Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 Vs. Nike Metcon 9: Who Wins?

Written By Sunny

Forget treadmills; CrossFit training is the actual battlefield, and your artillery is shoes like Nike Metcons or Adidas Dropset Trainer.

Both companies claim their trainer kicks are forged in battle and built to conquer box jumps, deadlifts, and whatnot. But we shoe fanatics know very well there’s a clear difference between PR talks and real-world experience.adidas-dropset-trainer-2-vs-nike-metcon-9

With that said, let’s find out whether the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 or Nike Metcon 9 deserves your hard-earned money.

An Overview of Adidas Dropset 2 Trainer and Nike Metcon 9

CrossFit training sessions ask a lot from you and your shoes due to high-performance activities.

Hence, if the training shoes are not up to the tasks, they can start working against you rather than helping you excel.

Nike released their Metcon lineup to meet this challenging demand, pioneering a dedicated CrossFit footwear.

Since then, they’ve released new iterations each year, with the latest being the Metcon 9.

Adidas quickly followed suit with their Dropset Trainer series and introduced Dropset Trainer 2 in 2023 as a direct competition of Metcon 9 from Nike.

The long-running name and years of footwear experience also helped Adidas catch up in the CrossFit trainer market.

Technical Comparison Between Nike Metcon 9 and Adidas Dropset 2

It goes without saying that the key technical aspects between these two kicks from the two brands are quite different. Getting familiar with such variances is important before we can discuss all the nitty-gritty of the trainers.

Let the technical shoe-down between Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 and Nike Metcon 9 begin:

FeaturesAdidas Dropset Trainer 2Nike Metcon 9
PurposeHIIT, plyometrics, weightlifting (lighter weights)Weightlifting, high-impact training, box jumps
Weight9.85oz for men’s US 10 size13.55oz for men’s US 10 size
Upper materialMore breathable mesh and TPULess breathable mesh and TPU
Toe boxWiderStandard
MidsoleBoost foam and TPUReact foam and TPU
StabilityWide platform with heel clipInternal wedge with heel clip

While these technical dissimilarities may not seem much at a glance, trust me, they significantly impact gym activities.

Differences Between Adidas Dropset 2 and Nike Metcon 9

Certain aspects, like the rubberized outsole of Metcon 9 and Dropset 2, might seem similar in theory, but the use of different technology gives a completely different user experience.

And that’s not all!

After using both of these trainers for quite some time, I have noticed many genre-defining dissimilarities that every potential buyer should know about.

The key differences between the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 and Nike Metcon 9 are:

1. Design and Aesthetics

When you put both pairs side by side, you can tell right away that these kicks cater to different tastes in the CrossFit community.

The simple lines, contrasting colors, sleek and minimal aesthetic of the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 have a wider appeal. It almost offers a more versatile style that can be taken beyond the box.

On the other hand, Nike offers a wider range of colorways and bolder combinations in its Metcon 9 while retaining its modern look.

The one thing where Nike takes things up to a whole new level is personalization.

If you visit Nike’s website, you can tune these kicks to your heart’s content.

From the tongue/lining to rope wrap, you can mix & match every single sight of these shoes and show off your creativity.tongue-of-adidas-dropset-trainer-2-and-nike-metcon-9

With regards to the rope wrap (also known as rope guard), both shoes have their own unique designs and patterns, with the Metcon 9 featuring an extended TPU rope guard on the inner side.rope-guard-of-adidas-dropset-trainer-2-and-nike-metcon-9This extended rope guard on the NIke’s serves a greater purpose in rope climbing performance, but more on that later.

I’d definitely go for Metcon 9, as the custom colorways give a special treatment that the Adidas Dropset 2 can’t. That also comes in handy if you want a versatile shoe for everyday wear.

2. Upper Construction

The upper build of a training shoe plays a vital role when you’re breaking a sweat in a gym.

That’s why any pro athlete would recommend buying a pair that has a supportive and breathable upper.

Conversely, the Metcon 9 offers great support and protection by utilizing a combination of TPU, leather, and mesh.

Such materials provide a satisfying experience in lateral movements and heavy lifting.

The downside?

You get slightly less breathability, which can be a deal breaker for those who have sweaty feet like mine.

The Dropset 2 solves this issue with a more breathable mesh and textile lining that prioritizes airflow and flexibility. Besides, this contributes to the lighter weight of this model, which we’ll discuss later.

It also has a rubber overlay throughout the medial and lateral heel for added support.

