Our verdict

The Nike Metcon 8 continues the widely recognized success of the Metcon line. This shoe is dependable in different training contexts, though we learned that it stands out the most when we used it in CrossFit and lifting. We can definitely affirm that the money spent on this model is surely not money that goes to waste.


  • Most stable cross-trainer for weightlifting
  • Ideal for CrossFit
  • Responsive for jumps
  • Great for rope climbing
  • Highly durable structure
  • Solid grip
  • Flexible forefoot
  • Convenient lace lock


  • Pretty clunky heel
  • Not for running (1 mile max!)
  • Not for wide feet

Audience verdict


Who should buy the Nike Metcon 8

The Nike Metcon 8 is the brand's flagship training shoe that we think is nicely suitable for the following folks:

  • Fitness enthusiasts who are into CrossFit and lifting
  • Those who enjoyed the Nike Metcon 7
  • Gymgoers who are looking for a versatile trainer


Who should NOT buy this training shoe from Nike

Those who love the Metcon 7 will surely love the Metcon 8. But buying a new version that does not offer that much difference might not be the most practical move. Hence, those who still have their Nike Metcon 7 intact can just continue using it and just wait for the Metcon 9.

Athletes who prefer smoother steps are not going to be happy with the clunkiness of the Nike Metcon 8's heel. They are better off with the NOBULL Outwork or the Reebok Nano X3. The latter is also a better option for wide feet.


No doubt, the Metcon 8 is a beast!

The Nike Metcon 8 delivers pretty well on aspects that matter inside the gym.

It offers a higher-than-average level of support and stability as well as comfort. 

Support and stability? No problem!

The stability and support that this shoe delivers are among the main reasons why we love it for CrossFit and lifting.

It gives just as much confidence as the proper lifting shoes (minus the elevated heel). We really think that this is a hell of a solid lifting shoe.

The support features that this shoe has are surely doing a great job. For one, the Metcon 8 has a lace lock that adds an extra layer of peace of mind and also gives the shoe a cleaner aesthetic.


Climb rope with confidence!

We discovered that the shoe's capacity for rope climbing is one of the many standout features that the Metcon 8 gets from the 7.


Despite the missing medial rope guard, we found the Metcon 8 to be a good shoe for rope climbing.


In return, the brand covered the shoe's mesh with a highly durable TPU overlay to protect it from abrasion.


Durability is off the charts in the Metcon 8

We observed that the Metcon 8 from Nike is durable and seems pretty strong in different contexts. We account for this very welcome update on the reworked upper.


We are also happy with the durability of this shoe. Even on the most intense workouts, we noticed that the shoe is much less likely to rip.

Equipped with a Dremel, we sure did try to put a hole in the upper. But after 12 seconds of drilling (we apply the same speed and force to all shoes for consistent results), the upper barely got a dent! This is incredible compared to what the tool does to an unprotected mesh upper.


Nike Metcon 8 (left) vs. Nike Flex Control 4 (right) after the same durability test. We put a piece of white material inside the shoe to make the contrast more visible.

With all that protection, breathability is average

We are aware that Metcon 8 isn't the most breathable shoe we've ever tried but we felt that our feet are properly ventilated.

Based on our breathability test which involves pumping smoke through the shoe's upper material, the Metcon 8 is average at best. We rated it as 3 out of 5 (where 5 is the most breathable), which is the most common breathability rating for cross-training shoes.

Nike Metcon 8 (left) vs. Reebok Nano X2 (right): the Reebok shoe beats the Metcon with its 4/5 breathability rating.

And looking at the previous Metcons, the most breathable version ever appears to be the 6th.

Metcon 6 upper design

It's hard to beat the Metcon 6 in breathability.

The Metcon 8 offers responsiveness and ground feel

We found the midsole of the Nike Metcon 8 quite firm and responsive.

We appreciated that the setup gives the shoe a nice responsive fit and feel. However, we know this wouldn't be the case for everybody as others may find it too firm. It's clear that this is just a matter of personal preference.

Based on our durometer measurements, the Metcon 8 is indeed harder than training shoes on average, but only in the heel. It is 6% firmer than average and 29% firmer than the Reebok Nano X3.


Disclaimer: We repeat the durometer measurement four times and calculate the average. The photos show only one of such measurements.

We know that cross-trainers often have a firmer heel and a softer forefoot to provide a good balance of stability and cushiness. Thus, we checked the forefoot softness too. It is 17% softer than the heel and 9% softer than other trainers in the forefoot.


The Nike Metcon 8 also feels much more grounded compared to other trainers. This is courtesy of its lower stack and heel-to-toe drop.

Using a pair of calipers, we measured the sole thickness in both the heel (21.8 mm) and the forefoot (17.6 mm). It is indeed a low-profile shoe. The average stack height of trainers is 24.5 mm in the heel and 18.6 mm in the forefoot.


The difference in stack height gives us a 4.2 mm drop. This is a very common offset for the market's flagship Crossfit shoes. While not a zero-drop, it still keeps our foot nearly flat on the ground, promoting a sense of stability, especially when lifting heavy.


Disclaimer: All of our stack measurements are taken with the insole included. The insole of the Metcon 8 is 4.1 mm thick in the heel, a little cushier than average (3.7 mm).


We learned that the more recent Nike Metcons ditched the drop-in midsole design. Instead, they now have a regular insole which is separate from the main cushioning unit. This way, you can easily remove the insole and insert custom orthotics.

A good flex for planks and lunges

We discerned that this shoe is more flexible than the Metcon 7. We realized that the flexibility of the Metcon 8 extends all the way to the midfoot, whereas the 7th version only bends upfront.

The pliability of the Metcon 8 is noticeable in our manual assessment. Bending and twisting the shoe, we rated both longitudinal and torsional flexibility as 1 out of 5 (where 1 is the most flexible).

We also double-checked our findings in a controlled lab test. We bent the shoe to a 90-degree angle and measured its resistance with a gauge. The result is quite shocking - the Nike Metcon 8 is 126% more flexible than training shoes on average!

Disclaimer: We take four measurements with the gauge and calculate the average. Only one of the measurements is shown in the video.


The Nike Metcon 8 has a dependable bite on the floor

The grip was excellent in this shoe and we were able to do much sled-pushing without issue. The nice grip also contributed to the shoe's stability especially when we are lifting weights.


The heel is a clunker

The 8 and 7 are so similar but the 8 still has that huge heel that made the 7 less desirable. However, there is a chance that some might feel intimidated using the pair because of the clunkiness of the heel and the overall rigidity of the midsole.


That very same Hyperlift piece that makes the shoe so stable and incompressible when lifting makes it feel so awkward. PLEASE NOTE: The Hyperlift is now embedded into the sole, it is no longer a removable piece.

Having a stiff heel counter (we rated it as 3 out of 5) also contributes to the bulkiness of the heel area.

After running a couple of miles in the shoe, we came to the conclusion that anything more than a mile is a terrible idea in the Metcon 8. We strongly advise against running long distances in the pair.

Not for wide feet

Nike Metcon 8 is not for those who have wide feet. We found that its toebox is even narrower and more pointy than in the Metcon 7. We recommend getting half-size up or considering the roomier Reebok Nanos instead.

But length-wise, we attest that it's true to size and you are safe getting your regular Metcon size.


Too many similarities with the Metcon 7

Even with its totally praise-worthy performance, the Nike Metcon 8 still doesn't seem to veer too far away from its predecessor. Some of the testers among us thought that this shoe felt almost like the previous model.