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Road Running Shoes • June 5, 2024

Atreyu Daily Trainer 1.2 Review: Simplicity, Upgraded

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What You Need To Know


9.3 oz. (264 g) for a US M9/W10.5

Stack Height / Drop

30 mm in heel, 24 mm in forefoot (6 mm drop)

Best For

Road training runs

Key Features

3D mesh upper, Supercritical EVA midsole, Full-length rubber outsole, eTPU sockliner

On The Run
Sleek, clean style Much more durable outsole Simplicity comes with sacrifice
Price / Availability

Available now for $115

Introduction to the Atreyu Daily Trainer 1.2

MATT: If you’ve been following Believe in the Run for a few years, you might know that we’ve been big supporters of what Michael and the team at Atreyu have been bringing to the running space since day one. Atreyu has stayed true to its mantra of “Honor Simplicity,” and in a world of ever-evolving technology and climbing prices, there’s something refreshing in finding a shoe that performs well, looks good, and doesn’t require monthly financing to purchase.

Last year, Atreyu shuffled its lineup, focusing on aligning its models clearly to their intended use and, again, keeping things simple. This shift transformed the brand’s offerings into the Base Model, the Race Model, and the Base Trail and resulted in the debut of the Daily Trainer 1.0.

Atreyu’s original Daily Trainer was a welcome addition to the line-up, as for many runners, the Base Model was just too minimal to absorb the impact of being an everyday volume trainer. The Daily Trainer 1.0 was a bit of a hybrid shoe, borrowing design elements from other Atreyu models to assemble a shoe capable of handling the pounding of the everyday miles while also being able to tackle a bit more than pounding the pavement if called upon. The outsole was similar to that used on the Base Trail, while the upper was more like the mesh of the Base Model.

All in all, the first edition of the Daily Trainer was a success. Thanks to the extra midsole stack, it provided a solid ride and was capable of eating up the volume of those marathon training blocks, all while costing a fraction of the price most big-name brands were charging.

Then, Atryeu made some updates for Daily Trainer 1.2, so I was excited to see what the latest version had to offer.

What we like about the Atreyu Daily Trainer 1.2

MATT: I’ll start with the first thing that caught my attention with the Daily Trainer 1.2: Pistachio. One clear update was a new array of colorways, including one that Atreyu calls Pistachio. It’s a thing of beauty, with a white mesh upper, a pistachio green midsole, and a gum-like outsole. Top it all off with an iridescent TPU layer around the toe cap and eyelets, and we’ve got ourselves a winner.

Even if the shoe performed terribly, it would still have a place in my casual rotation because it’s just that good-looking.

Okay, now that I have gushed about the design, let’s talk about what I liked about running in the shoe. I will say that by naming the shoe Daily Trainer 1.2 and not 2.0, there’s an implication that it has more subtle tweaks than overhauls, and I think that’s mostly accurate. However, sometimes, small adjustments can yield major benefits.

The mesh upper is super breathable and fits really well. The new gusseted tongue design is a nice improvement, as the padding feels good against the top of the foot, and it adds just a bit of lockdown for a shoe that doesn’t offer much in the way of stability.

The other enhancement that Atreyu made was using a more durable rubber compound for the outsole. This certainly helped, as with this being a bulk-miles model, you can tell that not only will it extend the shelf life to north of 250 miles, but because of the shoe’s semi-lugged outsole design, you would have no issue hitting up some recreation paths, crushed gravel, or dirt roads if you felt the need.

The last change to the Daily Trainer 1.2 is the addition of a molded eTPU sockliner. The sockliner effectively adds about 5mm of cushion to the footbed, which, when combined with about 30 mm of supercritical foam in the heel of the midsole, results in a pretty comfortable and cushioned ride.

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What we don’t like about the Atreyu Daily Trainer 1.2

MATT: The potential downside to the “simplicity” that Atreyu so cherishes in its designs is that if you go from training in super trainers like the New Balance SC Trainer v2 or the Asics Superblast, the Daily Trainer 1.2 might leave your legs feeling a bit sluggish and searching for the missing “pop.”

Put simply, you’re not getting a plate and 40 to 50 mm of super cushy foam, so the ride is going to feel a bit firmer. If you’re not a runner who’s become spoiled by the high-stack movement, then this may not even be an issue for you. However, I’ve gone all-in on the super trainer phase, so the disparity was noticeable.

Along those lines, I did find the ride a bit rigid in the mid-foot area. It wasn’t uncomfortable, but it just felt less flexible on the toe-off than I’d like for a road shoe. Honestly, I think the shoe may just need some more breaking in, or it might be a trade-off of leveraging the midsole/outsole design from the Base Trail model.

I love that the shoe’s outsole design allows it to mix it up off the pavement, but maybe the flip side of that is sacrificing a bit of flex and pop.

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Final thoughts on the Atreyu Daily Trainer 1.2

MATT: As I said above, I would likely give the Daily Trainer 1.2 positive remarks alone just for the looks, but the shoe holds its own as an easy-miles, long-run, and maybe some road-to-light trail option. It’s a really comfortable shoe, and while it might not be in the same class as some of the top trainers on the market from an energy return perspective, it also costs a fraction of the price at $115.

While it may not be the intention of the team at Atreyu, with the new colorways and sleek design, I think they’ve created competition for Tracksmith’s Eliot Runner.

The Daily Trainer 1.2 is a stylish and good-looking shoe that you can easily wear casually while also soaking up the base training volume and even taking it a little off the beaten path. If I’m debating what pair of shoes I can take on my next business trip that can do it all, this is 100% in the running for best travel shoe.

You can pick up the Atreyu Daily Trainer 1.2 for $115 from Atreyu by using the button below.

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Have something to say? Leave a Comment

  1. Alex Bujold says:

    Give us the list of best travel/run shoes, please! Trying to decide on a single running shoe to bring on a 2 week trip in the middle of peak marathon training, these seem like a good candidate.

    1. Robbe says:

      This is a good one for sure

  2. Kyle Jaggar says:

    I’ve been waiting for this review! Such a good looking shoe. How was the sizing? I’m very tempted even with the high delivery and tax cost to get it to the UK!

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Matt Kucharski
Mid-Atlantic Trail Reviewer
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Matt is a recovering triathlete who fell in love with running and left the dark side behind. Trail and ultra running are where he is most in his element, but he can still be found routinely running the streets in and around Baltimore with the Faster Bastards. Aside from running, he is a lover of coffee, mezcal, beer, and 90s country music.

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