If you sent me to a desert island and only let me choose one running shoe, I’d grab the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2. Sure, there are lighter running shoes to be had (and probably shoes better designed for running on sand), but none of the other best running shoes on the market come close to the squishy, soft, underfoot comfort given in this shoe.
When Nike launched the first version of this shoe, the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit, it positioned it as a shoe for runners training for a marathon, looking for a soft, cushioned shoe for easy running days. After miles of testing, I concluded that the shoe was far more than that — there’s no reason why beginners couldn’t get a lot out of this shoe. Designed for maximum shock absorption, it’s packed with bouncy, responsive foam that feels spongy and comfortable from your first step. I was nervous about testing the second iteration — how would it compare and would the tweaks have ruined one of the best Nike running shoes on the market? Read my Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 review to find out more.
It's worth noting, there's a new version of this shoe — the Nike Invincible 3, which will be available on February 2 for Nike Members, and February 9 online and in-stores. We're currently testing the shoe, and will have a full review on Tom's Guide soon. If you're looking to save money, now is a good time to invest in the Nike Invincible 2, as it's likely to be discounted with the new shoe release.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 review: Price and availability
The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 hit the market in June 2022. The shoe retails at £164.95/$180, 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). You can also soften the blow to your wallet with one of our Nike promo codes.
At the time of writing, the shoe is available in three different colorways in the men’s and four in the women’s version. In the men’s shoes, the Invincible 2 comes in red, black, and white, and in the women’s it’s teal, white, black, and baby blue. The Invincible Run 2 only comes in one width, but is, by design, a wider shoe, so it should be ok for all runners, unless you have especially wide feet. 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.
If you are on a budget, now is a good time to buy the first version of the shoe, as not a lot has changed, and it’s likely to be on sale now.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 review: Design and fit
The Invincible Run 2 follows the design of the original shoe, which 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, which has 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. 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.
The shoe fits true to size for Nike. I am a UK 4 in my regular sneakers but wore a UK 5 in this shoe. Confused? Check out our guide to buying running shoes and how they should fit here.
The upper on the Invincible Run 2 has been tweaked slightly compared to the first version of the shoe. The second iteration has thinner laces, which I found during testing were better at staying tightly laced on the run. The first version of the shoe had thicker, “rope” laces, whereas it seems Nike has gone back to the more traditional running shoe lace on the newer shoe.
Nike has also reduced the amount of padding around the collar of the shoe and slightly tweaked the tongue. They are small changes — underfoot the shoe felt very similar to its predecessor, and had the same locked-in feel on easy running days and when I picked up the pace.
The magic of this shoe is in the ZoomX midsole, which is extremely cushioned and smooth underfoot. Unlike most of the best running shoes on the market, there’s no Strobel lining underneath the insole of the shoe, so your foot is sitting directly on top of the ZoomX foam, allowing you to really sink into the shoe.
The ZoomX foam is usually reserved for the faster shoes in its 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 also 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. Nike says it has added more ZoomX foam to the Invincible Run 2, although it feels very similar underfoot.
The plastic rails that wrap around the heel of the shoe are designed to give the shoe additional support. As a runner who tends to overpronate when running on tired legs, I appreciated this.
As I mentioned in the intro, Nike designed this shoe for marathoners clocking easy miles during long runs, but feedback and the popularity of the shoe have proved it’s suited for far more than this. The ZoomX foam is bouncy and responsive, while also cushioning your stride, reducing the impact through the hips, knees, and ankles. You probably wouldn’t want to race in this shoe, but there’s no reason why you couldn’t do an easy run and a tempo session in it.
My main issue with the Invincible Run was the outsole — while being flexible, the tiny nubs didn’t do much to prevent me from slipping when running on wet concrete, and wore down quickly. Unfortunately, the outsole looks identical to the Invincible Run on the Invincible Run 2.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 review: Performance
While Nike hasn’t on the surface changed much with the Invincible Run 2, for once, I’m glad. It’s a fantastic running shoe that can easily fill two roles in your shoe collection — it will keep your legs comfortable and help with the pressure of distance training. That said, the ZoomX foam is responsive enough to let you pick up the pace on longer tempo sessions. There’s no reason why you couldn’t race in it, but there are probably better shoes on the market for that.
If you’re looking for a super-plush shoe for maximum impact protection, you’re bound to love this shoe. I stockpiled the first Invincible Run (I have three pairs) in the fear that Nike would change the shoe, but different laces aside, they feel almost identical underfoot, which is fantastic news for fans of the shoe.
The downsides are the same as they were with the first version, however. The outsole really needs to be grippier and more durable, especially for the cost of the shoe.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 vs Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit: Which should you buy?
Is it worth investing in the newer model? When looking at the shoes side-by-side, and when running in both, not a lot has changed. For once, that's a good thing — both shoes are super comfortable and super plush, but if you're on a budget, save your money and buy the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run.
As a test, I ran with one of the older versions of the shoe on the left foot, and the Invincible 2 on the right. After a mile, I didn't notice any difference between the two shoes. I'm sure passers-by did, but hey, who cares.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 review: Verdict
This is an excellent running shoe for beginners and more experienced runners alike. If you’re looking for a cushioned running shoe that’ll keep you comfy on the run, it doesn’t get better than this.
If you don’t fancy spending so much on an everyday running shoe, now is a great time to grab a pair of the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run, as we mentioned above, the two shoes are very similar, but the older shoe is likely to be in the sale. That said, there are other cushioned running shoes out there for a lower price point, including the Brooks Glycerin 20.
While no shoe can prevent you from getting injured, Nike has created a super plush, supportive running shoe for those days when you’re running on tired legs. For that reason, I believe the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 has a place in every runner's shoe collection.