Nike’s marketing pitch: Keeps you going with the same supersoft feel.
Upper: Textured mesh, inner sleeve.
Midsole: Full-length ZoomX foam, heel stabilizer. 9 mm heel drop.
Outsole: Carbon rubber.
Weight: 317 gms/ 11.2 Oz for a half pair of Men's US 10/UK 9/EUR 44/CM 27.1.
Widths available: D - regular (reviewed).
Previous model: Nike ZoomX Invincible Run.
Country of origin: Made in Vietnam.
In this review:
It’s been well over a year since we reviewed the first version of the ZoomX Invincible Run, and our opinion of the shoe holds.
The ZoomX Invincible Run 2 is one of the softest running shoes that money can buy, the kind that makes long-distance runs very easy on the feet. And it accomplishes this feat without feeling mushy; the bouncy responsiveness of the ZoomX midsole keeps things lively.
The absence of a Carbon plate means that this is not a speed shoe like the Vaporfly Next % V2. However, if all that you’re looking for is a high-mileage cruiser, the Invincible Run 2 is a near-perfect choice.
There’s more than enough cushioning comfort for marathon-level distances and beyond.
Many people will also use the Invincible as a casual shoe for walking and standing, and it’s ideal for those use-cases as well. The wide and deep ZoomX midsole never seems to run out of comfort, and the upper fit is well-proportioned.
This year’s Invincible Run V2 is just a mild refresh that uses the same midsole as the V1, so it’s okay if you don’t upgrade.
Except for minor updates, both versions are nearly identical.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN NIKE ZOOMX INVINCIBLE RUN V2 AND INVINCIBLE RUN V1
The Nike Invincible Run 1 and V2 share the same midsole, but with just a minor update.
The 2022 model gets a redesigned heel clip with raised sidewalls for a slightly higher level of heel support. Since both the V1 and V2 share an internal heel counter, the new clip is a nice-to-have feature, but doesn’t have a significant upside on the ride stability.
The removable insole and no-strobel construction are identical to the previous design. In essence, there’s no difference in the ride quality between the V1 and V2.
There are a couple of changes on the upper. The V2 gets a tighter knit mesh as well as reinforced forefoot sides; the wider spacing between the laces makes the fit slightly more relaxed than before. The upper fits true to size, as did the last model.
THE MIDSOLE DESIGN AND RIDE EXPERIENCE
Usually, the insole plays a huge part in how the shoe feels under the foot. The recently reviewed Pegasus Turbo Next Nature is a good example; despite its ZoomX midsole, its thin insole made it feel ‘firmer’ than the V1.
The ZoomX Invincible Run 2 suffers from no such limitations. There’s no dearth of cushioning softness from the heel to toe, and in our review of the Invincible Run V1, we explained how the lack of a lasting makes the cushioning what it is.
Unlike all other running shoes, the Invincible lacks any lasting or strobel under the thin footbed. This allows the foot to tap into the bouncy softness of the ZoomX midsole with ease, without a stiff layer of lasting getting in between.
Together with the insole, the lasting also makes a significant difference – the Saucony Endorphin Speed and Pro are good examples. The thinner fabric lasting of the Pro adds to the cushioning softness, whereas the thicker textile lining of the Speed makes it firmer.
Get rid of the lasting altogether, and we end up the softy goodness that is the Invincible Run.
The midsole is not only wide across the forefoot and heel, but it’s taller than most running shoes. With a heel stack height of 37 mm and forefoot thickness of 28 mm, the Invincible’s brief is clear – be the most cushioned shoe in the market, bar none.
One of the things that surprised us last year was the shoe’s 11-ounce weight. Usually, other Nike shoes with ZoomX in them are much lighter specimens. But since there’s so much foam here – not counting the outsole rubber and upper – the ends justify the means.
All this cushioning does what’s supposed to. The Nike Invincible Run Flyknit 2 excels at being a comfortable cruiser for long runs; the ZoomX reservoir makes high-mileage training less punishing on the feet.
The accommodating nature of the upper helps as well. The broad midsole is narrow-waisted in the midfoot to allow the upper to create a secure fit.
While the Invincible Run 2 shares the ZoomX foam with the Vaporfly, both are nothing alike. Sure, there’s the familiar sensation of the responsive foam working under the foot, the Invincible Run behaves very differently on the road.
Without the propulsive and transition-friendly character of the Carbon plate, the foot does most of the work. The forefoot lacks a distinct rocker, and the heel doesn’t have the distinctive snap of the Carbon plate – because there is none. It’s just ZoomX foam throughout.
It’s possible to occasionally push the Invincible Run 2 to 4:30 min/km (7:00 min/mile) territory, but this shoe feels (most) settled at paces slower than 5:30 min/km (8:50 min/mile). Anything faster feels like a job that’s better done by other running shoes.
