Skip to main content

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit review

Designed for marathoners, the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit is one of the best cushioned running shoes.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run
(Image: © Tom's Guide/Future)

Tom's Guide Verdict

A brilliant, cushioned, road running shoe

Pros

  • +

    Extremely cushioned and comfortable

  • +

    Good for easy miles

  • +

    Brilliant for long training runs

Cons

  • -

    Outsole can be slippy

  • -

    A heavier shoe

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Specs

Weight: 314g (M), 253g (W)
Drop: 9mm
Type: Road
Neutral/Stability: Light stability
Widths: One width 

When it comes to finding the best running shoes, every runner will have a slightly different set of requirements based on how often they run, where they run, and what kind of shoe they enjoy running in. That said, if you’re after a seriously plush, comfortable running shoe, I think I’ve found one of the best on the market. 

The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit is designed for marathon runners looking for a shoe for their easy, recovery miles. That said, there’s no reason why beginners couldn’t get a lot out of this shoe — it’s not just for slow, easy miles; this shoe can comfortably get you around your first 5K. Designed for maximum shock absorption, it’s packed with bouncy, responsive foam that feels spongy and comfortable from your first step. But how does it compare to some of the other best Nike running shoes on the market? Read our Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit review below to find out more. 

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run review: Price and availability 

The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run costs $180, which is definitely at the more expensive end of the running shoe market. 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). 

The good news is, the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run is often on sale, so you might be able to pick up a pair at a discounted price. It was released in January 2021, so it’s likely Nike will be updating the shoe early 2022, so we can expect this shoe will get cheaper in the next few months.

The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run is available in a wide variety of colorways for both men and women. It only comes in one width, but is, by design, a wider shoe, so it should fit all runners. The shoe runs in sizes US 5 to US 12 in the women’s version and US 6 to US 15 in the men’s shoe. 

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run review: Design and fit 

Nike had comfort in mind when designing this shoe, and this runs through pretty much every feature — from the upper to the outsole. When you first get the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run out of its orange cardboard box, you’ll think you’ve ordered the wrong size — this shoe is huge. The thick, outsole foam almost wraps around your entire foot like a rubber ring, encasing you in soft foam. The shoe has a wide toebox, with what looks like a bunion of foam sticking out from the side. There’s also a wide heel, with a centimeter of foam around the heel. It’s extremely comfortable, but an alien experience. 

Aside from looking bigger than your other running shoes, the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run fits true to size. However, like all running shoes, it’s a good idea to go up half a size, or full size, from your everyday shoes. (For more guidance on getting the fit right, take a look at our how to buy running shoes guide).

A photo of the upper on the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run

(Image credit: Future)

Upper 

Nike described the Flyknit upper of this shoe as “robust,” and it's not wrong. It’s built to support the foot as it sits on the thick wedge of bouncy foam, helping you feel stable as you move. It does this well — I’d go as far as to say the upper on this shoe reminds me of the thick, well-built upper on my old netball shoes: it’s reassuring and supportive. It also feels a lot more substantial than the typical Flyknit uppers we’ve come to expect from Nike, which are more bootie-like, but it's still breathable, even in hot weather. 

Nike added padding to the tongue to avoid any hot spots and cushioning around the heel of the shoe to stop blisters. The result is a plush, comfortable feel when you’re running in this shoe. Of course, all this cushioning does add to the weight of the shoe, but we’ll come to that later. 

A photo of the midsole on the Nike ZoomX invincible run

(Image credit: Future)

Midsole 

The midsole of this shoe is where the magic happens. Nike has used its ZoomX foam, which is usually reserved for the faster shoes in it's collection, such as the Nike ZoomX Vaporfly Next% 2, and the Nike Alphafly Next%. Both of these speedier shoes have carbon fiber plates, and without the plate, the foam seems to take on a different meaning in the Invincible Run. Instead of propelling the foot forward, the bouncy, responsive foam reduces the impact of each step for a more comfortable run. 

