As a shoe reviewer, the most enjoyable type of review to write is one where a running shoe that you didn't have high hopes for completely surprises you, in a good way.
The Nike Joyride Run Flyknit was not a great running shoe. The Flyknit upper was thick and hot, and Nike spent huge amounts on marketing their new bead conforming technology but running in them felt like running in sand. The midsole also felt really lumpy: like running on popped blisters that I never got used to.
The Joyride Run Flyknit was a better lifestyle casual shoe than a performance running shoe.
Sometimes new technologies like conforming foam beads just don't work and never will work in a running shoe. Other times, they have to be paired up with another technology to get the best out of them.
Take Adidas Lightstrike, for example. On its own, the TPU foam is nothing special but pair it with Boost and the two technologies mesh together to create a cohesive, sophisticated ride which excels at tempo paces.
The Joyride Dual Run is different from the Joyride Run Flyknit in that it has a mesh upper instead of a knitted one and there are foam beads in only the heel and midfoot. React foam is used in the forefoot to replace the foam beads.
The Joyride Dual Run is also much cheaper and was released months after the Joyride Run Flyknit.
So is the Joyride Dual Run a serious running shoe or does it suffer from the same problems that plagued its more expensive, older sibling?
|Technologies||React, conforming foam beads|
Upper and fit
The upper of the Joyride Dual Run is made from a thin, breathable mesh which is only slightly stretchy. Its tongue is thin and gusseted, so it doesn't move during runs.
I found the knitted upper of the Joyride Flyknit way too warm and my feet felt like they were wrapped in jerseys. The Joyride Dual Run is much cooler and performs well in warm weather.
The heel counter of the Joyride Dual Run is padded and does really well at keeping your heel locked in so that no slipping occurs. It also doesn't dig into your achilles like the aggressive heel counter of the Joyride Run Flyknit. On the outside is a round pull tab for extra convenience.
There are fused-on overlays on the lace eyelets and on the toe box which don't have much functionality but give the shoe some visual depth to an otherwise bland upper design.
The laces are thin and round and feel a little bit cheap compared to other Nike shoelaces, but they get the job done.
On the Nike website, they advise you to order a half size up from your normal size because the shoe runs a half size small, but I found that they run true to size because the upper is not very padded.
Overall, the Joyride Dual Run upper is a definite improvement over the Joyride Run Flyknit and is a better upper than other recent Nike uppers which have had problems with heel slippage or hotspots.
Midfoot and ride
The foam beads are situated in two different sections in the midsole: in the heel and the midfoot. Nike says that the thousands of beads squish and shape around your foot. This was the experience in the Joyride Run Flyknit but not in the Dual Run.
In the Dual Run, the foam beads are contained in the midsole so there is better energy return as you don't feel like you are running in sand.
The forefoot of the midsole is made from React foam and provides a firm toe-off which feels more efficient than if it were made of foam beads.
The React foam in the Dual Run feels different to React in other Nike trainers. It feels softer and more flexible. A lot of the time, React foam feels firm and lifeless (like in the Pegasus 37 and Miler), but this application of React is springy and lively.
I use the Dual Runs for everyday training runs which are easy-paced. It's not the lightest shoe, nor is it the most responsive, so it doesn't handle tempo runs all that well. It also doesn't possess the pillowy softness that I like for recovery or long runs.
Ride transitions are smoother than the Joyride Run Flyknit because the foam beads don't stick out from the midsole, but transitions are not as smooth as other shoes that have a uniform, single-density midsole.
There is no insole inside the Dual Run so that your feet can sit directly on the foam beads. This makes the shoe very difficult to clean because if you put them in a washing machine, the water will seep into the foam bead compartments.
Stability in the Dual Run is below average because of the convex shape of the heel. It feels like the heel is rounded instead of being flat, so there is some lean bias.
