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The Nike Metcon 9 has had a lot of hype anticipation for its release. As an odd-year model, the Nike Metcon 9 has received multiple updates compared to its two prior predecessors which had a similar DNA.
For the most part, I’m a fan of the Nike Metcon 8, especially for lifting. I think where the Metcon 8 falls short is with versatility and hybrid functionality so I was curious to see if the Metcon 9 would be better.
In my Nike Metcon 9 review, I’ll cover the pros and cons of this model, and share my experiences training and working out with this shoe.
Quick Take: The Nike Metcon 9 has been just “okay” in the gym and this shoe line feels like it took a step backward with this iteration. They work fine for lifting and cross-training, but they’re not the strongest Metcon by any means.
Nike Metcon 9
- Recreational Lifting
- Athletic Focused Training
- For Running
- For Overpronators
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Who Should Buy the Nike Metcon 9?
When it comes to who should buy the Nike Metcon 9 there are a few contexts where I think the Nike Metcon 9 makes a lot of sense.
1. You Love Nike Metcons But Often Find Them Too Narrow
The first context where I think the Nike Metcon 9 makes sense is for the lifter and athlete that loves Nike and the Nike Metcon cross-training shoe line but often feels as though they run too narrow.
Compared to the first eight Nike Metcon models, the Metcon 9 has the widest toe box to date. This has been a nice progression for this training shoe line and I think it will give the Metcon 9 a wider range of foot anatomies it will work for.
I have a medium to slightly wider foot width and typically found my Metcon 7 and 8s to fit a little snug especially when wearing them for longer workouts, but in the Nike Metcon 9 I don’t have this issue.
2. You Want a Training Shoe With a Lifting Bias
Another scenario where I think the Nike Metcon 9 makes sense is for the athlete and lifter that wants a training shoe with a greater focus on lifting. This is something that I also think the Metcon 5, 6, 7, and 8, did really well with, too.
The Hyperlift plate in the heel of the Metcon 9 gives this model a stable heel to help lock you down when squatting and the dual-density midsole in the forefoot has enough stability to accommodate heavier lifts.
Must Read: Nike Metcon 8 Vs Nike Metcon 9 | Is Newer Really Better?
When deadlifting 515 lbs and cleaning 265 lbs in the Nike Metcon 9 I didn’t have any glaring stability issues with this shoe even though its stack height has increased a little bit compared to the Metcon 7 and 8.
3. You Enjoyed the Nike Metcon 7 and 8
If you were a fan of the Nike Metcon 7 and 8 then I think you’ll also like the Nike Metcon 9. There are some consistencies between the 9 and those models like the Hyperlift heel, lace lock, and forefoot feel and flexibility.
Personally, I think the 9 is one of the weakest Nike Metcon models to date, but I also see the context where Metcon 7 and 8 lovers will enjoy this shoe and how it has some consistencies with the 7 and 8 while improving on versatility slightly.
The Hyperlift heel doesn’t stick out as far in this model and its forefoot midsole is a little more plush so I do think the versatility of the Metcon 9 is better than the 7 and 8, relatively speaking to those models, not necessarily other top-performing shoes.
Who Shouldn’t Buy the Nike Metcon 9?
As mentioned above, I’m pretty hit or miss on the Nike Metcon 9 and there are a few contexts where I think you’ll want to pass on this shoe or at least tread lightly before investing.
1. You Want a Training Shoe With More Versatility
The first context where I think the Nike Metcon 9 will fall short is for the athlete and lifter that wants a training shoe with more versatility and runnability. One of my biggest gripes with the Metcon 7 and 8 is their lack of range.
If you’re someone who regularly wants to run 1+ mile before or after their workout or you like a plusher training shoe, then I think you’ll want to pass on the Metcon 9. Despite it being more versatile than the 7 and 8 it still doesn’t compare to other top models.
To add to this, if you didn’t enjoy the Metcon 7 and 8’s heel construction due to its feeling clunky and clicky then you’ll want to steer clear of the Metcon 9 because it’s still a frustrating feature, in my opinion.
2. You Need a Shoe With More Arch/Medial Midfoot Support
If you’re someone who constantly battles overpronation and you like a training shoe with more arch support then I also think you’ll want to pass on the Nike Metcon 9, and now, I tread lightly while writing this because this is a context that is highly individual.
Compared to the Metcon 7 and 8, I was surprised that the medial sidewall in the 9 didn’t have more support especially when you look at its rather thick and heavy rope guard.
I found it a little tough to ground my front foot when catching jerks in this model and I think some of that has to do with the lacking medial sidewall in this shoe. I’m curious if others will run into this issue and if it’s something that will be more of an issue for certain lifts.
Nike Metcon 9 Pros and Cons
Over the course of my training with the Nike Metcon 9, I’ve found a few pros and cons that are worth keeping in mind before investing in this model.
