Over a decade in the making, Nike recently unveiled their new technology called 'Joyride.'
Leaks have been hitting the web in the past couple months, with Mark Parker, Nike's CEO, even raving about the new technology in his quarterly address. One of the models leaked that will definitely hit shelves is a Flyknit version. The upper sees Nike's usual application of its Flyknit for a streamlined look, but below, instead of a bubble filled with air, it's filled with beads! And Nike are making bold statements about its latest offering. They say it's the "most cushioned ride we've ever been able to deliver."
The Joyride Run Flyknit (pictured above) is aimed at elite runners as well as those just starting out. For this reason, Nike said durability was key when developing Joyride, stating that even with over 724kms, showed 'no concerns' in the wear-and-tear department. And since these shoes don't include a sock-liner, you feel the thousands of tiny beads conform to your feet as soon as you put them on, since there's only a thin piece of fabric between them and each foot. That should help maximise performance, Nike says, since Joyride has the ability to adapt to every runner differently.
But you might be thinking Joyride looks oddly familiar? You would be right. Nike's new Joyride technology has a lot of similarities with PUMA's NRGY Beads, a similar bead cushioning system seen on models like the PUMA Jamming. It would seem then that PUMA has a case against Nike for ripping off their beads.
Some on NikeTalk are however of the opinion that Nike was in fact first with the tech, with PUMA just rushing to market before the Swoosh. It should be noted that the PUMA Jamming was included in Nike's Lawsuit over 7 infringed patents, though it wasn't explicitly stated that it was PUMA's NRGY Beads alone that caused the infringement. We haven't seen NRGY Beads in their original form from PUMA ever since though.
What do you think? Is Nike biting PUMA or did Nike just wait so they could do bead cushioning right? Only time will tell but check out some leaked Nike models with Joyride technology below!
Also, see a YouTube video by The Sole Brothers discussing the difference between Nike and PUMA's offering here.