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361 Centauri Review: A Pleasant Surprise
By Chief Editor Matthew Klein

Learning takes time. It requires experimentation, mistakes, success and most importantly, continuing to try things. 361 has sent us several shoes over the years. Despite being early adopters and having carbon plates in their shoes long before it was cool, their shoes and general designs were.... old school. Most felt like trainers from 10-15 years prior, were incredibly stiff, often narrow, and not the most comfortable. Things went quiet from 361 for a while. Suddenly, completely new shoes began to appear. The 361 Hurricane, a new performance shoe from them, appeared in non-US markets. Then out of the blue came a completely redone Spire, featuring an all new PEBA midsole and a BEVELED HEEL (finally). Following on those footsteps now comes the 361 Centauri, a daily trainer featuring a new TPE midsole and a surprisingly comfortable fit. The Centauri is a positive example of the changes that have come to 361. 

361 Degrees Centauri
Price: $130 at 361
Weight: 9.8 oz, 278 g (men's size 9), 8.0 oz, 227 g (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 31mm/23mm
Drop: 9mm
Classification: Daily Training Shoe


The 361 Centauri is a well-cushioned neutral daily training with a slightly higher volume fit. A mild heel bevel, new ENGAGE TPE midsole, higher volume comfortable upper and a softer midsole are among some of the drastic changes seen from prior 361 models. A slightly early transition in the heel moves into a smooth and well-cushioned toe-off, making the Centauri a great option for those that want a daily training option that can handle a little uptempo work. A comfortable upper that provides plenty of stretch in the front makes for a comfortable fit over longer miles. Those wanting a standard daily trainer for hammering miles that need some extra volume in the forefoot may want to look at this shoe.

: New Balance 880 v12, ASICS Cumulus 24


The 361 Centauri fits me true to size in my normal men's US size 10. The length is normal in the heel, slightly wider in the midfoot and higher volume in the forefoot. The length fits me slightly long based on measuring from the end of my largest toe to the end of the toe box. However, due to some mild bunching of the insole at the toe box, it fits me true to size. The width is slightly wide up front, but the upper allows for additional height and stretch beyond what I expected. This allowed me to splay my toes easily without feeling like the toe box was massive. The midfoot features a thin tongue that is not gusseted. It is attached to the laces and features a cut out for the ankle. I did have some mild tongue slippage, but nothing major. The laces are traditional but did bite down on the top of my foot if I tried to tighten them down. Fortunately, I did not need additional security as the rearfoot features a normal fit with a ton of heel collar cushioning and a large heel counter. My heels were well padded from the heel counter, which wraps fairly far forward on both the medial and lateral sides of the foot. However, those sensitive to heel counters should be cautious with this shoe as the heel collar cushioning breaks in as it is quite stiff. The stiffness does provide additional security and seems to keep my heel locked in. The internal mesh is quite comfortable and I was able to handle a large number of sockless miles in this shoe. I would still suggest keeping socks as the overlays in the midfoot did cause some rubbing and mild irritation. 


The 361 Centauri is a well cushioned daily training shoe. The new ENGAGE midsole provides a moderate and comfortable level of softness. The sole compresses well underfoot and provides a little bounce back. This makes it best for daily training miles and a little uptempo work (strides, mild fartleks, etc). The weight feels like a slightly lighter but sturdy training shoe at 9.8 oz (10.3 oz men's size 10). There is a 9mm heel drop and the ride feels like that even with the midsole compression. There is a posterior lateral heel bevel. However, the heel transition is a little clunky due to posterior flaring of the midsole. As the midsole breaks in more this eases up a little. Landing farther forward in this shoe feels far better. There is no plate in this shoe and a mild amount of forefoot flexibility. This is paired with a good forefoot rocker that makes for an excellent transition off the front of the shoe. The front of the 361 Centauri feels best at easy paces and the transition off the toes is a little slow for faster miles. The midsole cushioning is consistent at the forefoot, with plenty of protection and gentle compression underfoot.

The midfoot transition is smooth thanks to a full ground contact outsole. The midfoot outsole is exposed ENGAGE with extensive rubber coverage at the forefoot and small pieces at the rearfoot. Traction on weight pavement is fairly good in this shoe. This is a road shoe and the exposed midsole makes me hesitant to take this on anything but the road. Thus I would stick to even surfaces in this shoe, although it can handle well-groomed trails.

Despite the small patches of outsole coverage at the heel, the durability has been solid. After 35 miles, there is barely any wear at my normal spots on the outsole. Additionally, the ENGAGE midsole has continued to soften and feels better with each run. Thus, I expect this shoe to last an above-average number of miles for those who land a little farther forward and want a well-cushioned daily training shoe.


The 361 Centauri is a neutral shoe with no traditional methods of stability. However, there are some mild guidance methods in the rearfoot. The large, stiff and forward-reaching heel counter helps center the heel upon landing. There are also small sidewalls on both the medial and lateral side of the rearfoot. The heel sole is also wider and transitions into a midfoot with a little medial flare. This provides for a borderline stable neutral ride in the rearfoot and a neutral ride throughout the rest of the shoe. Those with neutral mechanics will do best in this shoe or those with mild stability needs in the heel that can tolerate neutral shoes.

