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I Worked Out In The New Nike Metcon 9 Crossfit Shoe—Here’s What I Thought

  • Aug 29, 2023
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I Worked Out In The New Nike Metcon 9 Crossfit Shoe—Here’s What I Thought

The Nike Metcon line is a perennial contender for the title of best CrossFit shoe and I’d bet you’d find at least one CrossFitter wearing a pair in any box you care to walk into.

Nike has released the latest generation, the Nike Metcon 9, and I tried the shoe at WIT Fitness in London on launch night, hitting beast mode in a 35-minute CrossFit workout designed to show off what the shoe is capable of.

The workout consisted of a barbell complex done with a partner, building to max weight. Then, a snatch-and-barbell burpee combo in a 36-24-12 rep scheme, and finally an AMRAP of 24 calories on a rowing machine, 24 toes-to-bars and 24 wall balls. It was a serious workout for the shoe (and me). 

After all that, one thing stood out: these are comfy. I own the Nike Metcon 8 and while both generations balance stability and comfort well, my first impressions are that the 9 does it better.

HIIT workouts, too. I could switch between high-intensity moves—like burpees—and technical lifts more efficiently. There’s better forefoot flexibility in the upper due to a complete wrapping of the cross-stitch mesh. The previous generation now feels comparatively stiff and unforgiving during plyometric exercises and shuttle runs.

The design notes promise a wider toe box and a more breathable cross-stitch mesh upper that wraps the shoe. They didn’t feel airier, but the toe box felt noticeably more spacious.

The footprint has been reduced to make room for a pronounced wrap-around rope guard, extending to the medial side of the shoe and into the upper for improved support during multi-plain movement. As a CrossFitter, it’s a dream come true for rope climbs, despite early grumbles on social media of them being too visible.

If your primary concern is powerlifting, the firmer Metcon 8 shoe might have a more favorable foot-ground connection, but the enlarged HyperLift plates (inserts that increase the heel-to-toe drop of the shoe, providing mobility and mimicking the raised heel of weightlifting shoes) in the Metcon 9 counteract the dual-density midsole foam that improves the cushioning. 

According to Nike, the plates force weight down and provide rigidity in the sole, and I can’t argue, finding them to stable during barbell exercises—especially during heavier weightlifting. The rubber outsole still grips well and the popular lace lock system has been retained, but with the laces attaching to the tongue this time. 

The Nike Metcon 9 is available now and costs $150 in the US ($160 for the AMP colorways, available in limited quantities) and £129.95 in the UK (£139.95 for the AMP colorways).

NIKE

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