Open cell aluminum foams have been electrocoated with nanocrystalline nickel. With only 150 µm coating thickness this new composite material exhibits excellent mechanical properties. The stiffness, strength, and energy absorption capacity have been determined under quasi-static and dynamic compression loading. The energy absorption capacity could be increased by a factor of 9 under quasi-static loading and 4.5 under dynamic loading, respectively. This enables applications in blast protection.