Nike has long been known as the running shoe company that pushes the bounds of innovation and product design.
The creation of the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit is the latest testament to Nike’s creativity and desire to push the bounds of what we runners think is possible in a running shoe.
When runners think of a daily trainer, we might instantly snap to some of the classics like the Asics Gel-Kayano, Brooks Ghost, Brooks Adrenaline, or even the Nike Pegasus. These all provide a different fit and feel, but they all sit within the “not too much of anything” category when we look at weight, cushion, stability, and performance.
The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run FK is an entirely different story.
Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit Review
- Stack Height: 39 mm (Heel), 30 mm (Forefoot)
- OFFSET: 9mm drop from heel to toe
- Weight: 9.3 oz / 263g (M9) & 8.1 oz / 230g (W8)
- FIT: True to size
- Category: Neutral
With a comfortable flyknit mesh upper and a midsole absolutely STACKED with ZoomX foam, we get a mix of cushion and bounce that may have never been seen in a performance daily trainer before, but does it actually come together as a positive experience?
Let’s find out now.
Flyknit Upper - Materials and Lockdown - Perfect for Running
The upper is primarily composed of Nike’s signature Flyknit material, which is designed to fit and feel like a sock around your feet.
Right off the bat, this flyknit material feels closer to an engineered mesh than pretty much any other past flyknit design iterations. For my runs, this was a welcome sight, and it provides far more structural support and lockdown than any other flyknit designs.
For some extra heel support, there is a TPU collar that sticks out of the back to help guide your foot in a biomechanically efficient way through your heel-to-toe off.
Another bit that I liked on the upper was the full-length gusseted tongue, which definitely contributed to that socklike feel over the top of my foot. I found that there was also far more lateral stability with this knit upper than I have felt in most other knit uppers across the board of shoe brands out there.Minor heel slipping issues
POSITIVE: Great fit across the top of the footDRAWBACK:
MIDSOLE / OUTSOLE - Bouncy and Soft
Nike made my job super easy in this section, as the midsole is entirely composed of that famous (or infamous) ZoomX foam technology, which is stacked from heel to toe of this shoe.
Since its inception, we have only seen ZoomX foam integrated within performance first workout and racing shoes, but the Invincible takes a pivot to become the first viable daily training option with ZoomX foam.
Part of the concern with ZoomX foam is its durability because until now, most of the shoes featuring the ZoomX foam have squished down pretty quickly into the lifespan of the shoe (thinking pegasus turbo, 4%, etc.).Similar to the way people react when trying on their first pair of the Hoka Bondi or Clifton, the ZoomX invincible provides an underfoot sensation unlike anything you have felt before, and that is even before you start your run in them. Just walking around or jumping a little immediately illustrated the extra “pop” these shoes provide.
Once you get going on a run, the foam really encourages you to pick up your stride rate and pace, but once you are comfortable in the shoe it is not impossible to enjoy a slow shakeout in them as well. The extra midsole bounce is also accompanied by plenty of soft impact absorption.
With all of the positives stemming from a soft and bouncy midsole, it is worth noting that those who enjoy a firm and “lower to the ground” feeling shoe will want to steer clear of the ZoomX Invincible, as it is essentially the antithesis of that.
With all things considered, I might even go so far as to say some runners will enjoy them as a marathon/half marathon racing shoe. My argument for this is that they provide an incredible amount of energy return, the sheer density of ZoomX cushioning will protect your legs for prolonged distances, and the lack of carbon plate will allow most runners to be closer to their natural gait cycle.
They are not as light as most racing shoes, but for most runners, they will be light enough to get the job done.
As far as the outsole goes, many of us have learned that exposed ZoomX foam does not last very long, but it’s not a problem with the ZoomX Invincible, as it consists of a full-length rubber outsole.
The waffle pattern has helped with grip in some sticky situations as well. I have been pleasantly impressed with the traction on this outsole rubber, which yet again reassures me that there is enough performance potential in this shoe to be used as a racing shoe for some runners out there.
POSITIVE: Great impact absorption, energy return, and bounce.
DRAWBACK: It Will be too squishy and high of a platform for some runners.
Durability Prediction - 300-500 miles (485-805km)
Although I was touting the impressive durability of this shoe in comparison to other ZoomX foam models in Nike’s lineup, I am still apprehensive about the long-term durability of the ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit.
The ZoomX foam still provides some variables that make it hard to hone in on a tight range of durability, especially when we take individual biomechanics, body composition, and workload of each runner into account.
Because of all these factors, I think a safe range to expect from the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit will be somewhere between 300-500 miles.
Keep in mind that this milage range is the estimate of the time you will maintain peak performance from the shoe, not when the shoe is totally dead.
You will still probably be able to get plenty of runs in after this mileage estimate, but you may begin to notice diminishing returns on the energy return, bounce, and soft midsole feeling.Is that slightly lower mileage estimate worth the $180 price tag? With all of the performance benefits you get, I think the answer is a yes, but ultimately it’s up to you to decide.
Best Uses - Workouts, Long Runs, “Steady Pace”, Daily Training
Being a performance-oriented daily trainer, you will probably see the biggest bang for your buck when running some faster paces in the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit.
Any tempo, long interval, progression runs, or long runs will be great sessions to use the ZoomX Invincible for.
I also see this as a great shoe to take with you while traveling, as it can essentially tick all of the boxes for a session you may need to complete while out and about without worrying about taking multiple pairs of shoes.
Furthermore, they are actually comfortable to walk in, so if you were looking to bring only one shoe on vacation to run, walk, and stand around in, then this would be a great option to consider.
Conclusion - A Great First Attempt at a ZoomX Daily Trainer
As I have mentioned throughout this review, you can feel confident in the ZoomX Invincible’s ability to nail a tempo workout, but also double back as a comfortable easy day shoe.
I think this was a great first step in creating a truly functional ZoomX foam daily trainer that can last for a solid amount of miles and still provide some great performance benefits in workouts, and even on race day.
The main area the needs to improve is probably the weight, as this might really become a viable racing option for age-groupers if it lost an oz. or two, but I also understand the intention to make this a daily trainer.
My only reservation is that as a daily trainer, this shoe is priced far too high for most people’s budgets. If it were marketed as a performance-oriented “do-it-all” type shoe then I might be more confident in saying that the ZoomX Invincible is totally worth it, but until then I remain unsatisfied by the high price point.
Should You Get The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit?
My immediate answer is a yes because I think this is the kind of shoe that could find a spot in most runner’s shoe rotations.
More specifically, if you are someone who enjoys a shoe with a high stack height, a ton of energy return, and plenty of bounce, then the ZoomX Invincible is really going to be a shoe to try out.
If you like a firmer shoe with high ground contact, then this is definitely not the one for you.
Hi, Jeremy Here,
I am the the guy behind Train for a 5K. On this site, I share everything that learned along my running journey. The content I create is the running training I wish I had before we started this journey. About Me.
Last update on 2023-01-09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API