Outsole and durability
There's a lot happening on the outsole of the Joyride Dual Run. There are two large lugs on the forefoot: one under the ball of the foot and a smaller one under the toes. These lugs have small protruding circles to help bite into the ground.
There are transparent rubber windows under the midfoot and heel which display the colourful foam beads and two more rubber lugs on the heel high wear areas.
Traction is fantastic. The Dual Run performs well on a variety of surfaces, both wet and dry.
The durability of the Joyride Dual Run is average. The exposed React foam is soft, so it scuffs on the road, and the transparent rubber on the outsole will also wear down over time. The midsole will maintain its cushioning though as React foam doesn't lose much cushioning over time.
On paper, the Nike Joyride Dual Run looks like a cheaper, watered-down version of the more expensive Joyride Run Flyknit. It only has conforming foam beads in the heel and midfoot while its upper is made of mesh instead of being knitted.
In reality, the Joyride Dual Run is a much better running shoe than the Joyride Run Flyknit. The Dual Run can easily fit into my running shoe rotation as a daily trainer.
It has a padded midsole with a soft ride, a breathable upper which has good foot lockdown and an outsole with great traction.
For the next version of the Joyride Dual Run, I hope Nike changes the laces to more premium-feeling ones. Making the heel flatter instead of rounded will also make the shoe more stable.
It is my first time trying Nike shoes for running with my Joyride Dual Run. I had always thought they were just a lifestyle brand, but soon found that their runners are actually pretty good!
Aesthetically, they look good as do most other Nike trainers. But what are they like for running?
Very nice shoes visually. I got the black and white ones with some pink thrown in on the swoosh and around the holes for the laces. They also have an interesting turquoise/aqua wrap around section at the outer back of the shoes, which is filled with colored beads. A very funky design addition but the beads are not really there for just the look. I’ll come back to them when discussing comfort.
Breathability & flexibility
The shoes not only have breathable mesh at the forefoot like a lot of other running shoes but also on the midfoot on both sides and at the heel. I haven’t experienced any problems with my feet not getting enough air to them. In fact, they are a pleasure to run in. Slightly unexpected as for some reason I wasn’t expecting much from them.
They are quite flexible as well because although feeling snug at the mid and forefoot, the mesh fabric allows the shoe to mold into your foot shape.
I bought the UK 7.5 which is a EUR 42. I vary between 42-43 EUR size, depending on the fit of the running shoes. I would say they fit true to size, although they don’t feel very wide, particularly through the lace and midfoot area. The 7.5 gives me just enough room for use on runs up to about 8 or 10 miles. For anything longer, I wouldn’t use them as they are too snug. But runs up to that distance are fine; they are very comfortable.
The drop from heel to toe is 11mm on the Joyride Dual Run. Stack height 30mm at the back, then down to 19mm at the front. This is a high level of drop from back to front, usually favored in shoes aiming at the comfort for runners market. Higher than I would normally go for but felt good to run in, especially on easy run days.
With an 11mm drop, the shoe is aimed at the comfort market. Along with the mid-range price tag for Nike, the target market is beginner and novice runners. I enjoyed running slower, easier runs in them. However, I wouldn’t go really long in them due to the snug fit. Perhaps if buying again, I would go for the EUR 42.5.
I have to say these are very comfortable trainers even if they took some getting used to at first. Lovely spring to them, particularly at the mid and heel sections. I felt this was due to the outer heel section, where part of the heel has a bulbous section that juts outward. This section seems to turn my foot inwards. It felt awkward at first but I soon got used to it.
The beads that form part of the sole are visible in this part of the shoe and they have been added by Nike for comfort. Whether this is just a visible gimmick or a plausible innovation, I’m not sure, but I can confirm the comfort levels are high on these shoes. They have extreme springiness!
The picture above is after use of between 70-100 miles.
The shoes have started to wear a bit in some areas on the sole, more towards the front of the shoes. Normally my shoes wear away on the back outer edge but interestingly, not on these. I’m thinking this maybe because of the wrapped-around portion at the back and it forcing my foot inwards slightly.
