Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 Shoes Review
by iRUN Singapore on June 30, 2022
Weight: 291grams /10.26oz (Men’s US 9)
Price: $269 SGD
Stack Height: 30/39mm (9mm drop)
I loved the first version of the Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit. By ‘loved’, I mean it was my favorite easy day trainer of 2021. The ride was unlike anything I’ve experienced before: soft, plush and bouncy while not being overly heavy or mushy. It was the only shoe that I could take out when my legs really beat up and still feel significant bounce from the midsole.
While the ride was superb, there were a couple of issues I had. These issues were mainly from the upper. The tongue was too thick, the laces were short and thick, the toe box was slightly narrow, the padding around the external ankle collar was unnecessary and the worst of all: the upper separated from the midsole after 200km. Thankfully, I got a full refund thanks to Nike’s return policy caused by manufacturing defects.
Enter the Invincible Run 2. There are a couple of upper changes that address the gripes I had while retaining the excellent ride quality from the first version.
The upper is made up of a similar-looking flyknit material as the v1. This material is stretchy and moderately breathable, though I wouldn’t take these out on late mornings due to the tropical climate here in Singapore.
Multiple updates from the v1:
Slightly Thinner Tongue
Slightly Less Padded Ankle Collar
In short, all the issues I had with the upper were gone. Everything seems to have been streamlined. The upper still isn’t the most breathable, but it's slightly better than on the first version. The cushion pieces on the external portions of the ankle collar are still there. I’m not sure what they are for, and removing them could further cut down on the weight. The laces are now rounded and thinner, which improved the lockdown of the shoe significantly. I have zero heel slippage here. The thinner tongue, thinner ankle collar and wider toe box accommodate really well to my feet' shape and volume too!
Fit-wise I’d still go true to size even with the added width. This is taking into consideration my moderately wide foot shape. All in all, I’m really satisfied with the updates made to the upper.
Midsole & Ride
The midsole shares identical tooling to its predecessor which utilizes Nike's proprietary ZoomX foam. This foam falls within my top 3 midsole foams of all time, along with New Balance's FuelCell and Puma's Nitro Elite technologies. ZoomX is a PEBA-based foam, which boasts soft and bouncy properties.
Because of its low durometer, the midsole is sculpted in a wide and stable platform, emphasized in the forefoot and heel areas. This combats the foam's inherent instability while still retaining all its desired attributes.
The ride is one of, if not my favorite ride among all easy day shoes. It's a soft ride without being sluggish, and the bounce you get back with each stride keeps me reaching constantly for this pair whenever I go out for an easy run. Transitions are relatively smooth thanks to the forefoot rocker, though not the smoothest (see the On Cloudmonster).
The Invincible Run is softer and bouncier than the dull-feeling EVA foams in the New Balance 1080 v12 and Hoka Clifton 8. The Asics Novablast 2 is a closer comparison, though still not as soft and bouncy as the Invincible Run.
The main concern surrounding the Invincible Run is its stability. Despite having a wide base, it's one of the more unstable shoes on the market. This instability can be felt more evidently if your foot muscles are weak, or if you had a hard run the day before.
Like the midsole, the outsole uses identical tooling to the first version: a waffle pattern of multiple blown rubber nubs. Based on my experience in the v1, the outsole is not as durable as what you would find in typical max cushioned trainers. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to wear my v1 down enough to know its max mileage (the upper and midsole separated at 200+km). Hopefully, I don't face the same experience in this pair!
Grip-wise has been pretty good thanks to how the multiple nubs interact with the ground. It works well with most surfaces less wet drain covers. While this waffle pattern works well in providing traction, it tends to catch numerous small stones and soil.
Another small gripe I have with the outsole is the exposed ZoomX in the medial midfoot section. I’m observing some minor scuffing on these exposed areas. These do not affect performance and are purely cosmetic, but additional protection should protect the fragile midsole from potential tears.
Areas for Improvement
Slightly longer laces
Further streamlining upper materials
Slightly increasing outsole coverage in the medial midfoot section of the outsole
The Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Flyknit 2 is a much-welcomed update to the first iteration of my favourite easy-day trainer. It provides excellent cushioning that is both bouncy and soft, perfect for your tired legs or just clocking in the miles.
Reviewed by Xtride Running
Check out the Invincible Flyknit 2 Collection here