Hence, the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 has a clear edge in upper construction as it boasts a nice, breathable material without sacrificing support.

3. Midsole and Outsole Technology

Each of the aforementioned shoes boasts unique technology in their mid and outsole to propel your cross-training experience.

Here’s how they differ:


Both Nike and Adidas utilize their proprietary midsole in the Metcon 9 and Dropset Trainer 2.

The Nike Metcon 9 offers the in-house React foam technology, which prioritizes control and support above all.

To me, the cushioning was firm and stable enough to do weightlifting or heavy squats without any issues.

On the flip side, the Dropset 2 Trainer is powered by Adidas’ iconic Boost foam, renowned for its responsiveness and excellent energy return.

The springy, cushioned feel I got from these kicks felt more suitable for HIIT workouts or plyometrics than Nike’s kick.


Both Metcon 9 and Dropset 2 have a tough rubber outsole with strategically placed tread patterns.outsole-of-adidas-dropset-trainer-2-and-nike-metcon-9

To be honest, there are no apparent differences in real-world performance between the competing shoes regarding the outsole.

Both offer adequate traction on any surface and grip on any rope, thanks to the reinforced rope guards available in both kicks.

Additionally, I never had any awkward encounters in my local gym. Neither of these kicks ever lost a grip, whether the gym surface was wet or polished.

While they both might have a similar result for the outsole, the Dropset 2 manages to come out on top due to the versatility offered by its midsole material.

4. Fit and Comfort

If the trainer doesn’t fit properly or feels uncomfortable during workouts, it can limit your sessions and introduce fatigue after daily wear.

And the fit and comfort can be elaborated into certain aspects, like toe box, tongue, lacing, etc.

Toe box

Since I have a wider forefoot, I had a great experience with the wider toe cap of Adidas Dropset 2.

Not that the Metcon has a narrow toe box, but the soft and comfortable upper material of the Dropset gives a more roomier feel.

Both shoes are true-to-size, with some exceptions. But I’d still recommend going a half size up for Metcon 9 due to the toe box difference.


I’m using men’s size 10 for both of these kicks, and the Dropset 2 feels a lot lighter than the Metcon 9.

Being around 3oz lighter, the Adidas Trainer 2 felt airy and nimble on my feet, which came in handy for jumping or HIIT (high-intensity interval training) workouts.

Frankly speaking, Nike falls short in this scenario.

Tongue and Lacing

Both shoes have a gusseted tongue with mesh padding. As a result, they both offer great midfoot support.

However, the tongue on Dropset 2 is slightly thinner, giving the user a bit more roomier feel without sacrificing stability.

And the upper hand doesn’t end there!

Adidas Dropset 2 has six eyelets lacing system with two additional eyelets for midfoot lockdown. Meanwhile, the Nike Metcon 9 has a traditional lacing system with five eyelets.

Not to mention, the Dropset 2 has a higher collar with extra padding than the Metcon 9 and a pull strap, which is completely missing on the Nike’s pair.collar-of-adidas-dropset-trainer-2

In conclusion, the reduced weight and softer material of the Dropset 2 contribute significantly to its exceptional fit and comfort on the field. This cannot be said of the Metcon 9.

5. Cross-Training Performance

A training shoe’s value lives and dies with its cross-training performance.

That can be determined by checking how well it holds up in heavy lifting, squatting, box jumping, and climbing.

Conversely, Metcon 9 and Dropset 2 have particular strengths and weaknesses in specific CrossFit moves.


The dual-density midsole on both Dropset and Metcon kicks provides adequate stability for general strength work.

During the 500lbs deadlift, I noticed that the Dropset 2 has a stiffer heel and a more responsive forefoot, making it more suitable for heavy leg press.

Neither shoe had glaring stability issues in heavy unilateral leg works or squats.

Box Jumping

With a broader profile, both kicks have excellent support and cushioning for box jumps or jump ropes.

Having said that, the bouncy Boost foam of the Metcon 9 had an overall better feel, but by a small margin.

Rope Climbing

The well-built rope guards and textured outsole of Metcon 9 and Dropset 2 had no issues climbing any ropes.

But Metcon gets a slight edge in this regard thanks to its extended rope guard from the break and support from a slightly thicker upper.

Agility and Versatility in Exercise

Agility is a huge plus point for the Adidas Dropset Trainer 2.

After using this pair for versatile cross-training moves, it became evident that this shoe is well-tailored for athletes and gym freaks. The breathable, lightweight upper and well-cushioned dual-density midsole perfectly blend the stability and versatility.

