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The Nike Metcons has been one of the best cross-training shoes ever since the first one was released in 2015, and each iteration has improved upon its predecessor. So when the Nike Metcon 8s were announced in late July 2023, we were excited to get our feet in them to find out how they’d stack up to the popular Metcon 7s.
Our Nike Metcon 8 review will give you not one, but two perspectives on what it’s like to train with these shoes. Both myself, an avid lifter and certified personal trainer who wears a men’s size 15 shoe, and GGR’s Social Media Director Brittany Combs, women’s size 5, tried these out for weeks to give you our unfiltered thoughts on whether they’re worth the $160 price tag.
Kick It With the Best Training Shoe Experts
As someone with a big foot (save your clown shoe jokes, I’ve heard them all), I’m very picky about what goes on my feet, especially something as important as a training shoe. My normal-sized colleagues are just as discerning when it comes to finding the best shoes to keep them supported and comfortable during CrossFit WODs, powerlifting sessions, or endurance runs.
That’s because as competitive athletes, personal trainers, and CrossFit L-1 trainers, we know how a good pair of weightlifting shoes can provide that boost you need. And after doing countless shoe reviews, we’ve been able to create comprehensive lists of the best shoes for deadlifting, weightlifting, and CrossFit.
The Nike Metcon 8 is the latest iteration of the popular cross-training shoes, and from the look of things, not much is changing from the Nike Metcon 7s. That's not necessarily bad, as the Metcon 7s were the best pair of Metcons yet. They performed well during heavy lifts and quick cardio bursts, had features such as a mid-foot rope guard and heel clip that made them perfect for CrossFit workouts, and were durable enough that you got your money's worth out of them, and then some.According to Nike's website, the Metcon 8s will have all those features. The most significant change is that Nike members, who as of this writing are the only ones who can pre-order the shoes, can customize their kicks with an updated color palette and finish options. This includes being able to add chrome to every part of the shoe, down to the laces, and the option for a marble finish on the outsole.We're excited to try out the Metcon 8s, and will update this page when we get our hands, err, feet on them.
A Quick Look at the Nike Metcon 8
The Nike Metcon 8 is very similar to the Metcon 7s, in that they both have many of the same features: Nike React foam in the midsole, a wide and flat heel for stability during lifts, a rubber outsole, flexible forefoot, and a heel clip to support handstand push-ups. There are some differences between the two, which we’ll get into later.
Unlike many other shoes, these only come in custom colorways and designs. Nike unveiled an updated color palette that you can use to design just about every part of the shoe with, with the option to add a chrome look where desired, and an optional marble finish for the outsole and sidewalls.
As of this writing, the Metcon 8s are only available for Nike members (it’s free to sign up).
- Find a Nike promo code to help you save money
- Can’t wait for them to be open to the general public? Becoming a Nike member is free.
- Those who train rope climbs often should know these don’t have the rope guards found on the Metcon 7s, but instead have a rubber wrap that provides extra grip.
- Custom colorways and designs
- Wide and flat heel provides a great amount of stability
- Enough flexibility for short cardio bursts
- Has just the right amount of cushioning to keep you comfortable without being too soft for heavy lifts
- Good at a lot of things, but not great at one single thing
- Pricey, starting at $160
- Only available for Nike members (but it’s free to join)
- Pretty much the same shoe as the Nike Metcon 7 (with subtle differences)
Are the Nike Metcon 8s Worth It?
There’s really two ways we could approach this question: Are the Nike Metcon 8s worth it for people looking for a good cross-training shoe, and are they worth it for people who already have the Nike Metcon 7s?
I’m going to cheat and address the second part first, and the answer is not really. If your 7s are in good condition and don’t need to be replaced, then don’t upgrade just for the sake of upgrading. There’s no drastic difference between the 7s and 8s, so unless you’re a training shoe collector, you can skip this one for now.
But if you’re someone who desperately needs a new pair of cross-training shoes, I’d highly recommend these kicks. While they’re expensive, keep in mind you’ll only be wearing these at the gym so they won’t wear down quite as quickly as your everyday shoes. They’re also just a well-built gym shoe that I think most people will enjoy, but there are a few people who may disagree.