I haven’t had any problems with traction on these. I have worn them in wet Scottish conditions a few times, mostly on-road or gravel surfaces without any slipping.
In summary, the Joyride Dual Run is a lovely shoe. Great for beginners or novice runners looking for an attractively priced shoe with a high level of comfort. I would recommend a half to a full size larger than normal shoe size for best fit and results!
- The Nike Joyride Dual Run road running shoe is the latest silhouette to feature Nike’s new Joyride technology. This shoe is designed to keep the legs fresh and deliver a versatile cushioning experience.
- The Joyride technology utilizes thousands of tiny TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) foam beads, which aim to provide a soft and comfortable ride. These components are placed under the heel and midfoot for better impact absorption.
- This Adidas running shoe utilizes a stretch-mesh coverage for a light and breathable in-shoe feel. This material keeps the foot dry and cool throughout the day.
- To promote smooth transitions, a highly durable rubber outsole is incorporated into the shoe. This rubber material is also lightweight.
The Nike Joyride Dual Run is constructed to be true to size. It uses the standard sizing measurement to accommodate the usual sizing expectations of consumers. However, it is recommended to try on the shoe first or check the general feedback of the users about sizing to ensure a perfect fit.
The technical components that affect the shoe’s fit are the tongue and shoelaces. These elements are working together to provide a customized, snug in-shoe feel.
Integrated into the outsole of the shoe are highly durable rubber materials that offer excellent protection against abrasive elements. These rubber materials are placed in high-wear zones to enhance the shoe’s durability. This component also aims to provide a good grip on various surfaces.
This running shoe utilizes the Nike Joyride technology to provide a more stable feel and better impact absorption. This technology is engineered to keep the legs fresh by providing a personalized underfoot experience.
Nike Joyride technology is Nike’s proprietary cushioning system that is made up of thousands of TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer) foam beads. The TPE beads are contained within two compartments, which allow the beads to expand in all directions. The bead compartments are positioned under the heel and midfoot sections for an enhanced underfoot cushioning.
To provide a softer and more responsive ride, the manufacturers have included a full-foam midsole positioned above the bead compartments. The midsole foam offers added stability. Above the foam midsole is a non-removable insole that delivers added comfort and underfoot protection.
The Nike Joyride Dual Run utilizes a stretch-mesh for breathable coverage. This lightweight upper material lets the air flow freely, keeping the foot dry and cool for an extended period. Other Adidas running shoes that feature mesh uppers are the Adidas Solar Glide ST and Adidas Duramo 9.
A moderately padded tongue is included in the shoe for added comfort and protection. It also helps prevent small rocks and dirt from getting inside the shoe.
This running shoe features the traditional lacing system for added support and customized in-shoe feel.
Just like the Nike Joyride Dual Run, the upper unit of the Air Zoom Pegasus 36 is also made up of mesh fabric. This material enables the shoe to provide a snug fit without being restrictive. It also offers lightweight support and enough ventilation to keep the foot dry and comfortable throughout the running session.
Air Zoom Pegasus 36 features the Duralon blown rubber outsole, which offers a good grip and gives the runner a precise surface control. The Nike Joyride Dual Run, on the other hand, utilizes highly durable rubber materials on its outsole’s high-wear zones. These rubber materials offer reliable protection and good grip on various surfaces.
The Air Zoom Pegasus 36 uses the Zoom Air cushioning technology, which runs the entire length of the shoe. It is designed to provide a high level of shock absorption and enhance the bouncy nature of the platform. The Joyride Dual Run features Nike’s newest cushioning innovation called the Nike Joyride technology, which uses thousands of TPE beads. These tiny beads have been proven to provide about 13% more impact absorption compared to the cushioning technology used in Air Zoom Pegasus 36.
Size and fit
How Joyride Dual Run compares
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