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The 361 Degrees motto is “One Degree Beyond” or at least, I think this is correct. They are a Chinese company that started in 2002 and part of the sponsors of the 2016 Olympics. This is the second of two pairs of 361 Degrees shoes that I am reviewing, you can find the Spire 3 here.
My initial impression
This shoe says "I’m fast. I know I’m fast, can you keep up with me?"
While I’m not a huge fan of flamboyant clothing that draws attention to one's self, there’s a place for it in the sports world. These shoes are loud and proud right out of the box.
The quality of the packaging suggests that the shoes were built well. The boxes, the tissue paper, and even the moisture absorption pack are all marked with the 361 Degrees logo.
The upper has built-in support that is visible on the outside that stretches up to the laces. The bright yellow and black go well together with a touch of some tiger stripes on some of the support from mid-foot to heel.
The heel cup appears to have some structure built into it with some internal structure to help support. The fabric looks like it will breathe well.
The laces appear to be good quality flat laces with some reinforced eyelets that they pass through. The midsole looks like two types of rubber one white and one red.
The outsole has little triangle shapes formed by three hexagons that are the raised lugs.
Below the lugs in red is a blown rubber that reminds me of a pool float noodle. The heel area of the outsole has a more traditional look and feel of blown rubber.
My overall initial impression is this shoe is going to be fast because it’s so light. I would love to run a 5K in these if there were any around.
My first run
My first run was at an indoor “track”, more like a gym, where I coach cardio for a wrestling team. I challenged them to 7 sets of 7 mins fast 2 mins easy, with a warm-up and cool down.
I was immediately surprised by the speed that I felt that I was carrying through each step. Like most light trainers or racing flats, I could feel my feet strike the floor with every step.
I was able to hug corners tight on the slick floor without feeling like I was going to wipe out.
The shoes had more speed than my body did and the next day I noticed that I had killed the little piggy that stayed home on my right foot.
This isn’t uncommon for me and shouldn’t be completely blamed on the shoe.
I did have some concerns about doing runs longer than a 5K because of the beating that my body took during the speed work out.
After 60 miles
I initially thought that I would use these shoes for speed workouts but being that they were given to me as test mules, I changed my mind and did a few longer runs in them as well. Most of the miles were, however, run on a treadmill and at the gym.
On gravel or uneven pavement, these shoes performed as you would expect with being able to feel every little thing on the road. I didn’t ever have any missteps that resulted in slips or falls.
The shoes held up well on gravel roads. I just watched to make sure I wasn’t going to cause myself any stone bruises.
With spring starting to roll in, I skipped running in the snow but did take the opportunity to run on slick pavement. I was totally expecting to slip-slide or fall while on the wet stuff but to my pleasant surprise this never happened.
The longest run that I took these shoes on was a 5-mile run. I had dreams of pushing these up to marathon lengths because I long to find a replacement for my Brooks that were light trainers, however, 5 miles really started to hurt my feet.
Another expectation that I had as that this shoe would wear very quickly. It’s built for speed, not durability and the Spire 3 had failed on me very quickly.
Again, I am surprised that this shoe has held up remarkably well. I am assuming that part of this is due to most of the miles being run on the treadmill or indoors.
- The midsole - It is made of EVA rubber. There's a built-in structure that attaches to the upper that 361 Degrees calls Fitz-Rite. The Fitz-Rite is a soft webbing that you only notice because of the support.
- The upper - It is made of very breathable fabric and has a microfiber around the toe and laces.
- The fit - This shoe fits closer to size for me than the Spire and I would call this fits to size. The toe box is larger than I would like but it did allow for my toes to grab as I run. This could have also helped to lead to the black toenail that I spoke about after my first run in the shoe.
- The outsole - It is the lightweight cloth blown rubber under the forefoot. The durable blown rubber pods help provide shock dispersion and enhance traction.
- The weight - The shoe weighs in at 7.1 oz and has a 9mm heel drop.
- Surprisingly comfortable
- Looks fast sitting still
- Let’s everyone know you’re there
- Can’t go the long distance
While I was testing the two 361 Degrees models at the same time I was using the Feisu for mainly speed work. When I had an epic failure with the Spire 3, I felt like the Feisu was destined for the same results.
I then set out to crush this shoe by using it for short distance, 5miles or less, runs. I fully expected this shoe to breakdown quickly. But it just simply didn’t happen. The shoe held up to rain and did well on all surfaces that I put them on.
I wouldn’t recommend this shoe for racing anything longer than 10K or using the shoe for trail racing. I am completely satisfied with this shoe, just wish it was comfortable enough for 20+ mile runs.