Here are the people who we think will be pro-Metcon 8, and those who might look elsewhere.
- CrossFitters or anyone else who does a lot of cross training
- Lifters who need a stable shoe
- Individuals with a wider foot
- People who like to customize their shoes
Not recommended for:
- Anyone who needs a dedicated running or lifting shoe
- Those looking for the best value
- People who are on a budget
- Lifters looking for a squatting shoe
Nike Metcon 8 Specs
|Heel-to-Toe Drop||4 mm|
|Midsole||Nike React foam|
What It’s Like to Wear the Nike Metcon 8s
I have to admit to having a bit of a bias toward Nike, as they’re one of the only brands that cut their shoes in a way that fits my wide foot. I typically have to order other companies’ shoes in an extra-wide for them to fit comfortably.
At the same time, Brittany—who’s feet aren’t nearly as big as mine—said the Metcons fit her feet just as snugly. The ability to be worn by people with narrower and wider feet could be attributed to the wider toe box.
The wider toe box benefits people like me, who need to splay their toes out a bit more, but it can also be a huge plus for others because it allows for easier balance than a shoe that scrunches your toes together.
Both Brittany and I agree this is a shoe that you order true to size—no need to go a half a size up or down with the Metcon 8s.
I kept the shoes on while running some chores after the gym, and while they felt fine, I wouldn’t wear them around for any longer than an hour or two. There’s just not enough flexibility in the heel to give you the comfort you need for walking around for extended periods.
Lifting Performance in the Nike Metcon 8s
If there’s one thing you take away from this Nike Metcon 8 review, let it be this: These shoes are stable. Brittany and I tested these on squats, deadlifts, and Olympic lifts like the clean and jerk and snatch.
On the first day I brought these to the gym, I could feel an immediate difference in my deadlifts, and my four-plate pulls felt smoother than they have in a long time. It was almost as if someone had super-glued my feet to the platform.
Brittany agrees. “There’s no doubt I feel stronger lifting in my Metcon 8s,” she says. She used them for squatting, which I did as well but I generally prefer to squat barefoot.
While there’s nothing wrong with squatting in the Metcon 8s, I’d recommend the Nike Romaleos over these since the Roms have a higher heel-to-toe drop to help your butt get closer to ground.
The Metcon 8s use the same Nike React foam as the Metcon 7s, which is soft enough to provide comfort during cardio sprints or while walking to and from the gym without being so cushioned that they get in the way of heavy lifts.
Running Performance in the Nike Metcon 8s
While the Nike Metcon 8s are one of the best CrossFit shoes, I’d say they lean more toward a lifting shoe than a running shoe. The heel is just too blocky and not flexible enough to support anything other than a quick burst, and while they’ll hold up just fine for box jumps or a HIIT session, I’d avoid doing anything that involves a lot of multi-directional movement.
The Metcon 8s have a mesh upper that keeps your feet nice and cool during even the most grueling workouts. I wore them outside during some triple-digit summer days, and my feet never felt overheated or sweaty.
The Nike Metcon 8s have an all-rubber outsole that provides great traction on most surfaces. My one complaint about it is that the grooved pattern caused many small pebbles to get stuck in my shoes and I had to pick them out before doing any serious training, but if you’re carrying them in a gym bag or don’t bring them outside, that won’t be a problem.
Colorways and Designs
One of the main features of the Nike Metcon 8s is the ability to customize every part of the shoe. Right before these came out, a close friend and I were talking about vintage gear from our alma mater, St. John’s University.
So I went with a red-and-white design that paid homage to the Red Storm, and had “STJ” placed on one shoe and 718 (the area code for Queens, NY, my hometown) on the other.
Brittany went with a metallic design, and had “Combs” placed on both of her shoes (must be nice having such a short last name).
“I was torn on the metallic but ended up going for it and very glad I did,” she says. “It adds just the right amount of bling without being obnoxious. I like the placement of my name on the side and think the font looks cool, but it would have been nice to have options in the font used.”
