Preceded only by a few cryptic posts (and some online leakage), Nike Joyride was unveiled today. It’s their newest, most cutting—er, rounded— edge technology since React foam. The Joyride, at its base level, is a midsole cushioning system made out of thousands of rubber/plastic beads corraled into separate pods throughout the footbed. Honestly, my first take is that this would make for an awesome Chuck E. Cheese ball pit scenario for ants.
Now, Nike says this is proprietary technology, but I’ve thought a thousand times while drinking Orbitz: “Damn, I should put these in a Nike Air pod.” But Nike pre-emptively struck, and here I am, still sitting in my mom’s basement drinking Orbitz (sometimes Surge) and making petitions to bring back Cinnamon Mini Buns cereal.
In any case, according to Nike, these beads will keep legs fresh by delivering a personalized underfoot experience with great impact absorption and… okay, you get it, it’s what every cushioning system ever claims to do.
The beads themselves are placed in four different pods throughout the midsole, each of which holds its own little beady ball pit. These pods are “zonally tuned,” which sounds like how your stoner neighbor describes seeing Rush on their 2112 tour. This zonal tuning allows the foam to expand in all directions within the midsole.
Broken down to normal people terms, the pods basically stop the beads from becoming a beanbag chair, aka the most comfortable furniture ever for about 10 minutes. Until somehow you’ve shifted onto hard cement as you’re trying to save the princess (and really, the world).
Presumably, it all comes together to create a dynamic footbed personalized to your foot.
Anyway, the first release is in the Nike Joyride Run Flyknit, which is designed for all (←Nike’s emphasis) runners. Translation: this will not be a performance shoe, in the way that Nike Epic React could double down as a tempo or even race day shoe.
That said, you can probably be guaranteed it will be comfortable as hell, and you can absolutely be guaranteed it will look cool as hell, so we’re all in.
It is available today to Nike Members, with a global release on August 15.
The shoe will also come in four other styles, that definitely trend more towards lifestyle shoe. Our favorite is the Joyride NSW (9/01 release), which I hope means that they’re borderline NSFW. If so, I may cop these since I’ve always wanted to be a real bad boy. You may call me T-Bone from now on.
View the other styles below.
Robbe is the Senior Editor/Review Manager for BITR. He lives in Baltimore with his wife and two sons and runs with the Faster Bastards when he’s not MAF training. His favorite race distance is the marathon and his favorite beer is anything but Blue Moon.