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Nike Metcon 9 Performance Review, Why I Think It Falls Short

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The Nike Metcon 9 is, in my humble opinion, the worst Nike Metcon to date. I found the Nike Metcon 8, to be hit or miss and I was curious if the Metcon 9 would have similar shortcomings and strengths since it’s an odd-year model.

Odd-year models in the Metcon shoe line typically receive massive construction overhauls, which stayed true for the 9, but again, I’m not that impressed. Maybe it’s because I hold Nike to a higher standard due to their size, financial position, and depth of work.

Or maybe it’s because I love older Metcon models like the 4 and 6. Thus far, I’ve deadlifted over 515 lbs and squatted 415 lbs in the Nike Metcon 9. Their stability has been consistent, which I expected. However, the versatility of cross-training and CrossFit is meh.

I run That Fit Friend by myself and purhase all of the shoes I review. If you decide to grab the Metcon 9, or if my review helped you make your decision, it helps a ton if you go through links in my article. Thank you so much, y’all!

Show Me the Pros & Cons

Logo

Pros

  • Dual-density midsole is great for heavy lifting
  • Wider toe box is awesome for toe splay
  • Upper promotes durability in CrossFit workouts

Cons

  • TPU heel can still feel clunky
  • Not great for running and HIIT
  • Lacks breathability and rope guards can feel bulky

What I Like

  • Wider Toe Box, Finally: For the first time in the Nike Metcon’s history, we have a wide box. Who would have thought Nike would build a shoe that has an anatomical toe box? I have an E/EE-width foot, and these have worked well for my feet.
  • Good Stability for Heavy Lifting: If your primary concern is stability with your training shoes then you’ll enjoy the dual-density midsole in this model and the TPU heel. This shoe has a dense feeling, making it a good pick for heavy strength work.
  • Decent Pick for CrossFit: Despite my distaste for the Metcon 9, there are a lot of lifters in my community who like the Metcon 9 for CrossFit, and these are typically athletes who have been long-time Metcon lovers.

What I Don’t Like

  • Clunky TPU Heel Is Annoying: I’m wondering when Nike is going to finally get rid of the use of the TPU plate in their Metcon shoes. It limits this model’s performance for running and makes them uncomfortable for walking.
  • Upper Lacks Breathability: The heavier mesh upper with haptic overlays and rubber rope guards gives this model a much warmer feeling than prior iterations. I noticed this when training in my gym, Onnit, in Austin, TX, on one of the 85-degree days when the garage doors were open.
  • Increased Price Point for What: I do not love how the price of the Nike Metcons keeps sneaking up, yet performance isn’t necessarily improving with the fact that we’re paying more.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 Sizing

Specs to Know

  • Price: $150
  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 13.55 oz (size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • Width: Medium/Slightly Wider
  • Sizing: True to Size
  • Good Alternative: Adidas Dropset Trainer 2

Nike Metcon 9

$150

Nike Metcon 9 Product Shot
4.0
Stability
4.1
Versatility
4.0
Durability
4.0
Quality
3.8

Best For

  • Recreational Lifting
  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit
  • Athletic Focused Training

Falls Short

  • For Running
  • For Overpronators

Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for CrossFit

How I’ve Tested the Metcon 9

  • Lifting: 4.1/5 (max lifts: 275 lb lunge, 525 lb deadlift). For lifting, this shoe works fine and will provide enough stability for most recreational lifters and CrossFit athletes.
  • Cross-Training: 3.9/5. When it comes to cross-training, the Metcon 9 is just okay. The TPU heel hinders this model’s performance for being incredibly well-rounded.
  • CrossFit: 3.9/5. For CrossFit, the Metcon 9 delivers a pretty strong performance, however, you’ll want to keep an eye on the outsole at the midfoot when rope climbing as this spot has proven to have issues.
  • Running: 2.8/5. For sprints and short intervals, this shoe can work. Runs over 800 meters, I’d pass on in the Metcon 9.
  • Walking: 2.5/5. These are okay for some walking, but you’ll want to find more responsive shoes if you want a daily driver for all-day walking and wear.