What’s the Difference Between the Nike Metcon 7 and Metcon 8
Nike Metcon 7
The Nike Metcon 7s and Metcon 8s are very similar, and we maintain that if your 7s are in good condition then there’s no need to drop $160 on the 8s. With that said, here are some of the differences you can find between the two shoes.
To learn more about the Metcon 8s older sibling, check out our full Nike Metcon 7 review.
Both the Nike Metcon 7s and Metcon 8s have a mesh upper for breathability, but there’s a small difference in their construction. The 7s have a chainlink mesh that, according to some reviews, was prone to tearing. We never experienced that ourselves, but it’s a problem some users have reported.
The 8s, on the other hand, have textured synthetic overlays to keep your feet cool while ensuring durability.
Both Metcons have a lace-locking mechanism to keep your laces out of the way while you’re training, which is perfect. The 7s had a Velcro tab on the top and bottom of the tongue that could keep the laces down during training; the 8s only have it on the top.
I haven’t had a problem with my Metcon 8 laces getting in the way, so this doesn’t appear to be a big change for me but it might be for some people.
Before I get into this, I should note that neither myself nor Brittany used the Metcon 8s for rope climbs.
The Metcon 7s had a mid-foot rope guard that added some extra grip during climbs, and Coop was a big fan of this feature when he reviewed these shoes last year. The Metcon 8s don’t have these, instead only coming with a rubber wrap around the midfoot. Other reviewers have said while they liked the rope guard on the 7s, the 8s still do a great job of assisting with rope climbs.
Warranty, Financing, Returns
Nike has a two-year warranty on all of its shoes that protects you from any manufacturing defects. In other words, it won’t cover any wear and tear but if the shoe breaks on you (let’s say the upper starts deteriorating), you can reach out to them to have them fix it. The two-year warranty starts on the date the shoes were made, which you can find on the inside of the tongue.
You can finance the Nike Metcon 8s through Klarna, if you pre-qualify at checkout.
Returns are only available for Nike members. Those who are a part of that club have 60 days from the date of delivery to determine if they like them, or want to return the kicks for a full refund.
Ordering the Nike Metcon 8s
Because the Nike Metcon 8s come in custom color and designs, they’re going to take a little longer than usual to get to your front door. Both Brittany and I had to wait about three weeks for our shoes to arrive after designing them to our liking.
As of this writing, there are no customer reviews of the Nike Metcon 8 on the company’s website, and they’re not sold on any third-party website like Amazon. We’ll update this review if and when customer reviews are added, but for now we can say most online reviews seem to be in-line with what we’ve said.
Final Verdict of Our Nike Metcon 8 Review
After testing every Nike Metcon there is, from the Metcon 6s all the way to the OGs, we can say that the Nike Metcon 8s continue the tradition of being one of the best workout shoes, whether you train in a commercial gym or a home gym.
Its versatility is both a blessing and a curse, in that it can help you through just about any type of workout but it’s not going to help you be the best in any one category—though that’s what cross-training is all about, isn’t it?
I’ll just reiterate that while I love the Metcon 8s, and will be wearing them quite often, I’d only recommend them if you’re someone who needs a new pair of shoes. Keep your 7s for as long as you can before thinking of upgrading to these.
Nike Metcon 8 Rating
Nike Metcon 8
Our Nike Metcon 8 review looks at the latest iteration of this training shoe, and whether it’s worth upgrading from the Nike Metcon 7s.
Product Brand: Nike
Product Currency: $
Product Price: 160.00
Product In-Stock: InStock
Nike Metcon 8 FAQs
Is Nike making a Metcon 8?
Yes, but the Nike Metcon 8s are currently available for Nike members only (it’s free to join).
What are Nike Metcons meant for?
Nike Metcons can be used for just about any type of workout that isn’t cardio training. That means you can use them for CrossFit workouts, Olympic weightlifting, and more.
Can you run In Nike Metcon 7?
You can, but we wouldn’t recommend it. The Nike Metcon 7 has average flexibility, and the shoe may be uncomfortable after some time. If you’re looking for Nike shoes that are more suited for running, we recommend the Nike Free Metcon 4.
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