Nike has introduced Joyride, a new technology that combines the previous cushioning systems of Nike Air and Nike React. Joyride sets pods and about ten thousand foam beads in the soles of each shoe. The beads shift with wearers' motions and the size and shape of their feet, while the pods keep the beads from shifting too much. The beads are also arranged in zones. The heel contains the bulk of them and is built to withstand the highest impacts, whereas the rest of the sole is designed to help the runner make a smooth transition forwards. The result is an improvement of about 14 percent in shock absorption by comparison with the Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 36 and the Nike Epic React FK2. The brand hopes the innovation will help take the fear out of running, as most beginners worry about damaging their legs through repetitive shocks. The company says it tested about 150 materials before settling on thermoplastic elastomer, or TPE, for the beads. The first shoe model to use the system will be the Joyride Run Flyknit, which Nike is offering to its customer membership before releasing it worldwide on Aug. 15 at a retail price of €160. The models to follow include the Joyride NSW, the Joyride Setter, the Joyride Optik (for women) and the Joyride Nova (for young athletes). The Joyride system is making its debut five years after Nike's big German rival, Adidas, introduced its own cushioning system: Boost.

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