361 Degrees Meraki 2
Type: neutral cushioning
Heel-toe drop: 9 mm
Weight: 9.6 oz. (men’s), 8 oz. (women’s)
361 Degrees was invented by industry veterans Otto Lin and Jim Monahan on the principle of “freedom of minimalist ideals with the comfort and protection of traditional running shoes,” and expanded the line with a commitment to “fit and feel.” The first shoe was the Sensation, and the brand has only become more popular as it added new models to suit every type of runner.
According to the company, meraki is Greek for the soul or creativity you put into a task, sort of like what you put into your running. The second iteration of the Meraki shoe retains the smooth combination of cushioning and responsiveness provided by 361’s QU!KFOAM midsole cushioning material, to power you through pickups while keeping you comfortable over the long haul.
For heel-strikers who like a lot of cushioning under the heel, the shoe retains the 9 mm drop of the previous model. The unusually thin tongue (more often found in a racing flat) is also still here, as are the molded heel counter and the outsole’s carbon fibre plate, which stabilizes the midfoot while protecting the shoe’s midsole from wear and tear. Flex grooves in the forefoot outsole mimic the foot’s natural motion at toe-off, providing traction and acceleration at the same time.
Enhancements to the original Meraki include 0.6 oz. less weight, a sleek new streamlined upper with enhanced breathability, and a new internal Fitz-Rite wrapping system features webbing on the inside to hold the foot securely in place, meaning the outside can be smooth and aerodynamic. As before, the shoe’s just-wide-enough toebox prevents excessive movement in the shoe, and features like the shoe’s thin, pressure-free tongue and molded insole mean you’ll be problem-free, whether you’re doing pickups on the track, or going long on a Sunday morning.