Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit review TL;DR: like stepping on a cloud, the ZoomX foam will cushion your every step as you devour the miles during your long runs.
I’m not going to lie, I didn’t have high expectations about the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run. It was announced alongside the Nike React Infinity Run 2, an updated version of the Nike React Infinity Run and quite frankly, I couldn’t really work out what the difference between the two running shoes was or why would anyone choose the Invincible Run over the Infinity Run 2. Even the names sound sort of similar.
Quite possibly because of this, I was genuinely surprised just how much I enjoyed running in the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run. These are some of the best Nike running shoes, even better for recovery and training runs than the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37, in my humble opinion. But let's not get carried away: what is the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run and why does it feel so nice to wear them?
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit: Price and availability
The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit is available to buy now directly from Nike US (opens in new tab) or Nike UK (opens in new tab) for a recommended retail price $180 / £159.95.
The shoes are also available to buy through selected third-party retailers such as sportsshoes.com (opens in new tab).
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit review: tech
One of the main differences between the React Infinity Run 2 and the ZoomX Invincible Run is the midsole these shoes use: the former features the resilient React foam while the latter the more bouncy ZoomX, the same tech that makes the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% so darn good to run in. I like the React foam just as much as anybody else but admittedly, the ZoomX foam will provide softer landings and a more gentle rocking sensation that the React.
The ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit also sports a an exaggerated landing and forefoot platform which makes running in the shoes feel more stable, hence why Nike claims the shoes reduce the risk of injury. Also according to Nike, the ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit offers a ‘fluid stride transition’, at least compared to racing shoes with embedded carbon-plate, such as the ASICS Metaracer and the aforementioned Vaporfly NEXT%.
The new ‘Waffle’ outsole pattern is said to offer more traction in key areas while the ‘evolved’ Flyknit upper provides ‘zonal-breathability’: in theory, the Flyknit upper lets in more air where your foot is most likely to overheat. There is also a panel in the heel that’s embedded in the Flyknit upper for more support and stability.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run review: ergonomics
First of all, wearing the shoes made me feel like I was a foot taller than usual: hello, top of the doorframe! But despite the stack height of the shoes, the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit doesn’t feel unstable. On the contrary: the wide midsole platform under your feet makes it easy to balance your weight accordingly.
As well as being super soft, the ZoomX is also famous for its energy return qualities and although the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit doesn’t feature an integrated carbon plate that could really help you push forward, the combination of the bouncy foam, the grippy outsole and the rocker geometry will help you run faster, if that’s what you want. Despite not being nearly as light as some other running shoes on the market today, the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit feels light, probably because you’d expect them to weigh a ton each based on the size of the shoes.
There is a lot of padding around the ankles but the collar is not cut too deep so I would recommend wearing at least mid-height socks at the beginning until you manage to break in the collar a bit. Similarly to the Nike Joyride Run Flyknit, the Invincible Run Flyknit also made the skin around my ankles a bit tender after the first couple of runs. Given that it’s February now, I haven’t tried the shoes in really hot weather so I can’t tell just how much extra air the Flyknit lets in but the shoes were definitely comfortable to wear.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit review: aesthetics
I don’t know how Nike does it but the company always find the right balance of colours and patterns that make its shoes memorable and good looking. And although the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit does look chunky, the extra foam somehow doesn’t make the shoes look bulky or ugly. Without knowing what they are for, I might mistake the Invincible Run for basketball shoes: those tend to be chunkier and feature a thicker sole so athletes can jump higher and turn faster.
The way the swoosh looks on the side of the shoes and the integrated plate in the heel reminded me of the React Infinity Run Flyknit a bit and to be fair, the two shoes look kind of similar: hefty midsole, lot of padding etc. Nevertheless, the tested Black/Chile Red/Glow Green colour way looked just the right amount weird for it to pass as a sneaker, in case you want to wear them for anything else but running. And why wouldn’t you?
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit review: verdict
It wouldn’t be my first choice for running training but the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit has a lot of great features for people who appreciate cushioning and like to feel comfortable when they run. Heck, these shoes might even be a good choice to beginner to intermediate runners who prefer a bit of support and don’t mind a bit of extra bulk.
The ZoomX delivers yet again and proves that it’s one of the best midsole foams being used in running shoes: it’s soft but without being unstable; it bounces but doesn’t lose energy in the process. The ‘evolved’ Flyknit upper follows the contour of the foot well and the padded collar and tongue cradle the ankles beautifully.
The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit might not be the cheapest running trainers and I’m sure some will be put off by the chunkiness of the shoes but if you like Nikes and have some money to burn, I’d recommend giving the shoes a try.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit review: also consider
The Nike React Infinity Run 2 (opens in new tab) is an obvious alternative to the Invincible Run and offers more support and a sturdier foam. The React foam is less bouncy than the ZoomX but it's far from being firm. Booth shoes have a 9mm heel-to-toe drop and feature a wider midsole construction.
Running in the the Asics Notablast is like running with trampolines strapped to your feet. The bouncy FlyteFoam Blast midsole delivers a fun running experience and wearing the Novablast will also make you taller, literally, thanks to the 10 millimetres of added foam. The shoes deliver in the looks department too: there aren't really a boring colourway to mention.