The Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is the latest model to debut in the popular Nike Metcon Turbo cross-training shoe line. The Nike React Metcon Turbo was a very hit-or-miss cross-training shoe for lifters and athletes. Some loved it and some hated it.
As someone who likes the Nike React Metcon Turbo, I was super excited to put the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 to the test to see how these models compare. For athletic-style training, both of these shoes perform exceptionally well and fit similar to my beloved Nike Metcon 4s.
However, despite liking the Nike React Mecon Turbo and Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 for lifting and versatile training, there are a couple of key differences and cons to note with each shoe which I’ll discuss below.
In this Nike React Metcon Turbo versus Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 comparison article, I’m going to break down all of the key details that you need to know before investing in one of these shoes.
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Nike React Metcon Turbo Vs Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Performance
To discuss the performance differences between the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 and Nike React Metcon Turbo, I’m going to break down how these shoes perform in a variety of training settings.
This way, if you’re on the fence between either of these models you can better select the cross-training shoe that fits your training needs and wants best because there are some fairly significant differences between these shoes.
React Metcon Turbo Vs Zoom Metcon Turbo for Lifting and CrossFit
In the context of lifting, the Nike React Metcon Turbo and Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 are fairly similar in regard to their stability when training heavy. I think for more recreational lifters the stability you get with both models will be plenty for heavier training.
In regard to stability, I’ve deadlifted over 500 lbs in both models and have had little issues with compression and I like how the forefoot and heel lock your foot down when training. Even when hitting heavier cleans, these shoes feel stable and grounded.
I also like how the Nike React foam insole seems to do a good job at spreading the weight and load evenly in the foot to create balance when bilateral squatting and doing some stationary unilateral work.
Shoe Showdown: Nike Metcon 7 Vs Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2
When doing things like walking lunges and more dynamic unilateral work, I like how the outsole articulates in both models and you get a lot of maneuverability in these shoes compared to other trainers due to their disassociated outsole construction.
I think if you’re a lifter that likes your training shoes to fit more like a pair of “cleats” when lifting, then you’ll enjoy both of these models. The React Metcon Turbo is a little more flexible due to its upper while the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2’s upper feels more rigid.
For CrossFit, the React Metcon Turbo and Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 are both okay. They’re not my favorite models for CrossFit or the best CrossFit shoes by any means, but they’ll get the job done in most WODs.
Both of these shoes do a pretty good job at walking a fine line between versatility and stability. They feel lively and lightweight when doing box jumps and double-unders and provide enough stability to train heavily in them.
I also like how these models perform for runs that are <1-mile in length in WODs. If you have faster 400-m runs programmed in a WOD, then I think you’ll enjoy how these shoes feel compared to something like a Metcon 7 that can feel a little clunky for running due to its heel construction.
The reason I say these models are only okay for CrossFit is due to two key reasons. First, the long-term durability of both models could be problematic, especially with excessive upper friction. Second, both models fall short for rope climbing despite having a “rope wrap” around the midfoot.
Winner: Both shoes are equally strong for lifting, however, the React and Zoom both fall short for certain CrossFit training contexts.
Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2
Nike React Metcon Turbo
React Metcon Turbo Vs Zoom Metcon Turbo for HIIT, Plyometrics, and Agility Workouts
If there’s one area of performance where both the React Metcon Turbo and Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 perform well it’s with versatile training and more athletic-style workouts. Both of these shoes feel super athletic in the gym for this style of training.
In regard to their fit and feel and why I like these shoes for this training context, they feel similar to a Nike Metcon 4 or a pair of cleats. If you’re doing a lot of work on the forefeet, then I think you’ll enjoy the “pop” you get from both of these models.
The forefoot outsole is composed of a sticky rubber which helps with multiple directional exercises and explosive work while the heel has a slightly more firm rubber which is nice for balance purposes. Both of these blended with the maneuverable midfoot give them a good feel for versatility.
I think if you’re someone who’s planning to do a lot of HIIT training, agility work, and plyometrics with some lifting here and there in the React Metcon Turbo and Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2, then you’ll like both shoes and their performance.
The Nike React foam insole gives both of these models a nice responsive feel and they have a fair amount of energy return for explosive bouts of training. I also like that the Nike React foam does a good job of not beating the feet up.
