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Nike Metcon vs Romaleos Review – Which Gym Shoe is Right for You?

metcon 8 vs romaleos

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Key Takeaways

  • Nike Metcon 8 is a more versatile, all-around training shoe, while Romaleos 4 is more specialized for weightlifting.
  • You have to consider your specific training needs when choosing between these two models, as performance varies with each shoe type.
  • Be mindful of sizing, fit, and cost when selecting either Nike Metcon 8 or Romaleos 4 for your workouts.

The Nike Metcons and Romaleos are two training shoes with major differences. I’ve been lucky enough to get my hands on both of these shoes.

Now I know, the differences are obvious to many.

One is a pure weightlifting shoe and the other is a CrossFit focused, all-rounder of a training shoe.

But some of you may wonder, ‘do I need weightlifting shoes, or should I buy an all-round training shoe like the new Metcons?’ Probably one of the most popular all-round cross training shoes on the market today.

Romaleos 1

Here’s where I’m coming from when it comes to the Metcon vs Romaleos.

I’ve always done squats and deadlifts and other activities like running, jumping etc. within my gym workouts.

I have owned and tested several pairs of the Nike Metcons…

But when it comes to which one you should buy between the Metcons and the Romaleos, it really depends on what your workouts are like…

Bottom line
metcon 8 squats
Metcon 8
* Lightweight and flexible.
* Comfortable for long periods.
* Versatile.
* Not as supportive as a devoted weightlifting shoe.
* Heel protrusion can make running longer distances uncomfortable.
Bottom line
The Nike Metcon is more of an all-round training shoe, they work well for gym workouts, HIIT, CrossFit.

romaleo Shoe Shot
* Great build quality. These will last a long time.
* Slightly heavy but I actually think it helps.
* Not an all-rounder – Strictly weightlifting only, but perform very well.
Bottom line
The Nike Romaleo 4 is a hard sturdy no-nonsense weightlifting shoe.
Impressive durability and build quality. Which explains why they are a very strong contender in the weightlifting shoe space.

Metcons Vs Romaleos – What is the Difference?

Metcon 8

To put it simply, the Nike Metcon is a training shoe designed for high intensity workouts and functional fitness activities. It has a low profile design with a flat, stable heel, a flexible forefoot, and a more responsive cushioning system.

The Metcon shoe’s upper is made from a breathable mesh material and features a secure fit with Flywire cables and a heel clip for added stability. The outsole is made from a hard durable rubber material and features a sticky tread pattern for traction on a variety of surfaces.

Romaleo 4

The Nike Romaleo 4 is a weightlifting shoe designed for heavy lifting and powerlifting exercises. It has a high profile design with a raised heel and a very sturdy platform for stability during squats and other lifts.

The upper is made from a tough-wearing woven material and features a lace-up and velcro securing system for a very secure fit. The outsole is made from a solid rubber material and features a flat, non-marking tread pattern for stability on the lifting platform.

The Romaleos Are My First Pair of Weightlifting Shoes

metcons vs Romaleos-fx

When it comes to weightlifting shoes, I’ve never owned a pair.

I’ve always thought that because I’m not a powerlifter or I’m not going for any sort of serious Olympic strength record that I don’t really need to spend money on a specific pair of shoes that I only wear for two exercises.

So I carried on with my regular shoes, my Metcons and Converse Chuck Taylors. 

I decided one day that if a pair of weightlifting shoes would enable me to train with better form and also enable me to improve my output, then they would be a worthy investment.

Key Features Comparison


Support and Stability

The Nike Metcon is more of a versatile training shoe, offering good support in a variety of movements.

The thing is that the support is not as strong as a dedicated weightlifting shoe, which make it less suitable for heavy lifting sessions.

On the other hand, the Nike Romaleos 4 is specifically designed for weightlifting, providing excellent support and stability through its raised heel and reinforced midfoot.

Key Takeaways:

Nike Metcon

  • Lightweight and flexible.
  • Suitable for varied movements.
  • Not as supportive as a dedicated weightlifting shoe.

