The 361 Flame shoe is the first carbon-plated shoe from 361°. Many people have never heard of 361°. At the Olympics, Katie Z won bronze in the triathlon wearing this shoe. So if it’s good enough for Olympic medals, it’s got to be good.
As you know by now, shoe technology is only getting more advanced. With the advancement comes big prices. Most of these super shoes cost $250 or more! The 361° Flame is only $160. While yes expensive, not anything close to what many brands are charging.
361° Flame Quick Stats:
Weight: 7.7 oz
Drop: 8 mm
361 Flame Introduction:
Seeing that 361° made a $160 carbon fiber plated running shoe made me interested. Why is the 361° Flame so cheap? Is the 361° Flame a good racing shoe? Who is the 361° Flame shoe made for? I was excited to try it. During my first run, I did notice how aggressive the plate is. You aren’t going to find a soft cushioned racing shoe, and you will find it to be a shoe you feel the ground more. For some, they may prefer more cushion in their racing shoe.
361 Flame Fit:
I have worn a few 361° shoes now. Each with a slightly different upper and the 361° Flame is no different. The 361° Flame fits slightly big, and it’s recommended you go down half a size. I normally wear a women’s size 10-11 wide and have worn a size 10.5 in all 361° shoes, so I decided to try the 10 as recommended. It fits well, and I think going down half a size is probably the best option.
The midfoot and heel fit snug and secure. The thin heel collar reminds me a lot of the Nike Vaporfly. Truthfully, I was a little worried about it because that is what bothered my Achilles, but the 361° Flame feels good, and I haven’t had any irritation, including ripping up my heel. There is a nice padded piece in there that keeps the shoe from shredding your heel.
Plus, the midfoot is much wider, so you have some inherent stability. The midfoot and heel fit more snug with extensive overlays that lock the feet in very well. In all, the 361° Flame fits well. Just go down half a size. There is nothing that irritates your foot which is how a shoe should be. The best uppers disappear right off your foot.
361 Flame Ride:
I was interested to see how the 361° Flame shoe would feel in a run. The $160 price point made me wonder, what is it missing that makes it “so cheap”? The 361° Flame shoe has a more aggressive plate.
361° uses a new technology called QU!KBONE plus new nitrogen injected PU foam called QU!KFLAME.
The shoe itself is one of the firmest shoes I’ve run in. If you are looking for a soft and cushioned racing shoe, the 361° Flame isn’t it/ If you’re looking for a firm, feel the ground type of trainer, the 361° Flame excels. This combination makes the 361° Flame almost uncomfortable to run slower in. If you are racing in the shoe, you’ll almost always want a “warm-up shoe” because running at paces slower than your race pace doesn’t feel good.
Durability and Traction: I’ve now run about 75 miles in the 361° Flame, and it has no signs of wearing down any time soon. The ride feels the same, and the cushioning is still there. As far as traction, the 361° Flame has plenty, and it would be fine for a race or workout in the pouring rain.
It excels in faster running. Any carbon plated shoe is designed for “fast days,” which is exactly what I use the 361° Flame for. I’ve done a few faster long runs, but the 361° Flame is a great workout day shoe for me. I feel good about it. I’m pleasantly surprised since the 361° Flame shoe isn’t expensive.
361 Flame Conclusion:
The 361° Flame is one of the more aggressive and firmer carbon fiber plate racing shoes on the market right now. As long as you know, you aren’t getting a super soft and high cushioned racing shoe. If you want to try a carbon-plated shoe and don’t want to pay $250, the 361° Flame is the first shoe I would start with. Not counting the price, it’s just an all-around good racing shoe. I am pleasantly surprised.
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Looking to learn more about running shoes? My ebook talks about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths of running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the 361 Flame?
What is your current favorite racing shoe?