361° Meraki 4 Running Shoe
As you will guess this is 4th generation of the 361° Meraki running shoe and my first experience with this brand.
The first step was to send them my shoe size and I sent my them ASICS size which was 41.5 EU. When the 361° Meraki 4 Running Shoe arrived, I opened the box and apart from the lovely new trainer smell I thought they looked a bit small. But when I put them on, they were exceedingly comfortable, true to size and gripped my foot even without the laces done up. The grip was light and snug, and the heel surround (or counter) looked thicker than I have seen before and is remarkably comfortable. The outer heel feels solid and the upper near the toe conversely is flexible with a mesh which should give plenty of ventilation. There´s a toe bumper that will help avoid toe-stubbing on the trails here in Spain. The shoe also has a good toe box height so plenty of room for my toes to move naturally and freely with running.
The tongue is foamy and unlike other shoe brands I have tried and, in the sole, through a cut-away, there appears to be some carbon fibre? After some research, I found out it is called a “QU!KSPINE” which is a narrow plate and should give a small kickback when I run.
The QU!KSPINE carbon fibre strip in the sole
Meraki heel cushioning (heel counter) depth versus another running shoe
Meraki [may-rah-kee] (adjective) This is a word that modern Greeks often use to describe doing something with soul, creativity, or love — when you put “something of yourself” into what you’re doing, whatever it may be.
In the Mountains
The Meraki shoes are not specifically for trail running, but they are billed as “all-rounders” so I thought I would give them a go. Living 750m (2460 feet) up a mountain trail routes are right from my front door and all tough! As a triathlete, I don´t tend to wear socks (I had this drummed into me by my coach before my first Sprint tri) so that´s how I wore these shoes. The Ortholite comfort foam soles were to my feet like my new memory foam mattress is to my back! Very comfortable but not too spongy. The Meraki´s are lighter than my normal running shoes and felt great running downhill and gave a reassuring spring back from the fibreglass spine. The soles were grippy and stable so for me a hit on the trails.
Along the Coast
After the mountains, it was only fair to head to the coast and run on a flat route. I´m not too sure if it was the knowledge of having a Carbon fibre strip in the sole or the fibreglass spine itself but my feet felt light and springy, and I had a natural tendency to run on my toes and forefoot. The insole is amazing, and I liken it to the memory foam topper I bought for my bed three months ago which is comfortable but not too thick. Your foot is cushioned well but you can still feel the road. The foamy togue and think heel surround meant I did not suffer from any rubbing or blisters.
The 361° Meraki 4 Running Shoe is a great every day, all-rounder shoe, suitable for all conditions and should give you many good miles. Comfortable and responsive with a slight kickback from the fibreglass spine. It´s happy on the trails but not as “sticky” underfoot as my trail running shoes but still capable. On the flat and road, it really comes live with the Ortholite foam insole and springy spine in the sole.
It´s light enough for track work (299g) as well and well ventilated for a cool run even in 24-degree heat in the winter sun in Southern Spain. I was really impressed with my first try 361° running shoes so I may invest in the carbon fibre version.
The Technical Stuff:
This is a 361 special feature that ties the tongue to the outer fabric to keep your foot snug in the shoe, overall a good solid foothold.
Together with our high-energy return QU!KSPINE, this technology provides even more comfort with long-lasting responsiveness for a smooth, cushioned ride throughout the heel-to-toe transition.
A slither of fibreglass in the sole adds support, responsiveness and high-energy return to the midfoot.
Comfort foam insoles utilise 20% recycled content for long-lasting comfort, excellent moisture management and a high level of breathability.
Weight: 299 grams
Price: €139.99 / £119
Our European company was formed in 2016 with the initial goal of creating an entry into the world of running shoes and they felt they could build themselves a niche with an honest story and a great product. Their belief is that the right place to get a great pair of running shoes is your local specialist running store. That’s where you can find their products. They are a team of industry experts and they have built 361° as a brand and company that is close to the running community. They serve runners with great running experiences – their shoes.
Their European headquarters are located in the Amsterdam area, and they are a diverse team of people. Their ambassadors are also a diverse group of people who inspire, each in their own sphere and performance level, with a common goal to inspire you to do more than you think you can. They are real people, living real lives. They aren’t judged by the number of likes or followers.
They recruit them based on how much they fit their goal to go #BEYONDEXPECTATIONS, from Olympic athletes to people who are turning around unhealthy lifestyles to become multisport athletes and streak runners who bring awareness of the mental illness and open up conversations about it. They don’t ask them to always post pretty pictures. They ask them to inspire and motivate others to do more than they think they can. They support local retailers building businesses and running communities and local events bringing people together. They are also an official partner of Hamburg Marathon.
Reviewed By: Karen Parnell
Karen Parnell is a British Triathlon Federation (BTF) Level 3 High Performing Coach and Tutor and ASA Open Water Swimming Coach. She is also a qualified NASM Personal Trainer, Nivel 3 Técnicos Federados FATRI España and IRONMAN® Certified Coach as well as being a Stryd running with power coach. Karen is based near Malaga in Southern Spain where she runs ChiliTri In the coaching and camps. She provides training plans via TrainingPeaks, FinalSurge and Training Tilt.