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The 361o Spinject is an attractive shoe that provides an initial comfortable glove-like feel if the laces are tightened just right.
The first 45 miles in these shoes were on a treadmill. The initial feel was similar to many mid-range Asics I have worn.
The longer the run, the more I felt the medial arch, almost like the sock liner was shrinking. After the treadmill miles, these shoes showed no wear and stayed very clean!
These shoes ride a little taller than other brands I have used over the years, but stability seemed to be good enough to give me the confidence to take them to the road and trails.
The first road run was on a nice sunny day after weeks of snow-covered sidewalks and roads. The protection of the outsole and midsole is more than I expected as they seem quite soft. The white areas of the outsole are cushier than the green. I began to hear some mild tapping of a small pebble or two after running through the winter road gravel.
Much to my surprise, I found a total of eight small stones all about the same size stuck in the tread of the shoes. The soft midsole seems to grab a certain size of stone or twig every time I’m on the road or trail.
361 USA is one of the newest shoe companies in the US, launching at the end of 2014. Internationally, the company has only been in existence since 2007. Their tagline is clever – One Degree Beyond.
They have gathered a who’s who of shoe designers and high-powered marketers to promote their name. They are gaining traction with more specialty running stores picking up the brand. 361o shoes are not readily available in all areas, but have and can be found online at https://www.361usa.com.
Spinject’s upper of seamlessly molded mesh has a soft knit-like texture.
The open mesh allows you to feel the wind on your foot which is great on warm days, but on the cold Michigan days in March you need to wear thicker socks. There is no extra protection on the toebox for my great toenail that seems to eat through every pair over time.
The touted feature of a “Pressure Free Tongue designed to provide comfort and avoid irritation” was not noted. As can be seen in the photo below, the tongue barely protrudes past the last lace.
Once the shoe is on, it provides enough protection if not laced too tight. For me, it is an irritation every time I put them on as my habit is to not untie my shoes and just pull them on. There is no enough tongue to get a grip or to keep it from sliding down. This may be a non-issue for most people.
Inside this shoe is a thicker than normal sock liner. The QU!KFOAM sock liner provides good forefoot protection and a snug heel cup. The only issue is an arch that seems to be too narrow to fit my foot well.
This came about after about 60 miles in the shoe and now brings about an irritation after only a few miles. I do not feel like wearing them for walking around throughout a given day. The inside of the upper has no stitching so there are no seam irritation spots.
Responsive QU!KFOAM fills the midsole of the Spinject.The neutral ride and cushion provided by the patented EVA material provide cushion and responsiveness through a run whether it is on the treadmill, roads, or trails.
The 8mm drop is just about perfect for me, but some who like the 4mm and less drop, you will note a big difference in the heel-to-toe feel.
The sectioned outsole give extra wear protection in the toe push off, the forefoot and the heel.
The green is a harder rubber material and the white is softer, but not as soft as the midsole. The channels in the tread are quite deep and can catch pebbles and twigs as mentioned above.
The Full Specs
- Regular price $109.95
- Responsive QU!KFOAM pods power this versatile neutral shoe
- Seamless knit upper
- Fitz-Rite midfoot has soft internal webbing to hold the foot secure
- Pressure Free Tongue designed to provide comfort and avoid irritation
- QU!K Flex 4foot engineering provides for natural and balanced toe off and enhances ground contact for better acceleration
- Powered by QDP System
- Color - White/Black
- Weight - 9.8 oz each for men’s size 9
- Drop - 8mm
- The 361o Spinject has a great look & good initial feel
- Its cushioned midsole gives a soft ride over all surfaces
- The outsole is durable and grip is great on roads
- The arch design in the sock liner causes pain after a few miles
- The short tongue is a constant complaint every time I put them on
The initial feel of the 361o Spinject is comfortable. It is soft and almost too cushy for me so if you like that, it may work well for you.
For the retail price of $110, my future pick would be a different shoe. If the price is not an issue and you want a great looking shoe that provides good cushioning and seemingly good wear points, this might be a good bet.
