No longer the new guy, the company 361 is now well on their way to improving their models, one of them being their latest offerings, the Sensation 3. One of the biggest improvements from the Sensation 2 is the amount of cushioning. However, because of that, the flexibility does take a bit of a hit.
361 calls the Sensation 3 a “mild stability workhorse” that combines guidance features and their QU!CKFOAM cushioning for a trainer that works best for long distance running. Complete with a carbon fiber plate and their own Fitz-Rite midfoot webbing, this shoe is built to prevent any pronation issues that can occur for those who already pronate or those who pronate as the miles get long.
I got a chance to take this shoe out for plenty of long road miles, and while I definitely see why its previous iteration was an award-winning shoe, there were a couple of downsides that prevented me from choosing this shoe for every long road run.
If you are looking for a shoe that can handle high mileage training, keep reading to see how well the Sensation 3 held up.
Like many 361 shoes, the outsole is made with a lightweight blown rubber in the forefoot area. It has pretty deep grooves to help with flexibility. The rubber itself is pretty dense, durable and provides good traction on road running surfaces, even when the surface is wet. The heel features a durable abrasion crash pad to disperse shock and provide additional traction. The only issue I ran into in terms of the outsole was that the shoe had a tendency to pick up small pebbles. A bit annoying since I could feel the pebbles and would need to stop and flick them out from time to time. So with that said, I wouldn't recommend taking these shoes on gravel surfaces
This is where 361 put the most attention and detail into the shoe. And being that it is a self-proclaimed "stability workhorse", one would hope so. Like the Sensation 2
, the Sensation 3 has 361's Fitz-Rite soft internal webbing that helps lock the foot down. The midsole also has dual density medial posts located on each side of the arch in order to help stabilize the foot. 361's QU!CKFOAM midsole provides comfortable cushioning but also a snappy responsiveness. Also located in the midsole is the QU!CK Spine which is a carbon fiber plate that keeps the midsole extra stable for better contact with the surface and a more balanced toe-off.
While the midsole does provide some comfy cushioning, all that technology and design does make the midsole pretty stiff. And though this shoe is considered a mild stability trainer, it leaned more towards the heavy stability
side than the mild side.
361 decided to take away some of the overlays in this latest version. The Sensation 3 does have some overlays located more in the midfoot section as well a hard plastic heel cup. The forefoot area features an open mesh material which makes for one breathable shoe. It's so breathable, that my feet were pretty cold when I took them out on some super cold Northeast winter runs.
The tongue is their signature pressure free tongue, which I personally do not care for. It is supposed to reduce irritations, and while it did not actually irritate my foot, it did need to be adjusted and didn't have the amount of padding I like in the tongue of a running shoe.
The toe box is a decent size, as long as you have the right size. My toes were a little cramped. I normally wear a size 11 in a running shoe, but the 11's were a bit too small for me. Had I gone a size up, my toes
would've probably been fine.
2 was a very heavy shoe. Luckily, 361 was able to make a few changes in order to knock about an ounce off the shoe. And while the Sensation 3 is not a light shoe by any means (stability and lightweight
usually don't go together), it is lighter and more manageable than the previous version.
The men's version in a size 9 weighs 9.8oz and the women's version in a size 7 weighs 8.4oz. While this makes for a heavier
shoe, runners looking for stability may be willing to make that sacrifice.
As mentioned before, the upper of the Sensation 3 is made of a super breathable upper with overlays concentrated at the midfoot to heel section of the shoe. The larger mesh holes on the upper allow for a lot of airflow, which would make this shoe perfect for warm weather. While the Sensation 2 was a breathable shoe, the Sensation 3 has definitely improved in this category.
If you are looking for a marshmallow, cushiony shoe, look for something else. However, this is a pretty comfortable shoe. The QU!CKFOAM midsole mixes their proprietary EVA and rubber blend for comfort without sacrificing responsiveness. The shoe held up very well on long runs and it did not feel "flattened out" at the end of the run. It was still comfortable and supportive after a couple of hours of running.
As stated above, I'm not fond of the flat pressure-free tongue and wished it had a bit more padding. And being that this is a stability trainer, the shoe was stiff. So if you are looking for comfort in terms of natural foot movement, this shoe isn't for you. If you are looking for cushioning that can stand up to some serious pavement pounding and a shoe that will still support you for long hauls on the road, then this shoe will provide the right type of comfort you need.
I'm going to have to knock a few points off for style. The style/color combo I got to try out was the green/white/black combo. While I don't have any problems with the colors, the design itself was lacking. In particular, the piping around the laces really took away from the overall look and made the illusion of my feet looking super wide (which they aren't).