I am a 42-year-old runner, about 170 pounds and 6’ 1” tall, and my feet are sized 12 (Brannock). I race all distances, from 5ks to Marathons, and spend at least half of my year training for an upcoming marathon.
At first glance
The Feisu is a very simple, light-weight running shoe built for speed. Nothing too extravagant, no crazy new technology, just a simple very light (6.4 oz for size 9) shoe reserved for speedy workouts and race day.
The current price tag of $119USD makes it an affordable option for most runners who need a trimmed-down shoe for shorter distances.
My feet are size 12 (Brannock). Size 12 in the Feisu provided a little too much extra space beyond my toes. I usually do not object to extra toe space, but this seemed just a bit too much, even for longer runs.
Shoelaces are perfect. They are exactly the perfect length for heel-lock lacing, and I never needed to double-knot them; they stayed tied throughout every run.
The toe-box is wide enough for my feet. In fact, I am very pleased with the wide toe box of these shoes.
The heel is a bit narrow, but that is to be expected from this style of racing shoe. The arch support is barely there, but again, if you consider this shoe a "racing flat," then that is really not an issue.
The upper part of the shoe is bared down to the minimum required. The mesh is superbly breathable and very lightweight. At the same time, it comfortably cinches down across the top of the foot, locking it in for speed. Very nice.
Nothing fancy or over-done on the midsole or the outsole. Basic lightweight foam and rubber get the job done.
After 53 miles
I gave the Feisu full range of testing:
- Short runs (3-6 miles) at recovery pace
- 10-mile hill sprint workout
- 18-mile long run with 14 below Marathon pace
- 5k road race
I really do not have many complaints about the Feisu after this testing regimen. The shoes rose to every challenge and met my expectations.
The only problem I had was in the last 4-5 miles of my 18-mile long run. I began to feel pain on the bottoms of my feet as if I was very near blistering.
For speed work and middle distance races, I recommend the Feisu. Other testers have said they would run in the Feisu at all distance races, but I disagree.
For 5k, 10k, and up to Half Marathon, I would recommend the shoes. But for longer than 13.1 miles, I cannot recommend using this shoe.
I am a bit heavier (170 lbs.), so maybe if you are much lighter, you would not have a problem. I, however, found that the midsole cushioning was not adequate for longer distances.
I was able to race a 5k in the Feisu and was very pleased with their performance. It was a road race on wet surfaces, and the shoes did not disappoint. I did not set a new PR (I’m in the middle of marathon build-up), but I did finish 2nd overall.
If you reserve this shoe for speed work and race day, it will last for some time. After 53 miles, I have noticed very little wear on the tread.
- Great laces
- Not enough cushion for the long distances
If you are looking for a lightweight shoe built for speed, the Feisu will do the trick, as long as your distance does not exceed 13.1 miles. For anything longer, I would recommend a more robust racing shoe.
The 361 Degrees Feisu is a simple shoe with one purpose – speed. While many shoe companies have been adding features in an attempt to create the perfect shoe, 361 Degrees took the opposite approach, stripping the shoe down to the bare bones, and creating a winner in the process.
Replicating the quintessential Japanese racing shoe, the Feisu feels best at faster paces with a quick turnover rate. The shoe is exceptionally lightweight at 7.1 oz.
Though someone might want to reweigh that because I swear it feels lighter. Combine this with the relatively thin and stiff sole, and you get a formidable racer that is a little more comfortable for daily use than standard racing flats.
There are a couple of minor complaints I have. The fit, appearance, forefoot cushioning but overall, this is a fantastic shoe from a little-known company. Now, let’s get into the details.
Warning: You might want to put some shades on before you open the shoebox for the first time. My retinas were about to get fried when I lifted the lid and caught a glimpse of the neon yellow that dominates the shoe.
If you like your shoes to draw attention, then these are the shoes for you. Personally, that’s not my style. The good news is that 361 Degrees offers a second colorway for the Feisu called White/Risk Red.
These are a little more subdued visually. Another drawback to the light neon color is the tendency to show dirt. After just one run outside, I already had multiple mud spots that were very obvious.
I’m sure the mud will wash out with a little water, but it’s something to note. Color aside, the shoe has a nice, honest overall appearance. What you see is what you get. This shoe looks like a bare-bones racer and, for the most part, that’s exactly what it is.
Upper material & fit
When I first held this shoe, I wasn’t a huge fan of the upper material. It felt very thin, stiff, and flimsy. However, upon wearing the shoe, I’ve had a change of heart.
