Is the Atreyu Artist the cheapest carbon-plated shoe on the market? Yes. At just $100, you won’t find a cheaper carbon-plated shoe; you won’t find cheaper shoes at this point. But does that make it good?
Atreyu Artist Quick Facts:
Heel to Toe Drop: 5 mm
Atreyu Arist Intro:
To learn about the Atreyu Artist, you must first learn about the brand Atreyu. 2 brothers in Austin, Texas, founded Atreyu. I’ve chatted with the owners of Atreyu and they are all awesome…Not just are the shoes inexpensive and good, the founders are great too.
Their running shoe design is simple, and if you are someone who misses the “good old days” of cheap, lightweight running shoes, you might prefer Atreyu.
You can’t buy Atreyu running shoes in the store, but you can subscribe to their base model for $55 (yes, $55 for a pair of running shoes). Without subscribing, you will pay $75. This year, they created the Atreyu Artist, the cheapest carbon-plated shoe on the market at $100. At $100, it’s often hard to find them in stock. I’ve had the fortune of meeting and talking with several o the Atreyu team; they are all awesome. That’s a huge reason I usually have a pair of Atreyu running shoes in my rotation (and they are just good shoes).
Atreyu Artist Fit:
When any Atreyu running shoe arrives, you’ll notice they don’t have a box. They are just nicely wrapped shoes. I love this vibe, and the less waste, the better.
The upper of the Atreyu Artist is simple. There aren’t any seams; they are a proper to-size essential fit. It reminds me of the old Hoka Cavu or very old Saucony Kinvara models. Simple, straight to the point.
I firmly believe the best running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, and the Atreyu Artist does just that. The tongue and padding are thin. If you’ve run in the base model, the Atreyu Artist upper is the same. It’s unstructured with no stretch, and Atreyu claims it’s a “sock-like feel.” I tend to agree, and once I’m out running, it doesn’t feel like I have anything on my foot.
The Atreyu artist also has a thin TPU overlay on the toe bumper, heel, and eyelets which helps add a little support and keep the shoe locked down.
In running shoes, I tend to wear between a 10-11 wide, and the Atreyu Artist fits best in size 11.
Atreyu Artist Ride:
The Atreyu Artist follows suit of the Base model. The midsole looks like a single piece of foam, but it’s a piece of supercritical EVA foam (think like the new Brooks DNA Flash or any nitrogen-infused foam). Inside the Artist is a carbon fiber plate with more foam on top of that. If there were no foam on the carbon fiber plate, it would be an extremely rigid shoe.
The actual ride of the Atreyu Artist is fairly soft for a carbon fiber-plated shoe. You feel the plate, but it’s not bulky, and unlike most carbon fiber plated shoes, you feel the ground more. One issue I have with more “fast shoes” is they’ve made the stack height so high you don’t usually feel the ground. The Atreyu Artist has plenty of foam but still a lot less than most carbon plate racing shoes. It feels like a happy medium between the 2016 racing flats and currently highly cushioned shoes.
Durability and Traction: The outsole of the Atreyu Artist is interesting and uses a threadless 1mm layer of rubber. Just looking at it, you would not expect the Artist to have good traction…It actually has some of the better traction of racing shoes.
I’ve used it occasionally in inclement weather and had no issue regarding durability. Most carbon fiber racing shoes wear out in about 100 miles. Yes, you can still use them, but they aren’t going to give you the same “benefit.” The Atreyu Artist is similar but also half the price of almost any other carbon fiber plate racing shoe.
I wasn’t sure how I would like the carbon-plated Atreyu Artist. Would it be a workout shoe? A racing shoe? 400 repeats shoe? I knew it probably wouldn’t be an easy run shoe. I’ve found it performs well at faster runs, and I’ve done a lot of workouts in it. If I were running a marathon, it would be a contender for a marathon racer just because I don’t like (and neither does my body) the high stack height of most other carbon-plated shoes. I have been doing most of my workouts in the Atreyu and Artist and enjoying the ride.
Atreyu Artist Conclusion:
If you are looking for a high stack height carbon fiber plated shoe with plenty of cushion, this isn’t your shoe. But this is a great option if you are looking for a happy medium of racing flats of the past and current racing shoes. Plus, you can’t beat the price; in fact, it’s just cheaper than most traditional running shoes. What is similar to the Atreyu Artist? There isn’t a lot that is super similar, and it’s in a class of its own. If I had to pick, I would say the Nike ZoomX Streakfly Review or the adidas Adios Pro. The Saucony Kinvara is another “close” option; it just lacks the carbon plate.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Are you looking to learn more about running shoes? My ebook talks about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the Atreyu Artist or any Atreyu shoes?
What is your favorite racing shoe?