The shoe has the same rocker geometry we’ve seen in a lot of Nike’s newer innovations, but again, this is to make easy running easier, rather than aid a faster toe-off. It’s an everyday, high-mileage running shoe, intended to act as a training partner to some of Nike’s speedier racing shoes. The result? It’s super comfortable and it does seem to make running on tired legs a little bit easier. 

A photo of the midsole on the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run

(Image credit: Future)

Around the top of the midsole, Nike has added a guide rail, designed to offer some support to tired runners, and prevent overpronation. In recent years we’ve seen brands like Nike move away from the classic structured running shoe, but if you find you need that support in the final miles of a long run, or when you’re running on tired legs, this guide rail stops the inward roll of the foot. It’s subtle, and might not be enough for some runners, but it’s reassuringly supportive. 

A photo of the outsole on the Nike ZoomX Invincible run

(Image credit: Future)

Outsole 

The outsole of the Invincible Run, in my opinion, is the part of the shoe that needs some work. It’s designed for road running, so you wouldn’t expect an awful amount of grip, but there’s almost no tread on the bottom of the shoe, which makes it slippery on wet sidewalks or when running in icy conditions. This can easily be solved, and won’t be too much of a problem for runners in warmer conditions, but running in rainy London, I’ve skidded a couple of times wearing this shoe, which is far from ideal. 

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run review: Performance  

Right out of the box, the shoe was extremely comfortable on the run. In fact, it’s one of the most comfortable, cushioned running shoes I’ve ever worn, and I’ve been writing about running shoes for most of my career. I had no issues with blisters or rubbing and have completed hundreds of miles in this shoe without any discomfort. The shoe also looks great, in my opinion, making it a versatile shoe for wearing on your run commute, then with jeans in the office. 

This shoe does exactly what it says on the box — it reduces the pressure going through the legs on easy runs. It’s not going to help you break records, but it might help you get to the start line of your next race with fresher legs, and that’s important for marathon runners. 

That said, I’m hesitant to put this shoe in the ‘marathon runner’ box, as I think it’s far more versatile than that. In my opinion, there’s no reason why a beginner couldn’t pick this shoe up and do most of their miles wearing it. It can pick up the pace when you need it to, it’s just not as fast or light as other shoes in Nike’s collection.

A photo of the midsole on the Nike ZoomX invincible run

(Image credit: Future)

Faster runners might question the weight of this shoe, but having run hundreds of miles in it, I’d say it doesn’t feel overly heavy underfoot thanks to the ZoomX foam. When you compare this shoe to say, a Hoka Bondi, which has a similar wedge of foam, the Nike Invincible Run feels a lot lighter and a lot more responsive.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run review: Verdict 

This is one of the best cushioned running shoes on the market for most runners. It’s extremely plush and extremely comfortable and if you’re looking for a running shoe that’ll make easy miles feel easier, this should tick the right boxes for you. 

Although Nike says this is a shoe for marathon runners, there’s no reason why runners who aren’t training for a long-distance couldn’t wear this for most of their miles. Faster runners probably wouldn’t want to wear this for a tempo session, but if you’re not doing that kind of running, don’t let this put you off. For me, this has replaced the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 38 as my easy run shoe, as it seems to help my legs recover faster. If you don't want to spend $180 on a soft, cushioned running shoe, there are more affordable options out there, such as the Brooks Glycerin 19 which is almost half the price.

The downside with the Invincible Run  — aside from its price — is the outsole, which just isn’t grippy enough on all surfaces. This hasn’t stopped me from using it for most of my miles, but it’s something I’m hoping Nike will improve in future iterations of this shoe.

Jane McGuire is Tom's Guide's Fitness editor, which means she looks after everything fitness related - from running gear to yoga mats. An avid runner, Jane has tested and reviewed fitness products for the past four years, so knows what to look for when finding a good running watch or a pair of shorts with pockets big enough for your smartphone. When she's not pounding the pavements, you'll find Jane striding round the Surrey Hills, taking far too many photos of her puppy.