A monster of a daily trainer, the Nike Invincible 3 has maximum cushioning for soaking up easy miles rather than putting down PBs…
Nike Invincible 3
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$180 / £170, nike.com
- Soft, cushioned landings
- Decent stability
- Plush uppers
- Chunky and heavy
- Lacks versatility for the price
- Fit lacks locked-in security
If you’re hunting a daily running shoe with big bouncy cushioning, plush comfort and good stability, something that can handle most of your easier training miles, the Nike Invincible 3 should be somewhere on your shortlist. This is a max-cushioned beast that aims to be a soft, supportive easy-miler and a bouncy, energetic daily trainer. It certainly pulls off the former. We’re less convinced about the latter. And you’re either going to love this shoe or hate it.
Nike Invincible Run 3 features
Now in its third generation, the new Invincible 3 has been completely overhauled to deliver softer landings, more bouncy return and better stability. There’s an extra 3mm of ZoomX foam across the foot, to boost that bounce and reduce the impact. It now has a whopping-great, 40mm/31mm stack of the same light-and-responsive PEBA-based foam used in Nike’s fast racing shoes like the Nike Alphafly 2 and Nike Vaporfly 2. The midsole has a protective 9mm drop with a pronounced rocker shaping, to help roll you through your stride.
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There’s now a noticeably wider midsole that bulges out at the forefoot to create one of the widest platforms we’ve ever run off. You’ll need to like very big shoes to enjoy it. The extra width works with a new firm board sitting below the sock liner to improve stability. This creates a good reliable running base but there’s a trade-off.
The board adds firmness to the Invincible 3 ride that wasn’t there in the previous generation (in the Invincible 2 your foot essentially sat on the ZoomX foam). This is still a soft shoe but that extra midsole heft makes the Invincible 3 a bit of a slappy, sloppy ride. At times the heel and the forefoot feel disconnected, almost like you’re running in two shoes. It’s certainly not the most natural-feeling shoe on the daily trainer shelves.
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Up top, you’ve got a dense Flyknit upper with Nike’s Flywire for support and structure and more breathable sections where your foot heats up most. Another important change is a smaller heel clip, designed to improve heel hold and stability.
However, there can be a bit of heel slipping and it can be difficult to get a secure fit without lashing the laces almost uncomfortably tight across the midfoot. Overall the fit on the foot is spacious with a roomy toe box but not as locked-down as we’d like. It might even be worth dropping down half a size.
Nike Invincible Run 3 weight
At 10.9oz / 310g in a UK men’s size 8.5, the Invincible 3 is a noticeably heavy shoe, too much so even for a max-stack option. It’s considerably heavier than shoes like the On Cloudmonster and the ASICS Gel Nimbus 25.
When it comes to the all-important ride, over the likes of mix-paced 10km runs, 1.5 hour easy efforts and faster sessions to test the speed and versatility, the Invincible 3 performs much better on the slower, easier recovery miles than faster efforts, where it can feel clunky and cumbersome. It doesn’t offer enough to be a serious faster-paced option so lacks the versatility we now look for in a £170 daily trainer.
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Nike has created a shoe that’s still massive on cushioning, even if it’s a touch firmer than its predecessor. This is a shoe lots of people will enjoy for soaking up the big, slow, easy miles. Some fans of monster shoes might even find there’s enough spring and response for more up-tempo miles, too. But if you prefer your shoes more stripped back, direct, light and agile (like us), this muscled-up hulk probably isn’t for you.
Instead, we’d recommend the ASICS Gel Nimbus 25 (still maximal and soft but more streamlined and versatile) or the On Cloudsurfer 7 (a really good, lively shoe that copes well at a range of paces). Or if you like your max-stack much firmer, the On Cloudmonster is worth a look.