An interview with ATREYU Running Company


As a 35 year old who dipped my foot into the metal music scene for a hot minute in college – I am familiar with the band Atreyu. So when I came across ATREYU Running a few weeks ago, I knew I needed to reach out and learn more. Read on for our casual interview with owner Michael Krajicek, based out of Austin, TX.

Run Oregon: Tell us a little about you personally.

Michael Krajicek: So, I am a 32 year old avid runner/triathlete, ex gourmet hot dog restaurateur, and acoustic lounge musician. Weird resume, but it makes sense with a lengthy story for another day. I am like so many athletes who aspire to set goals that are outside of the scope of their perception. ATREYU is the idea that the “battle lies within” and the only thing that can hold us back are our own perceptions of limitation. I wanted an honest product to reflect that idea with ATREYU’s initial offering.

RO: Why get into the running shoe game?

MK: I was asking myself for years: how are shoes made? Why so much? What is the true markup and COGS (editors note: cost of goods sold) breakdown? We need more shoes if we train seriously, right? What is stability? The list goes on… And so I got to work a few years ago by reading as many scientific research studies I could, and tried to debunk the manufacturing process. What I found was totally badass: there was room for innovation, but not all of that innovation was in the shoe itself, because there was so much innovation in the traditional SUPPLY CHAIN model and utilizing HONEST MARKETING. 

By implementing a direct-to-athlete delivery plan, would it be possible for athletes to reserve shoes that come off the factory line and then on their feet at the time they need to re-up? Can we pair this supply chain model with a perfectly balanced and STUPID LIGHT (5.9oz M size 9) neutral running shoe that can be both a trainer (mid-cushioned) and a racing shoe that lasts only as long as intended use? The answer is absofrickinlutely.

Case example: do you run in Ray-Bans or Goodr? From my experience, Goodr is superior for a running experience. They are well designed, appropriately priced, polarized, and built for one thing – running performance eyewear. Ray-Bans, on the contrary, are not. They are badass and I’ve owned a pair since the Blues Brothers movie, but they are much too overbuilt for running and bounce/slip/etc. This is the paradigm shift I want to make with running shoes. 

RO: What do you hope runners eventually get out of your shoes?

MK: Bottom line: I want athletes to view a shoe as a performance commodity and have designed a badass balanced neutral shoe from the ground up rooted in simplicity to achieve this for those looking for a lightweight neutral running shoe. Its why we designed our first shoe with one mentality – Everything you need. Nothing you don’t. 

RO: Your shoes look super unique! When are you expecting them to be available to the public?

MK: We have our first order being tooled/manufactured and those will be available for shipping around July 2020. That is a conservative timeline, as they are scheduled to arrive a little sooner. Pre-sales will launch Q1 of this year. I am very eager to present this idea to the world. I know I have always wanted something like this, and believe there are many folks out there who want the same. 

Many thanks to Michael for taking the time to talk to us more about their shoes and company. Make sure you follow them on Facebook and Instagram for the latest information on ATREYU Running!

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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