Review: Nike Metcon 1 Varsity Red "Banned"

After the CrossFit games controversy, the Nike Metcon 1 Varsity Red became the most sought after colorway. I must admit, they look slick. I’m a huge fan of the red and black, paying homage to the Air Jordan 1. The only thing I would change would be the sole color. I would have preferred a black sole or even a red sole.

Their are some differences between this version of the Metcon 1 and the original version that I reviewed here. The mesh on the top of the toebox is a lot thicker and feels like a different material all together. I haven’t used my Metcons to do many rope climbs but I have heard about shoes falling apart from repeated abuse. My Metcons are also starting to fray at certain spots but are still usable. I hope this material change brings more longevity to this shoe. Other than that, I haven’t noticed any more changes. Check out some of the other pictures below.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

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Review: Nike MetCon 1

When you think Nike, you think sport and with CrossFit becoming more mainstream, it would make sense for Nike to enter the market. I think it is safe to say the Nike MetCon 1 is one of the most sought after CrossFit shoes. The marketing hype combined with the limited number of shoes available at launch made them that much more desirable. I felt like I was trying to buy a pair of new Kobe’s or Jordans rather than a pair of CrossFit shoes. If you didn’t get a pair within the first hour of launch, you were out of luck. Thankfully, my fiance manged to order a pair online and they have been my go to CrossFit shoe for a few weeks.

Looks, Fit and Construction

The Anthracite/Black/Cool Grey colorway are my favorite colors from the launch. The shoe has a unique color pattern with the shoe divided up in four sections. The divisions are more noticeable with the other colorways. Ordering shoes online is risky especially when it comes to new shoe models. Thankfully the shoe felt true to size. The shoe fits snug but after you break them in, they feel great. The toe box has enough room to spread your toes which is great for lifts. The shoe is also wider which allows for a stable base.

Since this is a Nike shoe, you’re bound to see some of their tech. The shoe features Flywire, which helps to lock your feet down and gives support to certain areas of the foot.  A Hyperfuse upper and a rubber midsole is more for rope climbs. The newer Flyknit material would probably rip after a few rope climbs making the Hyperfuse upper ideal. After a few weeks of use, the shoes almost look brand new. The excellent shoe quality is what I expect from Nike.

Performance

My first workout in the Metcon 1 was great for a performance test. It was a FGB style workout with wall balls, thrusters, rowing, double unders, burpees and box jumps. Throughout the workout the shoes held up great. I felt stable during all movements. I had no problem jumping during box jumps, it also had a slight spring. The shoes perform well during heavy oly lifts and heavy squats. I felt stable in the bottom position of the lift and the shoe didn’t give as much as I was expecting. The insole is a little thick but the heel area felt solid during lifts. The shoes have great grip and the sticky rubber soles are indeed sticky. I didn’t feel my feet slide around during split jerks or lunges. The midsole grip felt great during rope climbs and the upper held up. Checking the shoes after, it didn’t have any scratches or tears.

During a run however, I noticed most of the flaws of this shoe. My feet felt heavier during runs and the rigidness of the sole is not comfortable. If I know running will be programmed for the day I will use different shoes.

Final Thoughts

The Metcon 1 is a great shoe and is now my favorite shoe to use during CrossFit. It covers almost all workouts except for running. They are holding up well and if I wipe them down with a damp cloth, they will look good as new. I’ve read that the newer versions of the Metcon 1 have some changes to material and construction. I plan to get another pair in another color, and I will update this post if I think the changes will make a difference. My next shoe review will be on the Fastlift 335. Hopefully it will be done in a few weeks. If you have any questions or comments, enter them below.

Lift Heavy and Level Up!

Review: Inov-8 F-Lite 235

My Nano 3s and Inov-8 Bare-XF 210s will not last forever. A year of CrossFit has taken a toll on them and the wear is starting to show. I was leaning towards the new Nano 4s but the design of the new Inov-8 F-Lite 235s caught my eye. I own a few pairs of Inov-8 shoes and I’m satisfied with their quality. My fiance purchased a pair for my birthday and I’ve been using them in the majority of my workouts ever since.

Looks, Fit and Sizing
The colorway and design of the 235s are very unique. It has a “yin yang” design with half the shoe being one of the two colors. The materials and construction feel solid and the Rope-Tec blends in well with the shoe. Using my 210s as a reference my fiance ordered the shoes in my actual size. The shoe fits well and better than my 210s. The toe box doesn’t feel as wide as the Nano 3s but it has plenty of room for your toes. They feel lighter than the Nano 3s and slightly heavier than the 210s. The shoe feels flexible enough for running and stiff enough for lifting making it an ideal shoe for any WOD.

Performance
I decided to do some squats and deadlifts to test out how these shoes handle lifts. I used a moderate weight when lifting and didn’t try to max out. These shoes were great and handle lifts well. They perform just as well as my Nano 3s. I didn’t feel the soles compress during heavy lifts and the shoe felt stable throughout.

After running in the 235s for a few weeks I have nothing but good things to say. I used a couple of 400m runs to test run performance. The 235s have a zero-drop profile and with the sticky rubber sole provide a lot of grip. I was concerned that the shoes would feel like the Nano 3s, thankfully that was not the case. The shoe grips the pavement well, only felt a slight slip when running through a wet area. My box doesn’t program rope climbs regularly and a rope is not set up at the box. I will update this post with any info on how the shoe holds up to rope climbs.

After using these shoes regularly for four months, I can say they are holding up well. The construction is solid, and the wear is not that noticeable. The quality is what I’ve come to expect from an Inov-8 product. The versatility of the F-Lite 235s is its strongest selling point. It does well in lifts and its a good shoe for shot to medium distance runs. I hope they release a few more colorways, black and red would look awesome.

If you have any questions, leave a comment at the bottom. Next on the review list is the Inov-8 Fastlifts and the Nike Metcon 1s and strength wraps.