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.
My review of the ultra cushioned Nike ZoomX Invincible 3
The Nike Invincible line of running shoes has been a fan favorite for several years now. First introduced in 2021, this cushioned shoe became a staple of easy runs, long runs and even marathons for thousands of runners. The Invincible 2 was essentially the same shoe, just with a slightly tweaked upper, but the third version is a complete redesign. Upon release, there have been many thoughts, both positive and very negative. To clear things up, I took the Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 for a couple runs and gave my thoughts.
Check out my full video review here:
Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 First Impression
I tried not to read too much into the reviews. My perspective is often different than many of the elite runners and professional shoe reviewers that get their hands on these first. I review running shoes from the perspective of an average to below average runner. While I love running and run about five to six times a week, my marathon PR is right around four hours. That’s not exactly Boston Marathon qualifier territory. I don’t need every shoe I run in to be super fast, light or high-tech. I’m simply looking for something that’s going to be comfortable and stable as I steadily churn through miles.
Outsole and midsole
The redesign of this shoe starts with the outsole, which is now a two-piece construction. It has small nubs on the bottom which provide decent traction, although I would not recommend using these in the snow.
The midsole still has a ton of ZoomX foam, but has a sort of “cut out” design that might help to cut down on the weight of this shoe. Overall, this is still a pretty heavy shoe, but if you are using it for long/easy runs it won’t be an issue. It isn’t a racing shoe, although I did run my marathon PR in the Invincible 1 last spring.
The upper is also totally redesigned. The FlyKnit material on the top appears to be thinner and possibly more breathable than the tightly woven previous versions. It’s 20 degrees F here, so I can’t be sure, but subscribe to my YouTube channel and I’ll report back when the weather get’s warmer. Nike also took out a lot of padding around the heel collar both on the inside (I talk about possible issues with this below) and the outside (for some reason the previous versions had a ton of padding on the outside. Maybe to protect from bear traps?) The laces are back to a more stretchy material and actually sort of short, so hang on to your old laces. Finally, the design looks a bit sleeker, with some sharp contours, as opposed to the smoother look of the previous designs.
Does the Invincible 3 have a heel slip problem?
This is the number one complaint with the Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 – the heel slip. This is basically when your heel slides around in the shoe because it isn’t locked into place by the heel collar. Many runners were complaining about this, and right out of the gate, I noticed it too.
Now, it wasn’t as pronounced as the Nike Infinity React, which made me feel like I was running in sand, but it was enough to make me retie my shoes using all the shoelace eyelets in order to fully secure my foot. After making that adjustment, I can absolutely say the heel slip is not an issue. My shoes are tied a little tighter than I prefer and it took some getting used to, but there is no heel slip. A commenter on my video also suggested a runner’s knot, which is something I haven’t tried, but might help as well.
Is the Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Cushioned?
No doubt! This is an ultra cushioned shoe, where the entire midsole is one solid chunk of foam. If you’ve never worn an Invincible, it will probably feel like nothing you’ve ever run in. The shape of the shoe also give a slight feeling of running down hill. The shoes are springy and responsive. Now here’s the catch; if you’ve run in the Invincible 1 or 2’s, you might notice a difference. In my opinion, the Invincible 3 is a cushioned shoe, but is a little more firm than the original versions. It isn’t uncomfortable, but it doesn’t have the buttery soft feel right out of the box from previous versions. At the time I’m writing this, I’ve run about 30 miles, so maybe they need to break in, but I would say the Invincible 3s are a more firm shoe.
Is the Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 Stable?
Stability is a huge part of a running shoe, and as a perpetual ankle sprainer, even more important to me. The Invincible 3s midsole is solid ZoomX foam, which isn’t the most stable material for a running shoe. However, Nike compensated by making this a really wide shoe. It isn’t wide on the inside (more on this below), but the surface area that the outsole covers helps to add a lot of stability. I am a heel striker, and my worst ankle sprains have come when I land on a rock or stick. The width and the ZoomX foam’s ability to absorb the difference in terrain makes for a very stable shoe. You will notice some side to side flex, but I have yet to twist my ankle seriously in any Invincible. I noted the firmer feeling above, which I also think contributes to the stability of this shoe.
