Atreyu Daily Trainer Road Running Shoe Review

REI senior sales manager Alan Ortega reviews the shoe on our YouTube channel, Run With REI Co-op.

REI Staff|Published March 23, 2023

5 reviews with an average rating of 3.8 out of 5 stars
A person ties their pair of Atreyu Daily Trainers

Watch the video

Below is a transcript of Alan's video review, edited and formatted for clarity. Watch more of Alan's reviews and adventures on the Run with REI Co-op YouTube channel.


Atreyu's Daily Trainer Is Simply Incredible

This is crazy. I didn't know footwear can feel this way. After two years in a ton of daily trainers, I never expected that the simplest design would impress me the most. I'm super excited because it gives us a chance to introduce co-op members and customers to Atreyu as a brand.

Disclaimer: I work at REI, and these shoes were provided to me for a review, but the opinions I'm going to be sharing today are all based on my experience in the shoes.

First Impressions

Weight: 9.3 ounces per shoe for unisex sizing (a men's 9 and a women's 10.5).

Drop: 6 mm.

Stack height: 30 mm in the heel and 24 mm in the forefoot.

Background

Atreyu as a company has actually been around for a couple years, but they previously seemed more niche because they were a direct-to-consumer footwear company. Now, you can find the Daily Trainer and the Base Trail (which I review here) at REI. They're a running company that's really focusing on getting no-frill running shoes on the feet of everybody who wants to run.

Learn more: Check out this profile of Atreyu on our blog, Uncommon Path.
Atreyu Running Shoes Get the Job Done.

Design

It might make you think of a band or a movie, maybe not footwear, but I'm really excited because now my point of reference for a Atreyu is no frills, not overbuilt, everything-you-need-and-nothing-you-don't, comfortable running shoe. Atreyu has partnered with the co-op, and to couple with that excitement, they've actually designed the Daily Trainer as a brand new shoe in their line. So Atreyu is now available to lots more folks, and REI is the only brick and mortar place you can actually try on Atreyu footwear. I've put over 200 miles in the Daily Trainers and I really dig them. If we get a little bit deeper and we start to look at the shoe from top to bottom, the upper is my favorite part of the shoe.

Upper: I do this thing a lot where I put my hand in footwear to feel out the upper before putting it on my foot, and it just feels different. It's hard to describe because if you look at the shoe you're like, "But it's mesh, the tongue looks pretty familiar, the laces aren't anything that's like whoa," but it just is really airy and you'll notice a lot of room in here. I think there's been a lot of recent conversations in the running industry around foot-shaped toe boxes versus more traditional silhouette toe boxes. The Atreyu Daily Trainer gives you a lot of room everywhere in the shoe, not just in the toe box. You just put your hand in there and you'll notice that it's unencumbered. You can see that you can't see my fingers straight away. There is actually two layers of mesh down there, but it still feels pretty airy.

Thath double layer does keep it a little bit cleaner for your foot and your sock if you're running in those types of environments where you can get a lot of dirt and grime in there. You can also see that there's a little bit of TPU overlay on the shoe—they're similar colors, but a little bit darker color adds to the little bit of that durability. The TPU overlays also enforce where the laces go through and the eyelets there, which is nice. The thing that I like about these laces is just that they're long enough to tie them in whatever way you want to tie them in. I don't have to untie the whole shoe. Again, there's lots of eyelets so you can customize the fit there.

The tongue is actually probably what I think is the most traditional part of this shoe. It just feels like, oh, yeah, that's a running shoe tongue. It's got exactly that type of feel that almost feels like a suede tongue, although it's synthetic.

Minimal structure for fast running: So because the Daily Trainer has such a minimalist design quality anesthetic for the upper, there are things that are not there. If you look at the tongue and how it's connected to the upper, there's really not a gusset that you would expect in, I would say, 99% of the footwear that's come out this year. There's also not a lot of structure holding your foot in place.

If you're looking to maybe sometimes vary your speeds on your run, those kind of features can be really helpful in that way. They keep your foot secure in a different way, they don't allow you to be moving around as much. I've come to really prefer this feeling of running so unencumbered. If you're looking for a feel that keeps you a little bit tighter in place, you're not really going to get that out of the fit for this shoe.

More security in the heel: The heel is actually probably the most built up part of the whole upper of the shoe, even though there's a little bit of structure there, it is pretty squishy and you can get it down a little bit more, so not a stiffer heel counter you might find in some other footwear that has a little bit more structure to it. It does feel secure, but it feels still like it has some room in the heel. That being said, I did not have to use a runner's loop with it, so I feel like for me this shoe just fit right away, at least I just liked the way it fit right away. Something that I really enjoy in footwear is always these pull tabs, so it's nice. A lot of road running shoes actually don't have them; they're mostly saved for trail running shoes now, but I like that Atreyu has kept them on their road running shoes. Inside the shoe you can see that there's a liner in there, almost looks like a wool liner. If y'all are familiar with Allbird liners, it feels a little bit like that.