That said, the overall performance is average, materials very durable, and the look is great.
The Spinject is in many ways a traditional running shoe.
Running Warehouse refers to it as “A responsive, neutral running shoe ideal for daily road training.”
It weighs 9.7 ounces (1.5 ounces more than the Chaser 2), has an 8mm drop, and provides plenty of room for one’s feet. It comes with a medium-sized insole (labeled: “One Degree Beyond. Soft. Fast.”), which is expected in a daily trainer. The tongue on the Spinject stays in place.
There are acres of space in the forefoot. It’s wide-track up front. If Pontiac Motors were still in business and happened to produce a running shoe, the Spinject would be it.
The colors on the Spinject – black and white/lime green are very attractive (the insole is lime green). However, some will mistake it for a large tennis shoe.
The sole provides for full ground contact at all times. As a full ground contact shoe, the Spinject should prove to be reliable on wet surfaces and light trails.
The Spinject is slip lasted, and the top surface of the midsole has a slick, rubbery feel to it. (Press down on the material, and it presses back.) It’s been my experience that this type of material enhances a shoe’s cushioning properties.
On the Street
The Spinject is most definitely a neutral shoe, and perhaps it might be labeled neutral, minus. It rides like a bigger version of the Brooks Launch. On my feet, the Launch feels floppy, sloppy and unrestrained. But I know a number of runners who love the Launch. Good.
As might be expected, the Spinject is quite protective on concrete surfaces and feels fast – or faster, on asphalt. The forefoot is composed of soft, lightly flexible blown rubber.
The shoe provides for a matching soft heel strike. Heel landings are so soft that it felt like I was running in one of the running/triathlon shoes produced by Zoot Sports.
The Spinject has the characteristics of a running shoe that might have been produced in the late 70s, 80s, or the 90s. It’s retro in form and function, but it gets the job done at a price of $99.95.
Between the Chaser 2 and the Spinject – which share the same price point - I would much prefer to run in the Chaser 2, which has a modern look and feel to it. But there’s nothing to complain about with the Spinject. There are no apparent defects in the shoe. It’s attractive, clearly well manufactured and will prove to be roomy enough for almost all in its target audience.
What is the target audience for the Spinject? I see it as being the perfect shoe for new runners seeking to build up their confidence by amassing a ton of training miles prior to running a first 5 or 10k.
The Spinject is a steady, reliable trainer for those without stability needs. Its width and Qu!kFoam cushioning will create confidence in runners, and it should prove to be an exceedingly durable runner.
A Closing Note
I would personally love to see a Spinject Lite shoe, a light performance trainer/road racer with a hard plastic midfoot shank; a companion to the Chaser 2, if you will. Having to choose between two models like that would be living.
361 Degrees is a company that is relatively unheard of but starting to gain some traction from what I can tell. The Spinject is their increasingly popular shoe for what they seem to consider any type of runner.
The New 361 Degrees Spinject
I really don’t know which type of shoes to compare these to because they function very well for a variety of things.
The 361 Spinject was my second pair of 361 shoes – the first being the Meraki which left me somewhat underwhelmed. Maybe that is the reason I was more impressed with this pair or maybe it was because they were better designed. See what you think?
Wide TREAD = get a grip but catch some rocks.
The tread on these is very wide and open in between the… knobs? This allowed for great traction on the road, good traction for side to side movements for things like kick-boxing type workouts. That being said, the rubber (foam?) is very soft and gives a bit.
The unique outsole
Great for roads and hard surfaces to take the impact but on a trail you want something harder that can bite in a bit and help grip.
Also, this caused me to feel the rocks, roots, twigs, and everything else way more than any trail designed shoe should. They also pick up broken twigs and small rocks because of those gaps.
The softness also means you would not want these for your gym shoes if you plan on doing squats or anything else where your feet need to be very stable and not shift as much. After just over 60 miles, the tread also shows very little wear.