And should you decide to make the Invincible Run 2 your daily driver, that’s perfectly okay as long as you’re aware of the shoe’s performance envelope.
By the way, this is also a great shoe for walking and jobs that involve standing; this is truly a shoe that feels as if there’s a block of soft foam taped to your feet. The wide midsole and full-contact outsole create a plush and supportive foundation.
The stability isn’t bad for a shoe this soft. By centering the weight over the heel, the shoe doesn’t throw you around. Here, the plastic stabilizer and internal heel counter make sure that any compression happens vertically under the heel, rather than sideways.
The heel clip is the only component that’s been modified; the rest of the midsole is the same as last year. The sides of the clip have been raised higher to cup the heel on both sides.
We have the same opinion of the outsole as we did last year. The dense colony of micro-waffles has a decent grip, and the beveled heel makes rearfoot-landing easier.
A couple of rotational strategies can work here.
While long-distance runs at easy paces are covered by the Invincible Run 2, it’s also nice to have a daily trainer with a higher level of versatility.
Here’s where the Pegasus 39 comes in; it offers a just-right blend between ride comfort and efficiency. The Saucony Ride 15 is also an alternative – if a firmer ride and rocker midsole is preferable.
On the other hand, if the Invincible Run 2 suffices for your daily training needs, then we recommend either the Nike Vaporfly Next V2 or Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 as a speed shoe for long-distance training or marathons.
Shorter races and tempo training are best done in shoes like the adidas adios 7, Nike Zoom Streakfly, or the New Balance Supercomp pacer.
IS THE NIKE ZOOMX INVINCIBLE RUN 2 DURABLE?
Apart from the midsole creasing and gradual wear and tear on the outsole, the Invincible Run 2 should last 400 miles.
The upper doesn’t seem to have any weak spots or friction areas that could result in accelerated wear and tear.
The outsole covers most of the ZoomX midsole, so the softer foam is well protected from abrasion-related damage.
THE UPPER DESIGN AND FIT
Barring a couple of minor changes, the Invincible Run Flyknit 2 fits the same as the V1.
The wide toe box and adequate ceiling height create a comfortable interior for the forefoot. There’s plenty of room above and in front of the toes for splay, and the fit is genuinely true to size.
In the rear, the plush heel delivers a very secure fit. It’s padded with foam, and the lining uses a soft-touch fabric. The ‘faux’ padding on the outside has changed, but that does not effect the fit.
The tongue design receives a design makeover, and with that comes a lower level of lacing pressure. By using a firmer mesh on top, the tongue does a better job of filtering the top-down lacing pressure.
On the flip side, the tongue flap isn’t as soft as the last year’s model.
However, all things considered, we prefer the updated tongue of the V2. Like the V1, 2/3rd of the tongue is attached to a sleeve that also doubles as the forefoot lining.
The forefoot fit feels more spacious than the V1. The V-notch on this year’s model is not as pronounced as the V1, there’s a larger gap (around 3 mm) between the opposing eyelets.
The wider lacing and less aggressive V-notch design create a more relaxed fit environment. It’s still perfectly possible to achieve a secure midfoot fit; the only difference is that tightening the laces doesn’t lead to instant response in the fit – as it did on the Invincible Run V1.
On a related note, we like the softer laces used on the newest model.
Nike replaced the two-tone mesh with a thicker mesh that adds more structure to the upper. The forefoot sides have also been reinforced for durability.
Though the ventilation isn’t great, the insides do not feel stuffy to the point of discomfort.
This time, there’s a larger strip of reflectivity over the heel. Not that it makes a huge difference, but it’s our job to call it out.
PROS AND CONS
We hope that our review has acquainted you with the Nike Invincible Run Flyknit 2’s strengths, but here’s a quick summary.
This is the ideal shoe for long-distance runs – since it has a level of cushioning comfort that’s rarely found in other running shoes. The tall and wide ZoomX midsole produces a soft and springy ride that never feels mushy.
The easy-going upper fit is also a good match for its plush ride. The Invincible Run 2 is not sold in additional widths, but the standard fit should fit most regular foot profiles.
SHOES SIMILAR TO THE NIKE ZOOMX INVINCIBLE RUN 2
It’s hard to find a comparable shoe that can beat the Invincible on its blend of ride softness and responsiveness. Having said that, shoes like New Balance Fresh Foam More V4 and New Balance 1080 V12 are worth considering.
The 1080V12, in particular, deserves a callout – it’s a more versatile performer that also offers a very comfortable ride.
We’d probably throw the Hoka Bondi 8 in there too, but at the time of publishing this review, we haven’t clocked any miles in that shoe. But if the Bondi 8 is anything like the Bondi 7, then it should offer a max-cushioned ride for high-mileage cruising.
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