Our verdict

As the name suggests, the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is a speedy addition to the Metcon family. We found it to be more flexible and agile as well as more cushioned for treadmill runs and high-impact cardio sessions. It is also amazing how the shoe manages to remain stable for lifting! Even though it's not as light as we expected from a shoe of this kind, it certainly didn't feel heavy on our feet.

Pros

  • Bouncy Zoom Air in the forefoot
  • Good for short runs
  • Perfect for jumps and aerobics
  • Stable for moderate lifting
  • Excellent flexibility
  • Amazingly breathable
  • Durable outsole

Cons

  • Upper is not durable rope climbing
  • Heavy for a "speed-oriented" trainer

Audience verdict

83
Good!

Who should buy

Having tested the Metcon Turbo 2 in both the gym and the lab, we think that it is most suitable for the following:

  • gymgoers who incorporate short runs and a lot of agility exercises in their programmes
  • people who do light to moderate weightlifting
  • athletes who prefer more flexible trainers

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 review

Who should NOT buy

We found that this Nike trainer hasn't got the durability or side grip for rope climbing. If this workout bit is a must in your regimen, we recommend the Nike Metcon 9 instead.

Even though there is a slight change in its name, the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is a follow-up to the Nike React Metcon Turbo. If you have tried and liked how the React version performs, it's better to just stick to it since it's most likely sold at much lower prices now. It is also a bit lighter than the new edition. The current version performs only slightly better than that.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 lab test

Breathability

If keeping your feet nice and fresh all throughout the workout is a priority, the Metcon Turbo 2 is the way to go!

It is among the few ultra-breathable trainers in our catalog. We hope that the video below helps you feel how ventilated the shoe is even through the screen.

For this test, we are pumping smoke through the shoe's upper while blocking the shoe mouth entirely to assess how much air passes through the material itself. This Nike trainer gets a well-deserved 5 out of 5!

To back it up, we also put the shoe against a light source. This video shows the toebox's impressive transparency as well as the large perforations on the sides.

In addition, we turned to a microscope for a close-up view of the mesh itself. We can see that there are plenty of ventilation holes in between the numerous threads.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 microscope upper

Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 5
Average 3.2
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Breathability
5

Durability

Toebox durability

And just like that, the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 failed miserably in our upper durability test.

Even though the shoe bravely resisted our Dremel for the first couple of seconds, it ended up with a sizable hole after the entire 12 seconds. Thus, we rated it as low as 1 out of 5.

This is to be expected of a highly breathable upper but unfortunately, it puts some limits on the shoe's usability. It is a no-go for rope climbs and other highly abrasive exercises.

If you need a real beast of a cross-trainer, we recommend the Nike Metcon 8. After 12 seconds under the Dremel with the same speed (10K RPM) and force (3.2N) applied, we only saw wear on the topmost protection layer.

Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 1
Average 2.5
Compared to 19 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Toebox durability
5

Heel padding durability

The Metcon Turbo 2 did slightly better in the heel collar. The wear was less devastating than in the toebox.

We gave this portion of the upper 2 out of 5. 

Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 2
Average 2.3
Compared to 17 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel padding durability
5

Outsole hardness

But looking at the outsole gave us some optimism about the Metcon Turbo 2's wear resistance.

One important criterion is the hardness of its rubber. With a reading of 86.5 HC on the durometer, it is among the hardest outsoles.

A very small percentage of our lab-tested training shoes goes above 85 HC.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Outsole hardness
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 86.5 HC
Average 84.0 HC
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
71.0 HC
Outsole hardness
94.5 HC

Outsole thickness

In addition, the outsole layer of the Metcon Turbo 2 is THICK!

Our caliper shows 4.7 mm, which is a rare sight. Therefore, we think you can even take this Nike trainer out for an outdoor workout.

