Atreyu The Artist review

7 expert score
7.7 user's score
As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples. We purchased this pair at Atreyu with our own money.
Review written on 21st May by Brandon Law Marathon Runner and Shoe Expert
157 other reviews

Atreyu The Artist Verdict

The Atreyu The Artist is a $100 super shoe with a full carbon-fibre plate and a thick, supercritical midsole. It has good cushioning with rockered transitions and it can be used for racing if you're on a budget. Its outsole rubber is very thin and wears down incredibly fast so durability is very low.

The pros

  • Smooth transitions
  • Cushioned ride
  • Attractive price
  • Good stability

The cons

  • Runs a half size too small
  • Low outsole durability
  • Loose heel fit

Where to buy

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Rating breakdown

Comfort
7.0
Build quality
7.0
Upper
5.0
Sole unit
7.0
Landing
8.0
Transition
8.0
Toe-off
8.0
Traction
7.0
Durability
4.0
Value / Price
10

Facts / Specs

Brand
Model
The Artist
Weight
7.8 oz (221 g)
MSRP
100.00

Heel
30 mm.
Toe
24 mm.
Heel drop
6 mm.
Carbon plate
Full length carbon plate

Size/Fit

Sizing
Buy half size bigger
Heel fit
Wide
Midfoot fit
Normal
Toebox fit
Normal

Cushioning & ride

Type of cushioning
Balanced
Amount of cushioning
Highly cushioned
Stability
Some stability
Flexibility
Rigid

Usage

Racing  
Speedwork  
Daily training
Long distance racing
Ultra distance racing

Who should buy the Atreyu The Artist ?

If you’re looking for the cheapest full-length, carbon plated shoe available, The Artist is the shoe for you. If you want to try a carbon shoe for the first time to see what all the fuss is about, The Artist is a good option that won’t break the bank.

Who should not buy the Atreyu The Artist ?

If you’re looking for a really lightweight, propulsive racer, The Artist will not be a great shoe for you. It also doesn’t have good durability so you can’t use it for a lot of training runs.

Atreyu The Artist Introduction

Picture of Atreyu The Artist

If it was the 90’s or early 2000’s and we told runners that racing shoes would soon reach $250, I’m pretty sure they would be shocked beyond belief. With the invention of super shoes, $250 is now the normal amount that you have to shell out if you want a new, long distance, carbon-plated racer.

For most runners, a $250 racing shoe doesn’t make any sense: it’s not very durable, it can only be used for racing/key runs and it becomes outdated when the new version is launched in a year’s time. This is what makes Atreyu so special.

Atreyu is a small, startup company hailing from Austin, Texas. Their philosophy is to honour simplicity with minimal running shoes in the same vein as the old Kinvaras and Takumi Sens. Initially, they offered a subscription service which gave you a discount if you committed to buying 3 pairs but they’ve since stopped this offering for a more traditional sales approach.

Atreyu shoes are difficult to buy. They don’t ship to Malaysia but on a recent trip to Thailand, I was able to buy The Artist. They currently only ship to a selected list of countries but hopefully availability will be wider in the future when the brand grows in popularity.

Their full lineup consists of only 4 shoes: 2 road trainers, a trail shoe and a race shoe.

The Artist is their carbon-plated racer which they claim on their website can be used for long runs, tempo runs and racing.

The Artist weighs 8.1 oz for a men’s US9 which is competitive but they also state that you should go up a half size due to the small fit so I am normally a US9 but I had to buy a bigger size.

What sets The Artist apart is that it only costs $100 brand new. Yes, you read right, only $100 for a long-distance, carbon-plated racer. That seems too good to be true.

Atreyu The Artist First Impressions

Picture of Atreyu The Artist

My first run was a 3 kilometre warm up followed by 7 kilometres at marathon pace. While running easy, The Artist felt comfortable and smooth but when I needed to pick up the pace, it felt a bit sluggish- like I needed to work harder than in other super shoes to reach tempo pace.

It felt much better than any other $100 running shoe I’ve tried. The Artist gave me that feeling that I had a racing shoe on because of how stiff the carbon plate was and there was also a lot of deep cushioning in the midsole. It felt like a long-distance running shoe.

The shoe that it reminded me most of was the Adidas Adios Pro 1 but the ride The Artist felt flatter and not as energetic. It felt more bottom heavy than the Adios Pro too.

Atreyu The Artist Upper

Picture of Atreyu The Artist


The Artist has a minimal upper which is designed to be light. The fit is a bit sloppy and it doesn’t have a very polished feel.

The material that the upper is made from feels like it comes from a casual sneaker and breathability is not great. The fit is short and narrow so you need to go up a half size at least.

There’s no heel counter so the heel is very floppy. This results in some heel slippage, even if you use a runner’s knot. There are no reflective elements on The Artist.

