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Nike React Metcon Turbo Review (2023 Update)

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The Nike React Metcon Turbo has been one of the first Nike training shoes to feature a drop-in midsole. Going into this shoe I was interested in how it would feel compare to traditional Nike gym shoes which I’ve long been a fan of.

More specifically, I wanted to know if this shoe delivered the same stability as the Nike Metcon line. For example, I’ve squatted over 365 lbs and deadlifted over 500 lbs in the Metcon 9 without glaring stability issues, so would the drop-in midsole hinder this shoe’s overall potential?

After countless workouts in the React Metcon Turbo, I’m a firm believer that this is one of the most polarizing Nike training shoes ever built. I’ve found you either LOVE or HATE the React Metcon Turbo for training, and figuring out which party you fall into is key to avoiding wasting money and time having to return this shoe.

Nike React Metcon Turbo Summary

React Metcon Turbo Pros and Cons

Logo

Pros

  • Maneuverable and Breathable Construction
  • Athletic Fit and Feel
  • Reworked Upper and Outsole

Cons

  • Fit and Feel Can Be a Miss for Some
  • Lack of Midfoot Structure Isn't Great for Those Needing Arch Support
  • Drop-In Midsole Can Squeak At Times

If you’re wanting a shoe for cross-training, HIIT, and lifting, then the React Metcon Turbo can be a viable option to explore. More specifically, if you like a training shoe that has more flexibility especially through the midfoot then you’ll feel right at home with this shoe. This midfoot flexibility is one of the polarizing features of this model.

For example, this shoe doesn’t have as much midfoot and arch support as traditional Nike trainers, which is great for minimalist lovers but a drawback for those who need more structure. This shoe somewhat reminds me of an in-between of a traditional trainer and a barefoot model for training, which is why I tend to enjoy this shoe for my sessions.

Fit-wise, and to add a little more depth to this shoe’s polarizing construction, the React Metcon Turbo has a lower-profile upper. This can make it a great option for narrower and lower volume feet but can feel wicked tight for high insteps and thick feet. If you plan to buy this shoe, I’d highly suggest buying through a retailer where you can make seamless returns with.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 4mm
  • Weight: 13.35 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Stack Height: N/A
  • Removable Insole: Yes (drop-in midsole)
  • Width: Medium/Regular
  • Sizing: True to size.
  • Comparable To the PUMA Fuse 3: Read My Review

Nike React Metcon Turbo

$150

nike react metcon turbo (1)
4.4
Stability
4.5
Versatility
4.6
Durability
4.2

Best For

  • Heavier Training
  • Agility Workouts
  • HIIT Training
  • Versatile Workouts

Falls Short

  • For Longer Runs
  • For Cost-Efficiency

Who Should Buy the Nike React Metcon Turbos?

Look, there’s no denying that the price for Nike React Metcon Turbo is far from great, but I do think it’s a great shoe for the lifter that likes their cross-training shoes to feel and fit similar to an athletic-focused shoe.

Personally, if you’re someone who has the budget and enjoys wearing cross-training shoes that have a pretty good amount of stability and versatility to them, then I’d say go forth and that this model is certainly worth it!

Nike React Metcon Turbo Pros

The first thing I like is how maneuverable and breathable the reworked upper is. This model features an asymmetric construction to feed into its performance and durability which I’m a big fan of thus far.

The second thing I like is the overall fit of this shoe. This model fits very “athletically” and feels just like the Nike Metcon 4 did, as in, it feels like you’re almost wearing a sock or track shoes at times — that’s how “minimal” they feel on the feet compared to other cross-training shoes.

Nike React Metcon Turbo Pros

The third thing I enjoy about this shoe is the reworked upper construction and outsole. The outsole has a split at the mid-foot so it’s fairly easy to disassociate the heel from the forefoot. On top of that, Nike cut down some of the additional material in this model to make it lighter than a few of its predecessors (Nike Metcon 5 and 6).

Nike React Metcon Turbo Cons

Despite liking the shoe, the Nike React Metcon Turbo does have a couple of drawbacks and potential cons.

  1. Price
  2. Fit and Feeling for Some

The first drawback of this model is the price. With a price tag sitting at $150 USD, this is definitely not one of the most budget-friendly cross-training shoes on the market. To be honest, I think $130 USD for training shoes is a bit much, so $150 for this model stings.

The second drawback I could see some lifters having with this model is the fit and feel. I personally enjoy the slightly more narrow, athletic fit of this shoe, but lifters with wider feet or those who enjoy more toe box room will likely not enjoy how this shoe fits and will report it feels tight.

