Who should buy the Nike React Metcon Turbo

The React Metcon Turbo is a premium-level gym shoe from Nike that also comes with an asking price. That’s why it’s better to be sure that it matches your personal workout needs. Here is what the trainer is best for:

  • agility workouts which require a light and maneuverable shoe
  • a balance of stability for moderate lifting and responsiveness for plyometrics (with more emphasis on the latter)

Nike React Metcon Turbo best uses

Who should NOT buy the trainer

If your typical training session is more Crossfit-oriented, involves lots of heavy weightlifting, rope climbing, and requires maximum ground feel, you are MUCH better off with the Nike Metcon 7.

And if you hope to get a versatile gym shoe that you can also comfortably wear around the block, consider the Reebok Nano X1.

Both of these shoes are still premium options but are offered at a slightly lower price, making it easier on your wallet as well.

To broaden your options, you might as well check out our selection of the best Crossfit shoes on the market as of today.

Nike React Metcon Turbo benefits

It’s called Turbo for a good reason 

Plenty of reviewers agree that the React Metcon Turbo “really shines” during agility. Light and flexible, low to the ground, the way it feels on the foot has been compared to a soccer cleat or a ninja shoe.

Some also noted that it is a great option for those who stay on their toes a lot throughout the training session.

Nike React Metcon Turbo lightweight

Lighter than Metcons, lighter than average gym shoes

Keeping the shoe as light as possible without compromising performance is one of the cornerstones of the Nike React Metcon Turbo. From the cushioning to the rope wrap, every element has been trimmed down and simplified to eliminate excess weight.

For comparison:

  • React Turbo weighs 9 oz (255 grams) while the Metcons on average weigh 12 oz (340 grams).
  • React Turbo is also 18% lighter than the average gym shoe which hovers around 11 oz (310 grams).

React cushioning makes your jumps springy

The wearers of Nike React Metcon Turbo are ecstatic about the use of Nike’s high-performing React foam in this training shoe.

Even though it is denser compared to what you would experience in the Nike React running shoes, there is still a good amount of responsiveness to create a nice bounce for jumping. The reviewers are happy with the spring it gives for box jumps, step-ups, burpees, double-unders, and other plyometric movements.

Nike React Metcon Turbo cushioning

When it comes to running, this cross-trainer is good enough for shorter runs or sprints (2 miles max). Remember that it’s still a gym shoe, so there is not a ton of React foam. However, athletes still find it more “runnable” than the traditional Nike Metcons.

But if you want a full-blown React foam experience for some longer runs on the treadmill or on the road, we recommend checking out the Nike React Infinity Run Flyknit 2.

Lots of ground feel and stability

Those who had their first experience lifting in a proper cross-training shoe were impressed with the difference that the React Turbo made for their squats and deadlifts. And for the more experienced athletes, it felt just as efficient. 

As one of them puts it, “quite firm, is stable enough for heavy barbell weightlifting (or heavy KBs, or dumbbells, etc.” It’s not a shoe you’d pick for some serious Olympic lifting but it’s just right for the more moderate weight spectrum.

Nike React Metcon Turbo stability

With a 4-mm heel-to-toe drop, the shoe helps to put your feet in an almost flat position, which feels quite similar to most other professional Crossfit shoes. Here are some of the other components that help to make this trainer lifting-friendly:

  • low-to-the-ground profile
  • wide platform with special diamond-shaped geometry
  • hard rubber under the heel
  • tough TPU heel counter around the ankle

All of the above allow you to experience that “firm footing.”

Nike React Metcon Turbo stable platform

A big NO-NO for rope climbs

Quite surprising, but for such a premium-level training shoe, the Nike React Metcon Turbo turned out to be a disaster for rope climbing.

The reviewers agree that the rubber wraps on the sides, despite their intricate design, do a very poor job on the rope. To an extent that you can’t even get hold of the rope! Those “teeth” just don’t bite at all, making your foot slide as if it’s been buttered.

An avid Crossfit shoe expert calls it “the worst rope climbing shoe that [he has] ever used in [his] life.”

Nike React Metcon Turbo rope guard

Foothold is more than secure with the Nike React Metcon Turbo

According to the users’ feedback, the React Metcon Turbo delivers a very close-fitting and secure experience in the upper. It hugs your foot gently, causing “no issues with rubbing, slipping, or uncomfortable spots.” They also add that the shoe immediately feels good from the first wear.

No heel slipping has been reported. Some users assume that this is thanks to the taller heel collar that sits higher up the ankle compared to other shoes, i.e. Nike Metcon 6. like how the lacing system works, gives a very secure feeling.

At the same time, the mesh material wrapping around the foot remains breathable and helps in keeping the foot well aerated.

Nike React Metcon Turbo foothold

Bad news for people with wide feet

What makes this Nike trainer so appealing for people who prefer a glove-like fit becomes a problem for those with larger foot dimensions. This is especially felt in the toebox which, for them, is tight on the sides and in also pressing on the toes.

Not for casual wear

Despite having a responsive React foam for cushioning, it’s still not enough to make the Metcon Turbo comfortable for walking around the block or running errands. The flat outsole with pointy edges also prevents it from feeling smooth throughout the walk.

The Nano X1 from Reebok would be a better option for this purpose.

Nike React Metcon Turbo forefoot

The React Metcon Turbo will elevate your looks

“I think I look faster and more powerful in the gym,” says one of the reviewers. In fact, many of them agree that the Turbo is one of the best-looking gym shoes on the market.

Nike React Metcon Turbo style

All that comes with a price

Packed with Nike’s premium materials, the Metcon Turbo costs $50 more than the average training shoe from both Nike and other brands.

But the good news is that we keep an eye on every discount available from dozens of online shops so that you can catch a good deal on a Crossfit shoe of your choice.   

Nike React Metcon vs. the Turbo: what’s the update?

According to the reviewers who have tried both trainers, the Turbo turned out to be a big improvement over the original Nike React Metcon. Here are some of the positive changes:

  • 4.2 oz (120 grams) lighter
  • More ankle freedom thanks to the lower-sitting upper
  • More flexibility for burpees and lunges due to the separated forefoot and heel parts
  • Wider heel area for more ground contact
  • More secure fit with the snug-fitting upper and a traditional lacing system over the original’s bootie design.

Facts / Specs

Weight: Men 9oz
Drop: Men 4mm
Base model: Nike React Metcon
Use: Crossfit, Workout, HIIT, Jumping rope / Gym / Cross-training
Width: Normal
Release date: Feb 2021
Features: Lightweight / Low drop

Compare popularity Interactive

Compare the popularity of another shoe to Nike React Metcon Turbo:

Nike React Metcon Turbo video reviews

Author
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.