Verdict from 9.5 hours of research from the internet

5 reasons to buy

  • Comfortable: A vast majority of owners rave about how great their foot feels when they put on the Nike Free Metcon 3.
  • Cushioning: A good number of fitness aficionados are in awe with this Nike training shoe's impact protection.
  • Stability. Many people love the broad base because they feel stable when they weight train.
  • Lightweight: Despite looking chunky, a lot of wearers have described this footgear to be light.
  • Stylish: According to tons of reviewers, they like the style and colors of this model.

1 reasons not to buy

  • Acclimation: The arch support on this pair of Nike workout shoes needs some getting used to, says a few users.

Bottom line

If you're looking for an HIIT shoe that also provides steadiness, the Nike Free Metcon 3 is one to consider. It marries the features of a running shoe, a CrossFit shoe, and a weightlifting shoe, so you won't have to change trainers mid-workout. The deep ridges at the forefoot allow the foot to bend naturally during planks and burpees. Meanwhile, the wide and chunky heel stabilizes the hindfoot when lifting and landing. It comes highly recommended for various types of exercises, plus it looks good for streetwear.

Tip: see the best training shoes.

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Who is it for? The Free Metcon 3 is designed for people who perform different types of physical training.

What is it for? The Metcon shoes are Nike’s answer to Reebok’s CrossFit shoes. This model's flexible forefoot makes it suitable for plyometrics and sprints while its flat heel stabilizes the foot during weight training.

  • Softer mesh. The Nike Free Metcon 3 has been totally revamped from the previous iteration, starting with the type of mesh used. It is now softer compared to the older model.
  • New cogged midsole. The Free Metcon 3 also does aways with the cage-like structure at the midfoot, but the midsole has been redesigned for improved lateral stability.
  • Enhanced flexibility. Though this training shoe no longer has siping on the outsole, the Nike Free foam with deep flex grooves makes it extremely flexible for a Metcon trainer.

Traction. The midsole of the Nike Free Metcon 3 also serves as its outsole. However, rubber is used to protect areas that are subjected to lots of friction, like the heel and forefoot. The compound has a tread pattern that is effective in the multi-directional grip of indoor or outdoor surfaces.

Steadiness. The heel is constructed to be flat. It is also broader than the upper part of the sole unit, which aids in steadying the rearfoot during weightlifting.

Durability. The tip of the Free Metcon 3 is wrapped in rubber. It protects the toe section against abrasion during sled pushes, burpees, and pushups.

Flexibility. This Nike training shoe is equipped with the Nike Free foam technology. It is soft at its core, while the outside shell is rigid and durable. It helps maintain the pliability of the unit without causing instability to the wearer.

Extensive grooves are also present in the forefoot section. It makes for smooth toe-offs and softer landings when performing plyometrics.

Comfort. Inside the Nike Free Metcon 3 is a thin foam insole. It adds a layer of cushioning for added in-shoe comfort. This insert is removable.

Lateral stability. The midsole may look thick in the heel section, but that’s an illusion as it is engineered to be deep. This layer is constructed to cup the hindfoot to keep it steady while doing various types of intense exercises.

Rope assist. The middle section of the sole unit appears like it has been carved out. This design is intended to assist people in climbing up ropes.

Coverage. The top of the Nike Free Metcon 3 is made from a single piece of mesh. This soft fabric allows air to pass through, keeping the interior fresh. Unlike previous Free Metcons, the top doesn’t have the shiny, plastic element that acts as an outer shell of protection.

Ease of use. Fabric tabs are placed on top of the tongue and the back of the heel. Because a bootie silhouette can be a bit tricky to put on, these elements help widen the mouth of the footwear so the foot can easily slide in.

Lockdown. Users can quickly put on this pair of slip-on training shoes. However, there’s a lacing system that allows the person to tighten the fit for a more secure feel. The laces integrate with Flywire on the eyelets. Pulling the shoestrings makes the cables taut, thereby enhancing the lateral support of the top.

Fit. The back of the trainer is lightly padded. It prevents chafing but also enhances the heel hold, preventing slippage during exercise.

The Free Metcon 3 may be suitable for the needs of CrossFit noobs, but for those that want more stability in their training shoes, here are two possible options:

Reebok CrossFit Nano 9

  • Traction. Compared to the Free Metcon 3, the CrossFit Nano 9 offers more grip because it employs two types of rubber for its outsole.
  • Stability. The CrossFit Nano 9 is not as flexible in front as the Free Metcon 3. Its heel construction is also flatter to provide steadiness during lifting exercises.
  • Foothold. The Flexweave upper of the CrossFit Nano 9 is meant to fit like a sock to deliver better coverage and support than the mesh top of the Free Metcon 3.
  • Cushioning. The foam midsole of the CrossFit Nano 9 is more rigid compared to the Free Metcon 3 but both models cup the heel to prevent excessive movements.

Nike Metcon 5

  • Traction. the bottom of Nike's flagship Metcon shoe is made from sticky rubber, providing more bite to both smooth and rough surfaces, unlike the bottom of the Free Metcon 3.
  • Stability. Like the Free Metcon 3, the Metcon 5 has Flywire integrated to its lacing system for improved support during side-to-side movements. But the Metcon 5 has a TPU clip that reduces heel slippage.
  • Foothold. Notably, the top of the Metcon 5 seems more durable than the mesh top of the Free Metcon 3 because it is tightly woven and reinforced with a Haptic chain-link layer.
  • Cushioning. The Metcon 5 has a difference cushioning unit that the Free Metcon 3. The MEtcon 5 has a removable drop-in midsole with a rigid heel for steadiness while the forefoot is pliable to soften landings. The midsole of the Free Metcon 3 is plush and flexible, comparable to Nike running shoes.
  • Protection. A feature shared by both Metcon models is that the medial and lateral sides of the midsole, in the midfoot section, are raised to protect against rope burns.

How Free Metcon 3 compares

This shoe: 85
All shoes average: 88
57 97
This shoe: £120
All shoes average: £120
£60 £200
This shoe: 340g
All shoes average: 299g
195g 400g
Nicholas Rizzo
Nicholas Rizzo

Nick is a powerlifter who believes cardio comes in the form of more heavy ass squats. Based on over 1.5 million lifts done at competitions, his PRs place him as an elite level powerlifter. 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 Forbes,, Elite Daily and the like. Collaborating along the way with industry leaders like Michael Yessis, Mark Rippetoe, Carlo Buzzichelli, Dave Tate, Ray Williams, and Joel Seedman.