The Nike Metcon 6 continues the evolution of the Nike Metcon line. It’s not a completely new design and that’s a good thing. Nike took what worked on the Nike Metcon 5, added a few extras, and created something better.
Primary Nike Metcon 6 competitors are the Reebok Nano X, UA HOVR Apex 2, and UA TriBase Reign 2. We mention those competitors during the review so use those links to familiarize yourself with them if needed.
The Nike Metcon 6 is true to size lengthwise, but as usual with the Metcon line, it’s built on a narrow last. Wide footers will need to go up a ½ size, and even though it’s hard with the pandemic, I’d recommend trying them on somewhere. The narrowness is most pronounced in the heel and midfoot which keeps the foot locked in tight even when the laces are looser. The laces themselves snake through flywire loops that connect to the base of the shoe. If you have a really narrow foot, the flywire can get the midfoot fit even tighter and further locked down. Most people won’t need it, but it shows Nike prioritized lockdown.
The comfort comes principally from the dual-layered mesh upper. It’s the most comfortable and forgiving upper yet in the Metcon series. Your foot doesn’t feel trapped by plastic or rubber overlays. The gusseted tongue is also well padded so it won’t slip around and you won’t feel lace pressure. Finally, there’s room in the toebox for toe splay when you’re lifting heavy or need better balance. As long as you’re ok with the narrow fit (very similar to the UA TriBase Reign 2), the fit is comfy for a Metcon or CrossFit shoe.
I was initially worried about support since you sit so low in the shoe. I thought heel lockdown may be an issue. But the Metcon 6 locks you in tight and I didn’t even have to use the top lace hole. The shoe comes with heel wedges called Hyperlifts that go under the drop-in midsole for 8 extra millimeters of drop. The Hyperlifts are included to help with specific exercises like Thrusters or Wall Balls. When the Hyperlifts are placed inside the shoe the heel lockdown isn’t quite as good and I had some heel slippage. But the Hyperlifts are for specialized lifting so I don’t think most people will even use them. I didn’t find them helpful and stopped using them after my initial tests.
The high sidewalls, which are meant for help with rope climbing, do good work in preventing side to side movement within the shoe. The sidewalls flow into a low slung thick plastic heel counter and twin heel outriggers on either side. The outriggers prevent your heel from twisting too far inward or outward. The outriggers really shine on heavy squats. Your heel stays firmly planted to the ground when pushing as hard as you can into the ground.
The last area, the forefoot, is adequately supported via a thin plastic wall around the toebox. It’s a little thicker than the high sidewalls and prevents the ball of the foot from getting outside the toebox on wrenching side to side movements like you might do in a shuttle or cone drill.
I tried to get my heel to pop out or my foot to get outside the footbed but the Metcon 6 met every challenge. It’s got all the support you need.
Unchanged from the Metcon 5, the drop-in midsole is dual density polyurethane (PU). It’s denser at the heel for more stability with heavy lifts and plush at the forefoot for added cushion while running and jumping. As a nice touch, the type of foam and how it scored on the durometer test are written on the top of the insole.
Despite the dual densities, the ride of the Metcon 6 feels extremely smooth. The transition from heel to toe doesn’t feel like you’re on top of two separate PU foams. And the best part is it’s just enough cushioning to do box jumps, 800s, or mile runs that are often packed into workouts of the day. I wouldn’t want to run a lot of miles in them, but they’ll work for anything your gym’s whiteboard throws at you.
The front two-thirds of the upper is a dual-layered mesh with fuse connecting the mesh to a synthetic heel cup. The upper also puts fuse in some high torque areas. Interestingly, some screen printed material is placed on top of the mesh at high wear areas such as the toe. The screen print is a really cool solution and doesn’t add as much weight or stiffness as using fuse would. I hope the screen print makes it onto more models. I like it better than the rubber overlays used on the UA HOVR Apex 2 or rubberized mesh used on the Reebok Nano X.
On the inside, the quilted engineered mesh interior of the heel features a bunch of padding so you sink in. And, thankfully for those that working out without air conditioning, the breathability is awesome due to the upper’s large perforations. For me, now mostly working out in hot garages in Florida, the air flow was a life saver.
The traction pattern is completely unchanged from the Nike Metcon 5. The horizontally bladed pattern works really well on slick cement, rubber mats, and asphalt. While the pattern itself is good, the real hero of the outsole is the rubber compound. It’s incredibly sticky and when you plant your foot, it’s not going anywhere. You’ll really enjoy the traction on shuttle drills, tire pulls, and agility exercises. You land, stay there, and are on the move again as quick as your brain can send the signal. Which is not always very fast when you’re near the end of a hard Metcon. LOL.
The Nike Metcon 6 brings a bunch of small changes, mostly in the upper, to the highly reviewed Nike Metcon 5. What Nike Training changed, they improved. The Metcon 6 is a workhorse of a shoe that delivers world class support, grippy traction, and amazing breathability. It has issues with a narrow fit, but if you can make the fit work, you have a shoe ready for any workout you tackle.
Thanks to Nike for sending a pair to test. Nike didn’t get any editorial control of the review. This review is based on our weartesters’ experiences using the shoes for HIIT, Metcon, weightlifting workouts, running, casual wear, and more.