Nike React Metcon Turbo 2 Shoes Review
by iRUN Singapore on May 25, 2022
Weight: 350g / 12.4oz (US 9.5 Men’s)
Price: $239 SGD
Pros & Cons
Great for Circuit Training
Heel Collar May Cause Ankle Rubbing
Not The Best For Heavy Lifts
I am relatively new to the training shoe scene, coming from a runner’s background. So, I’ll try to review this to the best of my ability. The only other training shoe that I have tried so far is the Under Armour Tribase 3. It is definitely much more stable than any running shoe that I have tried, though not suitable for running (even short distances).
The Nike React Metcon Turbo is mainly designed for activities such as circuits, gym and HIIT training. It comes in at 350grams for my size US 9.5, which is heavier than most running shoes, probably due to the amount of rubber used. However, weight is less of a factor when it comes to training shoes. This review will explore how the Nike React Metcon Turbo 2 compares to the Tribase and other running shoes in a gym setting.
Upper & Fit
The upper is made of a rigid mesh. This mesh feels durable and structured to the touch. It gave the shoe a good amount of structure, which prevented my feet from spilling off the sides throughout my workouts. It is not as pliable as that on the Tribase 3 but offers a significant advantage in terms of airflow. My feet would sweat a decent amount in the Tribase, but not here. The upper is further reinforced with a midfoot wrap that further increases the structure of the shoe. While the tongue is relatively thin, the laces are soft, so I did not encounter any problems with lace pressure.
Here comes my biggest gripe about the Metcon Turbo 2: the ankle collar. The collar is rigid, and it cut into my ankles when wearing them. I didn’t have that much of a problem on most days, but on days my ankle was on the sensitive side it would automatically give it blisters. This made walking around in these almost impossible. I’m sure that this does not happen for everyone, so give this a try in-store when you have the chance.
100% of the cushioning comes from the react insole, hence ‘react’ in the shoe name. It is fairly thick and comes with a midfoot plastic piece for torsional stability and an Air Zoom pod on the forefoot for responsiveness.
On foot, the Metcon Turbo 2 is evidently more cushioned than the Tribase 3, but less cushioned than what you would find on a typical running shoe. This brings in several pros and cons. Because of the midsole cushioning, the Metcon Turbo 2 is great for sprints and jumps (the Air Zoom pod makes these activities quite enjoyable). Those who are into HIIT training or skipping will enjoy the stability and decent cushioning that it provides.
Heavy lifting is where the shoe doesn’t do that well. I’m keeping in mind that the shoe isn’t designed for heavy lifting. It handles moderate weights for squats and deadlifts but gets quite unstable when I start to max out on these lifts. This is understandable as the react insole is relatively squishy, and the forefoot air unit accentuates this instability. That said, the Metcon Turbo 2 still performs much better than any running shoe for gym work. The stability it offers is a trade-off; it feels a little flat while running, but you would feel more confident in doing your gym exercises in this.
Outsole & Durability
The outsole is quite unique! It has a particular geometry of hard rubber on both the forefoot and heel (looks like a diamond pattern?) which adds overall lateral stability. The middle part of the outsole is a soft, grippy rubber that Nike calls a “rope wrap”. This rubber extends upwards on both the medial and lateral sides. The rubber is meant to help individuals by providing extra grip with their rope climbs. Unfortunately, my gym does not have climbing ropes so I had no chance to test this out.
So far, durability seems pretty good. I put my shoes through quite a bit of ‘torture’ and this one is holding up well.
Areas of Improvement
Softer heel collar
A more consistent sizing
If you are mainly focusing on gym/HIIT work, the Nike Zoom Metcon Turbo 2 is an excellent option for your exercise needs. It works well for most things indoors. Please don’t use this for your runs outdoor, it's not meant for that!
Reviewed by Xtride Running
Check out the Nike React Metcon Turbo 2 here