Atreyu The Artist Sole Unit

Picture of Atreyu The Artist

As a competitive racer, The Artist can’t compete with the super shoes from the big brands in terms of performance. It reminds me of a speed trainer like the Adidas Boston or Endorphin Speed which are faster than daily trainers but not as propulsive as super shoes.

The Artist’s midsole is made from a supercritical EVA foam so it does provide a little more energy return than regular, old school EVA. To me, it feels like more of a daily trainer foam rather than a racing foam because of how dense and heavy it is.

The carbon-fibre plate is full length and it’s super stiff so it does a good job at preventing the forefoot from flexing which increases the forefoot rocker sensation. It doesn’t offer as much forward propulsion as other super shoes because the midsole doesn’t compress much so the plate can’t move around and “shoot” you forward.

Steady paced runs which are between easy and marathon pace are what The Artist does best. The midsole setup allows you to pick up the pace slightly but I find it not punchy enough for tempo runs or interval workouts. I find the midsole foam a bit too flat for when you need some serious speed assistance.

Picture of Atreyu The Artist

The outsole of The Artist takes inspiration from the Adios Pro. It has a thin rubber layer with a rough finish, similar to sandpaper which protects the midsole foam.

The rubber of The Artist isn’t as durable as the Adios Pro and I noticed significant wear within the first 50 kilometres of testing. I wore through the outsole rubber on the heel on my second run but this is to be expected because Atreyu states on their website that you can only get around 250 miles out of The Artist.

Atreyu The Artist Conclusions

Picture of Atreyu The Artist

Overall, I think The Artist punches above its weight when you consider that it only costs $100. I definitely don’t regret purchasing it and it feels faster than anything else that you can buy for $100 (which is not on sale).

I personally won’t be racing in it because it doesn’t provide as much speed assistance as a Vaporfly, Adios Pro or Rocket X but those shoes are $250. If you’re on a budget, The Artist will get the job done and help you get a faster time than a daily trainer, which is the only shoe you can get for $100 brand new.

Outsole durability is The Artist’s main concern, especially on the outer heel area. The rubber is extremely thin so you have to save it for races or key workouts. Heel lockdown is also subpar but it’s not a deal breaker.

I applaud Atreyu for finding a way to mass produce a carbon plated racer at such a reasonable price. Now, they only need to find a way to make it more accessible to the rest of the world.

How does the The Artist compare?

Decathlon Kiprun KD900X
Atreyu The Artist
Brooks Hyperion Elite 3
Expert score
5
7
8
User score
Best price
Retail price
US$135
US$100
US$249.95
Weight
7.9 oz
7.8 oz
8.1 oz
Heel Drop
8 mm
6 mm
8 mm
Recommended for
Racing, speedwork
Racing, speedwork
Racing, speedwork, daily training
Cushioning type
responsive
balanced
responsive/balanced
Cushioning amount
Medium cushioning
Highly cushioned
Little cushioning
Flexibility
medium
rigid
rigid
Stability
not particularly stable
some stability
some stability
Sizing
buy half size smaller
buy half size bigger
true to size

Why you can trust us

As editorial policy, we do not accept free samples from companies.
We purchased this pair of Atreyu at Atreyu  with our own money.

This page contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Read more about our policy.
Lowest price:

$100

Atreyu The Artist price comparison

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD
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Reviewed by Brandon

This review was written by Brandon Law on 21st May.
Brandon is a South African who lives and trains in Malaysia. He is a marathon runner who eats, sleeps and dreams running shoes. While most people wear shoes to run, he runs to wear shoes.

User feedback (3)

  • avatar-comment-1028535
    DB
    11 months ago
    6 score

    I love the philosophy and simple design of Atreyu, but the unreliable, inconsistent fit and postage cost to Australia makes them problematic. I’ve tried two Artists – true to size was too big for me and the fit was sloppy for my narrow mid foot (and felt looser than my true to size Base Model), half size down was a little too snug for my toes. Now postage has had a significant increase, the value isn’t there and the uncertainty on sizing puts me off.

  • avatar-comment-1028455
    Josh H
    11 months ago
    8 score

    You can get the Daily Trainer and Base Trail models at REI now. I think for the price, it’s great. Not going to compete with any other super shoes out there, but it gets the job done. I have the based model and the Artists and I have no problem running Half Marathons in either one of them.

  • avatar-comment-1028393
    Gregg Lawson
    11 months ago
    9 score

    Love this shoe. For $100 you cannot beat it. Not as fast as (not as much assistance from the plate) as some other plated shoes, but still fast!!!
    For distances over 50 miles this is my go to shoe- the performance does not drop off and it will allow you to change paces comfortably. My favorite shoe is the Vaporfly 2 which is not comfortable at slower paces- I wear the same size in each & I have a full volume foot and find it true to size.

Lowest price:
$100

Where to buy

Best offers today in United States, all prices in USD
Sorry - Product not found. Please try RunningWarehouse.Com to check in their assortment.
This page contains affiliate links Read more

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