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TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner Performance Review

Arune Singh
TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner

Before we get to the TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner we want to cover how TYR has become quite a hot footwear brand in the last few years. With its origins in competitive swimwear, TYR recently entering the fitness space to wide acclaim (which we echoed in our review of their outstanding CXT-1 training shoes).

Over that same time, the running shoe market has become increasingly more competitive as established brands like Asics, Saucony, and Brooks have been revitalized while newer brands like Hylo have begun to make an impact (Editor’s Note: sadly the pun is intended as Hylo’s latest shoe is named Impact). 

With TYR making waves by entering the running shoe space, we had to try the TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner, the brand’s entry into the carbon plated shoe category, to see if it was the next must-have racer or perhaps the first step on TYR’s journey to a true super shoe.

It’s also very important that you understand the kind of runners who are reviewing these shoes – Drew is an experienced marathon runner, who also moonlights as a running mentor for folks on the WearTesters Discord. Meanwhile, Arune defines himself as a mediocre runner who has built up to 30-35 miles of running per week (mostly on a treadmill).

TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner

Release Date: February 2024

Price: $250

Weight: Unisex 7.8 oz.

Drop: 6mm

Sizing: True to size

Buy Men's at TYR Buy Women's at TYR
  • Rundown: The TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner is TYR’s first high end performance running shoe but it’s hard to tell. The TYR Valkyrie Elite is a top tier shoe.
TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner side view

What is the TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner?

TYR describes it as:

The pinnacle of performance, the Valkyrie Elite Carbon runner is equipped with an anatomical toe box and the LaunchPX midsole that features a full length carbon fiber plate, positioned between two full length pieces of 100% Pebax® supercritical foam for ultimate comfort, response and durable support for any movement. This runner features a hyperweave upper for unmatched breathability that’s perfect for long distance running or walking. Whether you’re a seasoned runner or just getting into racing, this versatile shoe is perfect for those who view speed as a pathway to covering more miles and experiencing new unbeatable highs.

TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner fit


Arune: All shoes are a bit of a crapshoot for me, given my mix of a wider forefoot and normal-ish midfoot, so while I can wear a normal fit in some brands, the Nikes and Hokas of the world require me to go wide.

While TYR’s aforementioned CXT-1 fit me like a glove, my first attempts to get my foot in the Valkyrie Elite weren’t as smooth. I really wish there was a pull tab because the midfoot area of this shoe really required me shoving my foot in hard while also pulling on the top of the heel.

On the plus side, once you get your foot in there it aint coming out – laced or unlaced. This might be the most secure fit I’ve ever felt in a shoe.

That said, once my foot got in there, I found a very roomy forefoot that allowed full toe splay without so much room that my foot could slide around. I’ve been running daily with this shoe for over a week and it’s getting easier to pull on – though that pull tab would be welcome in the next iteration.

TYR has very purposefully chosen a more natural foot shape for their shoes and it’s so welcome for someone like me who finds most shoes a battle for my feet. For me, most carbon plated shoes – which tend to be race day shoes – feel like they’re built on narrow platforms that make my feet spillover the lateral and medial sides, the TYR Valkyrie Elite provides a comparatively wide base that I think will appeal to many more runners.

I went TTS (true to size) with a 9.5, which is my consistent running and training shoe size.

Drew, how was this for you? Did you feel the weight difference from other super shoes? The Asics Metaspeed Sky+ is 7.2 oz while this is 7.8 oz.

Drew: It likely depends on your ability to perceive weight on foot, but the TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner does feel slightly heavier than some of its competitors. That said, the trade offs will be well worth it for a huge swath of runners.

Arune mentioned both the generous anatomical toebox and wide platform. Those are two things very few super shoes prioritize. This strategy from TYR will pay dividends and not just among their current triathlon-focused customer base. Many running shoe consumers are tired of stuffing their feet into narrow, tight race day shoes and everything that comes with that (Editor’s Note: like losing toenails). 

The TYR Valkyrie Elite is arriving at the right time. People are realizing race day shoes can be comfortable and fit well but still be fast. But the fit isn’t even the best part of the TYR Valkyrie Elite. It’s time to talk in depth about the stellar upper.

TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner upper close up


Arune: Much like the way I raved about the CXT-1, the TYR Valkyrie Elite has an incredible upper, with the promised “ultra lightweight Hyperweave breathable construction” living up to its description.

I took this shoe for runs up to 13.1 miles and my foot never felt any discomfort, from warmth to the way the material moved with me during my run. Even better, the gusseted tongue never moves out of place and these laces are not only the perfect length (Editor’s Note: thank god he didn’t complain about the laces…again) but they stay tied even through the most intense runs.

Can we also take a second to talk about how great the shoe looks? The crisp white material is complemented by the minimal black detailing, more than passing the Wife Test – “you’re keeping that one, right?” is indeed the highest aesthetic praise for a shoe.

My hope is that we get some more colors of this shoe – especially a beautiful red shoe with some black, white and gray accents.

Between the TYR Valkyrie Elite and CXT-1, I’m not sure there’s anyone in the shoe game whose uppers are more suited for my tastes. No notes.

Drew: This upper is non traditional, comfortable, and durable. That’s the holy trinity of upper construction for shoe reviewers. I could do with less fuse at the toe and heel but that’s a minor complaint. The Hyperweave used for most of the upper resembles a ballistic mesh and is basically indestructible. The combo creates the most durable super shoe upper on the planet.

Note that the added durability removes some of the breathability you’ll experience with other “barely there” uppers but the TYR Valkyrie Elite still gets solid airflow. And it does all that without retaining too much water (or sweat).

The tongue, which Arune mentioned briefly, also needs more attention. It’s a mesh with what seems like a thin neoprene backing. The end result is a soft, fully gusseted tongue that prevents lace pressure and doesn’t move a millimeter while running.

That lack of movement is assisted by TYR’s attention to detail. The two lace loops built into the tongue keep everything in line and the barbed laces stay tied even on rain-soaked runs. This is an upper built to do its job, never have issues, and be largely out of the way so you can race without concern.

TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner deconstructed


Arune: I do find it funny that we keep this incredibly important detail for the third category, but that’s how we get you to keep reading, right? (Editor’s Note: Arune, quit spilling our secrets all over the internet.)

A bit of a preface – I don’t tend to like carbon plates in shoes, even the universally beloved Asics Metaspeed Sky+ and New Balance SC Trainer. They always feel too firm for my feet or I feel like I’m not getting enough out of them, So where does the TYR Valkyrie Elite rank in my carbon plated power rankings?

The TYR Valkyrie Elite is my favorite carbon plated running shoe ever and second place isn’t even close.

I actually can’t feel the carbon plate at all – which means none of the usual foot pain – but I do feel these wonderfully soft, responsive layers of Pebax supercritical foam rewarding all the work I put into each stride. Add in a midsole rocker that keeps propelling you forward and you’ve got one helluva shoe.

You’ll notice I didn’t specify “race day shoe” because despite the carbon plating, it’s clear that this shoe is meant to be your ONE running shoe to rule them all (and, well, TYR’s own product description reinforces it). I tested this shoe for over 50 miles with runs from 6.1 miles to 13.1 miles and this shoe only felt better with each run.

Truthfully, I’m not a very fast runner so I was doing a lot of steady treadmill runs but I did try some sprints and really loved the stability I felt thanks to not only the aforementioned natural footshape but the cushion setup here too. It’s hard to be a 220lb runner looking for both squishy foams and stability, but TYR has figured out the secret sauce.

Drew, you are much more experienced with super shoes – how did TYR do with their first super shoe?

Drew: I love that TYR didn’t try to make a super shoe that’s like all the others and thoughtfully carved its own path. The shape, stability, and upper mentioned above all contribute and then the midsole caps off this well-rounded shoe.

The TYR Valkyrie Elite is stiff with a rocker shape that most resembles the Asics Metaspeed Sky Paris. It’s 100% race ready. But it’s ready for more than just race day. Long runs, speed workouts, tempo sessions and basically anything you do in training that requires speeding up your legs is fair game for the TYR Valkyrie Elite.

