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Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 review

7 expert score
5.6 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Running Warehouse with our own money.
Review written on 30th August by Brandon Law Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
153 other reviews

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 Verdict

The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 is a super soft, max-cushioned trainer with more bounce and energy return than any other max-cushioned trainer on the market. Version 3 has a new strobel lining underneath its insole which gives it a firmer, more stable ride with less energy return. It also has a longer heel clip to improve stability but it may cause issues for runners with wide or flat feet. It’s also much heavier than previous versions.

The pros

  • More attractive design
  • New heel pull tab
  • Better stability

The cons

  • Intrusive heel clip
  • Less bounce
  • Firmer ride

Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

Rating breakdown

Comfort
6.0
Build quality
8.0
Upper
7.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
5.0
Durability
7.0
Value / Price
7.0

Facts / Specs

Brand
Model
ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3
Weight
11.2 oz (318 g)
MSRP
$180.00

Heel
mm.
Toe
mm.
Heel drop
9 mm.
Carbon plate
No plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
True to size
Heel fit
Normal
Midfoot fit
Tight
Toebox fit
Normal

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Plush
Amount of cushioning
Highly cushioned
Stability
Some stability
Flexibility
Flexible

Usage

Racing
Speedwork
Daily training  
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 ?

If you enjoyed the ride of the first 2 versions of the Invincible Run but you found them too soft/unstable, you should get this new version. It has a more controlled, firmer ride with increased stability.

Who should not buy the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 ?

If you have wide or flat feet, the Invincible Run 3 is not the shoe for you because it has a narrow midfoot where the heel clip pokes into the sides of your feet. It’s also not a shoe for runners who prefer a minimal, firm ride with plenty of ground feel.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 Introduction

For the past 2 years, the Invincible Run has been the gold standard when it comes to max-cushioned trainers.
Unparalleled in terms of softness and energy return, the Invincible Run has been a big step forward in running shoe innovation.

What makes the Invincible Run such a special shoe is that it uses Nike’s premier midsole foam, ZoomX, the exact same PEBA-based foam used in their high-end racing shoes. This is the only brand that does this with their max-cushioned trainer.

The Invincible Run series has been hands down my favorite max-cushioned trainer of the last 2 years. No other trainer has this much impact protection and insane level of bounce.

The Invincible Run 2 was a minor, upper-only update but this year’s Invincible Run 3 gets a complete redesign.

Nike not only made the midsole wider but also added foam for a taller stack height. There are some other additional tweaks that have altered the ride of the Invincible Run 3.

It weighs 10.9 oz (310 g) for a men’s US9, which is 1.1 oz (32 g) heavier than the Invincible Run 2. It now has a stack height of 40 mm in the heel and 31 mm in the forefoot, an additional 3 mm in the heel and forefoot compared to its predecessor.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 First Impressions

Picture of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

Last year’s version ran a half size big but this time I ordered it in my true size. When it arrived and I tried it on, I was relieved that the fit was perfect. The Invincible Run 3 is true to size.

My first run was a 9 km easy run and there were a few big differences compared to the last 2 versions.

The most noticeable difference was the new heel clip that now extends in the midfoot- I could feel it on the sides of my feet which was slightly annoying.

The other big difference was that the Invincible Run 3 felt firmer underfoot and not as bouncy, not as fun. It felt more reserved.

Heel lockdown wasn’t as good as in the previous versions and I had to use a runner’s knot. My first run in the Invincible Run 3 was a bit disappointing but it still felt very well cushioned and much softer than any other max-cushioned trainer.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 Upper

Picture of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

It’s interesting that Nike has changed the padded tongue from a fully-sleeved tongue to a non gusseted tongue but I still didn’t experience any tongue slide. The absence of an inner sleeve makes the upper feel thinner and more breathable. The mesh also feels smoother and better ventilated than on predecessors.

The padding on the outside of the collar has been removed and there is still a generous amount of padding inside the collar however heel lockdown is subpar due to the heel cup being low, so your heel sits higher up in the shoe. I can’t cinch the laces really tight to alleviate the heel slip because that creates other uncomfortable fit problems at the narrow midfoot.

Picture of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

The Invincible Run 3 has a less roomy fit than the previous versions and you don’t need to size down anymore. It has a narrow midfoot so it’s not suitable for wide feet but it has a normal-width forefoot and toe-box.

