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If You Only Buy One Pair of Gym Sneakers, Make It These

An all-purpose gym shoe for any kind of workout.

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Nike Metcon 3 Sneakers
Nike Metcon 3 Sneakers ($130)

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When it comes to working out, I’m all about variety. From boxing and barre to powerlifting and Pilates, you name it, I've probably done it. But all that cross-training can cause serious dilemmas, especially in the footwear department.

Traditionally, you have running shoes for running, spinning shoes for spinning, lifting shoes for lifting, etc. If you tend to stick to one type of workout, this doesn’t present much of a problem. But if you’re a fitness chameleon like myself, lugging around multiple pairs of shoes to the gym is both impractical and inefficient. I need gear that will take me from the bike to the treadmill to the squat rack without a complete costume change.

Enter the Nike Metcon 3. I first heard about this shoe under somewhat mythical circumstances. Various athletes and Instagrammers known for their #fitspo kept talking about how the Metcon was “changing the game.” Billed as the essential all-purpose gym shoe, the Metcon enabled you to, allegedly, do it all: run a few miles, hit spin class, and then crush a couple rounds of burpees and box jumps. Could such a magical thing even exist? It seemed too good to be true.

After incessant hint-dropping and shoulder-nudging, my boyfriend gave me my first pair of Metcons for Valentine’s Day last year. And, in the words of fellow Nike loyalist Drake, nothing was the same.

For starters, the hype is legitimate. The Metcon is, indeed, a game changer. It is the crème de la crème of trainers. The sneakers make my gym-going experience as effortless as possible. Instead of spending time obsessing over which shoes to pack, I can throw in my Metcons and know that no matter what my workout looks like that day, I’ll be in good shape.

They’re perfect for sprints, snatches, stretches, and everything between. The soles provide ample support, and Nike’s futuristic-sounding Flywire technology quite literally locks feet in place, so you aren’t continually retying laces to make them snugger and more secure. The Metcon is an absolute must-have for all my lifters out there — the flat platform and rubber heel help you dig into the floor and maintain stability while you’re working on those deadlift PRs.

Besides being brilliantly functional, the Metcon is also super sleek and stylish. The latest iteration, the Metcon 3, comes in an assortment of colorways. For the minimalist, there’s classic black and white. I’m currently digging the lava glow/paramount blue palette, but I’m also tempted to splurge on a pair that’s completely customized. For an extra $40, you can design one-of-a-kind Metcons, right down to the shade of the iconic swoosh.