Officially on sale today, Nike’s Joyride Run Flyknit delivers an entirely new sensation for runners. If you hate running, these are the shoes for you. Why? Thousands of tiny TPE beads — those Dippin’ Dot-like balls visible through the bottom outsole — fill the midsole. These beads are broken into sections or pods that let them expand multi-directionally. With each step you take, the beads move around to adjust to your foot strike, resulting in a 100 percent customized cushion underfoot. The sensation is designed to mimic sand, just without the extra soreness at the end — and the beads are 15 percent more responsive than Nike’s Epic React line. The lack of a sock liner means you’re running directly on the beads, which makes for a softer feel even when you’re running on pavement.
Nike’s Sport Research Lab and footwear design teams found that runners tend to choose the softer surface — grass or dirt over a sidewalk, for example — especially when they’re trying to recover. After a race or challenging tempo or speed day, runners crave something that’s not too hard. The Joyride is the shoe they can reach for on recovery days thanks to its lightweight fresh feeling.
Before this launch, Nike separated its running sneakers into three categories: Zoom, Free and React. Now there’s a fourth category, Joyride. For those who already run in Nike, it’s hard to compare this shoe to anything else. We took three testers to Nike HQ in NYC to get their thoughts and first impressions. You can check that out here.
Everyone can snag the new sneakers today for $180.
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