Just in time for the CrossFit Games 2019 both Nike and Reebok have released new versions of their cross training shoes.
These are going to be the most popular choices for CrossFit training shoes in 2019.
Let’s find out how these shoes compare.
The Reebok Nano 9 was released earlier in the year — and it’s a great improvement on last year’s Nano 8 shoe.
But now Nike has released the Nike Metcon 5 — and a special Mat Fraser Edition to kick things off.
How do these two shoes stack up? That’s what we’ll discuss here.
Let’s start with the “Upper.”
That’s the part that covers your foot. Both use a breathable mesh that is re-enforced for durability.
Reebok uses what they call “Flexweave” and Nike describes their material as a “Haptic 3D print on mesh material”.
Both are comfortable and breathable.
They are also both very tough, thanks to those materials.
One thing that people love about the Reebok Nano line — the toe box up front is very wide.
And as you can see, that’s still the case with the Nano 9. It’s clearly wider than that of the Metcon 5.
From here you can also see that both these shoes are low-cut. They don’t come up very high on your ankle. That is to ensure they don’t interfere with mobility.
Both shoes have a very rigid heel — and that’s great for lifting weights.
You don’t want a mushy, compressible heel on a shoe when you are doing heavy squats and deadlifts.
Both also feature relatively low-drag heel clips — this ensures you can do HSPUs (Hand Stand Push Ups) with minimum of drag against the wall.
One thing you can’t quite see in the picture above — Nike has increased the cushioning in the tongue of the Metcon 5 (as compared to the Metcon 4), but the Nano 9 has much more cushion in the tongue.
Let’s take a look at the soles of the shoes.
Both use a high traction rubber.
Both are primarily meant for indoor traction, as the tread depth isn’t very deep.
You can see that the Metcon 5 has side to side pre-formed flex grooves — where the Nano 9 does not.
This makes the Metcon 5 more flexible in the forefoot — this can be important for running, box jumps, jump rope, double unders, etc.
Both shoes have a 4mm “heel to toe drop” — the difference in height between your heels and your toes (also called the “offset”.)
This makes for a very versatile shoe — the low drop is good for lifting weights but also sprinting, running, and jumping.
But, the Metcon 5 comes with “hyperlifts”. These removable inserts let you add 8mm of heel raise when you want it. (6mm for Women’s sizes).
The hyperlifts are shown here as the orange wedges to the right of the shoes.
Another advantage of the Metcon 5 — Nike’s Flywire is back.
These are super-tough, but lightweight, Vectran filaments that integrate with the laces and run through the body of the shoe.
When you tight the laces, they pull tight on the Flywire and it makes for a more locked in fit.
Another benefit of the Nike Metcon 5 — the wrap around outsole, which Nike calls the “Rope Wrap.”
This is now bigger than ever — and has a directional tread pattern to aid in rope climbing grip.
The Nano 9 is a tough shoe, and can be used to climb ropes, but not quite as well as the Metcon 5.
In summary, I’d have to say both are excellent shoes.
If you liked the Nano 8 — you are going to like the Nano 9.
And if you liked the Metcon 4 XD, you will like the Metcon 5.
Here’s a whole lot of photos for your viewing pleasure.