When it comes to finding the best Nike running shoes for you, there are plenty of options to suit your preferred style, distance, and pace. But if you’re trying to decide between the Nike ZoomX Invincible 2 and the Nike React Infinity Flyknit 3, you’ve come to the right place.
Both the Nike Invincible 2 and the Nike Infinity 3 are everyday running shoes, best suited for easy miles, but there are some critical differences between them. Both made it onto our list of the best running shoes on the market right now, so to help you decide, I’ve run miles in both shoes to help you work out which shoe best meets your needs.
Nike ZoomX Invincible 2 vs Nike React Infinity 3: Price and availability
Both the Nike Invincible 2 and the Nike Infinity 3 were released in 2022, updating the previous iterations of both of the shoes — the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run, and the Nike React Infinity 2. The Invincible 2 costs $180/£164, which is definitely at the more expensive end of the everyday running shoe market, but is the same price as the first version of the shoe. As with the first version, the price is justified as the shoe contains Nike’s ZoomX foam, which is the premium foam used in Nike’s faster running shoes (although its goal in this shoe is to be lightweight and responsive in a way that takes some of the load off your legs, rather than propel you to a new PR).
Nike ZoomX Invincible 2 vs Nike React Infinity 3: Design and fit
As mentioned above, both shoes are designed for easy, everyday miles. They’re both heavier shoes — the Invincible 2 weighing in at 10.10 oz (in a men’s US 8), and the Infinity 3 weighing 10.3 oz. Fit-wise, both come up pretty true to size — I’m a UK 4 in my everyday sneakers and run in a UK 5 in both shoes.
Design-wise, things are pretty different between the two shoes. The Invincible 2 has a thick layer of outsole foam that almost wraps around your entire foot like a rubber ring. The shoe has a wide toebox, which has been made ever-so-slightly wider in the second version, so it looks like there's a bunion of foam sticking out from the side. It also has a wide heel, with a centimeter of foam around it. Fresh out of the box it’s extremely comfortable — you sink into this shoe in a way I never have with any other running shoe.
As mentioned above, the Invincible 2 uses ZoomX foam, which is usually reserved for Nike’s speedier shoes, such as the Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% 2 and the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2. That said, the goal of the foam in this shoe isn’t to propel you forwards, but to minimize the impact of your stride for a super-comfortable run on easy running days. The shoe also has a thick, plush upper, with padding around the tongue and the collar for additional comfort.
The Infinity 3, on the other hand, is a much firmer ride. It uses the same React foam as shoes like the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 39, and is similar in its reliability and that ‘workhorse’ feeling. When Nike first released the Infinity, it came alongside a body of research that looked at how runners ran, and what they needed from a shoe to prevent common running injuries. The findings of the study, conducted by the British Columbia Sports Medicine Research Foundation, found that the runners wearing the React Infinity had a 52% lower injury rate than those in the motion control shoe (Nike’s Structure 22), with wearers confirming that they felt less pain in their knees and feet. The entire shoe is designed to be structured and supportive underfoot — unlike the Invincible, you’re not bouncing along in this shoe.
Like other shoes with Nike’s React foam, I felt like I had to break the shoe in — it’s definitely firmer underfoot, although this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. The upper is bootie-like, wrapping around the foot. It has a wider toebox for a stable feel underfoot, plus a rocker geometry to help support the stride, and aid a natural toe-off. This rocker isn’t all that exaggerated, but it’s definitely there.
Nike ZoomX Invincible 2 vs Nike React Infinity 3: Performance
For two shoes you’d reach for on easy running days, the Invincible 2 and the Infinity 3 feel very different underfoot. The Invincible 2 is possibly as much fun as you can have on a recovery run — it’s comfortable, it’s bouncy, and it’s just a joy to run in. I’ve worn this shoe on days I don’t feel like running (anyone who’s marathon training will understand), and finished the run feeling uplifted. I’ve always called it my desert island shoe – sure, there are probably cooler-looking shoes on the market, or shoes better equipped for the sand, but I just love it.
On the other hand, the Infinity 3 is the shoe I should be wearing for my easy miles — it’s more stable, more controlled, and more protective than the Invincible. It’s comfortable enough to wear on your long runs, and it could be responsive enough for speedier tempo sessions, although faster runners might find them a little hefty. And, it’s super durable, so will easily get you through a marathon training cycle.
Nike ZoomX Invincible 2 vs Nike React Infinity 3: Which should you buy?
When it comes to which of the two shoes you should buy, it completely depends on the type of running you plan on doing. If you’re looking for a shoe that’ll get you through hundreds of marathon training miles, the Infinity 3 is a reliable, supportive choice. It’s also slightly cheaper, which is definitely worth noting.
That said, if I had the option of the two shoes side by side, I’d choose the Invincible every time. It’s a truly unique running experience — it’s bouncy, it’s fun and it makes you want to run in it, which is half the battle sometimes. Personally, I wouldn’t be able to justify the expense of the Infinity 3 over say, the Pegasus 39, which is just as durable but is a lot cheaper.
If you are on a budget, it’s also worth noting that both shoes are very similar to their previous versions. Nike made a few design tweaks from the original Invincible and the Infinity Run 2, so if you are looking to save money, it’s likely you’ll be able to pick up a pair of the older shoes in the sale.