Is the Nike ZoomX Invincible 3 True to Size?
Yes, the Nike ZoomX Invincible is true to size. I have seen some comments online about getting a size smaller to account for the heel slip, but I wouldn’t recommend it. These shoes seem to fit my size (10) perfectly, both before and after using all the shoelace eyelets. I would say the Invincible 3 runs slightly wide, but I have pretty narrow feet, and didn’t notice any issues. If you know your Nike size, go with that.
Cushioning: This is a pro if you are totally new to the Invincible line. The plentiful ZoomX foam helps to make a very cushioned ride. I’m not a super fast runner, so I would sacrifice some weight for a more cushioned feeling on my feet.
Stability: The width of this shoe helps to create a wide surface area, making this shoe surprisingly stable especially for a heel-striker.
Design: I think this shoe looks a lot cooler. There’s some nice sharp lines and it looks less “bubbly” than previous versions. It’s something that will still catch people’s attention out on a run, but maybe blend in a bit when walking around at the store.
Heel Slip: I detailed this above, but if I lace them how I have laced every single other running shoe I’ve used in my life, there is a slight heel slip. However, using all the eyelets or a runner’s knot solved the problem for me. It makes the shoes feel a little tighter than I’d like, but I got used to it after a mile.
Firmness: For those of you who have run in previous versions of the Invincible, I think you will notice a firmer ride. I’m not sure if the ZoomZ foam is different, or theres something else going on with the design of this shoe, but I think the feel of this shoe is a slight downgrade. It isn’t a dealbreaker, but I wouldn’t call it an improvement.
Cost: At $180 retail this shoe is remarkably expensive. I got about 300 miles in by previous versions before the foam started to lose its bounce. If that holds true for the Invincible 3, you are paying a lot for a shoe with average durability. Keep an eye on StockX for deals on this shoe, as well as some deals right now for the Invincible 2.
Overall this isn’t a bad shoe. I think some of the initial wildly positive reviews (from people who seemingly got the shoe for free…) were a bit exaggerated, as well as some of the wildly negative reviews that mentioned the heel slip. A quick adjustment to the laces should take care of that issue. Now, should I have to lace my shoes in a completely new way on a shoe that costs $180? No, probably not. Is it a bit disappointing that the shoe doesn’t feel quite as soft as the original two versions? Yes, it is.
At the end of the day, I will not be sending this back, but rather running in this for 300-400 miles because that’s what I do with all my shoes. But in the meantime, I will have my eyes peeled for possible alternates, such as the New Balance Fresh Foam X More V4 or the Asics Novablast 3.
Overall, a decent shoe, but it might disappoint diehard fans of the originals.
For the video review and more content, such as weekly running vlogs, reviews and the lighter side of running, subscribe to the Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube.
Here are 7 ways cities can take steps to make it safer for runners, including:
Building dedicated running paths: Cities can create dedicated running paths that are separate from bike lanes and roads, providing runners with a safe and dedicated space to exercise. In Oak Park, Michigan, the city took unused space along a road and turned it into a liner park, complete with a path and many activations along the way. Read more about this project from The Oakland County Times.
Improving street lighting: Poor lighting can be a major safety concern for runners, especially those who run at night. Cities can improve street lighting to ensure that runners have adequate visibility and feel safe while running.
Creating more pedestrian-friendly streets: Cities can design streets to prioritize pedestrians, with wide sidewalks, crosswalks, and traffic calming measures such as speed humps. This can help to reduce the risk of accidents and improve the overall running experience.
Encouraging active transportation: Cities can also encourage active transportation by providing incentives for people to bike or walk to work or school. This can help to reduce the number of cars on the road and make it safer for runners.
Education and awareness campaigns: Cities can also educate the public on how to share the road safely and promote awareness of the rights and responsibilities of runners and other road users.
