This week we welcomed the seventh generation of one of our favorite training shoes: the Nike Metcon 7 has arrived, the superlative evolution of a shoe that has improved year after year by learning from the world’s best athletes.
To celebrate this long-awaited release, we’ve rescued the Fittest Freakest archives to review the history of this shoe since its beginnings.
THE HISTORY OF THE NIKE METCON
Since their appearance in 2015, the Nike Metcon have not stopped gaining fans in boxes. Their name was inspired by the Metabolic Conditioning WODs, although without a doubt their design went much further and turned out to become one of the most complete training shoes on the market.
With the help of great athletes, the Metcon was created to meet the 4 main needs of crossfitters: stability in the heel, support in the ankle, mobility in the toe and grip in the sole.
2014 – Josh Bridges and the first Metcon prototype
Clearly, before launching in 2015, the Nike team did hundreds of tests of the Metcon 1: and what better test than an actual competition?
At the 2014 Crossfit Regionals in Southern California, Josh Bridges showed up with a logo-less Nike Metcon prototype that he competed in for all 7 events of the competition, taking the design of these shoes to the limit.
2015 – METCON 1
After the hype generated by Bridges’ secret Metcon, the Metcon 1 sold out in 24 hours when they went on sale in 2015.
Josh Bridges’ feedback was crucial in perfecting the final model of the Nike Metcon 1, but so was Lauren Fischer’s, who also worked alongside Nike to create a flatter, firmer sole that would provide greater power transfer on lifts and great stability under the bar.
This extremely stable sole soon gained the esteem of athletes around the world and became the most characteristic feature of the Metcon family.
2016 – METCON 2
The second version of Metcon came out in January 2016 with a very similar silhouette to the first one, but introducing to the world the revolutionary clip for Hand Stand Push Ups. The outsole material also changed: solid rubber on both sides, firm in the heel and soft in the toe for improved traction.
2017 – METCON 3
In 2017, the Nike Metcon 3 was launched with a design that sought to be lighter and more breathable than the previous ones, while maintaining strength and durability: the amount of upper material was revised and reduced, eliminating part of the thermal wraps for an entirely new lightweight feel.
The change in materials also allowed the shoe to offer a tighter and more comfortable fit, a comfort that was further enhanced by the addition of the soft cushioning of the EVA foam outsole.
2018 – METCON 4
Released in 2018, the Nike Metcon 4 arrived with a newly revamped upper: a double-layer mesh notably improved the wraparound fit of the shoe and, continuing this quest for the perfect fit, 6 eyelets were put in place for the laces (one more than usual) that allowed to further customize the fastening.
The jewel in the crown of this model was the textured pattern covering the high wear areas: this increased abrasion resistance and positioned the Metcon 4 as the most durable version of Metcon designed to date.
2019 – METCON 5
This model represented one of the biggest design changes in the Metcon saga: the silhouette, its structure and composition were completely reformulated. At first glance, what was most striking about the Nike Metcon 5 was the new diamond-shaped heel and the huge sole spike going up the sides to improve grip on rope climbs. However, what changed radically was the inside of the shoe.
On the one hand, Nike Training designers surprised us all with the creation of the extra-drop insert for under the heel, named Hyperlift. This revolutionary piece of plastic gave us 6 to 8 mm of extra mobility for all WODs with squat exercises.
On the other hand, the Metcon 5 arrived much more cushioned than its previous siblings: the characteristic Metcon hardness was softened to provide extra comfort that we all felt from the moment we put our foot in the shoe.
2020 – METCON 6
Breathability, breathability and more breathability. Nike’s obsession in 2020 was to improve heat expulsion in their training shoes, so for the Metcon 6 they focused especially on redesigning the outer fabric.
The upper of the shoe was replaced with a lightweight mesh (reinforced in the abrasion areas) that, with its visible ventilation holes brought us 18% more airflow than the Metcon 5.
This same mesh that improved the ventilation of the Nike Metcon 6 also made them much more flexible, offering a lighter experience during sessions with a lot of agility exercises (box jumps, burpees, double unders…).
2021 – METCON 7
Our sport evolves and so do the Metcon. Each generation of Metcon learns from the last and from the multiple tests that the world’s best athletes put it through.
This year, we welcome the new Nike Metcon 7, the most complete and versatile Metcon ever. These are its main innovations:
· Stability: in this model, stability has been maximized with the new heel plate that transfers force to the perimeter.
· Reactivity: for the first time in the Metcon series, Nike React foam has been incorporated to make them more suitable for running and less hard on impacts.
· Grip: new grip zones for rope climbs that wrap around all angles of the shoe.
· Support: a simple but incredibly useful change. The new Velcro lace locking system secures the knot and prevents it from unraveling with movement and friction.
The new Nike Metcon 7 is now available at Fittest Freakest.