Sometimes you don’t play with success. And Nike knows it too.
Last year, Nike released the Metcon 5, an ultra-rounded training shoe that has been my favorite Nike training shoe to this day. It provided everything I needed in a training shoe, from a super sturdy platform for squatting, deadlifting, and cleaning, to just enough flexibility in the mid and forefoot area for me to sprint and box solidly. Little squiggles helped me perform in other areas and provided a grippy climbing experience and the tight fit I need to add just a bit of cutting and changing direction work to my workouts. It quickly became my favorite sneaker for any non-running workout.
How does Nike follow all of this? Answer: With the Nike Metcon 6, a sneaker that only builds on last year̵
The Metcon 6 breathes better
If there was a problem with Metcon last year, it was a breathability story. I noticed that in early summer. Thanks to the pandemic, I’ve been training at home since March – often outside. And by May and June when it got hot outside, my feet sure felt so hot.
I would do a leg workout with my Metcon 5s and in a few minutes I would feel my feet overheating. I liked last year’s Metcon aesthetic with the 3D haptic printing, but it left little room for air to reach my feet. Since the arrival of the Metcon 6s, this problem has been completely resolved.
The Metcon 6 has an upper with tiny holes and perforations that is never large enough to compromise fit and locking, but large enough to be obviously visible. These play an important role in keeping you cool and leaving plenty of room for the air to vent. Since putting on the Metcon 6s, I’ve noticed a huge difference. Every few sentences in the Metcon 5s I took off my shoes briefly in the summer heat or took them off to “breathe”. I haven’t done that in the Metcon 6s yet.
The outside feels louder
Nike is also delivering a pop of color on the Metcon 6s. I liked the muted, two-tone look from last year’s Metcons. Something about them felt absolutely matter-of-fact, perfect for serious, focused workout.
But that doesn’t stop Nike from getting bolder this year. The Nike check stands out in lemon green this year, and the entire package has a light camouflage color. Nothing about these sneakers feels subtle which is why I probably get a DM or a comment about the look almost every time I put them on on Instagram.
As much as I liked last year’s look, I love that feeling more. It’s fun to wear loud sneakers with statement training, and it is exactly that. You will get a bit of attention. The downside is that these Metcons are a little harder to find. The blackest color scheme of the past year goes with almost every training ensemble known to man. This is no longer the case this year.
Lifting and running both thrive
Nike isn’t changing much about the core experience, and is even returning last year’s excellent heel wedges. That quickly made me my sneaker for my front squat and deadlift training. You get a solid, stable platform for all of these elevators. The color of the rubber sole is also grossly underestimated and will help if you are recording a lot of your own training videos. Last year, when my heel lifted off the floor while doing a squat, the shoe was colored similar to most of the fitness surfaces that I didn’t notice. Now I can tell when my squat shape is wobbling and my back heel is lifting off the ground.
The Metcon 6s has a great feel for ground contact and will help you with every single lift, from bench press to row. Your whole foot feels purposely grounded, so you can better focus on maintaining a tight core and push your glutes on movements you may forget.
However, the flexibility of the forefoot comes in handy, not just when running. Exercises like sissy squats and heel-level squats, which require the forefoot and metatarsal area of the shoe to flex, feel perfect and never be restricted by footwear. Nike offers a unique combination of mobility and stability in their shoe, and you will love it.
This quality also leads to runs in the Metcon 6. This still won’t be your main running training shoe – and it really isn’t intended for that. But if I’ve alternated EMOMs with, for example, 20 kettlebell swings and a 100-meter dashboard on an Assault fitness treadmill, the Metcon 6s hold up perfectly and give me enough freedom of movement so that I can get faster.
It all adds up to the best training shoe from Nike and the best training shoe on the market. Nike knew better than grappling with success this year.
It just built on that success in a smart way.
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