Finding the perfect workout shoe can be a challenge. Unfortunately, many of the products on the market are designed for runners, not for those of us who lift weights.
Since 2015, the Nike Metcon training shoe line has helped to fill this void. Although the shoe is still relatively new in the market, its innovative features designed specifically to handle intense training have made it a compelling option for athletes, lifters and CrossFitters.
Earlier this year, Nike launched the third iteration of the shoe, appropriately named the Metcon 3. I had the opportunity to try out the DSX Flyknit version of the shoe, which is a slightly lighter version than the standard Metcon 3.
Metcon 3 DSX Flyknit Features
The Metcon 3 DSX Flyknit includes many of the same features that have proven popular with previous editions of the Metcon shoe. A wide toe box allows your toes to spread out, which can actually help to correct exercise form if you've been using improper footwear. The hard, flat and grippy rubber sole, with only a 6mm drop, provides a solid platform for heavy and explosive lifts, but it's flexible enough for sprints and other dynamic exercises.
Nike reinforced the Metcon 3 with tough rubber along the midfoot to protect the shoe and provide extra grip when you perform rope climbs. It also includes hard plastic on the back so it can slide up and down a wall during Handstand Push-Ups without causing any wear and tear.
The DSX Flyknit version of the Metcon 3 features a Flyknit upper that makes it slightly lighter than its cousin. This also increases breathability and comfort, which Nike advertises as a "sock-like fit."
Comfort and Performance
After experimenting with a few different training shoes, I was excited to try the Metcon DSX Flyknit. And it did not disappoint.
First and foremost, the shoe is extremely comfortable and lightweight. The Flyknit upper grips the foot tightly so the shoe feels like an extension of your body without sacrificing comfort. I especially appreciated its comfort and breathability after intense hour-plus-long workouts.
I was happy with the performance of the shoe when doing heavy lifts. Would I wear it during a powerlifting competition? No. I felt a little give in the sole when I did near-max Deadlifts, and I would prefer no heel drop for this type of exercise. But that's a compromise Nike had to make since the shoe is also designed for running, sprinting and plyometrics.
Although the Metcom 3 is not the perfect lifting shoe, it's a jack-of-all-trades that does many things well and can handle the vast majority of exercises, drills and activities you throw at it.
I tested the shoes for about a month and they held up well to lifting and stationary bike work. Thanks to Nike's careful reinforcement of the shoe, I expect they'll easily handle outdoor sprinting and other types of workouts. I did notice that the laces had a few loose strings after my testing. It's not a huge deal, but they may need to be replaced in the future.
Overall, I'd highly recommend the Nike Metcon 3 DSX Flyknit to any athlete or fitness-buff who is looking for a well-rounded training shoe. The shoe is available in six colorways at Nike.com for $160.
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