Nike Romaleos

  • Top-notch support and stability.
  • Raised heel for better ankle mobility in lifts.
  • Reinforced midfoot section.

Comfort and Fit

Romaleos 3

The Nike Metcon has got a more comfortable fit, I actually think in more recent times the Metcon has become overall more soft as an overall shoe.

This can make it a better choice for longer training sessions and cross-training workouts.

The Nike Romaleos however are also comfortable, but with their focus on stability and support it makes them somewhat less comfortable for prolonged use or for anything other than just lifting.

The Romaleos are strictly for lifting activities only.

Key Takeaways:

Nike Metcon

  • A lot more comfortable for longer periods.
  • Suitable for various cross-training activities.

Nike Romaleos

  • Comfortable, yet focuses on stability and support.
  • Less suitable for extensive running or jumping.

Outsole and Traction

is the New Nike Metcon 7 worth it 8

Both the Metcon 8 and Romaleos 4 have outsoles designed for excellent traction on gym surfaces.

They both work very well for their suggested uses. The Metcon has a slightly more flexible outsole, which is better suited for multi-directional movements, while the Romaleos 4 features a wide, flat outsole to provide maximum stability during weightlifting sessions.

Key Takeaways:

Nike Metcon 8

  • A more flexible outsole which works better for multi-directional movements.
  • Good traction on gym surfaces.

Nike Romaleos 4

  • Wide, flat outsole for maximum stability.
  • Excellent traction during weightlifting.
  • Overall makes you feel secure in all of your lifts.

Durability and Materials

metcon 8 review 00

The Nike Metcons are made with high-quality materials and are designed to withstand a lot of the rigors of you’d expect from varied cross-training sessions.

They feature a durable upper, a cushioned foam midsole, and a solid outsole. The Nike Romaleos 4 is likewise built with sturdy materials to endure the demands of weightlifting.

They have a more reinforced toe box, midfoot, and outsole to ensure longevity.

Key Takeaways:

Nike Metcon 8

  • The Metcon is made of good-quality materials.
  • The upper is lightweight and flexible while still maintaining a good level of durability. They also have a solid outsole.
  • Cushioned foam midsole which adds to their comfort for long workouts.

Nike Romaleos 4

  • Made for the demands of weightlifting.
  • Reinforced toe box, midfoot, and outsole that overall gives you a very solid feel.
  • Long-lasting construction, many users report their Romaleos lasting a very long time.

Nike Metcons vs Romaleos – What Do They Feel Like?

Metcon 8

The most obvious and noticeable difference from the first moment I tried both of these shoes out is how sturdy the Romaleos 4 weightlifting shoes are.

The Romaleos feel like they weigh probably a third more than the Metcon 8 do and they have no spring or bounce in them.

Exactly what you expect. They’re like anchors holding you down and keeping you planted in place.

The Romaleos 4 are not just a hard and heavy shoe though; they hug my feel and make me feel very supported.

I have a slight pronation in my feet and the arch area in particular gets a good level of support.

There is of course as you can see from the outside of the shoe a slight lift in the heel. 0.75 inches to be exact.

metcon vs romaleos metcon 6 vs romaleos 4 review best weightlifting shoe best cross fit shoe
The 0.75 inch heel height may take some adjusting to.

The raised heel on the Romaleos really helps the lower back when squatting and for me, it makes me feel more comfortable and I feel like I can squat more weight because my feet feel so planted, supported and secure.

Romaleo 4 Sizing Problems?

When it comes to sizing, Some have mentioned heel slip with these, and that you may need to order a half size or even a full size down. But I cannot say I have experienced anything like that myself.

I actually think that could be down to not buying the correct size. I haven’t experienced any slipping at all; but still, do make sure you try before you buy.

Romaleo 4 Materials

The most noticeable elements you will see with these is the thickness and the hardness of the materials used, namely the front of the shoe and the ankle area, these materials seem really well stitched and durable, however.

