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Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 | Which Shoe Is Best?

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The Nike Metcon 9 versus Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 is shaking up to be a heated cross-training shoe showdown. Both of these models are designed to be great for lifting and serious cross-training.

The Nike Metcon 9 and Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 have received nearly complete construction overhauls compared to their predecessors. These changes have given both of these models their own respective lists of performance pros and cons.

In my Nike Metcon 9 versus Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 showdown, I’ll discuss how these shoes’ performance, construction, and sizing differences.

Quick Take: If you want a solid cross-training shoe for a little bit of everything, then I think the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 is the stronger model between these two shoes. The Nike Mecon 9 is okay, but it lacks the same performance range.

Nike Metcon 9 Product Shot
Nike Metcon 8 Product Shot
Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Product Shot
Reebok Nano X3 Product Shot
TYR CXT-1 Trainer Product Shot
Overall TF2 Score
4.0
3.9
4.7
4.4
4.3
Stability
Stability
4.1
Stability
4.5
Stability
4.6
Stability
4.5
Stability
4.7
Versatility
Versatility
4.0
Versatility
3.7
Versatility
4.8
Versatility
4.6
Versatility
4.6
Price$150$130$130$130
Best For
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit
  • Athletic Focused Training
  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit and CrossFit-Style Workouts
  • Lifting
  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Heavier Strength Training
  • Athletic Focused Sessions
  • Wider Feet
  • Recreational Weight Training
  • Functional Fitness and CrossFit
  • Athletic-Style Training
  • Short Runs/Sprints
  • Casual HIIT
  • CrossFit/Cross-Training
  • Recreational Lifting
  • Athletic-Style Workouts
  • Athletes That Like Higher Drops
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Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2

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Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Performance

To test and thoroughly break down the performance differences between the Metcon 9 and Dropset Trainer 2, I’ll cover how these shoes perform in different training verticals.

I’ll discuss the performance differences between these shoes in the context of lifting, versatile training, short runs, and daily wear.

Testing the Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Lifting and CrossFit

When it comes to general strength work, both of these models should work for a wide range of lifters. In both of these shoes, you’re getting dual-density midsoles which give each model a fairly stable feel when lifting.

In the Nike Metcon 9, the midsole is more stable toward the external parts of the shoe whereas the Dropset Trainer 2’s dual-density midsole is more responsive in the forefoot and stiff in the heel.

Testing the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Deadlifts

In both of these shoes, I’ve deadlifted over 500 lbs, hit heavy leg press and machine work, and have done heavy unilateral leg work without glaring stability issues. 

Another thing to like about the Metcon 9 and Dropset Trainer 2 for lifting is that both shoes have a slightly wider toe box. This has been a really nice change to see implemented by both companies regarding stability.

Testing the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Strength Training

I do find the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 to have a slight edge for lifting and I feel this has to do with this model’s lower stack height and lack of toe spring. For every lifting scenario, this model has felt really good.

The Nike Metcon 9 has done a good job, but I’m actually not the biggest fan of this shoe for heavy single-leg training. I find that there’s a little more roll in the forefoot of this shoe regarding medial stability and I’m curious if others will experience this.

Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Leg Day

That said, for most lifters that want a shoe for recreational lifting, both of these shoes should work really well. I do think for the first time in a long time Adidas takes the edge here, though.

In the context of CrossFit, I’ve enjoyed the Metcon 9 and Dropset Trainer 2 for slightly different reasons. The Nike Metcon 9’s construction feels a little more dialed in for this style of training.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for CrossFit WODs

The reworked rope guard should prolong this shoe’s long-term durability and the mesh upper with haptic overlays also add to this model’s toe box upper durability which was an issue that plagued the Metcon 7 and 8 at times.

The Nike Metcon 9 will be a cross-training shoe that excels best for WODs that have heavier lifting programmed. The Hyperlift plate in this shoe’s heel takes away from its range regarding versatile and running-focused WODs.

The Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 has performed well for most WODs and its lightweight construction gives it a nice edge for breathability and feeling light on the feet.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Lifting

This model has been my go-to for WODs that include more jump rope and box jumps due to this model’s athletic fit and feel. Similar to the Metcon 9, the Dropset Trainer 2 won’t be the best cross-training shoe for running but it is a little better than the Metcon 9.

Winner: For lifting, the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 is taking the edge because of its stability and lack of toe spring. For CrossFit, both shoes work well, but the Nike Metcon 9 feels a little more durable long-term.

