Updates: Metcon 3 vs Metcon 4

Nike Metcon 3Nike Metcon 4

Just like the other CrossFit shoes from Nike, the Metcon 4 is designed to meet the harsh demands of a CrossFit training regimen. From the bottom up, the trainer is crafted to support the foot during constantly varied plyometric exercises, heavy weight lifting, rope climbing and other activities involved in a typical workout of the day (WOD).

The shoe builds on the success of its predecessor, the Metcon 3, inheriting a good number of its key components. Even though at first glance it seems like the two models are identical, the new iteration features a number of changes to improve the overall comfort, style, and performance:

- Improved upper material. The Metcon 4 utilizes a sandwich mesh which has a softer characteristic. It aims to give more cushioning on top of the foot.

- Enhanced upper protection. The mesh is protected by the 3D-printed haptic technology. It is comprised of rubberized tri-star shapes placed throughout the high-wear areas.

- More tongue padding. The embossed tri-stars are also found on the tongue of the trainer. They are meant to add cushioning and buffer the tension of the laces on the instep.  

- More eyelets. The 4th Metcon features six pairs of eyelets, which is one pair more than in the previous shoe. It allows for a more tuned-in fit.

- Better heel clip design. The TPU heel clip has been shortened in the new iteration. It helps to create a bit more minimal look without sacrificing heel stability.


A solid rubber lines the underside of the Nike Metcon 4. It is made to be durable and provide a stable base during intense workouts. The tri-star tread pattern delivers multi-directional traction and also enhances the grip on most surfaces. The forefoot area is sticky and helps during sled pushes.

The textured material wraps the medial and lateral sides of the midfoot. This construction protects the mesh and delivers a grippy surface during rope climbs. The rubber compound also extends to the quarter, forming a heel clip that holds the back of the foot steady during side-to-side movements.

The rubber protrudes slightly at the back of the shoe. The extension reduces drag when performing wall exercises such as wall walks and wall push-ups.


A removable foam insole serves as the midsole of the Nike Metcon 4. It provides a minimum amount of cushioning and shock absorption but is made rather dense to deliver stability for weightlifting.

The unit has a low-to-the-ground profile to help the wearer stay in control of the surface throughout the CrossFit session. It also has a 4-mm drop, which is the difference in height between the forefoot and the heel, to keep the foot relatively flat for a more planted underfoot feel.


A sandwich mesh is used as the primary material of the upper. It is a soft, two-layer fabric with vertical fibers running through it which creates a cushioned feel for the foot. It also allows the top portion of the shoe to be flexible and breathable.

Placed throughout the high-wear areas is the haptic technology, which is comprised of 3D-printed tri-star patterns. This textured component has a rubberized feel that protects the mesh material from getting frayed during activities like rope climbing. Further protection of the fabric is delivered by a synthetic guard in the big toe area.

The rear section of the shoe sports a firm TPU heel counter. It has a carved-out design with two supportive segments protruding on both sides to prevent the rearfoot from wobbling.  

Colorways and special editions

Nike Metcon 4 XD Patch

What else could Nike think of to motivate its wearers? Patches! In this new edition of the shoe, the tongue and the back section of the upper unit are made of a Velcro-friendly material. It allows you to stick any of the five or six inspirational patches that come with each trainer. These may vary a bit depending on the colorway but they all share the same military nostalgia vibe, featuring old-school army emblems. The dusty tactical colors of this model also go in tune with the theme: the shoe can be purchased in dark stucco, black, elemental gold, rose gold, and violet ash hues.

Nike Metcon 4 XD X Chalkboard/Whiteboard

Customization becomes even more available in this limited edition of the Metcon 4. The material used in the rear section of this shoe is crafted to resemble the surface of a chalkboard or a whiteboard, depending on the colorway. Just grab a piece of chalk or a dry erase marker and let your imagination run wild. You can always erase your masterpiece to start anew.

Nike Metcon 4 XD

This new iteration of the acclaimed CrossFit trainer comes in a selection of vibrant colors in both men’s and women’s versions. Apart from the refreshed color palette, this model receives an update in its upper unit. The 3D-printed tri-star patterns covering the mesh have been replaced with the diamond-shaped ones. They have the same rubberized feel as the tri-stars but are made larger to enhance the durability of the material. In fact, the “XD” is an abbreviation which stands for “extra durability.”

Facts / Specs

Weight: 12oz
Drop: 4mm
Update: Nike Metcon 7
Use: Crossfit / Gym / Cross-training
Width: Narrow, Normal / Normal
Release date: Dec 2017
Features: Low drop

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Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick combines 10+ years of experience in the health and fitness industry and a background in the sciences in his role as the Fitness Research Director. During his competitive powerlifting years his PRs have him sitting in the top 2% of bench presses (395 lbs), top 3% of squats (485 lbs) and top 6% of deadlifts (515 lbs) for his weight and age. His work has been featured on Bodybuilding.com, LiveStrong, Healthline, WebMD, WashingtonPost, and many more. Along the way, collaborating with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.