Verdict from 7 experts and 100+ user reviews

5 reasons to buy

  • The overwhelming majority of users find this model a perfect blend of a running shoe and a cross-trainer. It accommodates jumps, short-distance runs, and moderate weightlifting.
  • Many buyers have enjoyed the comfort offered by this pair of training shoes.
  • It is described to have a snug, glove-like fit, based on a myriad of comments.
  • The shoe’s design has been considered as aesthetically pleasing by most users.
  • Multiple wearers have expressed satisfaction with the trainer’s lightweight nature.

2 reasons not to buy

  • More than a few purchasers have reported that the shoe produces a squeaky noise when worn.
  • Some people find it unsuitable for heavier lifts or longer runs.

Bottom line

This cross-trainer from Nike makes the middle ground between the agility of a Free shoe and the stability of a Metcon. It should be noted though that what makes this footwear versatile also detracts from its ability to serve as a dedicated lifter or runner. But if you are in search of a trainer to do a little bit of everything at the gym, then it’s an option to consider.

Tip: see the best crossfit training shoes.

Good to know

  • The warmly welcomed Free x Metcon combination received an anticipated successor in the Nike Free x Metcon 2. This shoe was designed as a versatile training companion that could comfortably support the wearer from running and jumping to climbing ropes and lifting weights.    
  • Placing emphasis on lateral stability, the 2nd iteration ditches the Flywire cables and shifts the TPU cage down to the midfoot area. It is meant to keep the foot locked in place during side-to-side movements.
  • The shoe retains the cleatie construction of its predecessor to provide a snug fit. However, it features a stiffer, more padded heel collar for enhanced support.
  • The midsole unit is reported to be made of a firmer foam. This alteration is supposed to offer more stability for weightlifting.
  • The outsole design has also been slightly altered. The new protuberant rubber tri-stars in the forefoot aim to grip the gym floor more efficiently. The concave tri-stars have been made shallower to place the wearer closer to the ground and improve underfoot sensitivity.

The cross-trainer sports durable rubber pods in both the heel and forefoot sections to deliver effective traction on various training surfaces. The tri-star design allows the forefoot pods to grip the floor no matter what direction the wearer chooses to move.

The midfoot section is also wrapped by an abrasion-resistant rubber compound. It extends up to cover the foam on both sides to render protection during rope climbs.

Ensuring flexibility of the forefoot are the multi-directional flex grooves. These hexagonal cuts are inherent to all Nike Free soles as they help the shoe to move along with the foot.

This section of the Nike Free x Metcon 2 is where the flexibility of “the Free” and the stability of “the Metcon” unite. The shoe uses a foam compound that bends easily in the forefoot to accommodate runs and jumps. The midfoot and back portions of this material are denser and less compressible, making it a reliable pressing surface for lifting. Those who want a more weightlifting-inclined Metcon, might as well check out the acclaimed Nike Metcon 4 for extra sturdiness.

This foam component also comes with a balanced amount of cushioning. Despite its firm nature, it is still capable of absorbing impact during box jumps, burpees, and other plyometric exercises.

The upper edges of the midsole are extended upwards in the toe area, on the sides, and at the back. Not only does this construction help to protect the upper material but also creates additional protection against the wear-and-tear.

To keep the athlete’s foot securely locked-in, Nike went with a cleatie upper design for the Free x Metcon 2. The shoe’s inner sleeve and a generously-padded heel collar hug the foot in a snug and supportive manner throughout the entire training session.

Externally, the foothold is ensured by the TPU component which wraps around the rearfoot and extends all the way to the midfoot to form a supportive cage. The side panels of this cage integrate into the lacing system with the help of multiple eyelets. That way the tightness can be regulated through the laces.

The front portion of the upper is made of a breathable mesh material. To keep the mesh protected, it has been covered with a rubberized yarn. The heel section of the trainer features a neoprene-like material which contributes to the supportive build of this part. Finally, there is a pull tab added at the heel to help the wearer put on the footwear with less effort.


How Nike Free x Metcon 2 ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 27% crossfit training shoes
All crossfit training shoes
Top 9% Nike training shoes
All Nike training shoes
Top 8% cross-training training shoes
All cross-training training shoes


The current trend of Nike Free x Metcon 2.
Compare to another shoe:
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, 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.