Nike Metcon 9 review in a sentence: A brilliant functional fitness shoe providing even more stability for bigger lifts and some newly improved features for your CrossFit needs.
Metcons are renowned for being one of the best workout shoes and the best CrossFit trainers around due to the versatility they provide to easily switch between functional training and weightlifting. That often means whenever Nike releases a new pair, you’re usually left wondering whether they’re worth the investment. After all, we awarded the predecessor five stars in our Nike Metcon 8 review and even awarded the Nike Metcon 7 the Best Workout Shoe title at the 2022 T3 Awards.
The Metcon 9s have been highly anticipated, and with good reason, too, as Nike has made some considerable changes since its predecessor (you can tell simply from its appearance). I can therefore confirm they are definitely worth your time and attention, especially if you’re after comfort and better stability. Read on to find out if you should get some…
Nike Metcon 9 review: price and availability
The Nike Metcon 9 is available to buy now directly from Nike UK / Nike US / Nike AUS for a recommended retail price of £129.95 / $150 / AUS$200 and selected third-party retailers, including WIT Fitness. The Nike Metcon 9 AMP, which we are reviewing, retail at the slightly more expensive price of £139.95 / $160 / AUS$210. However, we've spoken to the experts and they've reassured us there is no difference and that AMP simply stands for 'amplified'.
Nike Metcon 9 review: what’s changed?
You only need to look at the Metcon 9s to see Nike has made a couple of considerable changes, in comparison to its predecessor, only enhancing the shoe's essence further.
For starters, it has a higher heel due to the larger hyperlift plate and on unboxing it almost reminded me of a squat shoe. This provides more stability, which is especially useful when it comes to heavy lifting and hitting depth, as well as landing patterns. Another tweak that compliments this well is the wider toe box, as it provides more room for your toes to spread into that all-important 'tripod base' when lifting, creating an even sturdier base.
The second unmissable feature (and one CrossFitters particularly will love) is the much larger, rubber rope guard around the middle of the shoe. This time, it runs all the way up to the collar on the inside of the shoe and mid-way on the outside. Although some people have questioned whether this is ‘too much’, it definitely provides more durability and will help keep the shoes in better tact for longer during those hefty rope climbs. To assist these climbs even further, there’s also rubber texture on the toe box.
Nike have kept its breathable, cross-stitch mesh material (although I didn’t notice any real difference when wearing them) and the popular lock lace system.
Nike Metcon 9 review: fit and workout performance
I found the Metcon 9s extremely comfortable, even moreso than the 8s. I think this is down to the wider toe box as, although I don’t have particularly wide feet, I always prefer a slightly roomier workout shoe so they don’t get too hot (which I can confirm these don’t).
I wore the Metcon 9s for a range of strength workouts, functional workouts and I even put them to the test during a conditioning workout with the Fittest Women in the UK – and I think they did an excellent job.
Although I enjoyed wearing the Metcon 8s for functional workouts, when it came to workouts where weightlifting was involved, I’d swap over to the Under Armour Reign Lifting Shoe. With the 9s I didn’t have to do this at all. As I mentioned earlier, the larger heel almost mimics a squat shoe. This really helps with mobility, allowing you to hit depth a lot easier, while the wider toe box means you can spread your toes allowing your bodyweight to disperse evenly. Whether I was doing barbell squats or deadlifts, I thought their performance was great.
In terms of more functional workouts, I thought the shoes might let me down slightly, in comparison to the Metcon 8s, because of how successful I found them during strength training.
Thankfully, they didn’t. The dual-density foam made them incredibly comfy for doing box jumps, sledge pushes, and burpees, and even when I switched over to doing a lift, I felt I could do so with more control. The soles have good tread, albeit there are fewer grooves in the Metcon 9s (three) compared to the 8s, which has four. This makes them slightly less flexible than its predecessor, but this didn't affect my workout at all.
The only thing (and I’m pretty sure everyone always says the same when it comes to Metcons) is that I wouldn’t do a long run in them. There just isn’t enough support there, which is understandable as it would make them pointless for all the functional exercises, so I’d swap over to a pair of my favourite running shoes instead. However, I did do interval runs in these and found them extremely comfortable, with good grip for indoors and outdoors.
Nike Metcon 9 review: verdict
With many features similar to the Metcon 8, as well as some upgrades, I think the Metcon 9 is the best multi-functional fitness shoe exceeding its predecessor. The larger hyperlift plate offers a lot more stability, meaning you can transition between your functional movements and weight training with a lot more ease. The wider toe box makes the shoe undeniably more comfy. Plus, the large rope guards are a huge tick for CrossFitters and makes the trainer a hell of a lot more durable.
That being said, if you’ve got plenty of wear left in your Metcon 8s and you just use them for your everyday training, I don’t think you need to quickly add a pair to your basket. However, if you’re a die-hard CrossFitter, I wouldn’t blame you if you’re tempted, as the new additions do make them the ideal shoe for your training.