Innovation nmblFoam®

Direct injection for runners

In manufacturing the nbmlFoam® sole for the Ultreya® and Pilot 1, Joe Nimble became the first running shoe manufacturer in the world to bring a revolutionary process to production readiness: our resilient, high-energy return soles using the innovative Direct Injection process, eliminating unnecessary waste and reducing energy and water consumption during manufacturing.

Our worldwide unique nmblFoam® makes the difference.

The innovative nmblFoam® guarantees consistent cushioning behavior and a significantly increased compression set compared to conventional running shoe EVA foams: where others already drop significantly in performance after 200km and are replaced after 500km, the values remain continuously constant up to over 1,400km.

Direct Injection:
Injection instead of gluing

Direct Injection means that the soles are no longer glued, as has been common practice in the industry up to now, but injected directly into a mold. This has advantages for runners and for the environment:

  • We save water and energy because the sole no longer has to be heated or melted

  • We do not use adhesives, which can negatively affect the cushioning in the shoe by providing an additional intermediate layer or stiffening bonded materials

  • We improve the connection between the sole and the upper because the midsole bonds firmly to the upper during production

PU statt EVA: Besseres Compression Set und längere Haltbarkeit

Als Basis für unseren nmblFoam® haben wir uns für PU entschieden. Zwar bieten die sogenannten “supercritical”-Schäume auf EVA-Basis die höchste Rückstellkraft. Sie haben aber oft auch den Nachteil, dass das Material mit jeder Belastung mehr ermüdet.

Das löst einen Teufelskreis aus: Denn wenn ein Läufer aufgrund seiner Körper- oder Fußstruktur überproniert, belastet er an dieser Stelle die Sohle stärker und der Schaum ermüdet schneller. Und diese Ermüdung fördert die Schwachstelle in der Körperstruktur des Läufers und kann zu negativen Bewegungsabläufen führen.

Aus diesem Grund haben wir für unseren nmblFoam® nach Alternativen zu EVA-basierten Schäumen gesucht und uns für PU entschieden.

The advantages of PU

  • the continuous dense foam is characterized by a deep and above all permanently consistent energy return

  • ten times higher compression set (ability to return to its original shape) than conventional EVA foams

  • longer durability

  • hydrolysis free (advantage in hotter or more humid climates)

Automation reduces carbon footprint

Highly automated manufacturing also allows Joe Nimble to profitably move production of the Ultreya® back to Europe. This makes us less dependent on supply chains. And it brings us closer to the goal we aim for with every new development step: to produce our shoes in a CO2-neutral way for the foreseeable future.