I can’t say much about the durability of these in comparison to other models of the Romaleos as this is my first ever pair, but I will say that the materials used and the stitching seem really strong and hard-wearing from touch and feel.

Now when I switched back to the Metcons, the difference was of course night and day. 

At the heavier end of the squat workout I was doing comfortably in the Romaleos, when I switched to the Metcons and tried squatting the same weight, I just didn’t have the same ability to carry out the squat.

metcon vs romaleos review

At that moment I realized that when it comes to Metcons vs Romaleos, I need the Romaleos in my life!

Metcons vs Romaleos – Summary

In summary, the main differences between the Nike Metcon 8 and the Nike Romaleo 4 are the type of training they are designed for and their overall design.

The Metcon 8 is geared towards functional fitness and high intensity workouts, while the Romaleo 4 is designed specifically for weightlifting and powerlifting. The Metcon 8 has a low profile design with a flexible forefoot and responsive cushioning, while the Romaleo 4 has a high profile design with a raised heel and a sturdy platform for stability during lifts.

Bottom line
metcon 8 squats
Metcon 8
Bottom line
The Nike Metcon 8 is a popular all-round training shoe, they work well for gym workouts, HIIT, Crossfit. It’s a top all-rounder that exceeded our expectations in all areas.

romaleo Shoe Shot
Bottom line
The Nike Romaleo 4 is a hard sturdy no-nonsense weightlifting shoe.
Impressive durability and build quality. Which explains why they are a very strong contender in the weightlifting shoe space.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do the Metcon 8 and Romaleos 4 compare in terms of support for weightlifting?

The Metcon 8 is a versatile training shoe that offers moderate support for weightlifting.

It’s more of a lightweight and flexible shoe, which allows for comfortable wear during prolonged periods but also for more activities.

The thing is it doesn’t provide as much support for lifting as a dedicated weightlifting shoe like the Romaleos 4 does.

The Romaleos 4 offers much better support as it has a sturdier and more rigid construction, making it a top choice for serious weightlifting sessions.

What are the main differences in design between the Metcon 8 and Romaleos 4?

The Nike Metcon 8 and Romaleos 4 differ in terms of design based on their intended purposes.

The Metcon 8 has a more flexible and lightweight construction to provide versatility for different types of workouts.

Whereas the Romaleos 4, on the other hand, is a dedicated weightlifting shoe with a heavier, more rigid construction to provide superior support and stability during heavy lifts.

Which shoe, Metcon 8 or Romaleos 4, performs better for running and cardio?

The Nike Metcon 8 is by far a more suitable option for running and cardio due to its more lightweight and flexible design.

This allows for a more comfortable experience when engaging in high-impact exercises.

The Romaleos 4 is a weightlifting shoe and will not be anywhere near as comfortable for running and cardio activities.

How does the fit and sizing compare between the Nike Metcon 8 and Romaleos 4?

The fit and sizing for both the Metcon 8 and Romaleos 4 are generally true to size.

However, the Metcon 8 tends to have a more streamlined and snug fit, while the Romaleos 4 may feel slightly roomier.

It’s essential to try on each shoe and evaluate the comfort level before purchasing, as individual preferences and foot shapes can vary.

You may feel your toes touch the tip when you wear the Romaleos, but this is normal.

Are the Metcon and Romaleos suitable for CrossFit training?

Both the Metcon and Romaleos can be used for CrossFit training.

The Metcon is more versatile, making it suitable for various types of exercises, while the Romaleos is a dedicated weightlifting shoe.

If your CrossFit workouts involve more weightlifting exercises, the Romaleos may be the better option.

But if you need a shoe that can handle multiple types of workouts, including cardio, then I would go for the Metcons.

Which shoe offers more stability between the Nike Metcon 8 and Romaleos 4?

The Nike Romaleos offers notably more stability than the Metcon due to its rigid and sturdy construction.

The Roms are specifically designed for weightlifting and providing support during heavy lifts.

The Metcon however, while still offering stability for various exercises, does not match the level of support that the Romaleos provides.

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