Nike Invincible 2 vs. Nike Invincible 3

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.

Nike Invincible 3 in front of the Nike Invincible 2

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:

Visual comparison

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.

Nike Invincible 2 in front of the Nike Invincible 3

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.

Top view of the Nike Invincible 3 and Nike Invincible 2

Running comparison

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.

Bottom of the Nike Invincible 3 and Nike Invincible 2

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.

Toe box of the Nike Invincible 2 and Nike Invincible 3

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.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Images & Release Date

Official Images of the Nike ZoomX Invincible

Instagram user NVTZR posted official images of the Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 on his page. The cushioned running shoe returns in a redesigned outsole, midsole and upper. Check out the photos below, and leave your thoughts in the comments.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3
Image via NVTZR
Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Upper
Image via NVTZR
Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Side View
Image via NVTZR

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Release Date and Price

According to Runner’s World Magazine Runner-In-Chief Jeff Dengate (awesome job title), the ZoomX Invincible 3 will come out on February 2, 2023. Jeff noted some more details in his post:

Expected release date is 2/2/2023 for $180. Nike specs men’s 10 at 317g (11.2 oz) and women’s 8 at 256g (9.0 oz). Astonishingly, my size 12 of all 3 versions weighed exactly 347g (12.2 oz).

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Inside Side View
Image via NVTZR

First Look at the Nike ZoomX Invincible 3

Check out the Fresh Brew Run Club’s reaction video to the Invincible 3 below:

Redesigned Outsole

The outsole and midsole remained the same for the V1 and V2 versions of the Invincible. But the Invincible 3 features a fully redesigned outsole, with what looks like a two-part rubber material. The “cleats” on the bottom of the shoe remain, but there appear to be “holes” in the outsole, exposing the ZoomX foam material from the midsole.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Outsole
Image via NVTZR

All-new midsole

The heart of the Nike ZoomX Invincible is the midsile, which has been completely redesigned. Next, the massive hunk of foam remains, but there appear to be some cutouts on the heel area (possibly to reduce weight) and some additional material encasing the midsole foam, which could add to the stability of the shoe overall.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Midsole
Image via NVTZR

Invincible Upper

The upper is redesigned as well, with what appears to be a new type of Flyknit. The first two Invincibles had more of a textured material, while the Invincible 3 has a smoother, more refined-looking material. Another notable change is the padding around the heel collar. The first two versions had tons and tons of padding on the inside and outside of the shoe, where the Invincible 3 has significantly reduced the padding, which now looks similar to a Vaporfly or Alphafly.

The main Swoosh is redesigned, and a new Presto-like Swoosh has been added to the toe. Finally, there is also a heel pull-tab, which was not on either of the first two versions.

Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Upper
Image via NVTZR.

Click here for more shoe reviews.

Check out the Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Review – First Reaction

My review of the Nike ZoomX Invincible after one run

When I first saw the Nike ZoomX Invincible, I wasn’t sure what the point of it was. Nike already has the Infinity React, a shoe designed to prevent injuries as well as the Miler React. But as time went on, it was clear that this shoe was different. Sitting on a near mountain of ZoomX foam, this shoe was a departure from the more recent React-heavy releases in Nike’s running lineup. Now, the real test of a shoe is after at least 100 miles, so things could change (and I will make another video at that point), but initially I was very impressed.

Check out my full video review below:

Nike ZoomX Invincible First Impression

Pulling these shoes out of the box, the first thing that struck me was the size of these shoes. There’s just a ton of foam and materials on them. However, when I picked them up, they seemed lighter than they look, which is probably a result of the lightweight ZoomX foam. The outsole features a single piece of cleated rubber with two pieces of rubber at the toe and heel of the shoe. The midsole is made of Flyknit, but the material seems like a slight departure from Flyknit I’ve seen in the past. It feels like a tighter weave or something. The tongue is moderately padded, and the heel collar is heavily padded, including padding on the outside, which seems like an unnecessary addition.

First run reactions

For my first run, I ran four miles at a relatively easy pace. I planned to run at 8:30, but I ended up in the 8:15 range, because I kept catching myself running faster than my goal pace without realizing it. The first thing I noticed was the cushion. You really can feel a huge difference between this shoe and others, even other shoes with ZoomX like the Pegasus Turbo. I also immediately noticed that when I landed and pushed off, the shoe almost assisted in rolling from heel/midfoot to the toe. It reminded me of the Nike Vaporfly, which relies on a carbon fiber plate to “spring” you forward. I’m not sure how long the Invincible will be able to do this, with the pliable foam, but it was noticeable right from the start of my run.

Nike ZoomX Invincible
Nike ZoomX Invicible

I’ve also had some knee soreness lately, but I didn’t feel any on my run. Could be the result of a small sample size of one run, but these at least didn’t hurt my knee. After reviewing the slow motion footage, however, I did notice a decent amount of lateral (side to side) flexing in the shoe, especially when I go around corners. This leads me to believe this might not be the next great stability running shoe. Something to keep an eye on.

Is the Nike ZoomX Invincible true to size?

The short answer is yes. I am a size 10, and this shoe feels great in a size 10. With running shoes, it is often recommended that you buy a size up, but that’s not needed here; the toe box is roomy enough to handle long runs where your feet expand. The padded heel collar hugs your ankles and can be tightened with the laces.

What is the Nike ZoomX Invincible for?

This shoe is definitely something you want to take on your long runs. It is a little on the heavier side, so I wouldn’t recommend using this as a racing shoe or for speed workouts, but it didn’t feel like a brick on my feet. Any issues with the weight of the shoe will be quickly forgotten when you feel the amount of cushion this shoe offers.

ZoomX Invincible Pros

  • Incredible cushion is unlike most running shoes. Super comfy.
  • Toe construction helps the foot “roll” into your push off.
  • Comfortable heel collar provides heel lockdown.
  • True to size.

ZoomX Invincible Cons

  • Price – At $180 retail, this is a very expensive shoe.
  • Durability questions – while I only ran in this once, I have some concerns that this might not hold up as long as my Nike React Miler. The ZoomX foam is super soft, and unclear what will happen after 300 miles.
  • Design – For the price of this shoe, I find the initial colorways kind of boring. Not ugly, but nothing that’s going to turn heads, especially compared to the Alphafly, Vaporfly and Zoom Fly. Would love to see something a little bolder.

First run verdict

Overall, I loved my first run in these shoes. They offered a level of cushion I haven’t felt before, even with the old Asics Gel Nimbus. I simply had a lot of fun running in them, and I’m already excited for my next run. It will be interesting to see how the ZoomX foam holds up after a few hundred miles, but I will be sure to provide an updated review of the Nike ZoomX Invincible. Don’t forget to subscribe to the FBRC YouTube channel so you don’t miss out!