The only areas where these models fall short of this style of training is with long-term durability. The Zoom Metcon Turbo 2’s upper around the toe box can be prone to stress rips and the React Metcon Turbo’s upper can feel “loose” over time and lose its shape.
Both of these areas of durability can be hit or miss in these shoes, but they’re important to note and keep an eye on if you’re investing in either of these models for this training context.
Winner: Tie. On that note, while both shoes work really well for versatile training, I actually somewhat like the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 slightly more despite running into some durability issues with this model.
Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2
- Recreational Lifting
- HIIT Workouts
- Athletic-Style Training
- Casual CrossFit
- Short Speed-Focused Runs
- For Rope Climbing
- For Long-Term Durability
- For Longer Runs
React Metcon Turbo Vs Zoom Metcon Turbo for Running, Walking, and Standing
The Nike React Metcon Turbo and Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 will both be hit or miss with their running performance. Personally, I’m not a huge fan of either model for running if the distance is longer than 1-mile.
I think if you like more firmness and a more “minimalist” feel in your running shoes, then this model could work for a few miles, but for most, I think the stability will be uncomfortable. For runs, shorter than 1-mile and for sprint training, I like how this shoe performs.
The high level of maneuverability and cleat-like feel of these models make them awesome picks for short fast runs. I also like the Zoom Air packet in the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 and how it supports rebound when digging into the forefoot.
For walking and standing, both of these shoes are okay, and like running, I think they’ll be very hit or miss for all-day comfort. If you like stable shoes that hug the feet really well, then I think you’ll enjoy how both of these models feel for walking and standing.
Conversely, I’m not the biggest fan of these shoes for those settings because I find the width to be offputting after a few hours of daily wear. I prefer a wider shoe with more cushion and a more relaxed upper for all-day wear, so if you’re similar this could be worth considering.
Winner: Nike React Metcon Turbo. I like this model’s flexible upper slightly more for sprints and daily wear.
Nike React Metcon Turbo
- Heavier Training
- Agility Workouts
- HIIT Training
- Versatile Workouts
- For Longer Runs
- For Cost-Efficiency
Nike React Metcon Turbo Vs Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Construction
There are a lot of construction differences and similarities between the Nike React Metcon turbo and the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2. To make this section more digestible I’m going to break down each shoe’s construction into different parts.
The outsole construction of the React Metcon Turbo and Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is one of the few areas on these shoes that remained relatively unchanged. Both models feature a disassociated outsole construction, which means the forefoot and heel are separate from one another.
In both models, you’ll get a sticky rubber on the forefoot and a more firm rubber on the heel. The midfoot construction of each model is built with what feels like a blend of rubber and TPU blend.
The Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2’s midfoot material feels to be a bit more grippy in nature and has a slightly different design. I believe Nike implemented this change due to the pushback they received after the React Metcon Turbo’s performance fell short for rope climbs.
In both of these shoes, you can expect to get a creaky sound in the forefoot when breaking these in and I believe that’s due to the outsole maneuverability interacting with the thicker insole construction.
There is no formal midsole layer in the React Metcon Turbo and Zoom Metcon Turbo 2. Both of these shoes utilize a thicker Nike React foam in the insole to provide them with stability and versatility.
If you take out the insole in either of these models, then you’ll be left with a very minimalist style shoe that lacks overall comfort and versatility. This feature and lack of midsole layer are what give both of these shoes their more athletic-style fit.
Despite utilizing some similar materials, the upper construction has been pretty much reworked between both of these models. The Nike React Metcon Turbo featured a split upper construction.
This model has a mesh upper that wraps up the midfoot to the forefoot on the lateral side of the shoe with a thicker layer of mesh and knit-like materials that wrap up in a similar means on the lateral side. The boot of this shoe is soft and built with a mesh-like material.
The Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 now features a full mesh upper in the forefoot and an external midfoot cage to provide additional midfoot security. This midfoot cage gives this a secure and more “traditional” training shoe fit through the midfoot.
The boot of this model comes up slightly higher than the React Metcon Turbo’s boot and it can cause a little rubbing due to its structured fit and feel. I’ll discuss this more in-depth below in the sizing section.
