The original Invincible brought Nike’s impressive ZoomX foam into a cushioned training shoe to great effect. The second edition of the shoe sticks to the same formula, offering a bouncy and enjoyable ride.
- Great fun
- Comfort to the max
- Versatile for a cushioned shoe
- Similar to original
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The Nike Invincible was one of the best running shoes on the market because of the soft, springy cushioning in the midsole that created an enjoyable ride, for easy training in particular. Aside from its high price and occasional instability issues there was little to fault about it.
Clearly Nike thought so, because little has changed with the second version of the Invincible. The upper has been tweaked and there’s more foam in the midsole, but the ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 feels much the same as the original on the run. This is largely a good thing even if it may be smarter to seek out a deal on the older shoe.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2: Price And Availability
The Invincible 2 is available now and costs $180 in the US and £164.95 in the UK and costs. That’s the same price as the original Invincible and it makes the shoe one of the most expensive cushioned options on the market. My sample for this review was provided by Pro:Direct Running.
Design And Fit
The Invincible 2 follows the same design cues as the original shoe, with a large wedge of Nike’s ZoomX foam in the midsole. This is the same lightweight, springy foam used in the company’s carbon plate racing shoes, the Vaporfly and Alphafly 2, but in the Invincible 2 the aim is to create a protective, cushioned ride for easy training, rather than a propulsive one for setting PBs.
At 10.6oz/303g in my UK size 9, the shoe is no featherweight but it’s at the lighter end of maximally cushioned shoes. Nike has not given official stats on the stack height and drop of the shoe, though the original had a 9mm offset and it looks the same on the 2.
The new Invincible has more foam packed into the midsole than its predecessor. Some of this has been used to slightly increase the stack height, and the midsole is also wider, noticeably at the forefoot, to make it more stable. There is also a plastic heel clip running around the back of the shoe to ensure that all that soft foam doesn’t make for an unstable ride.
As with the original, the Invincible 2 has a rockered midsole design to create a smoother transition from heel to toe, though this is not as pronounced as the rocker on the Nike Infinity Run 3.
The Flyknit upper is similar to the one on the original shoe. The laces are different, being less plump, and there is less padding around the heel. None of the changes to the upper were noticeable on the run for me, but it’s a comfortable upper that holds the foot well. The shoe fit me well in my normal size.
Nike has stuck with the same waffle rubber outsole design as on the original shoe. In my experience it provides good grip, but it’s not the hardest-wearing material. Combined with the soft midsole foam, the Invincible 2 is unlikely to be as durable as some cushioned shoes, like the Brooks Glycerin 20 or Nike’s Infinity Run 3.
How I Tested This Shoe
I’ve clocked up 31 miles/50km in the Nike Invincible 2, mainly sticking to easy running in the shoe since it is designed to be a cushioned option for base training. I’ve done a 15-mile/24.25km long run in the shoe, and all my running has been done in high-mileage weeks during marathon training, where the shoe is built to shine. I have also racked up around 75 miles/120km of testing in the original Nike Invincible.
The Nike Invincible landed on my doorstep at the perfect time, in that I was just about to start my marathon training block for the Berlin Marathon and had some high-mileage weeks ahead of me. I enjoyed using the original Invincible for easy and progression runs, especially long runs, with the bouncy ride it offers providing protection while also being a lot of fun.
I found that the new shoe excelled in all the same ways. The ride is unique, with even the very bouncy Asics Novablast line falling short of the squish and spring you get with the Invincible 2. I don’t tend to use max-cushioned shoes much out of preference, preferring a lighter daily trainer like the Puma Velocity Nitro 2 even for easy runs, but the Invincible 2 is a shoe I find I want to reach for again and again. At the end of each run in it there’s always part of me that wants to keep going for a couple more kilometres to keep using the shoe.
The faults I have with the shoe are limited, and aside from the price they revolve around the fact it’s not as stable as other cushioned shoes because of the squishy foam. As a neutral runner I found it fine to use the Invincible a lot, but only really on the road. Even on harder trails, if the surface is uneven, I noticed some instability, and on tired legs sometimes I’d prefer a less fun, more stable and reliable ride like that of the Infinity 3.
Keep it on the road, however, and the Invincible is great to use for lots of miles each week, and in my experience it will help keep your legs fresher during marathon training. It’s also versatile for such a cushioned shoe, in that I found it easy enough to up the pace in it during progression runs. If you’re a fairly new runner who wants a cushioned shoe for all your training, it would work well, and it would also be a good pick for a marathoner just looking to get around the course in comfort.
Is The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 Worth It?
The Invincible 2 is an outstanding cushioned shoe and I rate it as neck-and-neck with the Brooks Glycerin 20 as the top pick in that running shoe category. Both shoes make your easy runs more comfortable and enjoyable, with the Nike standing out as the springier option, while the Brooks is more stable and reliable underfoot.
However, given the high price of the Invincible 2, I would lean towards grabbing a deal on the original shoe if you can because the performance is so similar and $180/£165 is more than I ever want to pay for the easy shoe in my rotation. Personally, I’d grab the excellent Puma Velocity Nitro 2 for $120/£100 and put the money saved towards a carbon racing shoe, but if you want a cushioned shoe and money is no object then the Invincible 2 is certainly up there.
If you are concerned about the stability or durability of the Invincible 2, then the Nike Infinity 3 (or the similar Infinity 2) would be a good alternative. It has a less exciting ride, but lasts (what feels like) for ever. Another max-stacked option to check out is the On Cloudmonster, which is lighter and more versatile than the Invincible 2 while still comfortable.
Nick Harris-Fry is a journalist who has been covering health and fitness since 2015. Nick is an avid runner, covering 70-110km a week, which gives him ample opportunity to test a wide range of running shoes and running gear. He is also the chief tester for fitness trackers and running watches, treadmills and exercise bikes, and workout headphones.