While the material is a little stiff and doesn’t flex very well with the sole and foot, it is hardly noticeable while running. As for being thin, that actually contributes significantly to the featheriness of the shoe.
The thin material also allows for a good amount of breathability. A little too much in wintery weather!
My second complaint about the Feisu involves the fit. The shoe feels about a half size too long to me, and the forefoot also feels too wide and loose. This would be a bigger problem, if not for the heel fit.
The heel is fairly stiff and narrow, which helps keep the rest of the foot locked in place.
The Feisu utilizes a combination of carbon rubber and blown rubber for the outsole. This makes for an extremely tough and durable contact patch. Additionally, the traction is exceptional in wet, rainy conditions. Unfortunately, the outsole is also rather stiff.
361 Degrees attempted to combat this stiffness by placing flex grooves in the outsole, but the grooves don’t help much. The lack of flexibility is most noticeable as the foot strike transitions to toe-off, sometimes causing a foot slapping motion.
Midsole & ride feel
The midsole is what truly makes the Feisu feel like a racing shoe. 361 Degrees used lite EVA foam (rather than normal EVA) to save weight in the midsole. While it certainly saves weight, the sole also feels extremely thin, especially in the forefoot of the shoe.
The heel seems to have a little more cushion to it, which is noticeable when slowing the pace down. It is important to note that firmness and thinness do not mean the shoe is uncomfortable. In fact, the Feisu is much more comfortable than a racing flat.
The midsole characteristics do suit the shoe more towards speedy runs and not long, slow miles on hard surfaces.
Overall, the Feisu is a great option for a simple, fast racer. Though it provides a minimal cushion, the shoe is surprisingly comfortable. If you are looking for a new shoe for track workouts, tempo runs, and road races, then the Feisu is for you.
Good to know
- On the 361 Degrees Feisu is Lite EVA. This foam delivers sufficient cushioning to the midsole. It may not be plush, but the amount of protection and responsiveness it delivers is enough for runners to feel confident during an energetic run.
- The upper is made of Microfiber Suede and Air Mesh. The combination of these two textiles allows the upper to be durable, flexible and well-ventilated. The Microfiber Suede also serves as a cool accent, affording the shoe a retro look.
- A technology called Fitz-Rite holds the foot in place as the runner is in motion. It acts as a cage that internally and externally secures the foot to the platform. Although the support this technology provides is not significant, it still does its job of minimally stabilizing the midfoot.
The 361 Degrees Feisu is available in standard running shoe measurements. Those who wish to get their pair can make use of the length measurements they are most comfortable with. As for the width, it comes in D – medium and B – medium for male and female runners respectively.
The outsole of this road running shoe is made up of Carbon Rubber. It is the same material that vehicle tires are made of. It has a highly durable characteristic which doesn’t make it flexible. To make way for flexibility, the material was not designed to run the shoe’s full length. Instead, it was strategically placed on certain areas to provide enough traction and prevent signs of early wear and tear.
Other areas underneath the shoe are covered with Blown Rubber. This material is not as tough as Carbon Rubber. However, each Blown Rubber pod still provides enough traction and shock dispersion during runs.
The tread pattern is composed of shapes and linear flex grooves. The shapes also referred to as pods, are all similar in size with a uniform amount of spacing in between them. Their contact areas have dotted depressions that work together with other features to provide the shoe with grip. The lines, on the other hand, make the shoe permissible to bending and flexing.
Lite EVA is the main material the midsole is made of. Instead of the usual EVA (Ethylene-vinyl Acetate), the lite version was used to reduce the weight of the shoe, as well as supply the runner with enough responsiveness during runs.
The upper is made up of Air Mesh. The material is breathable, awarding the shoe with proper ventilation. The result is a cool, dry, and comfortable in-shoe feeling. Air Mesh is also lightweight, not adding to the weight of the shoe.
Seamless overlays were added to reinforce the Air Mesh material. From both sides of the shoe, all the way to the heel, these overlays deliver minimal support by acting as a wrap to the foot. They were made seamless so that the risk for irritation is lessened.
Some areas on the upper were fortified with the addition of Micro Fiber Suede. More specifically, the base of the shoelaces where the lace holes are, and the toe cap have the material on them. It improves the durability of these areas, and they act as accents, giving the shoe a retro look.
From within, a technology called Fitz-Rite can be found. It is concentrated on the midfoot. It’s a structure that acts as a webbing, holding the middle in place and preventing it from moving side to side while the runner is in motion.