Nike unveils new Joyride technology, which fills shoes with tiny beads to make them more comfortable

Joyride beads join other technology like Nike's Air sneakers, and looks set to compete with Adidas' popular boost soles

Andrew Griffin
Thursday 25 July 2019 13:20

Nike claims to have invented a new technology to allow shoes to be far more comfortable by filling them with tiny beads.

The new system, known as "Joyride", sits alongside more traditional cushions like Nike's Air soles and the Adidas Boost shoes.

But Nike claims that the Joyride system will be more comfortable than those competitors, by using new engineering techniques that allow the bottom of the shoes to be packed out with thousands of little beads.

The beads sit in the sole of the shoe and arrange themselves around the wearer's feet as they run or walk. That allow the shoes to personalise themselves around the shape of the foot, the company said, and allowing them to absorb the impact on the foot.

To make the new shoes, Nike engineers special and separate pods that go under the foot. That means the foam beads can expand out when the foot presses on them, and lets them assemble themselves under the runners' feet, but the pods ensure that they don't move around the bottom of the foot too much.

Those pods will be arranged differently in each shoe with the Joyride sole, and they will be able to be moved where they are needed while being designed.

The beads are made out of TPE, a material that uses plastic and rubber. Nike claims to have tried 150 materials before landing on the specific makeup of the beads.

The company claims that wearing them "is almost like running on bubbles".

The cushioning system will only be available on Nike shoes. It will come to one set of sneakers first but is then expected to roll out across the line with a variety of different shoes.

The first shoes featuring the technology – the Nike Joyride Run Flyknit – are available to people in Nike's customer membership scheme now. They will come to the rest of the world on 15 August.

The Nike Joyride Run Flyknit is available to Nike Members July 25. A global release follows August 15.

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