Nike criticized for new techs similarities to Puma tech

Even before the Nike Joyride hit shelves, there were whispers of the new technology’s visual similarities to the previously released Puma Jamming. From first glance both appear to be made of comparable materials – essentially hundreds of loose pellets packed within visible windows. The concept of the Nike Joyride from an outsiders perspective looking in, looks unquestionably similar to the Puma Jamming. Nike however, disagree. Stating that the two are actually quite different, and they have the science to support their argument.

The media coverage of Nike’s newest technology Joyride hasn’t been as positive as they would have initially hoped for. They first came under criticism from environmentalists for their use of the plastic micro-beads that are what the concept for the Joyride technology hinges on. Well, it appears that isn’t the only thing people are taking issue with when it comes to the Joyride technology. Some people have began to highlight the similarities between the Nike Joyride and the previously released Puma Jamming which debuted in November 2017.

Rachel Bull, Nike’s Senior Product Line Manager for Joyride says “The main difference is how it’s constructed, which has led to a different sensation and a different benefit.” In the case of the Puma Jamming technology, although the beads are a big part of the design, you’re not actually sitting atop them. You are sitting more on the side of the plastic or a cemented down sockliner. So Nike say you don’t get the same sensation of sitting down into the beads like you do with Joyride.

Nike Joyride vs Puma Jamming

Nike are actually so confident about how the Joyride stacks up against Puma’s product, they have decided to put it to the test head to head. The Nike Joyride provided on testing 38% more impact absorption than Puma’s setup, along with 17% higher energy return. These statistics tell us that Nike do a better job with this type of technology than Puma, but it doesn’t in my opinion absolve them of all suspicions of plagiarism. So let’s look at the too concepts in more detail.

The philosophy behind the Puma Jamming technology involves cushioning that fine-tunes itself with every step. PUMA achieves this by packing a sole unit with ‘raw NRGY beads’ which move freely with every step you take. While the technology’s name comes from the fact that the beads ‘jam’ together as your foot plants, resulting in added comfort and cushioning. 

On the flip side Nike have claimed that the Joyride has been in development for over 10 years, meaning that the concept actually predates Puma’s. Like Jamming, it makes use of thousands of plastic beads which shape around your foot for personalised cushioning and support before responsively bouncing back to propel you forward.

In terms of value, both Nike and Puma’s offerings retailed at similar prices on release, with flagship designs for each. Like the brand new Joyride Run Flyknit and the PUMA Jamming evoKNIT hitting shelves at a hefty £150, and going for even more on online trainers resale platforms.

Nike Joyride