I was pumped to try the 361 Futura. Designed as a trail shoe, it’s ready to take on almost any type of trail. Plus it’s 361’s first trail shoe! I learned it was similar to a favorite road shoe of mine, the 361 Centauri, which handles almost any type of run. I’m a huge fan of the brand 361, which has it’s home in Huntington Beach!
The Futura uses the latest TPE midsole and engage foam. It was only a few years ago we would consider this a “high cushioned trainer,” but with the elevation of maximum cushioned shoes, it’s now in the mid-level. However, finding medium to high-cushioned trainers in the trail world is hard!
361 Futura Quick Stats:
Weight: 8.6 oz
Heel to Toe Drop: 5 mm
361 Futura Intro:
When I first took the 361 Futura out of the box, I was surprised it was a “trail shoe.”. Except for the lugs and outsole, it looks like a road shoe. That could be promising for me, became sometimes I find trail shoes too stiff and uncomfortable. I do like a shoe with a lot of cushion!
361 Futura Fit:
The 361 Futura features a knit upper that uses 40% recycled yarn! (Whew, that is awesome). I have, however, found many brands using recycled materials (the ASICS Cumulus or Nike Pegasus Turbo Nature) don’t have great uppers because they don’t breathe well. Now that it’s the Mojave Desert summer and I’m hot immediately after going outside, I cannot risk having a shoe-upper that doesn’t breathe! Fortunately, that is not an issue with the 361 Futura, it breathes well, and I completely forgot it uses recycled materials.
The best-running shoe uppers disappear off your feet, and the 361 Futura does just that. There is plenty of cushion around the heel collar. The tongue is thin but gusseted. 361 calls it their “pressure-free” tongue, and I assure you, I don’t feel any pressure or anything on the tongue webbing straps that keep the midfoot in place. The fit is great and I haven’t had any issues with it. Those with wider feet will appreciate the slightly wider last of the 361 Futura.
In running shoes, I wear between a 10-11 wide. I’ve found some 361 models fit a little bit longer, but I still prefer the women’s size 11. The 361 Futura is slightly longer but not long enough to go down a half-size.
361 Futura Ride:
I was most curious about the 361 Futura ride. It’s 361’s first trail shoe, after all! As mentioned, the 361 Futura was designed as the trial version of the 361 Centauri! The Centuri outsole was just too smooth to go on any super technical terrain (LOL, I did slide down a couple of dunes in it). I like the 361 Centauri ride a lot, so I was interested in how I would like the 361 Futura. Have I compared those two shoes enough already?
The 361 Futura features a full TPE midsole with a full coverage Vibram “mega grip rubber.” That rubber makes it a bit heavier than most trail shoes but allows you more traction on the trails.
So what is the “Engage foam?” It’s 361’s supercritical foam which is both light and bouncy. The amount of foam underfoot means it’s a plush ride. If you don’t want to feel the ground under you, consider a more cushioned trail shoe like the Futura. Interestingly enough, with that amount of soft cushion, I expected to feel like I was running on a pile of mush. I did not, and the Futura is much more responsive than anticipated.
Durability and Traction: Just looking at the 361 Futura, you notice that massive “Vibram Megagrip Rubber.” The outsole design features v-shaped chevrons throughout the shoe. In my case, these chevrons dug into the ground well, and I didn’t find myself sliding at all. I think the 361 Futura has been one of the best shoes to run on sand! Plus, the lugs aren’t too harsh to run on roads. Now I wouldn’t make this your road-only shoe, but if you are running to the trailhead (I have to run about half a mile to get to mine), then you’ll be fine.
As far as durability, I expect they’ll last 400 miles. I’ve already put about 100 miles on my 361 Futura, and they nearly feel and look brand new.
I was curious about what kind of shoe the 361 Futura would be in my rotation. It’s quickly become my favorite shoe to take into the sandy trails of the Mojave Desert. It handles the short half-mile road section and keeps me from sliding around on some of the steeper dunes. My only complaint is that it attracts heavy sand and mud in inclement weather (yes, we get rain in the desert). I stepped in some deep sand that I couldn’t get it off quickly, and suddenly my shoes were cinderblocks. After a quick stop of 1-2 minutes, I could peel it off.
361 Futura Conclusion:
The 361 Futura is an excellent trail shoe that can be used for almost anything. I appreciate the large amount of cushion and plush and well fitting upper. There isn’t anything that I wish they would change.
Who should buy the 361 Futura? If you want a trail shoe that “does it all,” the 361 Futura is a good option. Or if you are looking for a trail shoe with many cushions.
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 Futura?
What is your favorite trail shoe?