Right out of the box, this is a really pretty shoe. The Sensation 4 is aesthetically pleasing, with a double mesh overlay to keep it breathable and several beautiful colourways to keep you feeling fresh on your run.

Photo: Madeleine Kelly

Shoe category: Stability
Drop: 9 mm
Price: $179.99 CAD
Cushion: Responsive
Weight: 240 grams
Surfaces tested: Road and trail

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One of the most surprising features of this stability trainer is its weight. The shoe only weighs a shocking 240 grams. For context, that’s only 30 grams heavier than the newly released New Balance FuelCell Rebel, an extremely light racing flat.

Photo: Madeleine Kelly

The shoe isn’t designed for the strongest overpronators among us. It’s classified as a moderate-stability shoe, with about two inches of posting through the midsole. This shoe could be worn by those who overpronate slightly, or even a neutral runner who’s feeling a little fatigued. You’re hard-pressed to find a stability shoe this light, so if you’re looking for something that can get you through a long run while keeping your foot supported, I think you’ve found your shoe.

Photo: Madeleine Kelly

What’s new?

The vamp of the shoe, which encompasses the midfoot area of the upper, has been redesigned from the Sensation 3. The new vamp features super light mesh, which is also seamless. This ensure that there are no hot spots while you’re running so can you focus on your miles and not your shoes.

RELATED: Train for a half-marathon with 361 Degrees

Outsole

I ran on this shoe for this first time in the pouring rain–not ideal conditions for a run, but this shoe handled the mud and water really well. While the hyper-breathable mesh upper did nothing to keep the water out, the shoe did dry extremely fast after the run. The outsole handled the slightly slippery roads beautifully.

Photo: Madeleine Kelly

Midsole

361 Degrees uses a full length Qu!ckFOAM, like in most of their shoes, which is a blend of EVA and rubber. It’s a snappy and responsive foam that’s also pretty light. If you like a plush cushion, I’d pass on this shoe, but if responsive is your thing then the Sensation does the trick.

Upper

The shoe has a wide toe box, but a supportive internal sleeve wraps the arch and holds the midfoot securely. This combination of a wide toe box and snug midfoot results in a very secure fit with no shifting, chafing or blistering. The midfoot sleeve is separate from the tongue and doesn’t interfere with sliding the shoe on and off, tightening or loosening the laces.
Photo: Madeleine Kelly

The ideal usage

This shoe rides like a speed shoe but has all of the fixings of a distance trainer. This shoe feels to me like an ideal long-run shoe. It’s got the support to keep you protected for the long haul, but it’s light and snappy enough that it’s not weighing you down. Use this shoe to get through your training, and then trade it in for something a little lighter on race day.

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