Footwear Science: The Impact of Integrating a Posterior Heel Bevel
By Chief Editor Matt Klein 

I am excited to see 361 integrate a solid posterior lateral bevel into one of their shoes. I repeatedly talk about this due to the majority of people landing at the posterior lateral heel. This is completely normal. If you have outsole wear at the back outside heel of your shoes, you are sadly just like everyone else (please remember I grew up in Portland, Oregon where it is preferable to be different). As discussed many times before, a heel bevel in a shoe is important to maintain the naturally curved heel bone that helps preserve forward motion upon heel landing. It is normal for the foot to be inverted upon landing (sole facing inward), causing a landing at the outside part of the heel. This sets the foot up to pronate inward upon landing, helping to facilitate some of the normal shock-absorbing mechanisms of the foot and ankle. A posterior lateral bevel helps to ease this transition, as opposed to a centered bevel which creates a large lateral flare. A lateral flare can be good in some cases, but at this point often pitches the ankle inward faster than it may normally go. Hence having the bevel placed laterally where most people land.

This bevel does need to be centered under the heel. If it is displaced posteriorly, as seen with the posterior sole flare in the Centauri, this may still cause an abrupt/early landing. Given the sole is an extension of the foot, an overly extended sole may cause an impact before the body is ready. The shock-absorbing muscles of the lower extremity turn on prior to landing to prepare to eccentrically absorb the impact forces during footstrike. If a mechanism of the shoe causes an early landing, the body may come in contact with the ground before these muscles are ready. This can lead to that clunky feeling, which is why I am often opposed to posterior flare. This can be somewhat offset by a softer sole, which compresses and can dampen the feeling of this early landing. However, it would be better if this posterior was removed altogether, which would reduce weight and improve the transition of the heel. Those who land farther forward will not be impacted by this at all, but for the >70-90% of runners who heel strike, this may be noticeable (De Almeida et al., 2015; Hasegawa et al., 2007; Larson et al., 2011).


de Almeida, M. O., Saragiotto, B. T., Yamato, T. P., & Lopes, A. D. (2015). Is the rearfoot pattern the most frequently foot strike pattern among recreational shod distance runners?. 
Physical Therapy in Sport16(1), 29-33.

Hasegawa, H., Yamauchi, T., & Kraemer, W. J. (2007). Foot strike patterns of runners at the 15-km point during an elite-level half marathon. 
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research21(3), 888.

Larson, P., Higgins, E., Kaminski, J., Decker, T., Preble, J., Lyons, D., ... & Normile, A. (2011). Foot strike patterns of recreational and sub-elite runners in a long-distance road race. 
Journal of Sports Sciences29(15), 1665-1673.


The 361 Centauri is a major turning point for 361 (along with the Spire 5). I found everything about this shoe to be an improvement from prior models from 361. The upper has more volume and does not crunch my toes. The sole actually has great cushioning and is fun to get miles in. There is a posterior lateral bevel in the heel, which does help somewhat with the rearfoot transition. My only suggestions are primarily located at the rearfoot. While I mentioned there is a heel bevel (which again, good job 361), it is offset by a large posterior flare. This is unnecessary for two reasons. It adds extra weight that could easily be taken off and it causes a clunky early initial contact despite the bevel. My primary suggestion for 361 is to reduce this so the bevel can shine and create the comfortable rearfoot transition I know this shoe is capable of. My minor suggestion would be to gusset and thicken the tongue to protect the top of the foot from the laces and more security. This is only because I experienced some mild slippage and irritation. This shoe demonstrates a positive trajectory for 361 that makes me excited to see what comes next.


The 361 Centauri is a daily trainer with a higher volume forefoot, a secure heel and a cushioned ride. The upper provides a little extra room especially in the forefoot while gently locking in the heel. The new ENGAGE midsole compresses well, providing plenty of comfortable protection underfoot. Although there is a lateral heel bevel, the posterior flare makes rearfoot landings a little clunky. Thus, those who land a little farther forward, want a neutral, cushioned ride (with a slightly stable heel) and extra volume in the forefoot may be interested in the 361 Centauri as a daily training/mileage shoe.


Fit: B/B+ (Higher volume forefoot with a secure heel. Some bunching on the insole at the front and lace pinching at the top of the tongue if tightened)
Performance: B+ 
(Well cushioned ride with new ENGAGE midsole. Slightly clunky heel with smooth midfoot and forefoot transition for easy miles and mild uptempo work)
Stability: B+ [Neutral] (Slightly wider sole, small heel sidewalls and stiff counter create mildly stable rearfoot, but neutral ride overall)
DPT/Footwear Science: B+ (Better integration of new midsole materials, more volume in upper. Good attempt at lateral heel bevel, but needs to be centered under heel without posterior flare)
Personal: B/B+ (Comfortable cushioning that feels better to land farther forward. Heel still a bit clunky. Traditional trainer. Not the absolute best shoe, but a solid, decently priced daily trainer)
Overall: B/B+ 


Price: $130 at 361

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Editor's Note: As always, the views presented on this website belong to myself or the selected few who contribute to these posts. This website should not and does not serve as a replacement for seeking medical care. If you are currently injured or concerned about an injury, please see your
local running physical therapist. If you are in the Los Angeles area, I am currently taking clients for running evaluations.

***Disclaimer: These shoes were provided free of charge in exchange for a review.  We thank the people at 361 USA for sending us a pair.  This in no way affected the honesty of this review. We systematically put each type of shoe through certain runs prior to review. For trainers and performance trainers, we take them on daily runs, workouts, recovery runs and a long run prior to review (often accumulating anywhere from 20-50 miles in the process). For racing flats we ensure that we have completed intervals, a tempo or steady state run as well as a warm-up and cool down in each pair prior to review. This systematic process is to ensure that we have experience with each shoe in a large variety of conditions to provide expansive and thorough reviews for the public and for companies. Our views are based on our extensive history in the footwear industry and years testing and developing footwear. If you are a footwear rep looking for footwear reviews or consultations on development, we are currently looking to partner with companies to assist, discuss and promote footwear models. Partnership will not affect the honesty of our reviews.

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