Nike unveils its new technology for running: The Nike JOYRIDE. With a thousand of beads in the sole in four capsules, this new creation of the swoosh brand, allows a better recovery and relief of the muscles with each stride, for an effort which can then be more prolonged. The innovation of Nike, allows a better absorption of the impact when the foot is in contact with the ground.

First designed for running athletes, the Nike JOYRIDE technology will be included in the Nike Joyride Run Flyknit and then declined on other models such as the Nike Joyride NSW, the Nike Joyride Setter (which we could discover during the parade Matthew Williams’ P20 ALYX at Paris Fashion Week), the Nike Joyride Optik, designed for women’s paces and the Nike Joyride Nova, designed specifically to meet the needs of young athletes. The Nike Joyride Run Flyknit is for Nike members as of July 25th and will be August 15th around the world.

We were able to interview Kylee Barton, Senior Director of Nike Running Footwear, who tells us a little more about the development and creation of Nike’s latest innovation.

Fubiz : Since how long have you been involved in the design process of this innovation ?

Kylee Barton: I have been involved in the design process since the very beginning, almost 10 years in the making to bring the JOYRIDE to life.

How many phases was the design process of Joyride composed of?

We have done so many iterations of Joyride, tested so many variations. It tooks a year to land on the format what we have now, with 4 cavities built into the running product. We made tons of mistakes with the type of material that we put in the shoes, but it was not mistakes it was more about a learning. We tried a different material : harder and it didn’t work, bigger and it didn’t work neither. We tried filling them really full thinking that more beads is always better because you got more response….Actually it wasn’t, because you need air in the holes of the cavities to be able to compress the beads and provide that spring in the softness. So hundreds of iterations to get to this final place.

Is Flyknit x Joyride the best combo ?

We believe that for this design (the Flyknit), the way it wraps the foot and plays nicely off of the bottom really does provide this upper this unbelievably coussin soft underfoot.
So we do believe that combination together makes a lot of sense for the runner.

What kind of creative iterations of Joyride we can expect ?

We will have a sportswear version and a kids version that will come out. For after running.But running will be the only one that have the 4 cavities. Sportswear will be built differently and kids will be built differently as well and only has 2. Sportswear has 3. So it really important that we have 4 because it’s what provide the true performance under foot experience versus sportswear that is intended to be lifestyle.

Which category in Nike is the most challenging ? How and why running is so different?

Every category has different challenges. I think running is difficult because there is a lot of pressure on the product because we are a running company. I think there are different types of difficulties. If you are in a really small category that maybe doesn’t get as many resources from the brand for innovation, budget to travel, talk to consumer… that point can be difficult because you have less money to work with.
So for categories, I wouldn’t say that one is more difficult than the other, they are just really different.And the comparison from running to football is actually what I love about this. Things are not the same if you are working with the best athletes in the world at very high levels. So the performance of the product that we are building in those categories is industry changing.
But I think one of the nuances is that football is a much smaller business, much smaller revenue, a different approach as a brand versus running that have to spread across so many categories and distribution points…people buy the shoes and they will never run on them.

Why choosing the recovery as the key features ?

I think it did not started out with recovery, it started out with how you make it easier for the runner. As we unraveled that insight you realized that, for the week runner, making it easy meant recovery because they already know how to run. So it didn’t start out as make recovery shoes, it started out as just make something that make things easier for people to run. And then the recovery piece became the short point for all of the athletes to help them to recover quicker to get back in their training.

What is your opinion on the colors and size of Joyride beads ?

We spent a lot of time on color and I feel great about this product because I think it provides this easy wearable colorway with very fun energetic colors. Actually it is both for man and women, which is why we launch with the unisex colors. Knowing the time of launching of the year, we wanted to bring something that felt useful and energetic… Something that when you look at that shoes, you just want to put it on. You’re like “there is something about that” and you just want to put on. We know that color can be one of the most important factor to buy a product and it can be a reason not to buy the shoe. We wanted to do something that is really easy and intuitive.

Did you change the colors and size of Joyride beads during the the design process?

We tried so many different sizes and materials, many variations. They are all the same size now. The material used is thermoplastic elastomers which is a very kind of rubber like material which is what helps provide that spring.