Incredibly soft, super bouncy, more stable
I’ve been a huge fan of the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run since it's inception in early 2021. As a result, I was very excited when I learnt that Nike were releasing the new ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 - which promised to be even better. Winding back the clock, I introduced the first model in an earlier article: Nike ZoomX Invincible Run - Running Shoe Review. As a short summary, the first model brought Nike’s revolutionary ZoomX super foam to an everyday mileage shoe. Alongside an ultra thick midsole and rocker geometry. At this time, there were some concerns over the durability of ZoomX foam. However, these were quickly dispelled as the ZoomX Invincible Run performed well beyond 500 miles of running.
The major gripe that some runners had with the original version (first and second edition feature the same midsole design), was the unstable nature of ZoomX foam. The addition of a carbon plate in models such as the ZoomX Vaporfly and Air Zoom Alphafly, adds stability to the inherently soft material. The hype for the new ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 orientates around new midsole sculpting - and the prospect of a more stable underfoot feel. That and what can be described as one of the best looking running shoes on the market right now. A new Flyknit upper is anticipated to feel better than ever.
After unboxing the new ZoomX Invincible Runs, and a few mouth drops and customary grins, I slipped them on. The upper fitted like a glove, and I could feel the signature marshmallow-like ZoomX foam under my feet as I stood up. Except this time, with a feeling that something was a little different.
What I Liked
The step-in feel of the ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 is incredible. It’s hard to articulate how cushioned and protective they feel. As the Invincible Run is designed to make your everyday miles feel easier, I tested them out on an easy 60 minute run and then an easy 90 minute run - 4:47 min/km average and 4:51 min/km average respectively.
I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t analysing every stride:
- Does the new midsole sculpting change the feel?
- Is it just as cushioned as before and is it as bouncy?
- How do my legs feel?
My immediate conclusion is that the ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 is definitely more stable than the previous version. As a result of the new midsole sculpting, the ultra soft foam feels more structured and doesn’t feel wobbly underfoot. Although I did almost roll my foot going around a tight turn a bit too quickly.
It normally takes a couple of kilometres for my legs to warm up and the heavy legged sensation to dissipate. However, my legs felt great after only a couple of hundred metres and this feeling continued throughout both runs. I finished each run barely feeling like I’d done anything.
Fit and Feel
A 40mm to 31mm midsole stack (9mm drop) of ZoomX foam feels amazing. They’re easily the most cushioned running shoes I’ve worn. The main benefit of the ZoomX midsole is that it feels incredibly soft, but super bouncy - the best of both worlds. This is combined with a rocker shaped midsole that improves the transition from landing to toe-off and creates a propulsive effect. While the Invincible Run is a neutral running shoe, the sculpted midsole creates a stable underfoot feel. A plastic insert that runs around the heel counter (which feels stiffer than the previous version) definitely adds more support.
Due to the high stack and bouncy foam, you do need to pay attention when changing direction or turning around a sharp corner. As you can move over the top of the foam. Some of this is countered by a really grippy outsole rubber that provides great traction on wet tarmac. It’s also very durable. The outsole rubber potentially adds a bit more weight to the Invincible Run. There are some comments that suggest it’s a heavy running shoe. At 310g and 258g, for the men’s and women’s respectively, it may not appear light. However, you simply don’t feel this weight when you’re running.
Considerable work has gone into creating a new Flyknit upper. A Nike designer could probably talk at length about how it has been altered. All you need to know is that it’s lighter, more breathable and more supportive than the previous version. It is worth noting that taking a couple of minutes to lace them up right makes a big difference to ensuring the ankle is locked in. If you have wide feet, the spacious toe box is very likely fit.
How can the Invincible Run 3 improve your run?
I’ll use the ZoomX Invincible Run 3 for the vast majority of my running. They'll be my go to running shoes for recovery runs, base miles, long runs and even some tempo work. While the thick ZoomX foam can handle an injection of pace, it’s best suited to easy to steady paced miles. There are few, if any, running shoes that will make those everyday miles or long weekend runs feel as easy. This makes the ZoomX Invincible run a great option for marathons, if your goal is completing one in as much comfort as possible.
If your aim is to run personal bests in events and you’re looking for a running shoe to use alongside the ZoomX Invincible Run 3, the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly or Air Zoom Alphafly are both great options. If you’re looking for a more responsive underfoot feel for daily miles, the Air Zoom Pegasus is a good pick.