Nike Joyride Review - Madaboutrun

Nike Joyride Review

With Nike’s Joyride trainers, the clue is in the name. These soft and stylish running shoes are really fun to wear and have been designed specifically with beginners in mind.

With loads of cushioning underfoot and a comfy Flyknit upper they won’t just keep your feet happy on jogs and road runs but also translate perfectly into a lifestyle shoe that you will find yourself wearing about the house and around the town on the daily. So read on to get a full review of the Nike Joyride trainer, covering all its innovative features, and some of its limitations too.

Who is the Nike Joyride Trainer suitable for?

With the Joyride trainer Nike have really targeted newbies who won’t necessarily have done much running before. It can be a pretty intimidating process when you first start out on your fitness journey, and going to buy a pair of specifically designed running shoes can be a daunting ordeal.

There are so many sleek and streamlined designs with incredibly high price points, but these aren’t always the best option for beginners. The Nike Joyride is not the cheapest trainer on the market, but it isn’t the most expensive either, and this means that newbies don’t have to pay through the nose before feeling sure that running is for them.

What is more, the build of the shoe is very soft and accommodating to new legs that haven’t yet developed the strength and speed for a stiffer, more lightweight shoe. They are a great choice for those who enjoy power walking in particular, and for anyone looking for a trainer that crosses over effortlessly into everyday life.

Who is the Nike Joyride Trainer not suitable for?

Having pointed out that the Joyride is great for beginners who will be taking things slow, it is true to say that this shoe isn’t the best for experienced runners, or even runners who would consider themselves ‘advanced beginners’. Its softness is such that the Joyride saps speed and energy out of your run, which can be frustrating over long distances and will impact your overall performance.

The softness of the outsole also means that this shoe does not cope well with rugged terrain. For serious runners, and those looking to improve their form, there are more suitable options available.

What makes the Nike Joyride so soft?

The reason why the Nike Joyride is so soft lies in the Thermoplastic Elastomer (or TPE) beads that line the midsole. The midsole is the thick layer of foam-like material that sits between the insole and the outsole, and the Joyride has a translucent bubble of TPE beads contained within this layer. You can see it sitting directly beneath the heel, and it’s futuristic aesthetics adds to the trainer’s appeal.

These beads spread and compress with every step you take, giving the shoe a squishy underfoot feel which is ideal for absorbing impact. The idea of using TPE beads in running shoe midsoles is not a new one, but it is relatively rare in Nike trainers, and the amount of beads in the Joyride is more than in any other shoe they offer.

The foam aspect of the midsole is made from an SR02 compound that yields generously underfoot and allows the beads to do their work. The translucent chambers on the Joyride are not pressurized either, unlike in some of Nike’s more springy shoes, so the heel and side walls give with your body weight and cushion every step. 

What are the pros of the Joyride’s softness?

The benefit of all the softness that the Joyride’s midsole has to offer is the comfort it creates underfoot. These shoes really are incredibly soft, and feel like walking on air – or pillows at least! This is great for feet that are unused to running as it looks after bunions and sore sports beautifully and also guards against injury.

Many running injuries occur when the body experiences jarring as the heel strikes the ground again and again, yet with the Joyride that impact is absorbed into the translucent bubble chamber and the TPE beads, so that your ankles and knees don’t have to feel the force of it. Better still, the softness works for power walking because power walking does not require as much spring back as running, and these shoes aren’t very springy.

What are the cons of the Joyride’s softness?

This leads on to the disadvantages of the Joyride’s softness, which lie in its lack of resistance. Many runners look for a firmer midsole that will resist their bodyweight and spring back, launching them forward and improving their speed.

These shoes are designed to energise the legs over long distances and, while the Joyride is great for comfort, it will start to weigh tired legs down after more than 5K.

What is the fit and feel of the Nike Joyride?

The Joyride’s Flyknit upper is an elastic mesh that wraps around the body of the foot and hugs it nicely. There is a snugness that is reassuring when running and lends confidence to each stride without feeling restrictive. It is soft to touch and looks great with sportswear and daily outfits alike.

However, the Flyknit is warmer than other mesh uppers and therefore your feet may start to feel a little clammy if you wear these shoes in hot weather. Of course, the lack of ventilation also means that the Nike Joyride would make your feet hot and uncomfortable on long distance runs, but on power walks and easy jogs it is not a problem.

The Joyride has a shallow toe box and narrow forefoot which means that there is not a lot of upwards wiggle room at the front of the shoe. However, this does not impact the comfort it provides. The secure heel fit doesn’t leave room for slippage, and the only minor irritation around the ankle area would be caused by the looped heel tap that some runners find rubs on their achilles. This is easily combated with ankle socks however. 

The fuss-free laces run well along the upper so you can get a reliable cinch on the shoes and they won’t start to loosen after your first few steps out of the door.The top lace eyelets actually attach directly to the heel section of the upper for added draw, and the fabric of the inner midfoot has an infused layer which adds support and structure to the shoe, helping you to lock your midfoot and heel securely into place.

And the last thing to say about fit and feel is that the Joyride has a bootie system which lines the inside of the shoe. This stretchy, sock-like inner is attached to the cushioned ankle collar, runs under the heel and joins to the thin, soft tongue of the shoe.

Its purpose is to add more support for your foot but it is not a replacement for a running sock. If you wear the Joyride barefoot you may feel chafing at the ankle, so best to pull those socks on before you head out in them.

What is the outsole like on the Nike Joyride?

If you turn the Joyride over you will see the awesome underside of the shoe, which has translucent urethane sections so that you can see the shoe’s midsole and heel and all the tiny TPE beads floating like little bubbles within it. This is a lovely design feature, and looks great as you stroll around because people can catch a glimpse of the trainer’s trendy outsole, however the Joyride does lack grip as a result.

There are only a few, sparsely arranged pods of true rubber on the outsole and these lack deep tracklines. This means that the Joyride isn’t the best shoe for uneven or unpredictable terrains and should not be worn as a trail shoe, but it is perfect for roads and pavements, and better still for shopping malls and indoor wear.

The lack of grip can be an issue on wet surfaces which isn’t great for rainy climates, however it works well as a gym shoe because there is no risk of rain on a treadmill!

What is the Lifespan of the Nike Joyride?

Due to its softer and more minimal outsole, the durability of the Joyride is less than some other similar running shoes. However, it has an approximate wear-down time of 300km which is largely due to the raised nature of the grooves.

These lift the shoe off the ground more than is the case with other models, and protects the shoe from scuffing and thinning.

In Summary

The Nike Joyride is a supremely comfortable trainer that will coax any beginner out onto the roads. There are springier and more responsive shoes available for those who are looking to cover long distances and pick up pace, but for first time runners and power walkers the Joyride is perfect. Cushioning, protection and style are all present in abundance, so now all you need to do is get running!

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