Laces and Tongue
Both models feature somewhat similar lace and tongue setups. The React Metcon Turbo features five core eyelets with the medial side eyelets utilizing a traditional eyelet system and the lateral side uses a loop system.
The Zoom Metcon Turbo has loop eyelets that sit just under the midfoot cage. This feature gives this model a nice level of midfoot security and locks the foot down well. Both models feature lightweight mesh gusseted tongues with flared left and right wings.
The insole construction is what makes these models so unique compared to other training shoes. Both models feature a thicker insole construction made out of Nike React foam.
In regard to the Nike React foam and its thickness, both models are similar but the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 has a key difference with its insole construction.
In the forefoot of the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2, you get a Zoom Air packet which gives this model a slightly different feel. If you’re wearing this model for longer periods of time, then you start to notice this Zoom Air packet slightly, which could be hit or miss for athletes.
Personally, I could take or leave the Zoom Air packet in the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2’s insole. It can be a nice feature for plyometrics, but it’s not a make or a break for really differentiating the Zoom’s performance from the React’s, in my opinion.
Nike React Metcon Turbo Vs Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Sizing
The sizing and fit are fairly similar in the Nike React Metcon Turbo and Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2. I think most athletes and lifters should be safe going true to size in both models.
The length fits true in both of these models and their width is what I would describe as neutral. Both of these models have fairly low upper volumes, so this could be something to consider if you have a wide foot and it could be worth going up a .5 size if need more upper volume in your shoes.
- Nike React Metcon Turbo Sizing Thoughts: True to size for narrow and neutral feet. If you have wide feet, go up a half size.
- Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Sizing Thoughts: True to size for narrow and neutral width feet. If you have wide feet, go up a half size.
Once again, when you’re breaking both of these shoes in you can expect to get a creaky and squeaky sound around the forefoot. This typically happens when moving laterally with a high degree of flexion, but this typically fades after a few weeks of wear.
In addition, the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2’s boot can cause a little rubber under the malleolus due to the more rigid material that comes up higher. If you have a pronation bias or typically find shoes to rub you here, then I’d suggest wearing longer socks when breaking in the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2s.
Nike React Metcon Turbo Vs Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Durability
The durability of the Nike React Metcon Turbo and Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 can be a little hit or miss depending on how you plan to use each shoe. Some athletes have enjoyed the durability these models provide while others find it to fall short.
For most recreational lifters and athletes who plan to primarily lift and do versatile training on a weekly basis, I think the durability should be pretty solid in these models, especially if you take care of them.
As you get more specific with your training, then the durability can start to fall off for both models. More specifically, the Zoom Metcon Turbo 2’s downfall revolves around its reworked mesh forefoot construction.
I noticed in this model that you can run into stress rips if you’re doing a lot of explosive work where the toes are hitting the end of the toe box. My suggestion here to prevent is to really tighten this model and lock down the foot to prevent sliding.
In the React Metcon Turbo, upper durability issues can arise with prolonged use and usually present themselves as the material losing its structure and getting more loose and flexible, especially through the forefoot.
For the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 and the Nike React Metcon Turbo, you can expect to pay around $150 USD. If that price point is a little steep for you, then I’d suggest looking into the Nike React Metcon Turbo because a lot of colorways have been marked down.
These price points can be hit or miss depending on what you want out of these shoes. If you want an athletic fitting shoe for versatile training and lifting, then the price point can make more sense.
If you want these models primarily for CrossFit or running, then I’d suggest looking into shoes that have better durability and performance features for these training contexts.
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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q:What is the difference between the Nike React Metcon Turbo and Zoom Metcon Turbo 2?
Q:Are the Nike React Metcon Turbo and Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 good for running?
The Nike React Metcon Turbo and Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 both deliver an athletic-style fit and feel when training. For lifting and athletic workouts, these models work really well and will excel for most athletes and lifters.
I also like how maneuverable these shoes are and if you like shoes that fit similarly to the Nike Metcon 4 or a pair of cleats, then you should resonate well with these models.
There are areas where these shoes fall short and I do wish their long-term durability was better for their price points.
If you have any additional questions on the Nike React Metcon Turbo Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend)!
I buy and test the products featured on That Fit Friend using a regimen of training tests that I’ve developed over years of testing training shoes and gear. I may earn commissions on sales made through the links on my site.