Promoting green spaces: cities can also focus on promoting green spaces, such as parks, gardens and other recreational areas. These spaces not only provide a safe place for running but also can improve mental and physical health, air quality, and biodiversity. The city of Royal Oak opened a brand new park in the heart of the city’s downtown, providing year-round activations, from concerts to an ice rink.
Collaborating with the community: Cities can also work with local running groups and organizations to understand the specific needs and concerns of runners in their community and tailor their safety measures accordingly.
Overall, cities can make it safer for runners by creating a more pedestrian-friendly environment, providing dedicated running paths and spaces, improving street lighting, and promoting active transportation.
What are some things your city has done to improve safety for runners? Leave a comment below!
When it comes to buying running shoes, it’s important to find a pair that fits your specific needs. Here are a few tips for how to buy the right running shoes.
Determine your foot type
There are three main foot types: neutral, overpronated, and supinated. Neutral feet have a normal arch and roll slightly inward when running. If this is you, congrats, you have the ideal foot type for running. Overpronated feet have a low arch and roll excessively inward. Supinated feet have a high arch and roll outward.
Knowing your foot type will help you choose a shoe with the right level of support. Bring an old pair of shoes (even if you don’t run in them) to a running shop and have the staff take a look. They can also analyze your stride to determine the best shoe for you. You don’t need to know anything about running, trust the experts!
Look for a shoe that fits well
Running shoes should fit snugly but not be too tight. You want to leave some space between your big toe and the front end of the shoe. This is to give your foot room during your stride, but also account for your foot getting bigger as you run longer. Additionally, make sure the shoe is comfortable to walk in and doesn’t rub or cause any discomfort. A shoe that is too small can cause blisters or even damage to your foot.
Consider the surface you’ll be running on
Different shoes are designed for different surfaces, such as road, trail, or track. Road shoes have a harder sole and are made for running on pavement. Trail shoes have a more aggressive tread and are designed for running on dirt or gravel. Track shoes are lightweight and have a flatter sole for running on a track, and may even include spikes on the bottom. It’s usually a good idea to start with a road shoe and go from there.
Think about your running style
If you’re a heel striker (when your heel hits the ground first in your stride) like me, look for a shoe with more cushioning in the heel. I tend to wear down the outsole in the heel area first, to finding a shoe with cushion and lots of rubber on the bottom (like the Nike Invincible) is a good idea. If you’re a midfoot or forefoot striker, look for a shoe with more cushioning in the front of the shoe. Most shoes are designed with mid or forefoot strikers in mind.
Try on multiple shoes
Don’t be afraid to try on multiple pairs of shoes to find the best fit and comfort for you. It’s also important to note that different brands and styles may fit differently, so it’s always a good idea to try a few different options. If a store allows you to take your shoes out for a run around the block, do it! The best way to gauge the comfort of your running shoes is to actually run in them. A shoe might feel great while walking the aisles of a store, but they can feel completely different while running.
These are a few of my recommendations for how to buy the right running shoes. Be sure to subscribe to The Fresh Brew Run Club on YouTube for tips, shoe reviews, weekly running vlogs and so much more, all from the perspective of an average runner. Also check out my previous reviews. Happy running!
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 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).“
First Look at the Nike ZoomX Invincible 3
Check out the Fresh Brew Run Club’s reaction video to the Invincible 3 below:
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.
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.
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.
Welcome to the first edition of the Fresh Brewsletter. I hope to make a weekly update on my running endeavors, as well as other aspects loosely related to running. Subscribe to the Fresh Brew Run Club by entering your email for updates. I promise I won’t spam you with a bunch of useless nonsense; my nonsense will be extremely useful.
3 Running Observations
I just got back from Boston, and what a fun city to run in! It’s the closest I’ve felt to running in Europe anywhere in the US, with its narrow and winding cobblestone streets, historic architecture and loud sea birds circling overhead, waiting for me to collapse while charging up Beacon Hill. I am working on a new video recapping my run along the Freedom Trail, Fenway Park and the finish line of the Boston Marathon this week. Hopefully, I will have it posted for this weekend.