Just don't get carried away because the shoe's upper is still pretty frail.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Outsole thickness
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 4.7 mm
Average 3.9 mm
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
2.8 mm
Outsole thickness
5.1 mm

Weight

Now this is a headscratcher.

Marketed as a shoe that's all about speed and lightness, the shoe left us baffled. How come the Metcon TURBO weighs more than the original Metcon?

Tipping the scales at 12.1 oz (342g) in a men's US size 9, we found that the Metcon Turbo 2 is:

  • 0.2 oz (5.7g) heavier than the Metcon 8
  • 0.9 oz (25g) heavier than training shoes on average!

If you want a truly lightweight Metcon variation, get the Nike Free Metcon 5 (10.5 oz/298g).

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Weight
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 12.06 oz (342g)
Average 10.79 oz (306g)
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
6.38 oz (181g)
Weight
13.83 oz (392g)

Cushioning

Heel stack

The amount of cushioning is pretty average in this Nike Metcon variation. Using a caliper, we measured the heel stack at 22.9 mm which is a couple of millimeters thicker than the OG Metcons and a little thinner than the Free Metcons.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Heel stack

To us, this felt like enough cushioning for short runs (less than 3 miles) and for the repetitive jumps we performed in this training shoe.

Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 22.9 mm
Average 24.4 mm
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
13.7 mm
Heel stack
36.2 mm

Forefoot stack

In the forefoot, the foam layer gets thinner than average.

A caliper reading of 15.3 mm left us perplexed because it definitely felt more cushioned in our gym tests.

Apparently, the trick is done by a Zoom Air unit under the toes. But more on that below.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Forefoot stack
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 15.2 mm
Average 18.4 mm
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
10.6 mm
Forefoot stack
27.7 mm

Drop

The difference in stack heights gave us a drop of 7.7 mm! That's pretty high for a typical cross-trainer and is actually on par with our running shoes.

Being 3.7 mm taller than what's officially claimed by Nike (4 mm), we think that this kind of discrepancy is unacceptable.

The higher drop makes the shoe more running-friendly but it also detracts from the grounded feel that many gymgoers might expect from a 4-mm shoe.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Drop
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 7.7 mm
Average 6.0 mm
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1.8 mm
Drop
13.4 mm

Midsole softness

Note: a low durometer measurement equals a soft material, whereas a high measurement means it's firm.

The primary cushioning in this Nike trainer is offered by the brand's reputable React foam.

Using a durometer to measure its softness, we discovered that at 22.4 HA, it is actually 21% softer than what we see in training shoes on average. Great news for those planning to use this trainer on a treadmill!

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Midsole softness

What's more, thanks to the Zoom Air unit embedded into the forefoot, we also felt a very welcome bounce. We thoroughly enjoyed this extra spring when jumping rope and doing other types of jumpy cardio.

If we have to pinpoint the shoe's highlight, it would be the Zoom. You don't experience this kind of bounce in other Metcons or most other cross-trainers for that matter.

The only shoe that could compete with the Metcon Turbo, in our opinion, is the Nike SuperRep 3.

Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 22.4 HA
Average 27.2 HA
We use an average of four tests. The photo shows one of those tests.
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
17.4 HA
Midsole softness (soft to firm)
47.0 HA

Insole thickness

The Metcon Turbo 2 uses a drop-in midsole for cushioning. When measured alone, it has a heel height of 14.2 mm.

We do not recommend taking it out as it's going to leave you feeling practically barefoot.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Insole thickness
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 0.0 mm
Average 3.8 mm
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
0.0 mm
Insole thickness
5.7 mm

Stability

Lateral stability test

It is true that you can't have it all.

But, in our opinion, the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 came pretty dang close to giving it all! And by "all" we mean cushioning AND stability.

The shoe's low profile, wide base, and sturdy caging around the heel worked very well together to create a necessary level of stability for us. But do keep in mind that this is not a dedicated lifting shoe by any means!

If setting PBs is your primary focus, the Nike Metcon 8 or the Romaleos 4 are exactly what you need.

