361 Degrees Strata 3
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29% say it's too small, 67% say it's true to size.
Overview of this review
The Strata 3 is the new mid-to-high mileage stability shoe by 361 Degrees. The shoe has an 8mm drop with a forefoot height of 13mm and a heel height of 21mm that weighs 265 grams.
When I took them out of the box, the first thing I noticed was the new lacing system. It’s not a type of lacing system I’ve seen before.
But I also noticed that this lacing system seems to put more pressure on the tongue of the shoe in some places and therefore the padding inside the tongue seems to be bundled together in the spots where there aren’t any laces.
Generally, that’s between the laces at the top of the shoe and the rest of the laces further down the tongue. This can create a bit of pressure on top of the foot.
Another thing I noticed when I put them on for the first time was that they are comfortable to walk in. That isn’t always a given when it comes to running shoes, let alone stability shoes.
They are often good to run in, but just walking around in them isn’t always that comfortable, because of the heel to toe transition. I do find that the shoes that 361 Degrees produces are comfortable straight out of the box. They don’t really need much breaking in.
The upper of the Strata 3 is made out of a double jacquard mesh. This makes the shoe a bit warmer, but I actually don’t mind that at all during the colder months, but when it does get warmer, your feet do tend to get hot in these shoes.
I have tested one other 361 Degrees shoe before, the Spire 3. The upper of the Spire 3 is more elastic than the upper of the Strata 3.
The tongue of the Strata 3 is very padded, almost twice as much as in the Spire 3. The collar of the shoe is also thickly padded.
The most innovative part of this shoe is the new lacing system called Morphit, and which is currently only available on the Strata 3. 361 Degrees describes it as a multi-dimensional lacing design.
So how does it work? Instead of lacing your laces through the eyelets of the shoe’s upper, there are elastic bands which run through the eyelets and your laces go through the elastic bands.
This should comfortably lock your foot down, even while in motion. These bands are also laced through the tongue to keep it in place, which means the laces are not looped through the tongue directly to secure it.
The midsole is made out of QU!KFOAM which is a blend of EVA and rubber to create a soft, yet responsive ride.
The insole of the shoe is also made out of QU!KFOAM and is a bit thicker than your standard running shoe insole. Probably to provide more cushion, while saving a bit on stack height.
The heel has dual density QU!KFOAM to prevent part of the overpronating while you’re landing on your foot.
Just as with the Spire 3, I’m missing a bit of responsiveness with the QU!KFOAM. It is comfortable, but it isn’t springy nor speedy.
Just like the Spire 3, the Strata 3 has a QU!K Spine, but it’s completely different than the one in the Spire 3 or the Strata 2. The Spire 3 uses a carbon fiber plate to provide stability, while the Strata 3 is a moderate stability shoe and uses a medial post with an external TPU QU!K Spine.
On the Strata 2, 361 Degrees used a medial post and a crash pad to guide the foot. The QU!KFOAM of the midsole feels stiffer than that in the Spire 3. I’m not sure if the midsole is overall stiffer or that it feels that way due to the dual density foam in the heel.
The Strata 3 is a blown rubber outsole with some flex grooves. I did occasionally pick up very small rocks in these flex grooves.
The front of the shoe has the QU!K Flex 4foot, which basically means the Strata 3 has deeper flexibility grooves along the forefoot than the rest of the outsole and than can be found in the Spire 3.
The Strata 3 has less of a rocker shape than the Spire 3. Personally, I prefer a bit of a rocker shape, because it makes it easier to toe off. It is clearly a bit more difficult to make the heel to toe transition, while running in this shoe, compared to the Spire 3.
The slogan of the Strata 3 - let them do the job. Meaning it should feel effortless or at least till some extent, you are still running after all.
While running in these shoes, effortless isn’t really what comes to mind. Cushioned does come to mind, but I don’t feel like the shoe takes all the effort away, it just isn’t responsive enough, and the heel to toe transition isn’t smooth enough.
There are way more responsive running shoes out there, such as shoes with the Nike React foam or Saucony’s Everun midsole material. The Strata 3 is also a little bit on the heavier side as far as running shoes go.
