Nike Is Bringing Back One of Its ‘Banned’ Sneakers

The famous ‘Banned’ Metcon 1 is getting a retro.

Banned Nike Metcon 1
The original ‘Banned’ Nike Metcon 1 from 2015. Via Goat
Banned Nike Metcon 1

“Don’t ban our shoe. Beat our shoe.”

It was a simple rallying cry plastered across a truck’s trailer in Carson, California, at the 2015 CrossFit Games that made the Nike Metcon shoe a frontrunner in the fitness footwear wars. On the truck was a jumbo image of the Metcon done up in a black and red colorway, playing off Michael Jordan’s “banned” story with the Air Jordan 1 and the NBA. Nine years later, the "Banned" Metcons are coming back.

Instagram account Nike Metcon Tribe, which posts leaks and updates about the popular line of Nike fitness shoes, posted late Tuesday night that the black/red Metcon 1s will re-release on August 2 for $150, along with the original black/grey/volt colorway as the brand celebrates the upcoming Nike Metcon X, or 10th edition, of the shoe. 

Back in 2015, Nike had a legitimate gripe. Its sneakers were banned from the CrossFit Games, as Reebok was the official sponsor of the sport and the Games. Using the word “CrossFit” in reference to any other sneaker other than product made by Reebok, and specifically its line of Nano shoes, would prompt a reaction from CrossFit lawyers

A truck-side advertisement displays a Nike sneaker with text: "DON'T BAN OUR SHOE. BEAT OUR SHOE." and a phone number for nationwide service

Other footwear brands were first allowed to be worn at the CrossFit Games in 2019 and Reebok ceased to sponsor the sport in 2020 after comments made by founder Greg Glassman.

In the banned era before that, five-time Games champion and former Nike athlete Mat Fraser said that Nike would rework the insides of his Nanos he had to wear at the competition to make them feel like Metcons. 

The Metcon 1 is a minimalist shoe in comparison to the recent iterations in line, especially the 7, 8, and 9, which have a plastic heel clip for handstand pushups and stability in lifts. Newer Metcons also use a plastic piece across the center of the upper to protect the shoe and aide in rope climbs. The more recent versions of the Metcon have become so tech-reliant that Reebok served long-awaited revenge when it mocked the shoe in its advertisement for its latest Nano model earlier this year.

But the Metcon 1 doesn’t have a plastic heel, although, wearers have often complained about it being squeaky. Its midsole has grooves for rope climbs. And it’s a shoe that people can still get some fitness in while wearing. The colorblocking on the “Banned” shoe almost perfectly mimics the Air Jordan 1, making these a collector's item for many. 

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