Nike Metcon 9 Product Shot

Nike Metcon 9

Pros: Toe Box Width, Stability
Cons: Blocky Heel
Size/Fit: True to Size/Slightly Wider
Offset: 4mm
Lifting Threshold: ~515 lbs
Mileage Threshold: <1 Mile
Price: $150
TF2 Rating: 4
Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Product Shot

Adidas Dropset Trainer 2

Pros: Versatile, Stable
Cons: Not Great for Running
Size/Fit: True to Size/ Slightly Wider Width
Offset: 6mm
Lifting Threshold: ~525 lbs
Mileage Threshold: <1 Mile
TF2 Rating: 4.7

Testing the Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Versatile Training

In the context of versatile training and workouts that include plyometrics, HIIT, and class-style exercises, the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 is going to take the edge here for me.

This model is what I describe as an “athlete’s shoe”, basically, its performance feels really well-tailored for workouts that include lifting, jumping, agility, and sprint work.

Testing the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Cross Training

The Dropset Trainer 2’s rubber outsole has a good level of tread for multi-directional work and the dual-density midsole provides a nice blend of stability and versatility.

I also like that this shoe has a built-in cutout in the midsole for additional ventilation. If you’re training outdoors or in hotter climates, then the Dropset Trainer 2 should help keep your feet relatively cool.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for running cross training

The Nike Metcon 9 can definitely work for versatile training but their performance will be best for versatile workouts where you’ll be primarily on the forefoot.

For example, if you’re doing jump rope, box jumps, and skater strides, then the Metcon 9 will work just fine and the midsole will be accommodating for these exercises.

Testing the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Kettlebell Workouts

My main knocks against the Metcon 9 for versatile training revolve around its clunky heel and its heavier upper construction. The heel in this model takes away from its potential to be comfortable in every versatile training context.

For example, if you’re doing broad jumps or decelerating in sprints, then you’ll likely feel the TPU Hyperlift plate, and not in a good way. The heavier upper also takes away from the Metcon 9’s overall breathability.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for HIIT

The upper has performed well thus far regarding security and durability when versatile training, but I do find this model to run pretty warmly compared to the Dropset Trainer 2.

Winner: I’m giving the edge to the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2. This shoe should work well for athletes and those that need a shoe for lifting, explosive work, and athletic-style training.

Adidas Dropset Trainer 2

$130

Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Product Shot
4.7
Stability
4.6
Versatility
4.8
Durability
4.7
Quality
4.6

Best For

  • Cross-Training
  • CrossFit Workouts
  • Heavier Strength Training
  • Athletic Focused Sessions
  • Wider Feet

Falls Short

  • For Running

Testing the Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Short Runs and Daily Wear

The Nike Metcon 9 and Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 are not the most running-friendly cross-training shoes on the market. Both of these shoes have more of a lifting bias with their construction.

If you’re doing sprints, 400-meter, and 800-meter runs then both shoes should work okay. Basically, if you’re tackling runs where you’ll be primarily on the forefoot and midfoot then these shoes should be fine.

Are the Nike Metcon 9 good for running

For runs longer than 800 meters, I’d pass on both of these shoes due to their stabler feel and construction. The Dropset Trainer 2’s flared heel and the Metcon 9’s Hyperlift plate are both uncomfortable for longer runs.

If you want cross-training shoes for 1-3 mile runs, then you may want to explore models like the Reebok Nano X3 or On Cloud X3, which have varied amounts of stability and are better hybrid trainers.

Testing the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Runs

For daily wear, neither of these shoes is really my favorite. They’ll work fine, but with stable cross-training shoes, I’ll typically try to limit their daily wear use.

The wider toe boxes are perks for daily use contexts and the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 does have a slight edge here, but if you want either of these trainers to last longer then I’d limit their use primarily to the gym.

Testing the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Sizing and Fit

That said, for daily wear and if I’m traveling and can only bring one model with me, I’ll typically each for the STR/KE MVMNT Haze Trainer or RAD ONE because these shoes have a more comfortable ride and casual appearance.

Winner: For short runs, both of these shoes will work for sprints and runs under 800 meters. Neither excels for runs longer than a mile. For daily wear, both of these shoes are also hit or miss and not my favorites.

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

Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Construction

To assess the construction differences between the Nike Metcon 9 and Adidas Dropset Trainer 2, I’m going to break this section into different parts. This will hopefully make it much more digestible and concise.