The Strata 3 is better at cushioning and stability. The stability block underneath the midfoot is clearly noticeable, but not too invasive. It doesn’t bother me as it does in some other stability shoes.
I wore the same size as I did for the Spire 3 and it seems that the Strata 3 runs just a little bit smaller.
Where in the Spire 3 I had just about enough room while wearing my regular size, the Strata 3 was just a bit too small, and it would have been better if I would have gone half a size up.
The difference might also have been more noticeable due to the change in the upper. The elastic upper for the Spire 3 is a little bit more flexible and therefore a little bit more forgiving than the upper of the Strata 3.
Personally, I prefer these over the Asics Nimbus, because the cushioning feels a bit more plush and the weight of the Strata 3 feels more evenly distributed compared to the Nimbus 20. The Strata 3 is a good long, slow run training shoe for those looking for a bit more stability.
This is the first time wearing a shoe from 361 Degrees, so like many, I was very intrigued as to what type of ride the Strata 3 would provide. The Strata 3 is described as a stability road shoe, and I was excited to compare it to other shoes in the stability road market.
Opening the box for the first time, I was impressed with the sleek look of the shoes. The profile appeared to be low and smooth, with an impressive "MORPHIT" lacing system.
The colors were basic (shown here black/jolt), but sharp. The shoes don’t seem overly heavy or bulky (11 oz. each). All of this is quite an accomplishment to remain within the stability shoe market.
I write all of this because I was initially really excited about these shoes. The excitement, however, wore off once I got on with the running.
Overall, the upper has an intriguing look out of the box but quickly becomes unimpressive after lacing up for the actual running. The upper is a dual layer mesh, which looks good at first glance, but at closer inspection, I wasn’t very impressed with the look.
The laces themselves are fine enough, but the "MORPHIT" system, which looks great out of the box and feels good, actually looks sloppy once lacing up for the run.
The tongue of the shoe has an out of the box low profile look, however, is quite padded, with what looks like a synched edge that creates quite an uneven look (while feeling pretty comfortable also). All told, while the look of the shoe on the foot isn’t super impressive, the upper feels quite comfortable.
The feel of the midsole of the shoe is also a bit sloppy. Honestly, I felt like I was running in boots at various points. I do like the "Quickfoam" padding throughout the shoe. I would consider it moderate padding; not plush by any means, but I wasn’t feeling the pavement too hard either.
The stability "Quickstride" feature which would help make the Strata part of the stability market is not strong enough for me. I often felt a lack of support leading to some strain during my runs.
The outsole of the Strata 3 is not the most impressive looking, but it held up to runs through rain, sleet, ice, mud, and snow. I wonder how long the traction will hold on the outsole, but after 80 miles it’s still holding up just fine.
The shoes experienced running on a variety of surfaces, through a variety of late winter weather in the Northwestern US, including pavement, fire roads, dirt, treadmills and more.
Overall, I wanted to really like these shoes, but with each run, I just wasn’t overly impressed (my honest exclamation was ‘meh’ when thinking about how I would sum it all up in one word).
As I mentioned earlier, the padding actually was very nice during the runs, and it held up throughout. I was hoping that the fit of the shoe would embrace my feet a bit more with each mile, but even today, the shoe still feels blocky - please break in already!
The one thing that I couldn’t quite help but notice was that I never felt fast in these shoes. Yes, I grinded some miles and did some interval running with them, but I never felt like I was light in these shoes, I would consider this a mild stability road trainer.
As I said, I wanted to like the 361 Degrees Strata 3 because I like it when relatively newer shoe companies can splash the US market, but these shoes still have a ways to go.
They’ve got to clean up the look of the shoes once they are on the feet. And they’ve got to figure out how to get these shoes to hug the foot better.
I’ve worn these shoes for about 150 miles between, treadmills, trails, roads, and ice/snow thanks to the lovely New England winters. I don’t have anything negative to say, nor do I have anything super positive to say about them. There just an average running shoe.
These shoes are mostly used, on roads and sidewalks, with the occasional snow and ice.
This shoe from 361 Degrees weighs 9.3 ounces. They don’t feel heavy at all, but I have recently noticed that they felt kind of clunky or loud when I run.
