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The right pair of shoes can make or break a workout. Whether you’re a fan of strongman training, classic bodybuilding, powerlifting, running, CrossFit — maybe all of these or maybe a different discipline entirely — you’ll know how important your shoes are to your session.

However, kitting yourself out in the right wheels can be a hard decision to make, especially if your go-to workout varies from session to session. It’s the complex issue that the Nike Metcon range – the world’s most formidable training shoe – is here to solve.

This year, the Nike Metcon 7 has landed with a thud: it’s the toughest, most reactive and most stable iteration of the Metcon family, which is already the gold standard for durable training and weightlifting shoes.

As ever, the flat and stable sole keeps you grounded during compound lifts. In the Metcon 7, however, Nike has added a flat heel with an inner plate to distribute weight from edge to edge — particularly handy during squats, deadlifts and presses — alongside an added flex for gassy cardio intervals. Providing a more stable platform over its predecessor, the Metcon 7 is the latest step Nike has taken to blend the Metcon line with their weightlifting options, including the Nike Romaleos.

For those inclined to redline their heart rate from time to time, Nike has also injected the Metcon 7 line with their trademark React foam. Usually exclusive to its running shoes, React gives a more comfortable and cushioned support that feels lightweight, springy and reactive when you’re shifting gears from heaving tin to short sprints or metabolic machine work.

Revamped rubber wraps on the Metcon 7 stop the shoes from being damaged after abrasive exercises

A new lace tab locks down the laces with a hook-and-loop closure

If you’re used to such environments, you’ll know the Metcon 6 was Nike’s most breathable training shoe yet. Thankfully, the Metcon 7 also uses a similarly lightweight mesh to keep your foot cool without compromising on the shoe’s structure or integrity. It’s welcome news for those who don’t want their kit to compromise their form or safety.

Elsewhere, smaller details are designed with functional fitness fans in mind. A rubber wrap on either side of the shoe protects the outer layer from abrasive rope climbs; a rear foot ‘clip’ minimises drag during handstands and a ‘flywire’ cable system keeps your mid-foot secure when you’re going hard.

As members of the Metcon family will notice, the silhouette of the Metcon 7 is similar to that of Metcon 4, but the technology and attention to detail is lightyears ahead. That the Metcons, as always, come in a range of colourways — including a mean black and gun metal mix, the standard block colourway and a hot red — is a welcome addition for those wanting to up their gym style.

In short, the Metcon 7 could be the greatest thing to happen to your gym bag in 2021. Strap in.

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