Verdict from 1 expert and 100+ user reviews

8 reasons to buy

  • Stylish: Plenty of consumers marvel at the Nike Metcon SF's good looks. They particularly love its minimal style and colorway designs.
  • Light: A lot of wearers find this shoe relatively light compared to its siblings in the Metcon line.
  • Water drainage: Numerous reviewers applaud the pair's ability to drain water, thanks to the integrated drainage ports.
  • Anti-clog traction: The Metcon SF's tread design is engineered with widely spaced lugs to prevent mud and debris from clogging them, which several users appreciate.
  • Comfort: A number of commenters find this model ideal for all-day wear.
  • Quick-drying: Some individuals laud how fast this training shoe dries.
  • Adjustability: The pair's speed lacing closure offers easy and on-the-fly adjustments, which a few people like.
  • Keeps debris at bay: An expert points out how the gaiter helps keep debris and dirt from going in the shoe.

4 reasons not to buy

  • Hard to put on: Several owners claim that it is quite a challenge to put on due to the shoe's sock-like opening.
  • Quality: A number of reviewers say that the pair shows a few signs of wear after several aggressive sessions.
  • Hotspots without socks: A few wearers experience rubbing whenever they don't have socks on.
  • Not for running: A couple of individuals say they wouldn't grab this shoe if they plan on running long distances.

Bottom line

The Nike Metcon SF is the Swoosh brand's first-ever outdoor/all-terrain Metcon shoe. Its highlights include an aggressive tread pattern designed to prevent mud-clogging without compromising traction, speed lacing retention system, and excellent water draining.

The majority of the misfires can be remedied or can be lived with. However, buyers may have to look out for durability issues. All in all, the shoe's benefits overpower its negative features. And if you're up for trying this pair, it is recommended for short mud runs, beach/fishing trips, weightlifting, jumping, and sprinting outdoors.

Tip: see the best workout training shoes.

Good to know

What is it good for? Outdoor training and obstacle course racing (OCR)

If your workout routine goes far beyond a nice and warm gym environment into the wet and muddy trails, this is the right Metcon for you. Ready to serve as a crossover for the foot, Nike Metcon SF opens the Metcon family to a new realm of training - the great outdoors.

From the ground up, the shoe is built with wet conditions in mind:

  • a special treading prevents mud from clogging the outsole;
  • drain ports and mesh upper help to push water out of the shoe;
  • the high-top gaiter creates a form-fitting experience and doesn’t let debris inside the trainer.

All-terrain sole. The bottom of the shoe is lined with a durable rubber material. It features aggressive lugs in the forefoot and heel sections, making the trainer reminiscent of a soccer cleat. They bite deep into mud, soil, sand, and other outdoor surfaces to keep the wearer sure-footed throughout the exercise. 

Anti-clogging. When things get muddy, the last thing you want is to have the icky-sticky substance keep you company underfoot. To prevent this from happening, the Metcon SF employs strategically spaced lugs that repel mud.

Drain ports. The apertures on both sides of the forefoot are not very noticeable at first glance. However, they become indispensable when the shoe gets flooded with water. This drainage system comes to work as you start moving. By stepping and pushing your toes to the ground, the water seeps through these ports, minimizing discomfort and shoe weight.

Protection from the rope. What the trainer does inherit from its Metcon siblings are the rope guards on the sides. These rubber wraps cover that part of the shoe which is most prone to abrasion during rope climbs.

Toe bumper. The rubber piece also protrudes up at the forefoot. It forms a shield that guards the toes against both planned and unexpected obstacles on the way.

Minimal cushioning. Although Metcon SF is crafted for running, it’s not the same type of running that you would do on a marathon. Traversing sandy trails and muddy swamps does not require the same type of plush cushioning as road running. In addition, a generously padded midsole would not come handy when you need to be on top of your maneuverability.

That’s why the trainer has been given a thin and firm drop-in midsole. It provides more instant ground feedback to help the wearer feel in control of foot positioning. Besides, the insert doesn’t easily absorb water and dries fairly quickly when taken out.

High-top gaiter. When stepping knee-deep into a puddle or a swamp is inevitable, a shoe with a higher top comes very handy. The upper of the Nike Metcon SF extends past the ankle and has a very close-fitting, sock-like collar. This design helps it stay close to the leg and prevents catching debris and water.    

Draining mesh. Even though mesh is the cause of water penetration in the first place, it also works vice versa, releasing water from the foot chamber. Because it is not a dedicated water shoe, it needs mesh to keep the foot aerated during tough workouts.    

Speed lacing. In activities like obstacle racing, there is simply no time to stop and tie laces. Thus, the trainer is equipped with a bungee closure that allows fit adjustment on-the-go.


How Nike Metcon SF ranks compared to all other shoes
Top 12% workout training shoes
All workout training shoes
Top 20% Nike training shoes
All Nike training shoes
Top 16% cross-training training shoes
All cross-training training shoes


The current trend of Nike Metcon SF.
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.