A new addition to the upper is a reflective heel pull tab loop which runs vertically along the entire heel cup.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 Sole Unit

Picture of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

The Invincible Run 3 is a prime example of a brand trying to change too much. When this happens, it strays far from the original product which made fans fall in love with it and made it become such a popular shoe to begin with.

The Invincible Run 3 feels firmer than its predecessors because it has a furry, white strobel lining underneath its insole. This is essentially an extra layer between your feet and the soft midsole foam. In the previous versions, your feet sat directly on top of the foam with just the thin insole in between.

The new strobel lining prevents your feet from sinking down into the soft ZoomX goodness. The result of this change is a higher level of stability and a more controlled ride.

It feels to me as if the energetic ZoomX has been watered down and I wish I could cut the strobel lining out of the shoe.

The Invincible Run 3 feels most comfortable when you’re doing easy paces slower than 5:30 minutes per km (8:52 mins per mile). If you do want to pick up the pace for portions of a run, the high-energy return from the midsole allows you to do so with ease. I wouldn’t recommend it for entire runs at speeds below 5 minutes per km (8 mins per mile) because it’s far too heavy and bulky.

The Invincible Run 3 is now at the maximum 40 mm allowed for World Athletics races and even though they added an extra 3 mm of foam in the forefoot and heel, it doesn’t feel more cushioned than the Invincible Run 2. This is again the result of the strobel lining making the ride firmer.

Picture of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

Nike says on the product page that the heel clip on the back of the Invincible Run 3 has been made smaller and while it has been made thinner, the clip now extends further forward into the midfoot so it’s longer (similar to the heel clip on the Infinity Run 3). This makes the back of the shoe more rigid and gives it more structure so it doesn’t twist as much.

I find that because I have flat feet, I can feel the heel clip of the sides of my midfoot. This heel clip is designed to guide the foot through the gait cycle but in reality, it’s too distracting. On long runs, I find this poking sensation so annoying that I have to loosen the laces a lot so that there’s more space in the midfoot of the shoe.

Picture of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

The midsole has a redesigned geometry which bulges out in the forefoot even more than the previous versions. This geometry creates a wider, more stable base but it also makes the forefoot stiffer. When combined with the new strobel lasting, the forefoot of the Invincible Run 3 has less flexibility in the forefoot and this leads to transitions which feel more snappy.

There is a protruding orange “stamp” with the full name of the shoe on the medial side of the rearfoot midsole and it looks like it could be a medial post to prevent excessive inward ankle roll. This is however not the case and it’s just a design feature so it doesn’t affect the ride.

Picture of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

The outsole still uses very thin, very soft rubber to keep the ride soft. There’s less rubber on the outsole of the Invincible Run 3 on the midfoot section compared to previous versions which had full outsole coverage so the outsole of the 3rd version is less durable.

There are small nubs that protrude from the rubber but they are very soft and don’t grip wet surfaces very well. I went down a small, wet slope, slipped and fell because the grip was so bad.

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 Conclusions

Picture of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

If you previously found the Invincible Run too soft and unstable, I think you’ll be very happy with this new version which has a firmer, more controlled ride due to the extra strobel lasting underneath the insole. It also has a stiffer forefoot so it feels slightly more snappy.

If you loved the unadulterated energy return and extreme bounce of the first 2 versions, you’ll be disappointed with the Invincible Run 3. I fall into this camp. For me, the Invincible Run 3 feels less special in the ride department and not as comfortable. The new, longer heel clip pokes into the sides of my feet and the heel lockdown isn’t as secure.

I don’t think the Invincible Run 3 is a good update. Not only is it firmer but it is also over an ounce heavier than its predecessor. I think what Nike was trying to do with this update was make it more practical, to appeal to a wider audience but the result is a more ordinary, less fun trainer. The only thing I like about it is the sleeker, more modern design.

Picture of Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3

If you want a firmer, more stable Nike daily trainer, there’s already the Infinity Run 3 and Pegasus 39 so it doesn’t make sense to make the Invincible Run more similar to those other React-based neutral trainers.

The Invincible Run 3 feels like a missed opportunity to make an already great shoe, perfect. All they needed to do was cut some of the bloat from the upper and make it lighter.

The Invincible 3 is still the softest shoe on the market but it isn’t as comfortable as other max-cushioned trainers such as the Triumph 20, Glycerin 20 and even the Ultraboost 22 so it has fallen down the pecking order for me.

How does the ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 compare?