The LaunchPX midsole closely resembles Saucony’s PWRRUN PB and performs similarly too. The two layers of LaunchPX sandwich the scooped carbon plate and the sensation on toe off is similar to other plated racing shoes. It’s a small extra flick that assists in pushing your toes off the ground faster than they could otherwise go. That’s the extra oomph that super shoes typically provide and it assists both in maintaining faster paces, saving the legs, and allowing for quicker recovery time after hard efforts.

TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner outsole traction


Arune: Believe it or not, I’m gonna be brief on this one (Editor’s Note: I didn’t know that was something you could do).

I only took this shoe out briefly on some wet and icy Utah roads, so I’ll say that I felt pretty good traction with my miles but I’m also running at a comfortable pace and not cutting corners with the speed of runners like Drew.

So, let’s have him do the talking.

Drew: I got lucky during the test period and was able to test the TYR Valkyrie Elite in dry conditions, icy/snowy conditions, and in a rainstorm. The traction, that carries no marketing moniker, did well in all conditions. There was a slight slippage in very wet conditions but less than all race day shoes except the ones from Puma. That’s impressive.

The TYR Valkyrie Elite also handled ice and snow without issue. It’s an outsole that will perform reliably well in any conditions.

TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner Heel

Is the TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner worth $250?

Arune: My answer is yes, but there’s some specific caveats.

If all you need is a daily trainer to log some reasonable miles, I’d recommend just going with something in the $140 range like the Asics Novablast 4 or the Brooks Ghost Max. Both are incredible workhorse shoes and I use the latter multiple times each week. It’s my favorite daily trainer.

On the flip side, if you need a new race day shoe then I think you’ve got an absolute winner here that’s priced competitively with Nike, Adidas, Saucony and Asics (even a bit cheaper in some cases). For my Hobbit feet, this is really the only carbon plated shoe I’d choose.

But the TYR Valkyrie Elite can fill the role of both shoes if desired – I wouldn’t recommend any new runner investing in something this expensive right away, but even someone like me with a year of actual focused running can benefit from this shoe in their rotation. It makes running fun and, like Drew always says, the shoe that gets you running is the right shoe for you (if it works for your budget and needs).

Drew: Given the current market the TYR Valkyrie Elite delivers appropriate value for $250. There’s also a good argument that it overdelivers in the durability department compared to other marathon racing shoes but since we only get to test shoes for ~50 miles, I can’t say that for certain (yet). Hopefully I’ll be able to continue using this shoe and update this section after I’ve passed 150ish miles to confirm that the longer term durability is on point.

TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner on treadmill

TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner Summary

Arune: It’s hard to believe this is TYR’s first super shoe since the TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner is a versatile winner that competes with the best high end shoes in the market.

The price point on this shoe means it’s not going to be the shoe that everyone reading this runs out to buy, but those folks looking for race day shoes should absolutely get a pair on feet and experience the absolute home run from TYR.

Drew: If your most common complaints about previous super shoes deal with fit, width, stability, or durability, you need to find a way to get the TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner on your feet. It’s the best way to solve those common issues with super shoes. It’s also a completely capable race or speed day shoe on its own without need of comparison to competitors.

I realize TYR is not a brand you think of when you think of high end performance running shoes, but TYR’s first foray into high end running shoes shows me the design team understands what runners need on race day and can deliver it in a well-rounded package. It’s got me intrigued to see what TYR delivers next.

How do the Authors Run?

Drew Whitcomb (age 42, 6’6″ 195lbs): Runs daily with a once a week rest day. Runs a lot of miles due to testing needs and a growing affinity for long-distance races. Regularly competes in marathons, half-marathons, 10k, and 5k races.

Arune Singh (age 42, 5’11”, 220lbs): Trains daily with functional fitness programming from Deadboys Fitness, founded by Colby “Seth Rollins” Lopez and Josh Gallegos, along with logging 30-40 miles of running per week. He also has a medical history of Sleep Apnea and Myasthenia Gravis, meaning Arune’s focus is on lean muscle mass.

TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner in hand


While TYR did send pairs of the TYR Valkyrie Elite Carbon Runner to facilitate this review, they had no involvement in this review, didn’t receive an advance look at it, and have not attempted to influence it.

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