Torsional rigidity

Designed with agility in mind, the construction of the Metcon Turbo 2 reminded us of a jazz shoe in a way.

The shoe's platform is split into two, one in the forefoot and one in the heel, which creates more flex and maneuverability for the wearer.

Because of that, torsional rigidity is close to zero in this training shoe. We rated it with the lowest score of 1 out of 5.

Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 1
Average 2.7
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Torsional rigidity
5

Heel counter stiffness

But the lack of rigidity in the midfoot is very well compensated for by the heel counter stiffness. In our manual assessment, we rated the stiffness as 3 out of 5, which is a little above the average for cross-trainers.

This area is responsible for holding the heel and ankle firmly in place, preventing potential wobble.

Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 3
Average 2.8
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1
Heel counter stiffness
5

Midsole width in the forefoot

And if you are still not convinced of the shoe's stability, have a look at how wide its base is!

We measured the widest part of the forefoot at 112 mm which is wider than average.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Midsole width in the forefoot
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 112.0 mm
Average 109.5 mm
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
101.0 mm
Midsole width in the forefoot
117.3 mm

Midsole width in the heel

Back in the heel, the widest part turned out to be 88.9 mm. This is also wider than the average.

This is what makes the Metcon Turbo 2 more stable for lifting and, as a result, more versatile overall.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Midsole width in the heel
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 88.9 mm
Average 86.6 mm
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
76.5 mm
Midsole width in the heel
97.4 mm

Flexibility

Stiffness

As mentioned above, Nike came up with a tricky design to fuse flexibility and stability in the Metcon Turbo 2.

Testing the shoe's pliability with a force gauge, we checked how much force it takes to bend it to a 90-degree angle. Turns out, only 15.3N! This is almost 50% less than the average!

Wow, maybe next time we will try and practice some jazz moves in this shoe.

But until then, planks, burpees, and lunges are all perfectly accommodated with this flexible trainer.

Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 16.5N
Average 19.4N
We use an average of four tests. The video shows one of those tests.
Compared to 29 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
6.8N
Stiffness
37.9N

Size and fit

Toebox width at the widest part

We found that the Metcon Turbo 2 fits true to size but there isn't too much wiggle room in the shoe's toebox for wide feet.

To assess the forefoot volume, we measured its widest part as well as the width around the big toe.

In the former, the caliper shows a reading of 101.1 mm. This is exactly the average of our tested trainers.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Toebox width at the widest part
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 101.1 mm
Average 99.9 mm
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
90.4 mm
Toebox width at the widest part
108.0 mm

Toebox width at the big toe

The toebox doesn't get narrower than average toward the toes either. The caliper shows 78.9 mm here.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Toebox width at the big toe
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 78.9 mm
Average 77.9 mm
Compared to 23 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
65.0 mm
Toebox width at the big toe
87.5 mm

Tongue: gusset type

Shout out to Nike for adding gusseted tongues to their training shoes!

Loving it in running shoes, we are happy to see more of them in trainers! This may seem like a minor add-on but we consider it essential for secure fit and non-slipping tongue.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Tongue: gusset type
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Both sides (full)

Comfort

Tongue padding

The tongue is ultra-thin in the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2. With a mere thickness of 1.2 mm, it feels non-existent compared to what we typically see.

For a trainer that's cut out for speed, we believe that it makes sense. 

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Tongue padding
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 1.2 mm
Average 5.7 mm
Compared to 30 crossfit training shoes
Number of shoes
1.0 mm
Tongue padding
10.4 mm

Heel tab

No heel tab here. But there is little effort needed to get the shoe on.

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Heel tab
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 None

Removable insole

Technically, you can remove the insole from the Metcon Turbo. But we wouldn't recommend it because it works as the shoe's primary cushioning. Not to mention that it also has the bouncy Zoom Air unit! 

Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Removable insole
Test results
Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 Yes