Hoka One One Hoka Bondi 8
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3
New Balance Fresh Foam X 1080 v12
Expert score
7
7
7.5
User score
Best price
Retail price
US$165
US$180
US$160
Weight
10.8 oz
11.2 oz
10.3 oz
Heel Drop
4 mm
9 mm
8 mm
Recommended for
Daily training, long distance racing
Daily training
Daily training
Cushioning type
balanced
plush
balanced
Cushioning amount
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Highly cushioned
Flexibility
rigid
flexible
medium
Stability
very stable
some stability
not particularly stable
Sizing
true to size
true to size
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Nike at Running Warehouse  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.
Lowest price:

$180

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 3 price comparison

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

Reviewed by Brandon

This review was written by Brandon Law on 30th August.
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Malaysia. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.

User feedback (9)

  • avatar-comment-1035305
    Ben
    3 weeks ago
    8 score

    This is a fun shoe to mix into my running shoe collection. I honestly expected them to be more squishy but they are surprisingly stable and solid feeling underfoot. These did deliver on taking pressure off my legs with all the extra cushion as well. But as others have said the lockdown in the heel was a problem for me, and I have not found a solution that lasts me through my workouts.

  • avatar-comment-1034803
    Jason
    2 months ago
    9 score

    I’ve done 450km’s in these shoes and they are holding up way better than the 2’s. Although they are firmer, they feel they are much more stable because of that. Even though there is a pain in the back of my arch, my physio and podiatrist both said that this was a good thing it was just that my foot was not used to the support. Overall really good shoe.

  • avatar-comment-1029849
    John
    8 months ago
    1 score

    This was a huge disappointment to me. I have both of the prior versions and was looking forward to a new pair. My heel slipped despite best efforts at relacing. Worse yet, there was something that caused me pain at the midfoot. Not sure if it’s the extended heel clip or something else. The only pair of running shoes I’ve ever returned. (40 miles in)

  • avatar-comment-1028464
    Stefan
    9 months ago
    5 score

    It’s definitely firmer than the previous 2 versions. First impressions were not great. Upper runs higher near the ball of my ankle which is noticeable and causes very minor discomfort. You definitely feel the heavier weight probably because the ride is now so much firmer than it was. I’m disappointed as I feel there are much better shoes out in the market at cheaper prices that do a better job.

  • avatar-comment-1027203
    David
    11 months ago
    10 score

    After using them for a couple of months and 300 km. I am happy with them. Running feels very soft for me. Cushion is quite good. The grip from the shoe is good. Definitely recommended for daily training.

  • avatar-comment-1025936
    Flying Dutchman
    12 months ago

    Ohhh no, the invincible 2 was beyond anything, i have made nearly 1000km on them for the past few months. For me it was already perfect. I saw the 3rd version online and thought they looked a bit better but I don’t care for looks. I don’t even use my massage gun ever since i started wearing these shoes. So disappointed they changed this truly unique ride.

  • avatar-comment-1025497
    Ron Aviv
    1 year ago
    1 score

    What a disappointment this shoe is. Can’t stress that enough. Nothing much to add after the detailed review which addressed basically every issue, besides the fact that the cons are described very politely- they are much worse in reality than described. I bought two pairs from Nike online app, one for my wife and one me on presale, with high expectations after loving the previous version, and was so excited when they finally arrived. Simply useless, for my wife and for me as well. Not exaggerating – useless! Feet sore after each run – I did give them a few chances, thought that maybe breaking them in might take longer, but no – sad to say it, cause I’m addicted to Nike, this is simply a terrible shoe for us, one of Nike’s greatest flops.

  • avatar-comment-1025175
    Robert Wilson
    1 year ago
    1 score

    You should mention that they don’t feel anything at all like gen2’s. The heel cushioning is nothing like the previous version, the arch is totally different and doesn’t have the same character as the gen2. It’s not nearly as comfortable.

  • avatar-comment-1025103
    Colin
    1 year ago
    10 score

    Really great review. I agree that they needed to make this shoe lighter and less bulky. Going to pass on this version because of the heel slip issue, the uncomfortable heel clip and the firmer ride. I think it does look like a sleeker design but overall it seems uglier than the 2 – at least in black. The things that made version 2 appealing for me was the fun bouncy ride and the way it could double as a lifestyle shoe. Sadly, this shoe isn’t appealing to me at all.

Lowest price:
$180

Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD

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