I was excited to try the 361° Flame ST shoe from 361°. The 361 Flame ST is the update to the original Flame. I was a big fan of the original 361 Flame, so I wanted to see their changes. Many people have never heard of 361°. At the 2021 Olympics, Katie Z won bronze in the triathlon wearing the original version. If it’s good enough for Olympic medals, it’s got to be a good shoe for everyday runners.
Shoe technology is only getting more advanced, but with that advancement comes expensive shoes. Most super shoes cost at least $250, although it’s trending towards $275. Ew. (But let’s be honest, we aren’t paying $10,000 for a bike…Anyway, the 361 Flame ST comes in at $160. I believe it’s one of the cheapest carbon-plated shoes out there.
361° Flame ST Quick Stats:
Weight: 7.7 oz
Drop: 8 mm
361° Flame ST Introduction:
Why is 361 Flame ST so cheap?
Is the 361 Flame ST a good racing shoe?
What is the difference between the 361 Flame ST and the original Flame?
The 361 Flame ST is so good; I wore it right out of the box for the Surf City Half Marathon. Surf City is sponsored by 361, and they had them for sale right at the expo. I tried it on, did a short warmup, and realized, *hey, I like this shoe* and ran the entire half marathon. I did 20 miles that day. Is running that far with a new shoe a good idea? Of course not, but I took a risk, which paid off that time. Believe me…it hasn’t always LOL.
The 361 Flame ST feels much firmer than many other carbon-plated shoes. If you look like you the feeling a mushy marshmallow under your foot, the Flame ST will likely feel too strong and aggressive.
361° Flame ST Fit:
This isn’t the first 361 shoe I’ve tried, but it is the most comfortable. 361 recommends that you go a half size smaller, but I didn’t, and I found it fit well. (Probably because my feet are so wide).
The 361 Flame ST received a significant update in the upper. It features the “Advanced Collar Structure, ” a heel collar designed with foam to secure the heel during fast runs. The “pressure-free tongue” has anatomical patterns and soft materials that remove stress from the top of the foot.
The best-running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, and the 361° Flame ST does just that. I was shocked by the update on the shoe. The original Flame has a similar upper to the Nike Vaporfly. It was *okay*, but it wasn’t my favorite. The updated upper in the 361° Flame ST feels much more comfortable. It’s softer and more forgiving.
I typically wear a size 10.5-11 wide in running shoes. I found the size 11 to fit the best and fit well. While 361 recommends going down a half size, maintaining my size is the best fit for me. You’ll likely prefer to keep your size if you have wider feet.
361° Flame ST Ride:
As mentioned, my first run in the 361 Flame ST was at the Surf City Half Marathon, and it felt good. In the 361° Flame ST, the brand uses a new technology called QU!KBONE plus nitrogen-injected PU foam called QU! KFLAME.
The 361° Flame ST is one of the firmest shoes I’ve run in. Firmer shoes that come to mind are just the Nike Vaporfly. If you want to feel the ground, this is a good option. If you want to feel like they are racing on marshmallows, this probably isn’t your best option.
Durability and Traction: I’ve run about 1oo miles in the 361° Flame ST, and I don’t think it will wear out soon. This is VERY DIFFERENT than other carbon-plated shoes, usually worn out around 100 miles. So the 361 Flame ST is cheaper and lasts longer.
Regarding Traction, the 361 Flame ST has rubber on the bottom and uses a lot of similar Traction to trainers. If running in inclement weather or slippery terrain, I wouldn’t be worried about using the 361° Flame ST.
I figured the 361 Flame ST would be a workout and racing shoe, and that’s what it is. Unlike the previous version, “easier running” feels comfortable, but I don’t want to wear it out that quickly. I’ve done several workouts, long and easy runs, and it deems suitable for each. I’ll personally keep it at a training or racing shoe.
361° Flame ST Conclusion:
The updated 361° Flame ST is excellent. Between the original and ST, I prefer the ST based on fit and feel. (And I like the original too), 361 has just outdone itself. It’s hard to believe the 361 Flame ST is “only” $160 because I would peg it at a $200 shoe.
Who is the 361° Flame ST made for? If you are someone who wants a firm and fast racing shoe that feels good. Plus, if you want to save a little bit of money, you can’t beat the price!
Who should not buy the 361° Flame ST? If you are looking for a softer racing shoe, you may find Flame ST, the firm.
My Current Shoe Rotation:
Long Runs: ASICS Superblast
You Can See All Current Shoe Reviews Here.
Are you looking to learn more about running shoes? In my ebook, I talk about why you need a good running shoe, a shoe’s anatomy, neutral vs. stable, and even myths about running shoes.
Questions for you:
Have you tried the 361° Flame ST?
What is your favorite racing shoe?