Midsole

Both models feature a dual-density midsole foam. In the Nike Metcon 9, the density of the midsole varies from the external and internal parts of the shoe. This shoe’s stack height is a little higher compared to the Metcon 8 and it’s decently dense.

Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Midsole

In the Dropset Trainer 2, the dual-density midsole is split between the forefoot and heel. This gives the forefoot a more responsive and flexible feel whereas the heel feels more dense and stable.

Outsole

The Nike Metcon 9 features a full rubber outsole with a herringbone tread pattern on the forefoot and heel. There are a few grooves in the forefoot for flexibility and at the medial midfoot for the rope guard rubber.

Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Outsole

The Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 also has a full rubber outsole and the tread pattern is a little more low-profile. Regarding tackiness and grip, I think both of these shoes are comparable and traction shouldn’t be an issue in either model. Both shoes have extended outsoles that wrap over the toe box for additional durability.

Upper

The Nike Metcon 9’s upper is built with a mesh material and there is a rubbery haptic overlay over the medial toe box. The boot features a padded mesh and there are rope guards that wrap over the medial and lateral mid-foot.

Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Upper

In the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2, you have a mesh and textile upper that is lighter in weight throughout with rubber overlays over the medial and lateral heel. This model’s heel is built with a padded mesh and the upper feels lighter and “smoother” in this model compared to the Metcon 9.

Laces and Tongue

The Nike Metcon 9 features a traditional lacing system with five core eyelets. The lace-lock loop has remained unchanged on this model from the Metcon 8 and the tongue is gusseted and built with a padded mesh.

Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Laces and Tongue

The Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 features six core eyelets with an additional two eyelets for adjustable lacing. The tongue is gusseted and is built with a padded mesh as well. Both shoes do a good job with midfoot security.

Weight, Heel-to-Toe Drop, and Insole

The weight varies fairly significantly between the Metcon 9 and Dropset Trainer 2 and the heel-to-toe drops are also different in these shoes.

  • Nike Metcon 9 Weight, Drop, and Insole: 13.55 oz (size 10), 4mm drop, removable insole.
  • Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Weight, Drop, and Insole: 9.85 oz (size 10), 6mm drop, removable insole.

If you have additional construction-related questions about these shoes and how they compare drop a comment below and I can help clarify accordingly.

Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Sizing

In the Nike Metcon 9 and Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 most athletes and lifters should be safe going true to size in these models. The length of these shoes runs true and they have a medium to slightly wider width.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 Toe Box Width

The Nike Metcon 9’s toe box has been widened compared to its predecessors and there’s also more upper volume in this shoe compared to shoes like the Metcon 7 and 8.

This has been a nice sizing change because it should make the Metcon 9 more comfortable for a wider range of foot anatomies.

My only sizing concern with the Metcon 9 is that it lacks medial stability so if you’re constantly battling overpronation, then you may want to factor this into your sizing and shoe choice.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 Sizing

The Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 features a slightly wider toe box that is designed to be a little more anatomical in nature. This shoe’s fit has aligned well for my medium to slightly wider foot width.

The boot is a little deeper on the Dropset Trainer 2 compared to the Metcon 9 and if you like a little more ankle support then you may want to opt for this model.

Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Toe Box Width

In addition, the Dropset Trainer 2 has a bit more arch to it and it gives you a little more medial stability which I personally like for heavier unilateral training. If you need a bit of arch then you’ll want to factor this into your choice.

  • Nike Metcon 9 Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.
  • Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Sizing Thoughts: True to size for most.

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Metcon 9 and Dropset Trainer 2, drop a comment below and let me know what shoe you currently wear and the size you have them in.

Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Durability

When it comes to durability, I think both the Nike Metcon 9 and Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 should last a minimum of 8 months if you’re using them for recreational training.

Note, I said “think” because both of these shoes are still new to the market and we need more data points on them to know where their shortcomings are. However, based on my session thus far, these shoes have held up well.

Nike Metcon 9 Rope Guard

That said, I think the Nike Metcon 9’s upper should last longer compared to the Metcon 7 and 8 if you’re wanting them solely for CrossFit. This shoe’s beefed upper doesn’t feel like it will be as prone to ripping around the toe box.

