361 Degrees knows how to design a high quality, technologically advanced running shoe. They took that knowledge of their road running shoe and used it as the base for their Ortega, an all-terrain, durable, trail running and racing shoe. Although the details added to the overall weight of this shoe, runners were happy to trade some of the lightweight features of a road running shoe for the durability and grit of these trail details. This shoe is perfect for the runner who spends time training on both trail and road. The all-terrain design makes this a great choice for obstacle races and ultra races that take runners from the trail to the road and back again. From the upper to the outsole, 361 Degrees includes technologically advanced features that are designed to keep the runner secure and protected throughout their run. The upper features a unique design that not only looks cool but protects the runner from the elements that can be found on the trail and works to prevent debris from entering the shoe. The outsole is designed using carbon rubber and a varied lug system that provide superior grip and traction and help this shoe keeps looking and feeling newer for longer.
The outsole of the 361 Ortega is designed to protect the runner. This outsole is made from a long-lasting carbon rubber. This material not only protects the runner from the harmful elements found on the trail, but it also does a great job of absorbing the shock of each foot fall. The lug system helps keep runners protected during their runs. This hybrid lug system features carbon rubber heel pods to add traction and durability. Although this material is very durable, it also provides a very responsive run and helps runner feel connected to the ground below them.
The midsole of this shoe relies on 361’s patented QU!CK midsole foam to provide the runner with a firm cushioning. This QU!CK foam runs the entire length of the midsole and not only does a great job of absorbing shock, it also conforms to the shape of the foot and provides added support to the runner’s arch.
Runners can also expect to find a molded QU!CK foam blended sock liner for added comfort and support. Finally, to upgrade this shoe to a trail shoe, 361 added an ESS Rock Plate in the forefoot of the shoe that is designed to protect the runner from the dangerous debris that can be found on the trail.
The upper of this shoe is designed to be both protective and breathable. It features a unique hexagon overlay shape that provides the runner with a unique look and also added support. The mesh that is used to cover the upper is a breathable, lightweight mesh that also provides protection against debris.
One of the key problems that runners have with finding a good trail running shoe is that often the protective material used to keep debris out also keeps air from being able to flow freely into the shoe. This is not the case with the 361 Ortega. The upper material is made from a water-resistant mesh and while there are protective overlays that keep debris from entering the shoe, the mesh provides maximum ventilation that helps regulate the temperature inside of the shoe. This feature allows the runner to work out for longer while their feet stay cool and comfortable and free from blisters
and hot spots.
This trail running shoe is not lightweight
, but in terms of trail running shoes, it is not too heavy either. Runners found this to be a perfect combination of protection and lightweight technologies that support the runner through their speedy workouts. The men’s size nine comes in at 10.4 ounces. The higher weight can be attributed to the various protective elements like the molded overlays on the upper, the butterfly heel counter for added protection and support, and the ESS rock plate in the midsole.
This shoe provides a firm cushioning so runners who are looking for a plush ride like a Hoka may find this to be too firm for them. The midsole features the QU!CK technology that is both firm and flexible and helps support a proper gait cycle. Additionally, runners found that the breathable upper helps to keep their feet cool and comfortable even during their long or hot runs. Runners who transition frequently between trail and road found this shoe to be comfortable.
This shoe has a unique, athletic, rugged look that runners liked. They are offered in a few different unique color
combinations including castle rock and balsam with dark shadow with yellow. The design of the shoe features a honey comb look in the upper that encases the shoe and provides protection and also a unique look.
Although this shoe has a powerful outsole and firm midsole, runners found the Ortega to provide a high level of responsiveness that made it an excellent choice for obstacle racing because it responds quickly and efficiently to changes in pace and direction. The design of the outsole features unique heel pods that are designed to provide rapid feedback to the runner and allow the runner to really feel the trail below them and respond quickly to any changes. They hybrid lug design of the underfoot makes this shoe a good choice for both road and trail running.
Runners can expect to find supportive details throughout the upper and midsole of this shoe. The upper features a unique caged honeycomb design that not only looks cool but also serves a very important purpose. This design helps keep the runner’s foot from unwanted side to side movement even on uneven terrain. The midsole of the shoe features supportive details like a molded sock liner made of QU!CK foam. The heel is made using a butterfly heel counter that also helps keep the foot stable and secure.