The pair of Strata 3 I have are Black and Hazard. Hazard is kind of like a pinky orangey color, that sort of glow in the dark.
When I went on 361’s website (as far as I could tell), the Strata 3 only comes in two colors Black/Hazard and Oyster/Granite. They are all a combination of grays, white and black if you buy women’s sizes.
Honestly, I like the color combination, I’ve always liked darker colored running shoes, and these have a splash of color as well.
The Strata 3 had a lot of 361 Degrees different shoe technologies. The one I liked the most was the Qu!k Spine, which is in the back of the shoe, it provided a lot of stability and support to my Achilles Tendons, and it really held my heel in place.
The Pressure Free Tongue was also a major plus on the cushioning in the shoe. The tongue has some cushion in it, so my shoes could be tied tight, but I never got any tongue marks on the feet, or ever felt like the tongue was pushing on the top of my foot.
This might be my favorite part of the shoe. These shoes also have Qu!kFOAM and Qu!K Flex 4foot. These two things help to provide cushion and responsiveness and help make the Strata 3's cushioning and responsiveness throughout the whole lifetime of the shoe.
Qu!K Flex 4foot also helps enhance ground contact for better acceleration. Personally, I do think 361 degrees Strata 3 is just as cushiony and comfortable after about 150 miles, as they were when I first put them on, right out of the box.
This shoe has an 8mm drop. At first, it did feel a little strange, because my previous running shoes (Nike Flex Fury 2), only had a 4-millimeter drop, so it took some time to get used to. After about the first 5 or 6 miles, I didn’t even notice it anymore.
The shoe ran true to size lengthwise. I normally wear a 7.5, and the 7.5 fit perfectly. In most shoes, I have to wear a narrow, but I didn’t have to in these shoes, so they may run a little on the narrower side.
The toe box was narrow but comfortable, but I could see how it might be to narrow for someone who is used to a wider toe box or has a wider foot because my shoes have been tied to tight on a few of my runs and my toes/feet have started to go numb.
These shoes have 361 Degrees MORPHIT lacing system, which is described as a multi-dimensional lacing system, that makes your foot super secure in the shoe. The Strata 3 also has 361 Degrees Fitz-Rite technology, which is an internal webbing pattern used in the midfoot area.
Overall, these shoes are just OK. They run true to size and are comfortable enough to wear on long runs. Although they do feel clunky by the end.
At first glance, when I received my shoes they looked so cool, compact, and light. Good thing for road running shoes. Indeed, they are light and comfortable exactly what I am looking when I am about to get a new pair.
Let’s start with this new review trying to help other runners to decide what shoes to buy.
MORPHIT upper lacing system
This is an awesome system because you can feel the security in your feet. Every lace loop is independent so you are able to adjust to different pressures in your foot.
For me, this is important due to the dynamic movement along with your training or race time. You can get your shoelaces to tighten in the part of your foot you needed more or loosen them through.
One of the weakness that I have found is in the cushioning. Why? Because this cushioning is only a regular cushioning for regular running shoes.
They are feeling good in short runs but after 10 miles you can actually feel the ground as if you were running barefoot. They are pretty comfortable but not cushioned.
Medial post with external TPU QU!K spine
They are really stable, every time I am running, I can feel the stability on my feet. That external support that is offered by TPU QU!K spine is awesome. I have never lost my stride with this pair.
This system combined with MORPHIT lacing make me feel confident in every stride. Also, I can go faster. I have noticed since I have been wearing Strata 3 I have kept a faster pace.
The most important, as you know, I have been dealing with injuries due to overpronation stride.
Since I am testing the Strata 3 I have been increasing my mileage during the weekdays. It has not miraculously improved but at least is not getting worse. That means this system provides what they advertise.
It utilizes a distinct pattern of soft internal webbing to hold the foot secure. I actually can’t say too many things about this because I had to disassemble the shoe, the only thing I can say and it is true: they are very secure and you can feel it!
Lightweight and seamless
The double jacquard mesh delivers maximum ventilation and comfort. As I said in the introduction, they look light and they are very light but I am sure they can improve the weight.