Currently, the women's version comes in two choices: the green/white/black and a red/black with pops of blue. The men's version also comes in two choices: white/black/red and green/black/blue. There will be one more option offered for both men and women that will be released in June.
Durability is another strong feature of this shoe. After putting about 75 miles into this shoe, it still looks (and feels) as good as new. The traction on the outsole is still solid and the rubber isn't worn down. The breathable upper has stood up, no tears or excessive wear showing. The cushioning, responsiveness and stability feel just as good as it did the first 10 miles out of the box. I am pretty sure I'll be getting a good long life out of these shoes.
As a mild overpronator, my biggest worry is an injury. While I'm not looking for a motion control shoe, I do like shoes that will provide some stability which the Sensation 3 does well, if not a little too well. The amount of cushioning underfoot from both the QU!CKFOAM midsole and the blown rubber outsole make for a solid but comfortable base that absorbs shock, which is especially important during long road runs. The medial posts kept my foot from rolling excessively outward
The only thing the shoe did not protect me from was cold
weather. I'll be saving this shoe for mild to warmer runs. The upper of the shoe was a little too breathable for the chilly winter.
While I know a stability shoe is going to control your foot movement, I still want a good amount of responsiveness so that I can feel in control of the shoe and not the shoe controlling me. Thanks to the QU!CK Spine carbon fiber plate in the midsole I got a strong toe-off. I didn't sink into the cushioning and instead felt supported and a bit springy, even after of miles of running
. The shoe moved pretty well with me. The drawback was the lack of flexibility which took away from the overall responsiveness.
361 covered every angle in terms of support
. This shoe caters to runners with mild to moderate overpronation, although moderate to severe overpronators may find it a bit more comfortable. The midsole is the key to the shoe's support, be it the QU!CK Spine carbon fiber plate, the Fitz-Rite internal midfoot webbing, the firm medial posts for extra stability and the cushy but responsive QUC!KFOAM. While the overlays have been reduced from the previous version, there is enough midfoot security to provide a supportive ride, especially for moderate overpronators.
This shoe is going to do best on the roads, especially long road runs. The amount of cushioning will help fend off foot fatigue during long runs. The traction works best on smooth surfaces, even when the surface is wet, but beware of small stones as they tend to get stuck in the grooves of the outsole.
With an MSRP $130, the Sensation 3 is by no means the most expensive
stability shoe on the market. There are other stability shoes that cost $20 or more. However, $130 is a little higher than some of their other shoes, but again not their most expensive. The price may be worth it to many runners seeking some guidance features in their shoe.
The Sensation 3 provides excellent traction on road running surfaces. The blown rubber forefoot provides a strong toe-off while the abrasion resistant heel does a good job of gripping the ground for solid ground contact. The shoe performed well on wet surfaces, but as mentioned, did pick up pebbles. In terms of traction, this shoe will shine on smooth surfaces.
By now, you probably know this isn't a flexible shoe. But it wasn't designed to be a flexible shoe. It was designed to provide a stable, supportive platform that can guide the runner's foot and prevent excessive rolling. While there are flex grooves on the outsole that provide some flexibility, overall, this shoe is pretty stiff. But in general, if you are looking for a stability shoe, lack of flexibility is going to be pretty universal.
This is exactly what the Sensation 3 was designed to do. Moderate overpronators will find that the Sensation 3 provides a supportive, stable ride that will prevent excessive pronation. The dual density media posts to the Fitz-Rite internal webbing as well as the sturdy, supportive carbon fiber plate, this midsole will provide the type of stability overpronators need, especially for those training for long distance races.
The Sensation 3 has a 9mm drop
. Most runners will be comfortable with this type of drop, as it helps guide the foot forward. A standard drop is between 10-12mm.
QU!CK Spine carbon fiber plate
Lightweight blown rubber forefoot
Fitz-Rite webbing in midfoot
Dual-density medial posts for extra stability
Very breathable mesh upper
If you are looking for stability, it's worth checking out the Sensation 3. It's a comfortable, stable shoe that is especially good for those seeking comfort and support for long runs. Moderate overpronators will find this shoe the most comfortable and will be happy with the amount of responsiveness it has.
While I don't see myself wearing this shoe in cold weather, it will make a great summer shoe thanks to the super breathable upper. One big downside to the shoe was its design. In general, I like the design and colors for most 361 shoes. And while the color options are fine, the design of the Sensation 3 just doesn't work for me.
The price is pretty fair when it comes to a stability shoe, but what makes it an even better buy is how long it lasts. This shoe looks barely used after plenty of use and is still just as comfortable as when I first put them on. My only suggestion would be to consider sizing up a half to full size in order to ensure your toes have enough room.