On the flip side, Portland, ME is one of the worst cities to run in. It might have been the scorching heat, but the lack of trees in this city certainly didn’t help. Traffic was busy, crosswalks were limited and I didn’t find the charm I expected to see, based on Somebody Feed Phil. Live and learn.
In the dead of last winter, I promised I would never take warm weather for granted. However, the latest heat/humidity wave has me wavering (pun) on that promise. Running in this weather is a slog! But at least there is no risk of slipping on black ice and freezing to the sidewalk.
My Latest Video
Speaking of running in all these states, I launched my 50 State Running Challenge this week, where starting this summer, I am trying to run in all 50 states. It will take me a lifetime, but I am up for the challenge, and welcome any excuse to travel to Hawaii and Alaska. The first video is from my home state of Michigan, on my favorite running path, the Detroit Riverwalk.
Bad news. My Nike ZoomX Invincible 2 is cracking. The midsole foam has a few concerning cracks after 100 miles. I’ll cover it in a future video, but I never had this problem with the first version of the shoe, and I even ran 500 miles in one of them. I am racking my brain trying to remember if I got my heel caught in a bike chain or bitten by a dog, but I can’t recall. Hopefully, this is just a fluke.
I tried to get Dunkin Donuts in Boston. I showed up at the location 30 minutes before I had a tour across the street (which seemed like plenty of time) but my order wasn’t completed in time and I sadly had to leave it. However, I did get a (very costly) orange juice. It was ok. Never ended up having a Dunkin coffee in Boston. It’s always unfortunate when you miss out on local fare that you can’t get anywhere else.
Song of the Week
Happiness by The 1975. Great song. It’s a burst of saxophone-laden positivity that makes my runs fly by. I’ll always associate this song with running the city of Boston, as I had it on repeat all week.
Interesting Read of the Week
Great piece on Marge Hickman, a 72-year-old runner competing in a 100-mile race in Lousiville. Goals, tbh. Read via the New York Times.
Thanks for reading the first ever version of TheFreshBrewsletter. Subscribe by submitting your info on the homepage. If you have topic ideas, questions, comments or anything else, shoot me an email at email@example.com.
These treadmill running tips will help you break up the monotony of running in place.
I do not enjoy the treadmill. I find it boring and the exact opposite of everything I love about running. The treadmill takes away the joy of feeling the sun on your skin, hearing the birds chirp and breathing in fresh air. However, not all climates allow for year-round running, so the treadmill can be a necessity. But it doesn’t have to be complete misery; check out this video from the Fresh Brew Run Club for some treadmill running tips:
Cover the screen
It’s tempting to stare at the time and distance on your treadmill, as if that will make things go any faster, but all it does it occupy your mind with exactly how far and long you still have to run. Instead, find a cloth, piece or paper or sometihng to cover up the screen so you can focus on something else. Try not to look at the numbers too much, but instead focus on your form, or the TV. Speaking of TV…
Watch TV while running
One of my favorite ways to pass the boredom of treadmill running is to watch TV. I took an old TV of mine and mounted it to the wall in front of the treadmill with a mount I purchased on Amazon, then connected a Roku to the TV so I can watch any streaming channel of my choosing. While I mostly prefer to watch YouTube, I can catch up on the latest episode of This Old House if I choose. I also attached Velcro strips to my remotes and the treadmill itself, so I never lose the remote, or have to hear it rattle around in the cupholder.
Visualize Your Goals
To help me stay motivated, I wrote down my goal 5K time and stuck it to the wall in front of my treadmill, just under the TV. This way, I am always reminded of exactly why I’m running. In my case, it’s to beat my 5K PR from high school. On days when I feel like quitting after one mile, the visual goal helps me to stay on track (or tread).
What are your treadmill running tips?
Those are a few of my treadmill running tips. If you want the full list, check out my video! Do you have some treadmill running tips of your own? Leave them in a comment below!