Performance Assessment

When it comes to performance, I don’t have a lot of drawbacks to the Nike React Metcon Turbo. Across the board, this shoe performed exceptionally in the context of its construction and performance focuses.

nike react metcon turbo review rating by that fit friend

Lifting

When lifting, I thought this model performed just like other stability-focused Nike Metcon models. This shoe has a minimal heel-to-toe drop and keeps you fairly low to the ground so you feel stable in a variety of exercises. The insole is slightly thicker than previous Nike Metcon models, however, I don’t think it impacts stability that much.

Whether you’re squatting, cleaning, or performing more recreational exercises, I think the Nike React Metcon Turbo is plenty stable under a variety of loads.

Plyometrics, HIIT, and Agility

Overall, I was a big fan of this shoe for plyometrics, HIIT, and agility. The lightweight maneuverability of this model and the athletic fit make it a fan favorite for feeling responsive and light on the feet. In addition, the reworked outsole with the disassociation between the forefoot and heel also makes this model feel great whether you’re moving forward, laterally, or backward.

Day-to-Day and Shorter Runs

On a day-to-day basis, the Nike React Metcon Turbo is okay. Remember, it’s a cross-trainer that’s focused on stability, so when we have that aspect, then usually we’ll see a decrease in overall comfort. For shorter runs, this model is also okay and it can be work for ~3 miles with relative ease.

Personally, I would not reach for this model for runs longer than that as its outsole and midsole will likely get uncomfortable for most — but again, it’s not designed for this task.

Nike React Metcon Turbo

Nike React Metcon Turbo Sizing

The Nike React Metcon Turbos have a narrower fit and I think most athletes will likely feel that they’re fairly tight in the toe box. That being said, I would recommend two things based on how your shoes normally fit.

  • Have some room normally in your toe box? Stay true-to-size.
  • Feel cramped normally in the toe box or air on the larger end of your normal training shoe size? Go up a half-size in this model.

Construction Details

I’m going to provide a quick synopsis of the Nike React Metcon Turbo’s construction below. If you’re interested in a more visual analysis of all of the construction changes that went into this model, then make sure you check out my video above.

Start playing around 7:40 to specifically watch the construction section! The video will provide you with a better visual analysis of what changes went into this cross-training shoe.

  • Nike React Foam
  • Reworked Heel Clip
  • Split Upper With Lightweight Mesh
  • Redesigned Mid-Foot Rope Wrap Material
  • Grippy Rubber Outsole

There are a lot of changes with the Nike React Metcon Turbo and these are the biggest ones in regard to impacting performance.

Nike React Metcon Turbo Price

Nike React Metcon Turbo FAQs

Are the Nike React Metcon Turbo shoes good for running?

The Nike React Metcon Turbo is an okay training shoe for shorter runs, but I would not recommend them for longer runs. I think for runs longer than 3-miles, most lifters and athletes would find them uncomfortable. It’s worth noting, too, this model is designed for running!

Are the Nike React Metcon Turbo shoes good for HIIT?

Yes. I personally love this training shoe for HIIT workouts. The reworked lighter upper construction and re-vamped outsole make this shoe feel responsive and super accommodating during HIIT training.

Are the Nike React Metcon Turbo shoes worth it?

With a higher price tag, I think it’s important to consider the specificity of your training and your budget when deciding on this model. If you like athletic fitting shoes that are stable and $150 USD doesn’t bother you, then I think this model could be worth adding to your training shoe arsenal.

What are the Nike React Metcon Turbo shoes good for?

The Nike React Metcon Turbo cross-training shoes are awesome for lifting, HIIT training, agility and plyometric workouts, and shorter runs (sprints, too!). This model feels somewhat like a sock on the foot, so it’s great for tackling a variety of athletic and lifting-focused activities.

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 React Metcon Turbo Review (2023 Update)”

  1. Thanks for reviewing these shoes. I recently bought the React turbo and metcon free 4 .

    With the Reacts I noticed that during lunges the upper material really compressed on my toe joint. I think it’s because of that material that run across the top.
    The Free metcon 4 upper construction is phenomenal. And super for lunges. I do agree that it’s not as flat as reacts but I wish the reacts had a similar upper construction.

    What was experience with them while doing lunges? Which ones do you prefer?

    1. Great question!

      I agree with you that the React Metcon Turbo’s upper could definitely use a little rework for the next model. The Free Metcon 4’s bootie construction which runs fairly snug locks the toes down a tad more, which is why I think you’re experiencing the differences.

      Tbh, I prefer the React Metcon Turbos a tad more, but both are equally solid! I like the overall fit of the React Metcon Turbo and thought the FM4’s upper was a bit tight at times. I appreciate you sharing your feedback :)

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