Why Nike Metcon 1?
“Sports shoes” can loosely be divided into three categories.
The first category is weightlifting shoes.
The second category is running shoes.
And the third category is outdoor multipurpose, incorporating climbing, running and hiking in adverse conditions including snow and mud. These can also be termed minimalist shoes.
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The line between these categories may be somewhat blurred at times, but the main divide is between running, lifting and multipurpose. All these shoes will have unique characteristics which make them appropriate for their particular activities, and characteristics that improve performance in one area may actually be a disadvantage in another. A prime example of this would be the difference between sprinting shoes and Olympic weightlifting shoes. One is designed to be light and flexible, the other to be strong and sturdy. A shoe is only as good as its ability to perform the required task.
In order to establish what constitutes a good pair of weightlifting shoes, it is important to define what weightlifting actually is. Like general sports shoes, weightlifting can be divided into three categories, for the three subcategories of weightlifting. There is Olympic weightlifting, which is based on two movements. The first movement is the snatch, and the second movement is the clean and jerk. There are also training movements associated with these two movements.
The weightlifter gets three attempts at each movement, and it is a maximum weight single lift. The best two lifts are combined to score the athlete. So “Olympic” lifting shoes are designed purely for this subcategory of weightlifting, meaning they are designed purely for these two movements. An example of these “pure” weightlifting shoes would be the Nike Romaleos, which are quite expensive but are the best at what they do. The second category of weightlifting is called powerlifting, which is focused on three movements. These movements are the deadlift, squat and bench press.
Like Olympic lifting, three attempts are allowed in each movement, with the top two added to give the participant his score. The final category of weightlifting can be termed regular lifting, not really a sport. It includes all types of lifting which do not fall within the category of Olympic or powerlifting. Good powerlifting shoes include the Adidas Adipowers, while good all-around multipurpose weightlifting shoes including the Pendlay Do-Wins and the ever-popular VS Athletics. The Do-Wins and VS athletics are great for starting off and brilliant value for money.
Weightlifting shoes are characterized by their toe to heel height and flat, hard sole. The toe to heel height is the difference between the height of the heel and height of the toe. This is good for most lifts where the athlete needs to get underneath the bar and is great for alignment. The recommended toe to heel height for Olympic lifts is .75 inches, and this is also a generally acceptable height for power lifting.
An exception to this is the deadlift, where the raised heel is problematic for the lifter who is over the bar, instead of squatting underneath it. All weightlifting shoes will have a flat, hard sole to maximize lift. They will also be firm and stable, as the athlete is in a static position channeling energy upwards. They also need to be strong at the sides so an ankle does not get overturned (an absolute disaster while lifting heavy weights overhead) and fit tightly.
A loose foot means less energy lifted upwards. For this reason, many weightlifting shoes run a half size small. It should be noted that there is significant overlap between Olympic, power and general weightlifting, and many weightlifting shoes do a good job at each of them. Professional lifters focusing on a particular area should consider focusing on the ideal pair of shoes, but for most a good pair of Chuck Taylors or VS athletics are more than adequate for the purposes of weightlifting.
Like weightlifting shoes, running shoes fall into certain categories. There are sprinting shoes, which are designed to be light as a feather. Multiple studies have shown that lighter shoes result in better race times, for both short and medium distances. Sprinting involves moving a short distance as fast as possible. The distance is generally 100 to 1500 meters.
Sprinters need to stay in the forefoot and these shoes will have spikes to assist with this. Examples of good sprinting shoes include the PUMA Complete TFX Sprint 3 Track Shoe and the ASICS Hypersprint 5 Running Shoe. Running shoes are those designed for distances of 1500 meters and above. They will generally have more cushion than sprinting spikes, and are practically flat and without a cushion in an attempt to maximize speed. Running shoes are designed more for durability and comfort.
They have to be able to last longer distances while preserving the joints of the athletes. They are generally heavier and more orientated towards durability than pure speed. 4 millimeters is the standard heel to top drop for running shoes, much less than the standard for weightlifting shoes which runs between 12 and 24 millimeters. Good running shoes include the Asics Gel Hyperspeed 6 and the New Balance Fresh Foam Zante.
These shoes are designed to withstand a number of adverse training conditions. They generally have little cushioning and a small heel to toe drop. These shoes are not just standard hill walking boots but are designed for all weather conditions and terrain, while being small, thin and lightweight. A prime example of a pair of these new multipurpose all terrain shoes would be the Vibram Komodo Sport five toe training shoes.
These shoes are light, comfortable and fit for all conditions, including rope climbing, mountain climbing, running and gymnastics. The best way to describe these type of shoes is that they are an outer layer to the foot that provides an extra layer of comfort, grip and protection. They are designed to complement the natural contours of the feet, more of a natural extension than an external form of assistance. The downside of these shoes in terms of CrossFit is that the small toe to heel rise will reduce the quality of some types of lift.
However, naturalists/minimalists would argue that barefoot/minimalist lifting is optimal in the long run and that a high toe to heel height is only important when starting out in weightlifting, instead of being continuously relied upon. When these forms of external assistance are overly relied upon, they are simply crutches in the long run that take away from ultimate human performance.
