The amount of impact functional fitness is having in the shoe industry is becoming more and more apparent. What was once just a niche market, is now becoming a staple category, and everyone is trying to get a piece of the action. Training shoes have been around forever, but not everyone was actually listening to what users actually need for an effective shoe. Many times you’d just end up with rehashes of whatever the company’s popular running shoes were. Running shoes=cushion. Cushion=ineffective for training.
Asics, one of the most longstanding and popular brands of running shoes heeds the call for effective training shoes with the Met-Conviction. If you can get past the silly name, the shoes are actually very good trainers. What exactly do you need for a great training shoe?
The Met-Convictions come in at 8.8oz, making them lighter than both the Nike Metcons and the Nano 5.0’s. This is especially apparent when running and doing plyometric movements.
The entire vamp on the Met-Cons is part a seamless nylon rip-stop fabric with an synthetic rubber overlay, similar to what you’d see on the Nano 4.0; just without it being so pronounced. The toe-cap area is a little bit thicker and harder than the rest of the upper. Since the overlay is a bit thinner, it doesn’t interfere with the flexibility of the shoe so nothing ever becomes uncomfortable. The outsole uses Asics High Abrasion Rubber Plus, which is 50% more durable than their standard one. I’ve never owned another pair of Asics training shoes so I can’t really comment on this, only time will tell, but it seems to be holding up just fine.
Flat shoes without much cushioning are preferred for training purposes because you want to be able to press away from the ground with as little fodder as possible. In my eyes, anything that is in the way between my foot and the ground is performance hindering, unless it’s TPU or wood. That being said, you need to be somewhat comfortable wearing the shoes so there is some give and take. The midsole uses Asics SpEVA cushioning to provide some kind of comfort while retaining a solid lifting platform. It’s a little bit more of a forgiving shoe that Nano’s are, but not so much that it would be performance hindering. The best comparison is to the Speed TR’s which are almost identical to the Met-Cons in both fit and performance; though I feel like the Asics are slightly lower to the ground.
All of these things wouldn’t be worth a damn if the shoe didn’t feel good and perform well, but Asics manages to combine everything in one great training shoe. Does it do anything astoundingly better than whats already out there, no. What it does do is give you more options for training shoes, and though it’s not technologically more advanced than other shoes, it helps pave the way for more manufacturers to start listening up for when it comes to trainers.
The actual retail is $110, which puts them around the same price as the popular brands, but with a little searching you can get them for a lot less than that. If you were looking for something different but you didn’t want to sacrifice performance, the Asics Met-Convictions are worthy of your time.