Its Lifting Performance Is Consistent, and for CrossFit, They’re Just Okay

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.

Must Read: Reebok Nano X4 Vs Nike Metcon 9 | Who Wins 2024?

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Deadlifting

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.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Lifting

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.

  • Lifting and CrossFit Takeaways: I like this shoe for lifting, but I don’t love it for CrossFit. I’d be remiss to not acknowledge that a lot of athletes like them for CrossFit, but I think there are better options on the market for the same price or less.
  • More Well-Rounded CrossFit Shoe: RAD ONE

Are They Any Good 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 who 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.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for running cross training

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.

  • Versatility Takeaways: These can technically work for athletic and versatile workouts, however, there are better options on the market. I think you’ll find the heel annoying if you’re doing a lot of plyometrics in your sessions.
  • More Versatile Training Shoes: UA TriBase Reign 6

My Experience In them 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.

Are the Nike Metcon 9 good for running

If you’re someone who 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.

  • Running Takeaways: Don’t. These stink for running and feel like cinderblocks on the feet, and if you’re a heel striker — forget about it. For walking, these are also not my favorite. The heel is clunky and makes sounds on hard surfaces.
  • Better Hybrid Training Shoe: Inov-8 F-Fly

Leave a Review

Crowd Sourced Reviews
3
3
3

Reader's Rating

3.7 out of 5
Sizing/Fit: True to Size
Durability
4.0

Reader Reviews

April 18th, 2024
I'm with Jake on this review. The Metcon 9 hasn't been the best iteration to date and it feels like a step backward for this shoe line in many ways. I'm hoping the 10 is much better!

Construction Overview

Outsole and Midsole

  • Dual-density foam midsole that has a denser feeling compared to more plush training shoes. The outside of the midsole is designed to be firmer, while the internal or inner part of the midsole is a little more plush.
  • Full rubber outsole with a few breaks is the forefoot and where the medial rope guard interjects and connects.
  • Herringbone-like tread pattern cover the forefoot, heel, and lateral midfoot. This outsole grips different surfaces really well.
  • There’s a layer of TPU in the heel which adds to this shoe’s density and stability. I found this material only wraps the outside of the heel and isn’t an actual plate like it was in the 7 and 8.

Nike Metcon 9 Outsole

Upper and Midfoot

  • The primary component of this shoe’s upper is built with a layered mesh. There are 2-3 laters of materials that I found when I cut my Metcon 9 in half for a YouTube video.
  • There are haptic overlays that cover the medial forefoot of this shoe. These are bumpy and rubbery materials to promote durability and protect against abrasion.
  • There are five core eyelets used in this model and the tongue is gusseted with the primary tongue loop being the lace-lock feature, which has been present on the Metcon 7 and 8 as well.
  • The rubber rope guards extend up the medial and lateral side to promtoe durtability and abrasion from rope climbs.

Nike Metcon 9 Upper

Other Details

  • This shoe’s weight comes in at 13.55 oz, which is higher than that of prior models. I attribute this to this shoe’s bulkier upper construction and thicker midsole and heel.
  • The heel-to-toe drop of the Metcon 9 still sits at 4mm, which has been consistent for every Metcon model to date.
  • This shoe has a thin foam removable insole which gives you additional cushion when training in this model and wearing them for longer sessions.

Final Verdict, Would I Buy These Again?

Nah. I would not drop another $150+ on this shoe. With more cross-training shoes on the market than ever, we have better options that effectively cost the same or less.

I think a lot of the Metcon 9’s popularity has to do with it simply being a Nike shoe. If you put this model head-to-head against shoes like the Dropset Trainer 2, RAD ONE, Haze Trainer, Tribase Reign 6, then it’s pretty clear to see why the Metcon 9 is sub-par.

All that said, if you’re a diehard Nike Metcon fan, you’ll likely enjoy this shoe, especially if you liked the 7 and 8. However, for everyone else on the fence, I’d explore other shoes. Don’t let my negativity completely deter what you’re feeling!

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).

 
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.

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