I’m a SOLE man!
Little to no wear at 60 miles
361 uses what they call QU!KFOAM cushioning the help with shock absorption. This works very well with the Spinject model though I never pushed these shoes past 7 miles to really test that.
The neutral design of the shoe felt good and allowed me to strike midfoot without overthinking. They also designed this shoe very well for having smooth transitions yet maintaining good support for the arch of the foot.
It did not take long for these shoes to feel very natural on my feet whether it was just to go out for a walk.
The negative spin: Toe Box, Laces, and the Tongue
Here is where my complaint comes in just as it did with the Meraki. The toe box is big – not so much wide, but big and the shoe ran slightly large for me. Because of this, I had to wear my thicker socks or my foot would slide a bit too much.
This didn’t cause as much blistering as the Meraki did but I also did not wear these for long distances as I did with those. Both my feet either felt a little loose in the beginning and good after a few miles or they felt secure in the beginning and tight after a few miles.
The midfoot design and the way the laces are designed are described as the Fitz-Rite system. This provides a comfortable and secure fit that holds the foot in place. Oddly this worked well for me when not running but on runs over 4 miles it felt more like a pain… on the top of my foot – as in too much pressure.
That unique skinny tongue design did what it does best which is shifts to one side or the other. Early on I resorted to using the tried and true lace lock method of tying my shoes.
This kept my foot from shifting and kept the tongue in place but it also created more pressure on the top of my foot which overtime was worse and I went back to normal lacing. So either it’s the tongue, the Fitz-Rite lacing/mesh design, or some combination that makes me not really want to run in these for anything longer than just a few miles.
Extremely thin tongue
As with the Meraki model they do breathe well enough to prevent overheating and also help to wick out any moisture.
The mesh itself was a knit material that not only worked well but looked good as well.
361 is still a new kid on the block but the Spinject is going to help them really make a name. Regular not too high mileage runners will appreciate the cushioning and good tread but that same tread also holds back where you might want to take them.
Great for the road and the treadmill, but not so much the trail. While they won’t be a regular grab for me to go running with, I have been choosing them for a go-to when doing side to side type movements, jumps, or just going out with for a nice walk.
The 361 Degrees Spinject is a neutral running shoe that weighs 9.8 ounces and has a drop of 8mm. It has good responsiveness and comfortable for daily training.
Seamless kit upper – An upper similar to Nike’s flyknit which secures your foot and comfortable
Fitz-Rite Midfoot – Both internal and external part of the upper that secures your mid-foot to keep your foot secure while running.
Pressure Free Tongue – From 361’s website, it says that the tongue has an “Anatomical pattern and super soft materials that effectively remove the pressure to the ankle during dorsiflexion. Thin padding is also positioned to avoid stress on top of the foot.”
QU!K Flex 4foot – Groves on the outsole of the shoe located near the front of the shoe to address the natural movement of the metatarsals in the foot. It is supposed to provide a more natural and balanced toe-off. Its design is also for better traction and acceleration.
QU!KFOAM – 361’s midsole that is made of an EVA rubber blend that 361 claims “provides an amazing combination of cushioning and responsiveness” and “energy return and long-lasting comfort throughout the life of the shoe”
QDP System – 361’s QU!KFOAM layering system which stands for quick, dynamic, performance.
The Spinject comes in comes in the colors ways Cali Coral/Ebony, Denim/Midnight, Microchip/Ebony, White/Black (with blue outlining), White/Black (with green outlining), and Ebony/Black.
These colorways look pretty flashy for a running shoe but as a casual shoe to wear, I would say it doesn’t look too good.
My only gripe with the design is that it makes it look a little “dated” and it doesn’t look as cool as other modern-day running shoes because of the blocky look it has.
I normally wear a size 10 for my shoes and a size 10 for the Spinject fit my feet perfectly so I would say these shoes fit true to size.
