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TYR Valkyrie Speedworks Review

TYR Valkyrie Speedworks Review

Category: Performance Trainer
Sole Height: 39.5/33.5mm
Weight: 230 grams (8.1 oz)


Our first experience with the American TYR was more than positive. The Valkyrie Elite Carbon has all the features that make a modern distance racer efficient, without the issues that usually accompany a company’s first attempts. A rather simple design approach, avoiding extravagant elements purely for show, and focusing on a capable sole and a functional upper. And all this worked in practice.

At the same time, the training complement to the Elite Carbon, the Valkyrie Speedworks, was presented. The only significant difference is that the latter incorporates a nylon plate instead of carbon fiber, making it more user-friendly and versatile. And a slightly different upper that somewhat confused us.

Upper and Fit

Visually, the Speedworks resembles the Elite quite a bit. It has a design simplicity that is further highlighted in the all-white color, also hiding its volume. The “Alphaweave” mesh is extremely open in weave. It appears almost like tulle but is very structured and sturdy when seen up close or touched. The large external bumper is also present here, giving height and a rounded shape to the toe box.

The enormous overlay on the toes holds the ultra-light mesh in place.

Alphaweave combines breathability and durability.

The tongue is made of soft engineered mesh and is relatively thin. It is complemented by a layer of synthetic material on top to sit properly on the foot. Like the Elite, the midfoot is secured by two internal straps that hold the tongue, without any other structural element.

Despite the limited padding, the soft laces will never cause discomfort.

The collar is external and of medium hardness. It has some flexibility and reaches quite high, not only at the end but also at the sides. Internally, the lining has a slight padding to help with the fit and provide some comfort.

One would expect a more “training-oriented” upper than the Elite, but in my opinion, the Speedworks has a more racing design, both in materials and fit. The mesh is much lighter and more flexible, with no overlays anywhere. The “anatomical” toe box remains spacious but is certainly more snug around the forefoot and toes. It comfortably accommodates wider feet, but the large bumper makes it stable for narrower feet too. Generally, I don’t think anyone will have fitting issues.

Even visually, the spaciousness in the front is evident.

In the midfoot the mold is narrower and although it has no reinforcements other than the gusseted tongue, it holds the foot perfectly. It closes everywhere, giving a secure feeling but without feeling tight.

Simple design but 100% effective.

The rear design, which rises high and hugs the entire heel area, also helps with this. The collar is slightly sturdier than the Elite’s, ultimately working better.

Overall, the Speedworks upper does exactly what its category demands. Comfortable when going slower, you tighten it a bit and it locks in when you want to go faster. It doesn’t require much adjustment, doesn’t apply pressure anywhere, and has room in the front for wider feet. Personally, I find it holds the foot better than the Elite Carbon, with a more racing feel. In terms of breathability, it’s simply top-notch. Even with the recent very high temperatures, the open mesh had absolutely no issues.

Regarding sizing, go with your regular size. When you first wear it, it might feel slightly short in length, but this feeling disappears immediately when running.

Sole and Ride

In terms of material, height, and geometry, the Speedworks sole is identical to that of the Elite Carbon. TYR’s foam is called LaunchPX, made entirely of Pebax with supercritical processing (nitrogen infused). It’s worth noting that, along with the Endorphin Speed, these are the only performance trainers with 100% Pebax. This is a smart move by the Americans because when you enter the battle as an underdog, you need to be as well-armed as possible.

A thick Pebax base guarantees the quality of a super trainer.

The form of LaunchPX is cellular (like Saucony’s Pwrrun PB), consisting of hundreds of glued beads, giving it a slightly firmer feel compared to soles made from a single piece of Pebax. On the other hand, this processing makes the foam more durable.

Between the two sole layers, a nylon plate is integrated. Its shape and position are the same as the carbon plate of the Elite, being flatter until the forefoot but with a large and steep angle at the end.

Most of the outsole is covered by rubber. The gaps and grooves aid flexibility needed for slower paces. The traction is very good on all surfaces I ran on, though I’m not sure how it performs on wet ones. It also seems quite durable after 70 kilometers.

The thin and soft rubber ensures durability and traction.

On the road, the Speedworks resembles the Elite, which is logical since only the plate differentiates the two soles. This is probably a wise and necessary choice when making your first attempt in two categories simultaneously. This is exactly what Saucony did with the Speed and Pro initially.

Thus, the ride offers immense protection and is quite soft. It’s not super soft under all conditions like ZoomX or FuelCell but compresses depending on the load you apply. In any case, its behavior is controlled and “vertical” without the foam spreading and slowing you down.

Whether you go slow or fast, the quality characteristics of Pebax are evident. Light, responsive, resilient and with the great elasticity most of us know. Slightly denser when you go easy, it has more depth when you push it harder.

The plate is relatively discreet at lower speeds and doesn’t mess with your stride. The forefoot has some flexibility, and combined with the rocker, it facilitates the transition. I wore it for many such runs, and although it didn’t have the same friendliness as a model without a plate, it never troubled me.

As flexible as needed, as rigid as required.

However, the Speedworks shows its character when you increase the pace. Firstly, the LaunchPX comes more alive, becoming bouncier and springier, and secondly, you can facilitate the large angle at the front. While the nylon plate doesn’t have the stiffness of a carbon fiber one, combined with the thick forefoot, it keeps the rocker constant and pushes you forward noticeably. Less than the Elite but still a lot.

The rocker starts late but is very pronounced at the end.

The TYR handles almost all paces, only falling behind at very fast speeds. This is due to its weight and the plastic plate that allows a slight imprecision during take-off. However, this only happens at very fast paces, say below 5K pace. Up to that point, it will take you efficiently, nicely, and with fresh legs thanks to Pebax.

Although I don’t usually make direct comparisons between models in a review, the comparison with the Saucony Speed 4 is inevitable. This is because the two performance trainers are very similar. So similar that if someone finds the Speed’s fit narrow (which it objectively is), they can opt for the Speedworks and solve their issue. Beyond that, the foam is identical, as is the way each sole works. Their differences lie in the heights and the rocker. The TYR has a bit more cushioning and depth due to the +3.5mm, though this doesn’t detract from its performance. On the contrary, I would say that it’s a bit more efficient, as the steep rocker at the front propels you more effortlessly. The Speed has a more performance sense initially due to the tighter fit and the closer to the ground feel. It’s also more stable at the back, thanks to the heel geometry and high sidewalls. In any case, this comparison is a big compliment for the Speedworks.

The heel is relatively narrow and the walls are vertical, affecting stability.


For almost a month and a half, I’ve covered many kilometers with the two Valkyries. And they will undoubtedly remain part of my rotation. Excellent in all aspects.

In behavior, they don’t differ much, and this was confirmed by a training session wearing one on each foot. I clearly prefer the Speedworks’ upper. As for the ride, I can’t say definitively. The Elite Carbon is certainly more aggressive, but the Speedworks also has a lot of life. Obviously, the latter excels in versatility, but the former is not as absolute as other racers with carbon plates. So, the price difference between them also becomes a criterion.

In a time when choices are many, it’s undoubtedly a challenging task for a company to insert itself among the traditional brands in the field. Nevertheless, the case of the two Valkyries is one that deserves the public’s attention.

*TYR models are available at www.tyr.eu.

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