My only concern with the Nike Metcon 9 is its midsole and outsole breaking down at the aggressive break at the forefoot. Outsole lipping was an issue some ran into with the Metcon 7 and 8 so I’m keeping an eye on this area.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Walking

The Adidas Dropset Trainer 2’s upper has done a good job for general abrasion resistance and for rope climbs they’ve also faired pretty well.

This model’s upper doesn’t feel as “heavy” as the Metcon 9 which may be something to factor in for the CrossFit-focused individual, but for most training contexts I think this shoe’s upper will be fine.

Testing the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Daily Wear

My only durability concern with the Dropset Trainer 2 is its outsole tread fading with high-volume concrete use. If you’re someone who regularly trains outdoors or wants a model for all-day wear, then you’ll want to consider this.

I feel as though the tread may wear faster on the Dropset Trainer 2 if you’re using them in this vertical so I’d try to limit how much you’re training, running, and wearing them on concrete.

Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Price

As opposed to prior years where both of these shoes cost $130 USD, there is now a little variance in price between the Metcon 9 and Dropset Trainer 2.

For the Nike Metcon 9, you can expect to pay around $150 USD. This is a $20 price increase compared to the prior 8 Nike Metcon models. It’s looking like this will be the new norm for premium cross-training shoes.

Me Testing the Nike Metcon 9 for Lifting

The Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 has a price point that hovers around $130 USD which is a price that most cross-training shoes have been priced at.

When it comes to value for the money, I think the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 has more value. This model has a greater performance range and its updates feel more like “upgrades” compared to the Metcon 9’s tweaks.

Testing the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 for Versatile Training

The Nike Metcon 9 is one of the weakest models to date in this shoe line, in my opinion, so I was pretty bummed when Nike brought their price up $20 USD.

A lot of the changes and tweaks to the Metcon 9 also don’t necessarily feel like upgrades. For example, the excessive rope guard feels heavy and gaudy and the Hyperlift plate still takes away from this shoe’s versatility.

I’m curious where the community lands regarding these shoes’ values for their price points. If you own one of these models, are you happy with your purchase and do you think your shoe is worth the money?

Nike Metcon 9 Product Shot

Nike Metcon 9

Pros: Toe Box Width, Stability
Cons: Blocky Heel
Size/Fit: True to Size/Slightly Wider
Offset: 4mm
Lifting Threshold: ~515 lbs
Mileage Threshold: <1 Mile
Price: $150
TF2 Rating: 4
Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Product Shot

Adidas Dropset Trainer 2

Pros: Versatile, Stable
Cons: Not Great for Running
Size/Fit: True to Size/ Slightly Wider Width
Offset: 6mm
Lifting Threshold: ~525 lbs
Mileage Threshold: <1 Mile
TF2 Rating: 4.7
Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Takeaways

Takeaway 1

When push comes to shove, I think the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 is the better-built shoe that delivers a strong performance across the board with a solid athletic fit.

Takeaway 2

If you have traditionally loved Nike Metcon cross-training shoes, then you’ll likely enjoy the Metcon 9. This model’s reworked sizing and increase durability can be great things in certain contexts.

Takeaway 3

Neither of these models do the best with running so if you want a more hybrid-focused cross-training shoe, then you may want to explore other models that have better runnability.

Takeaway Thoughts

In my opinion, the Nike Metcon 9 versus Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 is going to be one of this year’s top showdowns when it comes to most buying their next training shoe.

Both of these shoes perform well in the gym for slightly different reasons. I do feel as though the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 is a stronger shoe overall.

The Nike Metcon 9 is okay and it will work for a lot of athletes and lifters, however, I’m a bit underwhelmed with this model’s changes and increased price point.

If you have additional questions about the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 and Nike Metcon 9, drop a comment below or reach out to me 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.

2 thoughts on “Nike Metcon 9 Vs Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 | Which Shoe Is Best?”

  1. Hi Jake, fellow Jake here.
    Is the Dropset 2 your recommendation for wide feet of the two and for overall against all crossfit shoes i.e. vs the Nano X3?
    Had the Metcon 6 and 7, loved them but now I’m rolling barefoot shoes as daily wears I can’t even wear the 7s. Love my Nikes but is the toe box wide enough now?

    1. Jakes unite! I’d honestly put the Metcon 9/Dropset 2 in a pretty similar lens regarding width and I almost find the Nano X3 to “feel” snugger at times now. IMO, if you go Metcon 9 or Dropset 2 you’ll be okay. I find that I have adequate width in both and I have a slightly wider foot width!

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