At first, however, the shoe was little tight until you break in the shoe which only took a day or two. Also, the first time I ran in this shoe it just felt horrible. It felt blocky and it stiff, it was like there was no cushioning at all.
But after breaking it in, it felt comfortable inside the shoe while running and walking. I didn’t feel my foot slipping at all which shows the Fitz-Rite Midfoot in action. The seamless kit upper allowed my foot to stretch a little so that my feet didn’t feel constricted and I can still have some freedom without my feet being loose.
The pressure-free tongue prevented the uncomfortable feeling when I tie my shoes too tight. The cushioning of QU!KFOAM helped support me on road runs without feeling too soft or plush. It was the right amount of cushioning which similar to the Pegasus 34.
I have only run in this shoe with about 50 miles in total but I am pretty confident that the shoe can sustain a good amount of wear and tear.
I’ve used this room for long runs on the road and repeats on the track and so far the shoe hasn’t shown any signs of damage which is awesome! I have crushed the shoe in my bag sometimes by accident and the shoe is still great. There’s not a whole lot to say but that the shoe is very durable.
The Spinject performed very well at every day running activities. I took this shoe out for long runs, hill sprints, and tempo runs and it seems like the shoe can do it all. For my long runs rain or shine my feet felt comfortable and there wasn’t any irritation.
The ride felt smooth and the little bit of responsiveness made me have a little bit of a fast feeling. I don’t know much about “energy return” but when I ran in these shoes it didn’t seem like I had to work for every step. The shoes weigh 9.8 ounces which makes them a little lighter than my Pegasus 34 but it didn’t really feel the weight difference between the two.
For my faster runs like hill sprints and tempo runs the shoe felt fine. There was no slipping and it was light enough that it didn’t feel hard to run faster.
The traction on the shoe was also pretty good. I don’t know if it’s the QU!K Flex 4FOOT but when running on some light trails, sandy, and wet roads but I barely slipped at all. The performance of the shoe was basically the same as the Pegasus 34.
- Only took 1 day to break in
- Good traction
- Pressure free tongue is very comfortable
- Enough lace for runners knot
- Before breaking in it felt horrible
- Colorways are bland
- Blocky design
- I got three blisters (just a onetime thing since I haven’t received more)
- Dirt and pebbles get stuck in the groves of the outsole
The 361 Degrees Spinject is a lightweight trainer that is good for everyday running use. It is comfortable and has the right amount of cushioning to support long and fast runs.
It comes in 6 colorways but they are bland. It fits true to size and has a comfortable snug fit that keeps your feet from slipping. It has good traction in the rain and is very similar to the Nike Pegasus 34.
Despite battling Achilles issues for the first 6 weeks of 2018, I managed to train hard for the Toronto Marathon during the first weekend in May followed by the Ottawa Marathon 2 weeks later. The Spinject for me seemed to be an ideal shoe not only for training for these races but also for racing them!
Having a side by side comparison to the Meraki model from 361 degrees made me personally feel that the Spinject felt lighter and even more “springy” leading me to believe that energy return was even higher in this shoe.
The fit of the Meraki is roomy and super comfortable in the toe area. Although this is by no means a minimal shoe, the proprioception was good and the toes never felt cramped or like they might blister.
A nice low heel counter made my heel feel unobstructed and there is no way that I’d get a blister back there in the Spinjects. The tongue is also comfortable without being over-built.
I like the small amount of drop provided at 8mm. It’s less than the Meraki but not in a noticeable way as it’s only 1-degree difference. The point is I prefer this neutrality to some of the over-built larger drop shoes out there.
The shoes feel a very light 9.8 ounces which is 0.4 ounces less than the Meraki but both are light for training shoes.
Where I diverge from the actual purpose of the Spinject is that I actually like these for racing! As a predominantly trail runner in his 50’s I’m not as keen to race in flats anymore. Basically, I have no desire to run marathons in racing flats when I can have a shoe as light and responsive yet supportive as this one.
I put these initial thoughts to the test in 647 km of running in them so far.
