Reworked Toe Box?
2. These aren’t the best for wider feet
Additionally, the Metcon 8 is also not a good model for wide and flat feet. The upper in the 8 feels a little snugger due to its heavier materials which can be off-putting for some lifters who are used to the stretchiness of the Metcon 7’s chain-like mesh.
3. Athletes wanting maximal versatility
The blocky heel can also be a major knock on this shoe for anyone wanting a training shoe for HIIT workouts, daily wear, or running. For example, this will not be the training shoe that delivers a strong performance for lifting and running.
Below, I’m going to outline the key construction details that influence this shoe’s performance and durability. This model is similar to the Nike Metcon 7 in many ways, but it has received a few notable construction updates.
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
- Weight: 12.40 oz (for my size 10 model)
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Hyperlift Insert Built-In to Heel
- Lateral and Medial Midfoot Outsole Wraps
- TPU Heel Clip
- Nike React Foam Midsole
- Full Rubber Outsole
- Forefoot Flex Grooves
- Lace-Lock Loop On Togue
- Mesh Upper With Synthetic Overlays
- 5 Core Eyelets
If you have additional questions about Nike Metcon 8’s construction, drop a comment below, and I can answer accordingly.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:What are Metcon 8 good for?
Q:Can you run in the Nike Metcon 8?
Q:Do the Nike Metcon 8 fit true to size?
Q:Are Nike Metcon 8 good for lifting?
Q:Can you squat in Metcons?
At the end of the day, the Nike Metcon 8 is a pretty solid cross-training shoe. It’s similar to the Nike Metcon 7 and offers a slightly more refined construction regarding some of its shoe tech.
It’s a good consistent model for CrossFit, lifting, and cross-training, and I think most lifters and athletes will enjoy this shoe, especially if they enjoyed the Nike Metcon 7.
That being said, there’s nothing revolutionary about the Nike Metcon 8. If you’re on the fence between this model and the Metcon 7, I’d suggest choosing the best price point and colorway per your preferences.
If you have additional questions on the Nike Metcon 8, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).