All this taken into account, there is quite a lot that a good CrossFit shoe has to account for. Because, in a sense, CrossFit shoes have to strike a balance between weightlifting, running and multipurpose. So, the shoes will be a tradeoff between weight, flexibility, stability and durability. CrossFit workouts vary day by day and the routines are not standardized.
Because of this the shoes have to be multifunctional and durable as they will be used for a range of different activities. The most important factor when purchasing a pair of CrossFit shoes is always going to be the physique and preferences of the individual athlete. For those with wide feet a brand that contains a narrow design will not suffice. Similarly, style is very personal, and no matter how good a shoe functions, if the athlete hates the way it looks it will actually lead to negative performance. Psychology is an important part of sport.
Nike has always been one of the main brands in terms of sports shoes and shoes in general. And CrossFit is no exception. The Metcons were Nikes first real entry into the CrossFit market and burst onto the scene in 2015. Nike CrossFit is not a thing, as opposed to the previous dominance by Reebok. Nike provides the best Olympic shoes, good powerlifting shoes and have very stylish designs. Metcon is short for metabolic conditioning.
The Nike Metcon 1 CrossFit Training shoes are good for holding up against the rope climbs associated with CrossFit shoes. This is an area where quite a lot of typical CrossFit shoes fall down, but the Metcons pass the rope climbing test with flying colors. This is due to the outer layer of hexagonal rubber which gives more grip on the outside and also protects the outer mesh of the shoe.
A thick rubber layer protects the toes which is important for a number of standard movements including the double unders and burpees. The Metcons feature flywire cable technology on the upper part of the shoe which gives the area better support. These Nike squat shoes do an excellent job for what they were designed to do.
They are also true to size, as many brands of CrossFit actually run half a size small compared to typical runners. The Metcons are wider than other brands, such as the Reebok Nanos and Adidas Adipowers, meaning they will suit athletes with a wider foot. The Metcons feature a rubber sole and a rubber outsole which is good for traction and also for protection against ropes and other forms of abrasion. One of the downsides of the Nike Metcons is that they are slippery on wet surfaces.
The arch support is good, but not exceptional. They are a great pair of indoor gym shoes which also perform well for short sprints and runs. They are firm, stable and quite comfortable to wear. However, they are most certainly not a multipurpose outdoor shoe and are not designed for hiking or hill walking.
They are cheaper than their main rivals the Reebok Nanos 5.0. There is more than just a little rivalry between these two brands. Reebok banned Nike from the largest CrossFit event, and Nike did not take kindly to the exclusion.
Reebok had signed a deal with CrossFit incorporated (CrossFit is a company) to be the brand associated with the company in 2011. The contract has an expiry date of 10 years. After Nike was banned it instigated a social media campaign with the slogan “don’t ban our shoe. Beat our shoe”.
The upper part of the shoe consists of rubber and a synthetic mesh. The Metcons have a standard 4 mm heel to toe drop and weight 1 ounces. One of the main selling points of the Metcons is their durability. They are very tough and last quite a long time, as well as look great with Nikes modern and futuristic designs.
Nike are well used to producing shoes that are both comfortable and look well, and these two characteristics are the hallmark of Nike trainers. The Metcons are no exception and look well, feel great and do a fantastic job in terms of CrossFit. On top of this, they have outstanding durability and are able to withstand no small amount of CrossFit punishment. In terms of functional requirements, they may lose out somewhat to the Nanos in some areas, however, this is largely debated among CrossFit athletes who are split down the middle between the two CrossFit shoe models.
The main pitfall of the Metcon Nike is that they are only adequate in terms of weightlifting. For squats, the cushion can take away from the lift, and this is what happens in the Metcons as the heel rise is not large enough to get a good angle.
What they gained in comfort they lacked in support, which is significant in terms of weightlifting. They are a decent weightlifting shoe, but the Nano’s are said to be a little better in terms of weightlifting. However, the Metcons do fine for Olympic lifts, it is mainly squatting that let these shoes down. Some also contend that the toe box at the top of the shoe is too wide, which makes them less stable. The Metcon 2 features a narrower toe box that was received more favorably.
Another criticism of the Metcons is that some users reported the outsole of the shoe peeling off in a relatively short space of time. This issue was addressed with the release of the Metcon 2. Nike also provide womens Metcons, as opposed to only mens Nike Metcon 1.
The Metcons are good all-around CrossFit shoes. They do a good job at running short distances, do a good job at weightlifting and do a good job for “in between” exercises including kettlebells, climbing, jumping, skipping, core, throwing etc. The flexible forefoot ensures that box jumps and burpees are not a problem. This is actually where the Metcons excel more than any other CrossFit shoe and are also stylish, comfortable and durable.
Where they fail is at the extreme ends of both lifting and running. Running longer distances than 5 kilometers is not advised in the Metcons, nor is lifting exceedingly large weights, which is a part of CrossFit. However, they look stylish, are extremely comfortable and do a good job at CrossFit for a fair price. They can also double as a regular shoe and are suitable for athletes with a wider foot.
The Nanos and other models are too narrow for many CrossFit athletes. The Metcons are also a great shoe for regular gym goers and are viable alternatives to the VS athletics and Pendlay Do-Wins, which are great for lifting but definitely lack in the departments of design and comfort.
Another pair of good Crossfit Shoes is Reebok Nano 2.0 .Check out our reviews in this article to know more.