100k to 300k
With my Achilles issues healed and feeling strong, I got back on track with training for the first marathon in May, the Toronto Marathon. This resulted in a combination of faster running up to tempo pace combined with weekly long runs typical of many marathon training plans.
The 361 Degree Spinject shoes got added into my shoe rotation that usually includes 3 or 4 pairs of trail and 2 road shoes at any time. Some of the training I did in the Meraki model but for my tempo and faster-paced efforts I used the Spinjects.
I found that as the winter dragged on I would use the Spinjects only when I had some decent exposed pavement, saving them for the racing yet breaking them in with the training.
On some of the 30K training runs, I found that the shoes literally felt like they were propelling my feet forward! The excellent forefoot landing area underfoot helped for smooth midfoot strikes, well suited to my supinating style.
This initial 300K was all training in the mix with other shoes so they were perfectly broken in for Toronto Marathon on the 1st weekend of May.
Toronto Marathon was an amazing set for the Spinjects. I met up with my Kenyan athlete Japeth at the starting line and wished him well then took off at my slower pace. The rubber compound never felt tired and the shoe maintained it’s glove-like feeling cradling my foot without feeling like it impeded mechanics.
Two weeks later I ran an identical, consistent time in the Ottawa Marathon in the Spinjects with precisely the same feeling.
The width of the toe box gave my toes room to spread yet still no feeling of the feet swimming around in the shoes. The length was exactly right which means that the shoe fits pretty accurate to its size. So 10.5 US size for me fit exactly like 10.5 with no need to adjust up or down.
I really can’t believe the durability of the soles with no serious wear through at any given spot. Admittedly as a trail ultra runner, I tend to put more distance on shoes than others may do, but for a shoe that saw only pavement, I was amazed at how tough they are.
The only suggestion I have that is an area of contention among runners is that the laces are super long. The easy remedy is to trim them and knot the ends. Some runners will say the laces are not long enough, but I found that they were really long so it was either cut them or end up tucking the lace ends between the tongue and the laces. I’m being really picky on this issue.
To summarize, during the 300K to 500K period these shoes came into their own, having shared in the training for the two marathons as well as being amazing shoes to race in if you value comfort over all-out speed.
For me, this is the least important aspect of a running shoe because the functionality is more important. However, these are sharp-looking shoe. People would ask me at races what brand they were. The white with black design coordinated with anything.
At 9.8 ounces they are average to low average for a training shoe. Yet they run like a racing shoe but with more cushioning. I find them to be a good compromise between lightness and cushioning for most training runs.
My 10.5 US size fits precisely 10.5 so that there is no need to compensate up of down.
Plenty of toe room in width so even wider feet will be happy although the overall shoe fits really well for average to narrow feet. The low heel counter, comfortable tongue, and the single stitched design are great.
For a training shoe to offer this kind of energy return yet feel like nothing on like a flat is amazing. It gave me a lot of comfort on the pavement again without feeling like an over-built shoe.
Value for money
The $120 US price tag is average for this class of shoe and I see that recently they have gone on sale on the 361 website for $89 so the value is currently great!
Think about durability and not worrying about injuries due to worn shoes and that is where the shoe’s value stands out. With 647 km on the shoes, I feel like I can go another 200 to 300 km in them easily.
- Good energy return
- Comfortable with good cushioning
- Attractive shoe
- Value for money
- Super Durable
- Laces are a little on the long/bulky side. Should benefit from a toggle lacing system.
- The tread is fantastic for pavement but watch out for ice/snow patches on the typical winter road. The traction is not good for this. The Meraki model has a much more suitable tread for this type of condition.
- Also, the tread pattern collects tiny stones so they are best kept to clean pavement
The 361 Spinject is a durable training/racing shoe that provides cushioning and energy return in the correct balance. They are as comfortable as a road shoe gets.
Fit and finish and styling are very good. Quality shows.
