Tuesday, March 09, 2021

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Fk 125 Mile Review and Durability Update

Article by Jeff Beck

Nike ZoomX Invincible Run Fk 125 Mile Update ($180))

Editor’s Note: Jeff was one of the testers in our earlier multi tester ZoomX Invincible Run review here At the time of that review he concluded as follows below. Now with a combined 125 miles plus (with his wife running some miles in them as well) he shares a durability and shoe performance update.

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It took Nike a few years to put this shoe out, but they’ve knocked it out of the park. This is the most fun non-plated shoe I’ve ever put on my foot, and is more fun than most plated shoes I’ve run in. I was afraid this might be like the Reece’s Peanut Butter Cups shaped like pumpkins or Christmas trees (maybe too much of a good thing?) in this case, it works. 

The big strike against this shoe, and it’s purely theoretical right now, is the cost to mileage equation. With 40 miles on the clock, I can’t say with certainty that they’ll last 300-400 miles, or if they’ll feel dead by 200 miles. And that’s a big question mark for a shoe that costs $180. Which is why I’ll be checking back in and updating this review when I hit big mileage milestones, because as a 200+ pound runner (with more + than I’d like, thanks for nothing Covid-19), I can put a pretty good hurt the midsole of a shoe, so looking at them with 100/150/200/250 miles will be helpful to see how they hold up. 

The best car comparison I can make is the first generation Subaru WRX STi. Incredible car that was an absolute hoot to drive, but it was all about the engine and drivetrain. The joke was “$35,000 car, and you’re paying $34,950 for the engine and transmission” because the interior was pretty lousy, but that engine was and AWD system was worth it. And this midsole might be worth it too. See you folks in a month or so to continue the conversation.

Jeff’s Score: 9.7 /10

Ride: 10 (50%) Fit: 10 (30%) Value: 8 (15%) Style: 10 (5%)”

One of the hardest things about reviewing shoes is accurately depicting durability. Every runner is different, but you can only assume so much for long term lifespan after running in a shoe a half dozen times. To counter that, and because I'm loving running in the Invincible so much, I've been putting all of my spare miles (miles that don't need to go toward other shoes for reviews) into the Invincible to see how they hold up. 

Especially since there's a preconceived notion that ZoomX isn't a durable material, who better than RoadTrailRun's resident heavy runner (about 210 lbs / 95kg) to run these things to failure?

Here's my first long term update, now that I've broken 100 miles in them:with my wife liking them so much despite being a bit big for her adding 25 miles).

They're still great. As you can see, the midsole is a little more creased up front on the lateral side (picture above) than the medial side (picture below) . I am a supinated forefoot striker. Also note ZoomX foam has a coating over its surface to protect it and for aesthetics which does tend to crease.

There is definitely more wear on the outsole. 

My initial concern, that the thinner/non-textured front lateral section of the outsole would be the point of failure, is still a concern. 

Without cutting open the shoe it is hard to tell how much more rubber I have, but that seems to be the place where I will break through.

It's hard to accurately assess how much bounce the shoes have lost since the first day, but speaking purely relatively, they don't feel like they've lost anything. They are still very fun to run in, still have lots of bounce, and they really mute out the ground. We experienced some rather remarkable weather in Denver recently (got down to negative eight!) so I've been spending more time on the treadmill, and shockingly, I really like the Invincible on the treadmill.

I say shockingly because I don't usually like a soft shoe on the treadmill. Likely due to the give that treadmills inherently have, soft shoes just feel too soft, so I usually log my treadmill miles in a firmer and less cushioned shoe (like the Saucony Ride 14 or Mizuno Wave Rider Neo), but the bounce of the Invincible makes it all work.

The upper still feels a little overbuilt, especially around the heel, but it's a slight complaint. Overall, my rating of the shoe would likely go even higher, and I've found that while reviewing other shoes, my mind tends to wander with the thought "I wish I was running in the Invincibles right now" peppering in some of my longer efforts in other shoes. 

While this may come across as a raving fanatic, the best compliment I can give this shoe doesn't even come from me. That would be from my wife, Stephanie, who is also a runner (albeit about 80 pounds trimmer than I am), who at my urging ran in the Invincible right after I got them (I'm a men's 10.5, she's a women's 11, so they're a little big, but with aftermarket insoles they're not too sloppy), and she fell in love. 

So much so, that she's put nearly 30 miles of her own on my pair - I think the total mileage on the shoe is right around 128. 

While that might not seem remarkable, consider this: we've been together for more than a decade, and in that time I've run in or reviewed literally hundreds of shoes (I'm guessing somewhere between three and four hundred). Steph's not nearly the running shoe geek I am, but she frequently tries on whatever awesome shoe shows up, runs up and down the street a few times, gives them a cursory thumbs up or thumbs down, and goes back to her trusted New Balance 1080v10 (on her fourth pair) or Fuel Cell Rebel (third pair) without another word or consideration. 