Midsole: Getting down to the midsole, we've got a neutral shoe, and it's got Atreyu's proprietary Supercritical EVA, which sounds like somebody telling you, "Yeah, it's the best." To me, it's just a pretty standard EVA feel. On this shoe, it's got some carbon dioxide infused foam, so it gives you a little bit of that airiness to it. It doesn't feel super heavy, it doesn't feel super responsive, it just is like, yep, that's the shoe ride that I'm looking for, just consistency, just middle of the road there, which is probably exactly what lots of folks want in a daily trainer.

Outsole: You got this really outstanding logo from Atreyu here that's really easy to spot from lots of places. If you take your road running shoes like me into some city parks, you'll certainly leave that footprint behind, which is rad to see. Another interesting thing about the outsole again is just they have these lugs. They're not super deep lugs, but they do give you a little bit more traction. I do like to take my road running shoes into city parks. When it's really rainy, I feel like I just want a little bit more confidence in my traction. It snowed a few times in the city recently and it was nice when some of those sidewalks got a little icy or snowy to have a little bit more traction, but it's not something that you traditionally find in road-running outsoles.

Out and About in the Atreyu Daily Trainer

I've put over 200 miles in the Daily Trainers, and I really dig them.

That Barely There Feeling

So it is interesting to have a little bit more traction in the shoe, it gives it a little bit more versatility, and like I said, most of my longer runs or middle distance runs do kind of involve some lightly packed trails, and I really appreciate that this shoe just takes me everywhere I want to go. On my first run in the shoe, the lower half of the shoe felt familiar, it's EVA cushioning, an outsole that I'm familiar with. But the true story is really that the upper wasn't overbuilt in the slightest. It was almost like it was barely built, it just felt super airy, like there was nothing there. It almost felt like the top half of my run was barefoot, which is a weird thing because usually that barefoot feeling comes from underneath.

But this design aesthetic was truly distilled down into footwear and I don't know that I've ever been able to feel design aesthetics so viscerally like I did in the daily trainers from Atreyu. 200 miles in, I still love the upper, and the midsole doesn't feel dead, but it actually doesn't feel like there's a ton of difference in cushioning and the response because it was so muted from the beginning.

Made to last: The shoe feels a little less cushioned than some others, but honestly, shoes that I've worn for 200 miles have felt a lot different and a lot more degraded in their midsoles after this many miles than this shoe has felt, so I'm really excited about it. I'm pretty confident that I'll get another 100 miles out of this shoe and they'll still feel pretty similar. Like I said, the wrinkles are starting to show, but they're not even cracking the midsole like some other midsoles have. So as far as durability goes, I'm pretty impressed.

The Daily Trainer's really simple design, including that paired down upper, just made me feel—especially when I went out on my first run—like I was just running free, I was running unencumbered. It made me think about what I really valued out of a daily trainer: just getting out there and enjoying my runs

Who is the Atreyu Daily Trainer for?

I'd recommend the Atreyu Daily Trainer to folks who are looking for a shoe that they can put a ton of miles on without the feeling in the midsole changing. This is a no-frills shoe, maybe for folks that have been in lots of footwear and feel like the top of their foot is encumbered. I hear sometimes from customers, "I really like the shoe, but this feels really weird on this side, or this feels like this is giving me a pressure point on my foot." If that's you, I'd recommend trying on a pair of these because there's not a lot of places where you'll feel pressure points in this shoe.

For the easy, neutral runner: As far as what the ride is good for, again, it is built as a daily trainer, it's got that 6 mm offset, so it's just going to give you this really consistent natural feel for most of your runs. And if you're looking to do most of your runs in a way where you're not pushing pace or in a way where you're not super concerned with recovery or cushion, I think this is a great option for you. So if I think about my experience in this shoe and the durability that this shoe has presented so far, I think this is a really stellar option for a daily trainer.

Good value: The price point on the shoe is only $110. Most daily trainers with that amount of durability and that amount of comfort and consistency of ride are going to be at least somewhere $50 above what the price point on this shoe is.

And daily trainers usually for most runners are the shoes that you're replacing the most often. So you think about the investment, the footwear rotation, things like that, this shoe just makes a lot of sense. I've been able to try lots of different footwear, and to me this has been the one that I've recommended a lot so far to folks that I know that are dedicated runners and folks that I know that are just getting into running. It's a good entry-level shoe and it's a good shoe that you can just put in rotation no matter where you are in your running journey.

What do you think?

What daily trainer do you spend most of your time in? Is there a shoe that's made you fall in love with running all over again? Leave a comment on the YouTube Page.