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The SELF 2023 Sneaker Awards

Nike Invincible 3 Review: These Cushiony Sneakers Make My Everyday Runs Less Tiring

I’m lacing them up whenever my legs need a little TLC.
Nike Invincible sneaker
Nike / Amanda K Bailey
Nike Invincible 3 Women's Road Running Shoes
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  • Comfy and cushioned
  • Nice turnover to pick up the pace
  • More stable than earlier versions
  • Slight heel slippage if you don’t tighten laces enough
  • Runs narrow

There’s a lot to think about when picking an everyday running shoe: Is it comfortable enough to withstand multiple miles? Light enough so your feet don’t feel like they’re plodding, but structured enough to provide support? Does it work with your body to help you pick up the pace, or does it feel clunky and slow you down?

With all those questions in mind, I tested the Nike Invincible 3 (gratis) for SELF’s 2023 Sneaker Awards. Here are my honest thoughts after wearing them for my regular miles.

Who it’s for

The Nike Invincible 3 is an everyday running shoe made for folks who enjoy a little extra cushion underneath their feet—and those who want a little more TLC for fatigued legs. Thanks to the responsiveness of its ZoomX foam, the shoe also provides a little bit of snap, though definitely not to the extent that a specific racing shoe would.

Christa Sgobba

Out of the box

The Invincible 3 looks similar to a lot of Nikes lately: It has a futuristic shape, thanks to lots of foam underfoot, a high stack height, and a pointy heel area. The shoe also looks very streamlined—it almost has a figure eight or hourglass shape—making it a nice change from other max-cushion shoes (say, like Hokas), which tend to look bulkier. While attractive, its svelte appearance also made me slightly worried about fit, since my foot is a little wider at the top.

Fit and feel

Nikes are the one brand where my “go up a half size” tip is nonnegotiable. They tend to run narrow, making the slightly larger size really important. The Invincible 3 was no exception: I went up a half size from my street shoe size, and got a solid fit. The shoe was snug width-wise but not constricting—no pressure points at my little toes—and I had about a half inch of space at the top of the shoe to allow for toe movement.

These shoes felt really comfy from the get-go. As soon as I stood up, I could feel the cushion underneath my foot. It wasn’t a super squishy one—you don’t feel like you’re sinking in—but it does feel very forgiving. It made me excited to take them out for a spin.

Christa Sgobba

On the run

Because these shoes are for everyday miles, I took them on normal-day runs for me: They ranged from 30 minutes to an hour, and the majority took place on pavement and sidewalks. I tried them during both an easy pace and a moderately challenging one.

My overarching takeaway? I felt a lot more bounce and responsiveness than I had expected, especially from a really cushioned shoe, and it made picking up the pace to tempo feel really smooth and natural.

It was also more stable than I expected: I used the previous iteration of the Nike Invincible as a long run shoe when training for a half marathon last year, and I noticed some lateral instability, especially on longer distances—which contributed to some lower-leg discomfort. Thanks to the slightly wider midsole on the 3s, though, I didn’t notice as much side-to-side extra motion (or resulting aches and pains). That extra stability boost, along with its comfy cushioning, makes the Invincible 3 a really great contender for longer miles.

One slight snag: During my first couple runs, I noticed some heel slippage at the beginning of my route. I had to stop to retighten the laces, but after I did, I stayed secure. Once I learned to tie them with a little more oomph, I stopped having to adjust them mid-run.

Nike Invincible 3 Women's Road Running Shoes

Bottom line

I really enjoyed running in the Invincible 2, but I remember thinking at the time, If only these had more stability. The new Invincible 3 improved on that, making the shoe a hard one to beat, in my opinion, for those everyday miles or even ones that are a little quicker. They’re a pair I find myself reaching for when the going gets long or my legs need a little more TLC—or, to be honest, when I just want something a little more fun, with a little more pop, than my other everyday shoes.