Before the Invincible, she never actually logged any mileage in any shoe of mine; she just didn't care enough. Vaporfly, Endorphin Pro/Speed, Fuel Cell TC, and many, many more - and nothing from her. Now I have to make sure to hide the Invincible on days I plan to run in them just in case we're going to run around the same time. 

She does have low arches, and these are the first Nike shoes she's fit in comfortably, but it's the ridiculous levels of bounce that keep her stealing them from me. Last thing, Steph is a complete weight snob. She doesn't need lots of cushioning to get through long miles, and would much rather lose an ounce or two rather than gain a little more squish. She's happier when the shoe is closer to six ounces rather than eight. And she hasn't complained once about the 10.7 oz weight, or really, about anything on the shoe. So while I've spent the last six weeks telling everyone I meet that it's an incredible shoe, I think the fact that my wife keeps stealing them from me, speaks even louder.

The Invincible isn't for everyone, but for those that it works for, it's a ridiculously good shoe.

I'll see you folks again in another 50 miles. 3/7/21

Jeff was one of the testers in our earlier multi tester ZoomX Invincible Run review which you can find here.

Watch Steph Beck's A/B Compare and Review: 130 Mile Invincible vs. Brand New

Watch Jeff's Invincible Video Review 

Tested samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. No other compensation was received by RTR or the authors for this review from . The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.
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70's Teen said...

Hi Jeff,

Did you ever run in the Skechers GoTrail Ultra 3? Those are the softest/bounciest shoes I've ever tried (more so than the Maxroad 4+ or EVO Speedgoats). If so, is the Invincible similar?

TSim said...

I kinda wonder about these shoes. Would they work for someone like me who is overweight (240+ lbs) or would it be better to have the React Infinity Run 2 instead?

Jeff said...

70s Teen,

I did not run in that model, though I did have a couple pairs of the first gen GoUltra Trail (including a sweet glow in the dark pair I used for my 3 am leg of a Ragnar Trail) and if the years haven't clouded my memory too much, I remember them having plenty of bounce. They're definitely in the ballpark of the Maxroad 4+, though structurally much more sound. I'd put the Invincible's level of bounce up against any shoe, and they are markedly more bouncy than the Speedgoat.


They very well could, but I could also seeing the extra stability of the Infinity being more helpful. I think a lot of it depends on your form, I know some heavy runners run with perhaps too narrow of a stance, putting most of their weight on the outside of the shoe (like me!) while others have more neutral form and they end up running in the center of the shoe (what I'm trying to get to). What other shoes do you normally run in? If you would, let me know what you are running in now, and what you think of them.

And for what it's worth, my review pair got to me a few hours before Sam and Sally, and after my first run I was convinced that only heavy runners were going to enjoy the shoe. Then Sam and Sally got their pairs and reported back that they enjoyed them as much as I did, so just goes to show what I know. Anyway, if you find yourself sliding off the side of a shoe, I wouldn't recommend going with the softer Invincible, and stick with the more dependable (though less fun) Infinity. Of course, when they launch if you get them from Nike directly they have a very friendly return policy. You could always give them a shot, see if they work for you, and if not, send 'em back, no harm, no foul.

Sam Winebaum said...

Hi 70's Teen,
Yes the Skechers Go Ultra Trail 3 was super bouncy and fun, Invincible is bouncier yet and yet more fun for road IMO.
Sam, Editor

TSim said...

Thanks for replying back. The thing is I one wore Clifton 6s which were really soft and light last year for long runs but 60 miles in the cushioning went dead flat. I’m currently on the Nimbus Lite 2 and sometimes Nimbus 23 for long runs.

70's Teen said...

Thanks for that comparison, Sam. Most of my runs are road to trails to grass.
My Ultra 3s have 500 miles (and 4 years) on them and still bounce and cushion better than any other shoe I have, so I'll eagerly await the Invincible. I do like the Maxroad 4+, which is new for me and of course much lighter than the Ultra 3, though not as bouncy.

Al said...

Just an FYI for those winter runners who brave sub zero temps. The other morning it was -25 in my home town up in Canada but I was out the door dressed in thermal tights , lots of upper layers and a wool face mask under a heavy cap. I wore Nike Invincible with mid weight socks and had no problems staying warm, What surprised me though was how well the Nike ‘s felt. They were just warm enough but equally impressive they lost very little softness and bounce in the frigid weather. Many running shoes become bricks in these low temps but the Invincibles lost hardly any cush. And as a bonus the outsole gripped the hard packed snow very well.

Sam Winebaum said...

Thanks AI! Very useful info and insights. I have heard the PEBA foam in Invincible was originally developed for aircraft insulation: Light weight and thermal properties similar to what you experienced.
Sam, Editor