Good to know
- On the upper is the Fitz-Rite Midfoot Technology. From its name, the main purpose of this feature is to improve the fit and security delivered by the shoe, allowing the runner to move with confidence even during acceleration.
- The Pressure-Free Tongue reduces the tension usually felt on the instep as the laces are tightened. This allows a more customized fit without increasing the risk of irritation or tightness felt on the middle of the dorsal part of the foot.
- One of the foams on the platform is called QU!KFOAM. It mainly provides comfort and flexibility underfoot. In addition to this, it gives a high level of energy return and responsiveness so runners can indulge in an energetic ride.
- The outsole has the QU!K Flex 4Foot Engineering which provides a natural and balanced toe-off, as well as a decent amount of ground contact for better traction and acceleration.
- The 361 Degrees Spinject was designed with the QDP (Quick Dynamic Performance) System. To provide superior cushioning, responsiveness, and protection, the midsole was designed with three buffering layers. Each layer has its own specific purpose to enhance the performance and ride delivered by the shoe.
The 361 Degrees Spinject is available in standard running shoe sizes. Those who wish to purchase a pair can make use of their usual length measurements. The same goes for the width; it comes in D – medium and B – medium for male and female runners.
The outsole is made up of Blown Rubber. It is a kind of rubber that is air-injected, producing more bounce, softness, and flexibility, as well as a reduction in weight. It delivers adequate traction but is less durable than the robust carbon rubber. Despite this, its highlight comes in its improved impact dissipation characteristic.
The tread pattern is composed of rectangular segments with wide contact areas and several flex lines. These segments allow the outsole to move together with the runner. Because there is enough flexibility, the runner’s movements are not limited.
The forefoot area of this part of the shoe has the QU!KFLEX 4Foot Engineering. Grooves and Flex lines were specifically placed where the inner and outer ball of the sole is to cater to the natural movement of the metatarsals. It enhances efficiency upon toe-ing off, as well as helping the runner accelerate.
The 361 Degrees Spinject’s midsole was designed with the QDP (Quick Dynamic Performance) System. Three buffering layers were added to deliver cushioning, responsiveness, and protection. The Qu!KFoam is the topmost layer, in the middle is the QDP L!TE, and finally, CMEVA (Compressed Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate) was placed as the last layer.
The first layer, QU!CKFOAM runs the midsole’s full length. It’s 361 Degree’s special blend of midsole foam that maintains a high level of responsiveness for an energetic ride, plus long-lasting underfoot comfort, not just during runs but, throughout the life of the shoe.
The next foam is the QDP-L!TE which combines the QU!KFOAM material and CMEVA. It also runs the platform’s full length, delivering a ride that makes the runner more aware of the ground. At the same time, it also brings plenty of energy return, allowing runners to feel the spring with every stride.
The last layer in the system is the CMEVA (Compressed Ethylene-Vinyl Acetate). This foam undergoes a unique manufacturing process wherein a block of EVA is compressed into a metal mold. When heat and pressure are applied, the foam inside the mold begins to change. This process produces a foam that’s firmer and more responsive.
The upper of this road running footwear is made up of seamless knit. It doesn’t have the traditional seams and stitches that could potentially irritate the skin. Aesthetically, it looks smoother and updated. The material also has elastic characteristics that allow the upper to adapt to the runner’s movement.
Even though the upper is seamless, the patterns on it don’t make it seem so. Two thread colors were used to create a cool and unique look. The design awards the shoe with a sporty vibe that isn’t too loud or eye-catching. It is topped off with 361 Degree’s signature “3” logo on the sides of the midfoot.
There is an external and internal webbing that provides secure wrapping of the foot on the Spinject. It is called the Fitz-Rite Midfoot technology. It secures the fit on the midfoot, minimally preventing it from moving side to side during runs without restricting movement.
A Pressure-Free tongue was added to provide comfort to the instep. Even though the laces are tightened, the top middle part of the foot’s dorsum won’t feel compressed. It also minimizes irritation as well as hotspots.