For this very compact shoes, we deserve a little bit grams less. One good feature is the seamless system that avoids the chafing that in many cases is the cause for blisters and toe cuts.
So this is particularly important for me because when I care about these two “issues” in that way I won’t stop my training program.
QU!K Flex 4foot engineering
I can say these shoes are flexible instead of rigid even though they are very secure and tight. I have tested or worn some shoes that if they are sole flexible, the upper part will be loose or soft and provide an insecurity feeling.
All the opposite if they are strong on the top the sole it is very stiff and hard. This model has a good balance you can notice when you start to run your miles.
They are 11 oz each and very light shoes. I would expect 361 Degrees to improve weight. I have tested bigger shoes with fewer ounces.
The 8mm drop is practically a big drop for me as I use flat shoes (zero drop) but I have liked them because in the pavement or cement I can perceive good propulsion by keeping a faster pace than usual.
The lightweight and seamless double jacquard mesh aim for maximum ventilation and comfort. I think it could be lighter. I think 361° have to work with the shoe's ventilation. I have felt kind of warm when I am running.
I liked the 361° Strata 3. They are very comfortable and practical. They offer good support for those overpronator runners and this is what I liked most.
However, they need to improve on the following:
- Weight. For those who watch every gram in their gear, it will become very important.
- Cushioning. For me, it is extremely important that you can feel the cushion, no matter if is short or long distance, and even more, if they advertise it is an important feature.
- Ventilation. The shoes are a little bit warm. If you are planning to run in the summer it could be kind of suffocating.
Overall, this shoe is recommended for short training or races.
Updates to 361 Degrees Strata 3
- The third iteration of 361 Degrees’ stability running shoe has been enhanced to improve upon various factors from its previous version.
- The QU!K Flex 4foot technology found in the shoe’s outsole is backed up accordingly by the shoe’s breathable mesh upper and innovative QU!KFOAM midsole which is responsible for delivering flexible cushioning to the foot.
- The updated lightweight, breathable and wrap-around mesh upper locks in the runner’s foot in place without the feeling of movement restriction.
- The new and unique lacing system secures the foot to the platform while providing additional support on the big toe side of the shoe where overpronators most need it.
Size and fit
The Strata 3 accommodates a varied range of foot shapes its toe box was made to be spacious with a seamless and supple forefoot. It fits similarly to the Saucony Guide 10 as one user commented that he would usually get a size up by a half size and that this proves to be about right with the Strata 3.
The shoe comes in standard running shoe length yet it is also available in wide sizes. Men’s sizes come in medium D and Wide 2E, while the women’s sizes are medium B and wide D. Overall, the shoe has had comments that it is just a comfortable out-of-the-box fit for all types of feet shapes and sizes.
The Blown Rubber outsole found in the Strata 3 allows for excellent shock dispersion and overall traction. It is built with anatomical flex grooves that are carved into the outsole to encourage a smooth gait cycle.
The shoe’s outsole is also engineered with the unique QU!K Flex 4foot technology. It consists of a specific section on the front of the sole that is designed to deliver a balanced and springy toe-off experience when running. The QU!K Flex 4foot is also intended to encourage the natural movement of the foot and to enhance ground contact.
The Strata 3’s QU!KFOAM midsole technology is a full-length midsole top layer built for responsive and flexible cushioning closer to the foot. Unique to 361 Degrees, this midsole technology consists of a proprietary EVA and rubber blend that offers a remarkable combination of cushioning and responsiveness. It is also sculpted to support, cushion, and provide a natural gait position for your feet.
The QU!KFOAM midsole technology is complemented with the medial post and QU!KSPINE which found throughout the sole and gives the shoe’s dynamic stability and integrated support.
The 360 Degree Strata 3 uses the lightweight and seamless double jacquard mesh for maximum ventilation and comfort.
The Strata 3 also uses the Fitz-Rite midfoot which utilizes a distinct pattern of soft internal webbing which holds the foot securely while the Pressure Free Tongue offers an irritant-free wrap for optimal comfort.
Additionally, the shoe features the MORPHIT lacing system which is a multi-dimensional lacing design. It secures the foot comfortably during dynamic movement.