What I liked most about these kicks was the outsole ventilation, which kept my feet dry in the hot environment of my local gym.adidas-dropset-2-outsole-ventilation

Contrarily, the Metcon 9 performed better in forefoot-focused workouts, like jump ropes or skater strides. But it falls short when it comes to overall versatility.

If only the heel counter weren’t so clunky!

In short, for any athletic style training, the Adidas Dropset 2 is clearly a better pick than Nike’s offering, especially when considering the breathability for daily wear.

6. Durability in Long Runs

Despite being less breathable, the upper material of Nike shoes is much more abrasion-resistant than Adidas kicks.

After using both trainers for over 5 months, I’m already seeing some wear and tear on the Dropset 2 Trainer’s upper.

The outsole extends outwards to provide toe protection in both Metcon and Dropset. So, I don’t think you need to worry about ripping around the toe cap for either of these shoes.

I also haven’t noticed any rips or tears in the rubber outsoles.

However, I haven’t taken any of these shoes on challenging terrain as neither is suitable for running.

Overall, the Nike Metcon 9 offers better long-term support in comparison with the Dropset.

7. Price to Value Proposition

While both of the shoes are widely available, each has a different price point. The factory default Nike Metcon 9 can set you back around 150 to 160 bucks.

But if you want to flare up these shoes, you’ll have to dish out around $190, which can seem reasonable to certain fashion freaks.

Meanwhile, the around $130 tag of Dropset Trainer 2 positions it at a much more reasonable price point, considering the more lavish performance range.

So, the Dropset 2 gets an easy win for its value proposition, which is good news for beginner athletes.

Strengths and Weaknesses of Adidas Dropset 2 and Nike Metcon 9

The in-depth discussion may need to shed proper light on the advantages and disadvantages that each shoe brings to the table.

That’s why it’s also essential to go through the below-listed pros and cons of Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 and Nike Metcon 9.

Adidas Dropset Trainer 2

  • »More lightweight.
  • »Wider toe cap.
  • »More supportive cushioning.
  • »Less expensive.
  • »Decent for short runs.
  • »More breathable upper material.
  • »Less stable.
  • »Less durable.

Nike Metcon 9

  • »Suitable for natural foot strikes.
  • »More stable.
  • »Better ankle support.
  • »More durable.
  • »Make your own design.
  • »Slightly heavier.
  • »Blocky heel.
  • »Less responsive cushioning.
  • »More expensive.

If these highlights didn’t quench your thirst, move on to the verdict to get a conclusive answer.

Adidas Dropset Trainer 2 vs Nike Metcon 9: Which is Superior for You?

If you want an all-rounder cross-training champion that can withstand any activity you throw at it, go for the Adidas Dropset 2 Trainer. The plush cushioning and a moderate stack height add an extra layer of support and stability for heavy lifting, jumping, climbing, or burping.

To be frank, the Nike Metcon 9 is also a good CrossFit kick for lots of athletes or lifters, especially with its customization.

But it falls short of providing a satisfying performance range that we saw in Dropset.

And that argument becomes even more powerful when you consider the pricing of both shoes.

Nonetheless, you should always try out these shoes from a physical storefront before purchasing.

You can’t rely on online suggestions as each of us has our unique foot structure. No matter how worthy your footwear is, if it doesn’t adjust to your workout style, you won’t be satisfied with it.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are Metcon 9s good for running?

The Nike Metcon 9 is a durable and supportive footwear. So, you can run in them to a degree. But I wouldn’t recommend them as they are primarily made for indoor workouts.

Can you run in an Adidas Dropset Trainer?

Yes. You can run in an Adidas Dropset Trainer as they have decent cushioning and arch support for a short running session. But they aren’t ideal for long sessions.

Why are Nike Metcons popular?

Over the last few years, Nike Metcon shoes have proven to be a reliable choice for training and workouts while offering a broader versatility in design. That’s why these footwear are among the most popular trainers on the market.

About The Author
Sunny is all about action and activities. He finds it difficult to contain himself. Be it motorcycling, playing football, or exploring the great outdoors, he loves to keep his legs busy.Sunny quickly realized the importance of footwear to keep himself going healthily. This was when he decided to share all his knowledge and expertise regarding different footwear and their significance.Now, he’s on a mission with this humble platform by his side. With time he plans on doing bigger and better things.Apart from his writing and other hobbies, he loves spending time with his cat Sophie. He loves to cook for his friends and family too.

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