When it comes to Nike’s ultra-cushioned Invincible running shoe, should you get the latest and greatest, or stick with last year’s model?
The Nike Invincible developed a cult-like following upon its release in 2021. The addition to Nike’s running shoe line offered a wide outsole, an ultra-cushioned midsole made of ZoomX foam and a somewhat nondescript upper. The Invincible 2 came out in 2022, and featured small tweaks to the upper, but remained relatively the same shoe/. However, this year’s version, the Nike Invincible 3, shook things up.
You can read check out our full review here, but the gist is a totally redesigned shoe. The massive chunk of ZoomX foam remains, but the Invincible 3 looks and feels different. So with this in mind, should you buy the latest version, or stick with the older model, now on sale? Let’s dive in.
First, check the video comparison between the two, where we compared the Nike Invincible 2 vs. Nike Invincible 3:
Unlike the minor differences between the Invincible 1 and 2, the Invincible 3 is a very different looking shoe. The ZoomX foam in the V3 looks like it has been carved out “outlined” by paint around the outside of the foam. The upper is a different material, which has an almost shiny quality compared to the more matte look of the V2. The V3 also has a more prominent swoosh, wider laces and a heel pull tab. Finally, the V2 had a ton of padding around the heel collar, whereas the V3 has a much sharper quality; no soft edges. More on this later.
Feel on foot comparison
Stepping into the V2 was like stepping into a cloud. The combination of the super soft ZoomX foam and the well-padded interior of the shoe made for a unique feel on your feet. The V3 is a little more rigid, with the sharper edges and reduced padding mentioned above. The laces on the V3 are pretty short, which is not great for double knot enthusiasts like the staff at the FBRC.
The most important comparison; how they feel on a run. Let’s start with the V2, which needed no breaking in. Right out of the box, the V2 delivered a cushioned and soft feel underfoot. It’s why they are so great on long runs; even after a full marathon, the midsole foam kept its shape and feeling. The V3 feels like a firmer ride. It could be a denser foam in the midsole, it could be a stiffer strobel board (the material below the insole) or it could be something else in the physics of this shoe. Now, is this a dealbreaker? Possibly, but probably not.
This shoe appears to be designed to be a little bit faster than previous versions. If you loved the soft, yet slower aspect of the originals, this may be disappointing, but if you wanted to get a little more speed out of the shoe, this is a welcome upgrade.
Now, lets stalk about the most controversial aspect of this shoe; the heel slip. What is heel slip? This is when your shoe does not lock tight enough around ankle/heel area and your foot slips a little in the shoe. You can lose forward momentum or worse, develop some nasty blisters. A few initial reviews noticed this phenomenon and a reputation was born. Lets be clear, this IS noticeable in the shoe. HOWEVER, simply using all the shoelace eyelets or using a runner’s knot may solve this issue, rendering it not an issue at all. The problem is most likely fixable.
Final verdict: Nike Invincible 2 vs. Nike Invincible 3
Overall, the V2 is a slower, more cushioned shoe, while the new V3 feels faster and stiffer. So it really is a matter of personal preference, as neither version is a “bad” shoe to run in. One major consideration might be price, as there are some serious deals on the V2 at this point. If you don’t need the latest shoe on the market or want to save a little, we’d recommend finding a deal on the V2. If you need the latest release and don’t mind the cost, try the V3. Again, a matter of personal preference.
Shop for the Invincible 2 and Invincible 3.
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