Trail runners know that powerful protection in a running shoe is vital to a good trail shoe. The Ortega has added a wide variety of details to this shoe to ensure that runners are fully protected during their trail and road running adventures. For starters, the upper of the shoe has melded overlays that help keep debris from entering the shoe. Additionally, 361 Degree created an ergonomic gusseted tongue to provide an additional layer of debris protection. The midsole of this shoe provides a firm cushioning that helps to keep the runner secure during their run, even on uneven surfaces. The outsole is made with a durable carbon rubber that provides puncture proof protection and the ESS rock plate keeps the runner safe from roots, rocks, and other unexpected items that can pop up on the trails.
Runners reported that the Ortega was able to carry them through some of the toughest conditions and come out virtually unscathed. 361 Degrees included thoughtful elements in their design process that keep this shoe looking and feeling new, even after logging extensive miles. Since the upper is water resistant, and the outsole is made from a gripping carbon rubber, runners liked this shoe for obstacle races
and ultra marathons
. These races are known to age shoes prematurely, but runners reported that their Ortega’s held up well against the elements presented in these races.
Runners loved that this shoe is able to easily and safely transition from the roads to the trails. This shoe is rugged enough to tackles some of the toughest trails and terrains, but also is versatile enough to safely run on tracks, treadmill,
and pavement. This can be attributed to the unique outsole design that features a hybrid lug design.
This trail running shoe is similarly priced to the average trail running shoe on today’s market. However, runners found this to be a great value for two key reasons. The first is that this one of the few trail running shoes on the market that can easily and comfortably transition between trail and road. The second is that due to the high level of durability of this shoe, runners had to replace it less frequently and this saved them money in the long run.
One of the reasons why this shoe is such a great trail running shoe is because of the superior traction it offers to the runner. The outsole of this shoe features a unique design that helps runners stay upright and secure on their feet even if they are running on a slippery or uneven terrain. Runners reported that even for steep uphill
climbs or downhill descents on loose rocks, they felt very secure. The outsole features a hybrid lug system that easily transitions from road to trail and protects the runner on both.
The cushioning of this shoe is more firm than plush, and this creates an overall firmer fit and feel. Runners who are looking for a natural, minimalist running experience won’t find it in the Ortega, but it is also not a completely inflexible shoe either. Runners reported that this shoe fall in the middle of the pack, providing just enough flexibility to allow the runner’s foot to move easily and comfortable, but it provides enough support and security to help runners stay safe on difficult to navigate the terrain.
Although this is not a stability shoe, it does provide mild stability features to help runners who have been looking for slight help with over or under pronation. This shoe is listed as a neutral running shoe, but between the overlays of the upper and the added support features in the heel and midfoot to keep the foot from rolling inward during their workouts.
This shoe features a 7-millimeter drop which is slightly lower than a traditional running shoe. Runners reported liking the slightly lowered drop of this shoe, claiming it helped them feel the trail below them better, but still providing them with the forward trajectory that is helpful on long runs and races.
- Versatile road to trail design
- QU!CK Foam midsole
- Ergonomic gusseted tongue
- ESS rock plate in forefoot for added protection
- Hybrid lug format
- Butterfly heel counter
- 7 mm heel drop
361 Degrees started with their popular, high-quality KgM2 and transformed it into a versatile road and trail shoe. Due to the hybrid lug design of the underfoot, this shoe is tough enough to tackle the toughest off-road terrain but is flexible enough to easy and safely transition back to the road, so there is no need to buy two different shoes. Runners loved this shoe for obstacle races and ultramarathons due to the Ortega’s high level of durability and the added support details that it offers. The upper is constructed using a unique hexagon overlay system that that helps keep the foot from unwanted side to side movement. Likewise, the QU!CK foam sock liner and midsole foam are a firmer cushioning that provides a solid landing pad for runners and does a great job of absorbing the shoe of each footfall. This shoe is in line with the average price of a trail running shoe on today’s market. Although 361 Degrees is a relatively new name in the American running shoe market, runners found this shoe to be high quality, long lasting, and comfortable.