If you know me well, you know I can conservatively be described as an 'Athletic Gear Super-Geek' - I absolutely love learning about product features, how they were conceptualized, and exactly how they can be used optimally to enhance (and/or avoid hindering) athletic performance. Yes, I am that girl that saves all the tags from every tank, sportsbra, jacket and pair of tights and shoes I possess until I have a chance to review their exact specifications (I keep all my shoes in their original boxes too...but thats a whole other conversation). It drives my husband absolutely crazy (to put it mildly), but its one of those non-negotiable aspects of my personality. I do try to test out the gear first to form my own impression, and then again once I've reviewed all the specs to see if I'm more aware of how the product features are working for me! I haven't formalized my opinion of a piece of athletic gear in quite some time; the last one I wrote about online was the NIKE PRO RIVAL BRA (which I love!) a few years ago however I received some really positive feedback surrounding that Instagram post and so I'm back at it again, this time regarding the Nike Metcon 2 Women's Training Shoe. I will give you fair warning -- while most of this piece will be informed my personal opinion and experience, I will be calling out some product features that I've become aware of, but I'll try to keep the jargon to minimum!
The Nike Metcon 2 Women's Training Shoe was conceptualized with the needs of the cross-training athlete in mind. With a strategic design enabling a fit combining stability, flexibility, lockdown and durability, the Metcon 2 easily withstands the demands of high-powered workouts. This shoe enables the athlete to lift, jump, run, and climb at full speed, all while feeling supported and grounded (and not looking too shabby either). I've had my own pair of MetCon 2's for a few weeks now; I was super excited to put them to the test when I first received them, and now having put them through the wringer during multiple and varied training sessions, I think I can say I'm in love!
"Having put the Nike Metcon 2 Women's Training Shoe through the wringer, I think I can say I'm in love..."
If we were to play a word association game, when you said Metcons, I'd say grounded! The overwhelming feeling I had when I first took these babies for a spin was one of stability. I squatted, lunged, broad-jumped, KB swing-ed, double-under-ed and rowed my way through an almost 3-hour session and repeatedly noticed how connected to the ground, sturdy and powerful I felt in these shoes. But this was not for want of responsiveness. The outsoles, being a little more rigid and dense through the heel allowed me to really dig in for my lifts, while the sticky, more flexible rubber in the forefoot enabled me to spring up and down like a wind-up toy during double unders. The drop-in mid-sole (completely removable) is nothing short of a miracle; dual density directly under the foot is responsible for the comfort and responsiveness that I described above and yet likely haven't quite done justice to! It's a fit and feeling you have to experience to fully appreciate! Even during lateral movements the Metcons performed unbelievably well. Ski jumps, lateral lunges, monster walks.. you name it, I've tried it and I'd more than happily do it again (which is a true testament to this shoe, as lateral lunges are my nemesis!).
"you name it, I've tried it and I'd more than happily do it again"
One concern I had when I first looked at the design of these shoes was that they would be 'heavy' on my feet. Coming from a girl who has been known to take her lifters off during post-lift pull-ups to 'save weight' you can believe this is something I would be aware of, and there was no better way to test the true weight of these shoes than with a burner combining burpees, strict pull-ups, and hollow rocks. If you've ever done a burner like this before, you know that the combination of being gassed, having to pull your own bodyweight against gravity and maintain midline stability and rhythm makes even the smallest added weight seem REALLY significant. I'm happy to say my concerns were UNFOUNDED. Despite the incredible stability and flexibility provided by the dual-density mid-sole and outsole system of the Metcon 2, they did not 'weigh my feet' down or aggravate my hip flexors during any of these movements. I think one of the reasons why the Metcon 2 is light despite the stability of the sole revolves around the design of the upper part of the shoe. Firstly, part of the secret to the stability of this shoe revolves not around the sole at all, but rather from the use of Flywire Technology. From the outside, they may just look like fancy loops of thread wound around the laces for appearance however these small but mighty fibres do so much more than that. In the midfoot of the shoe, Flywire cables wrap the arch, contributing to the feeling of a locked-down fit and true stability.
Lacing up in these bad boys is truly A phenomenal experience.
On top of all this, the Metcons 2 are unbelievably breathable thanks to perforated holes in key parts of the midfoot, and durable, breathable, abrasion-resistant mesh placed strategically throughout the upper part of the shoe.
Overall, I would rate the Metcon 2 Nike Women's Training shoe as a 10/10 for the purposes of cross-training and metabolic conditioning.
They far exceeded my expectations (which are always high when it comes to Nike product) in terms of responsiveness, comfort, and support. To sum it up, my 5 favourite things about the Metcon 2 are as follows:
- RESPONSIVE during plyometric and agility based movements
- SUPPORTIVE enabling me to dig in through the heels for lifts
- COMFORTABLE - roomy through the toe box, structured through the heel, and truly give you a locked in feel
With all this being said, if you're looking for a training shoe for metabolic conditioning including components as varied as box jumps, thrusters, double unders, sprints, sled pushes, and KB swings (and more), I'd certainly give these shoes a try!
Happy Training Friends!