- Similar to the Nike Metcon 7 and 8, the Metcon 9 delivers a pretty strong performance for recreational strength training and has good stability.
- The upper construction in the Nike Metcon 9 feels more durable through the toe box and the aesthetic of this shoe sans the rope guards looks better.
- This model features a wider toe box which is great for accommodating toe splay and giving your feet more room to move and do their thing when training.
- The Hyperlift TPU heel limits this shoe’s runnability and versatility and this was an issue that also plagued the Nike Metcon 7 and 8.
- The $20 price increase is pretty steep for this shoe especially since its performance isn’t that noticeably better than its predecessors.
- The rope guard on the medial and lateral sides is pretty excessive and it seems to just add weight and bulk to this shoe when it’s not a critical feature, in my opinion.
If you’ve worn the Nike Metcon 9, I have to know. Are you a fan of this model or do you think it’s a miss? Let me know some of your pros and cons with this shoe in the comments below.
To break down the performance of the Nike Metcon 9, I’ll discuss how this performs in a variety of training contexts. I’ll cover this shoe’s performance for lifting, CrossFit, versatile training, short runs, and daily wear.
Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Lifting and CrossFit
In the context of lifting, the Nike Metcon 9 does a pretty good job. Much like the prior Metcon models, this is definitely a training shoe with a little more of a lifting bias to its features and construction.
The stack height seems to be a little higher in the Metcon 9 compared to the Metcon 7 and 8 so I feel like Nike is trying to make this shoe more versatile while keeping its lifting-heavy bias, but I almost wish they’d stick to one direction.
From a stability point of view, this shoe was interesting. It worked well for 515 lb deadlifts and 225 lb reverse lunges, but I found the lack of medial support to mess with my stability in jerks which was something that caught me off-guard with this model.
For recreational training and general strength work, the Nike Metcon 9 will work well. However, for lifters and athletes that enjoy more arch and medial support, this shoe may feel lacking for those specific fit asks.
In the context of CrossFit WODs, the Nike Metcon 9 has been pretty standard with its performance. It feels similar to a Nike Metcon 7 and 8 with a little more plushness in the forefoot.
I think this shoe is a little more forgiving for WODs that have a lot of box jumps and double-unders, but it’s still not a model that I would say has a ton of range to its performance in the context of versatility.
For example, if I’m tackling a WOD with running programmed then the Nike Metcon 9 would not be my first pick by any means. At the end of the day, if you like the Metcon 7 and 8 for CrossFit then you’ll probably like the 9, but for everyone who didn’t, I would pass on this model.
Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Versatile Training
In the context of versatile training, the Nike Metcon 9 does an okay job. There are features that I like in this model and features that I wish would have been changed.
For example, if you’re an athlete that wants a model for lifting, jumping, and sprinting, then the Nike Metcon 9 will work especially if you like shoes with a bit more stability and lifting-bias to them.
The dual-density EVA foam midsole is responsive in the forefoot for things like box jumps, jump rope, and multi-direction work and I like that this model is a little more forgiving in the forefoot for this performance ask.
I also like the upper in the Nike Metcon 9 and the security it provides laterally. I don’t think lateral support will be an issue in this model and the wider toe box is also a perk in the context of this shoe’s comfort for versatile training.
My gripes with this model for versatile training include the TPU heel and the medial support. Despite the aggressive rope guard on the medial midfoot, I’m not convinced the Nike Metcon 9 will give you enough support if you’re an overpronator when training.
On top of this, the heel can be pretty uncomfortable for sessions where you might be making more heel impact. For example, when decelerating in sprints and when doing high-volume broad jumps, I wasn’t the biggest fan of the Metcon 9.
Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Short Runs and Daily Wear
When it comes to running in the Nike Metcon 9 I was pretty bummed when Nike left the TPU Hyperlift insert in this shoe. The Nike Metcon 7 and Metcon 8 are pretty brutal to run in and the Metcon 9 isn’t much better.
The TPU heel juts out less in the Nike Metcon 9 but it’s still not a “comfortable” shoe for hybrid-style workouts. For example, this model worked well for sprints and 400-800 meter runs but anything above that I found them uncomfortable.
If you’re someone that likes to run 1-3 miles for workout sessions or you want a training shoe that’s a little more runnable, then I’d pass on the Nike Metcon 9. These shoes are not the most comfortable for running, especially outdoor runs.
For daily wear, I’m also not the biggest fan of the Nike Metcon 9 and this circles back to the TPU heel insert. Its upper and wider toe box construction is more comfortable than the Nike Metcon 8 but it still feels “clicky” when walking.
To elaborate, the plastic heel gives these a pretty harsh feel when doing long walks and now that their price has increased to $150 USD, I think you’d be better off saving your Nike Metcon 9s for only training.
