Sunday, April 28, 2024

Atreyu Running Daily Trainer 1.2 Review

Article by Ben David 

Atreyu Daily Trainer 1.2 ($115)


Atreyu is a homegrown, modest operation out of Texas that continues to earn its place alongside the heavyweights of the running industry. Their commitment to simple construction and design, in a world loaded with complex makes and models, is refreshing and has been well-received since the company’s launch a few years ago. 

Their shoes look and feel different: clean, light, easygoing. While initially offering just their “base model,” their catalog has expanded into racing with a very respectable carbon-plated shoe called the Race Model and a fun and upbeat trail shoe called the Base Trail. I’ve run in everything they’ve put out so far and have loved all of it. They feel like the anti-Nike, anti-Adidas and are just fun to run in. Let’s see what their newest offering, the Daily Trainer 1.2, is all about. (Ben)

Pros: light, energetic, simple, price point (Ben)

Cons: likely not ample enough for marathon training, minimal support (Ben)

Most comparable shoes

Atreyu Base Model

Tracksmith Elliot Runner

On Cloudsurfer


Sample Weight: men's 9.3 oz  / g (US9)

Stack Height: men’s 30 mm heel / 24 mm forefoot ( drop spec) 

$ Available now at Atreyu HERE

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

The keyword for the Daily Trainer 1.2 is soft. From the upper to the midsole and outsole, everything about this shoe is quite soft. My men’s size 9 fit true to size. I will note that Atreyu historically runs short so consider going up a ½ size if you’re not looking for a racer-type fit. 

The upper offers a very soft mono construction, which feels very breathable and airy. They describe the material as a “socklike 3D mesh.” 

The gusseted tongue, made of perforated microfiber material, helps with lockdown and I had no trouble there whatsoever. There is a sock liner within the shoe and a 5mm footbed that is now molded eTPU instead of die cut eTPU, adding to the shoe’s great comfort and wearability from the inside out.

There is ample volume in the toe box, with no pinching. The shoe is extremely comfortable upon step-in and the comfort continues on the run. 

I also imagine the Daily Trainer 1.2 would work as well at the gym or a day walking around as it would for easy miles. The shoe description on the company website notes that it’s up for “bulk miles, recovery miles, marathon training, long runs, cross training, and everything in between.” 

For many people, this will be one of those elusive “do it all” trainers: good for easy runs, good for those casual miles, good for occasional speed work and good for racing a neighborhood 5K or 10K. 

Midsole & Platform

The midsole is soft and flexible but lively enough. It is composed of Atreyu’s own “supercritical EVA compound.” 

It is highly forgiving and I was actually nervous at first that it would feel almost slipper-like on the run. (That’s how soft it is!) But in fact the midsole has just enough rigidity to it and thus a good bit of pep. It enjoyed picking up the pace when I was ready. 

I found the platform to be broad enough and sturdy, complimenting the midsole foam. This is one place where Atreyu has clearly evolved. Early iterations of the Base Model were highly minimalistic, offering almost no stack height or cushion in the midsole. 

While the latest Base Model remains super streamlined, the Daily Trainer 1.2 is much more of a “mainstream shoe” and able to contend with bigger brands as a reliable choice for beginners up to advanced runners. In virtually every way this shoe runs as it looks: simple, clean, fun and easygoing. 


The Daily Trainer 1.2 outsole is made of a piece of full-length rubber made of an “enhanced compound for extra miles.” It offers superior grip and traction. I was highly confident that I wouldn’t slip or have trouble with tight turns. 

To me it seemed reminiscent of the more exaggerated lugs on the outsole of the Base Trail. There are various elements of this shoe that feel similar to that shoe, in both feel and ride (similar stack, similar step-in feel, similar weight, similar ride). If you liked the Base Trail, my suspicion is that you will really like this shoe, its apparent road counterpart. 

My only question with the outsole is with durability. Atreyu’s website makes clear that most of its shoes don’t last as long as more mainstream shoes. The Daily Trainer 1.2 is expected to hold up for 250+ depending on usage. I am not fully convinced but would love to be wrong. 

Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

In the end the Daily Trainer 1.2 is a fun, no-frills daily trainer that sits outside of the mainstream. In 2024, when more is more, the Daily Trainer 1.2 has the courage to offer a counter argument. It is light, lively and very breathable. 

This is a simple shoe for those who want something without bulk or pretense. (Beware: This also means there is very little in the way of support). The ride is easygoing and simple, consistent with the shoe’s appearance and the Atreyu mantra, “honor simplicity.”

 I imagine this shoe will work well for those who want to run very casual weekend miles or the runner who already has a robust rotation but wants to bring something decidedly different into the mix. It also works well as a compliment to the Base Trail or the fabulous Race Model. 

Ben’s Score: 9.4/10 

with only minor deductions for lack of support and concerns about durability


Atreyu Base Model 1 and 2 (RTR Review)

I wear a true-to-size men’s 9 in all of these shoes. The Daily Trainer 1.2 offers significantly more support and propulsion than the extremely stripped-down Base Model. While I haven’t run in the Base Model 3 yet, the 21.5 mm heel/15mm toe shows that the shoe is still extremely paired down. I’d go with the Daily Trainer 1.2 if you’re looking for something that is ready to run longer and/or faster. (Ben)

On Cloudsurfer (RTR Review)

I wear a size 9 in most On shoes, including these. While the surfer might offer more stack and support, I found it to be overly soft and lacking any pep. I’d choose the Daily Trainer 1.2. (Ben)

Tracksmith Elliot Runner  (RTR Review)

I wear a size 9 in the Elliot. I personally found the Elliot to run quite narrow and confining. I also found it to be rather flat riding and dull, not nearly as peppy or fun as the Atreyu. I’d go with the Daily Trainer 1.2 (Ben)

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE 

The Daily Trainer 1.2 is available now at Atreyu HERE

Tester Profiles

Ben is the Senior Rabbi of Reform Congregation Keneseth Israel of Elkins Park, PA. A cancer survivor, he has run 21 marathons. He holds PRs of 3:15 for the marathon and 1:30 for the half. At 46, he still enjoys pushing himself and combining his running with supporting a variety of causes. Follow him on Instagram: @RabbiBPD or Twitter: @BDinPA 

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

Comments and Questions Welcome Below! Please let us know mileage, paces, race distances, and current preferred shoes

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