Nike Metcon 9 Vs Nike Metcon 8
There are multiple differences to note between the Nike Metcon 9 and Nike Metcon 8. The first major difference to note is the Hyperlift plate in each shoe’s heel. In the Nike Metcon 9, the plate has increased in height but has been shortened regarding its length.
This change does help give the Metcon 9 a little more comfort and versatility over the Metcon 8. Another major difference to note is the upper design used in both models.
The Metcon 8 featured a mesh upper with haptic print overlays and it was fairly consistent throughout with extended medial and lateral midfoot wraps for rope climbing assistance.
In the Metcon 9, you have a mesh upper with haptic print overlays and in the forefoot, there’s a rubber texture covering the medial side of the shoe and there are aggressive rope climb guards on both the medial and lateral side of this shoe.
The rope guards and rubber overlays give the Metcon 9 a heavier feel and I feel like this change was an overcompensation for durability issues that would sometimes arise on the Metcon 7 and 8’s upper when tackling CrossFit WODs.
Another difference is the outsole tread patterns used in the Metcon 8 and Metcon 9. The Metcon 9’s outsole looks similar to the Nike Free Metcon 5’s, especially through the heel.
The final difference that I want to point out between these shoes is their midsole constructions. In the Nike Metcon 8, you had Nike React Foam throughout the midsole in the Metcon 9 you now have a dual-density midsole that has a slightly higher stack height.
- Lifting: Nike Metcon 8
- CrossFit: Tie
- Versatile Training: Nike Metcon 9
- Short Runs/Daily: Tie
Nike Metcon 9
Nike Metcon 8
Nike Metcon 9 Sizing
For the Nike Metcon 9, most lifters and athletes should be safe going true to size in this model. This shoe’s length runs true and this model has a wider fit so it should work for a wider range of foot anatomies.
Compared to prior iterations, the Nike Metcon 9 has one of the better fits to date. I compare this shoe’s fit most to the Nike Metcon 6 which also “felt” like it had a wider forefoot.
In the Metcon 9, it seems Nike has finally taken the nudge from the industry shifts and trends and made the toe box a little more anatomical with its width which should be great for those that constantly feel that Metcons run too narrow.
For context, I have a medium to slightly wider foot width and I have plenty of room in this shoe’s toe box even when wearing thicker socks.
- Nike Metcon 9 Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.
If you have additional questions about the Nike Metcon 9’s sizing and fit, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally.
For the Nike Metcon 9, you can expect to pay around $150 USD. Compared to its 8 predecessors the Nike Metcon 9 has received a $20 USD price increase which is a pretty steep jump.
Generally, we’ll see training shoes increase slowly by $5-10. For example, we saw a price increase from the Reebok Nano X2 and Nano X3 so I’m fairly shocked Nike increased the price of this model so much.
To be honest, I’m not sold that the price of the Nike Metcon 9 is worth it for the construction and performance they deliver. I think this is arguably one of the lower-performing Nike Metcons to date so to pay more is tough to get behind.
I’m also curious as to why they increased the price by $20 USD. Was it based on industry trends, materials, the economy, or a culmination of everything? I would be interested to know the rationale for the steeper price increase.
If you’re a Nike Metcon fan then the price could be worth it for this model, but I think there are stronger-performing shoes that cost less and if we look at comparably priced shoes like the RAD ONE and Haze Trainer, I think both of those models out-perform the Metcon 9.
Nike Metcon 9
- Recreational Lifting
- Athletic Focused Training
- For Running
- For Overpronators
Since the Nike Metcon 9 is an odd-year model, it’s received multiple updates compared to the Metcon 8. Below are some of the key construction details to know for this model.
- Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
- Removable Insole: Yes
- Dual-Density Foam Midsole
- Full Rubber Outsole
- Medial and Lateral Rope Guard
- TPU Hyperlift Plate
- Mesh and Textile Upper With Haptic Print
- Lace Lock System
- 5 Core Eyelets
If you have additional questions or need further clarification about the Nike Metcon 9’s construction, drop a comment below.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:Are the Nike Metcon 9 good for wide feet?
Q:Can you run in the Nike Metcon 9?
Q:What are the Nike Metcon 9 good for?
Q:What is the difference between the Metcon 8 and Metcon 9?
The Nike Metcon 9 is kind of a lackluster cross-training shoe and it’s kind of been a bummer. As an odd-year model, I had high hopes that Nike would add features to make this shoe considerably stronger than the Metcon 7 and 8.
That said, the Metcon 9 is fine and it should be a good performer for lifting, cross-training, and CrossFit, but there are stronger shoes on the market at this moment that both cost less and for the same price.
If you’re a diehard Nike Metcon fan, then you’ll likely enjoy this shoe especially if you liked the 7 and 8, but for everyone else on the fence, I’d explore other shoes.
If you have additional questions about the Nike Metcon 9, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).