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361 Spire 5: A Refreshing Update
By Senior Contributor David Salas

The Spire has always been the premium daily training shoe from 361 for the neutral category. In the past, the Spire series has used a carbon fiber shank through the midfoot. The new Spire 5 receives some big updates. The midsole is now PEBA based for most of it and the carbon fiber shank was removed. The shoe creates a more daily pacing friendly feel and a relatively sturdy shoe to the premium training line. 

361 Degrees Spire 5
Price: $ at Running Warehouse
Weight: 10 oz, 283 g (men's size 9), 8.2 oz, 232 g  (women's size 8)
Stack Height: 29mm heel, 20mm forefoot (without insole)
Drop: 9mm
Classification: Premium Daily Trainer



RUNNING SHOE SUMMARY

The 361 Spire 5 is a premium daily trainer in the neutral category. The shoe provides good cushioning underfoot with a slightly stiff platform underfoot. The shoe feels much like a new generation version of a traditional high drop trainer on foot. For me this was actually a refreshing change for the Spire line and a shoe that felt much more comfortable at daily training paces.

SIMILAR SHOES
: Asics Nimbus 24, Mizuno Wave Sky 6

FIT

The 361 Spire 5 fits true to size in my men's 9.5. The mesh material is a little thicker throughout and runs a tad warm, though never provided any issues for me. The material has a little bit of stretch to it, but less than most other meshes I've run. The width in the heel and midfoot are normal with the forefoot being normal to slightly wide. The tongue is padded and does well with lockdown from the lacing system. The upper is pretty solid for the premium training category, though probably just a tad warmer than I'd normally like. I think airing it out slightly would make the experience more improved when logging longer mileage runs. 



PERFORMANCE

The Spire 5 made a lot of changes in the right direction for me. The PEBA-based midsole provides a soft underfoot foam that gives the toe off a nice sense of bounce and responsiveness. The shoe has a thin top sole that maintains a sense of firmness and helps keep the shoe feel grounded on the softer PEBA foam. The balance works pretty well I find. The shoe feels like a traditional high drop training shoe, but with a little more cushion underfoot. The ride feels a tad firmer than say the Saucony Triumph or ASICS Novablast because of the topsole. For those that struggle with these softer foams but like the feeling they get from it this provides some middle ground. The shoe has a very gently heel bevel that seems to work okay. The transition through the midfoot can be a tiny bit slappy but it honestly is pretty smooth. The toe off has some rigidity due to the thick outsole underfoot but still transitions well. The shoe does carry a little bit of weight underfoot.

For me, I find that I like running at natural easy paces in the Spire 5. I have noticed that the shoe responds decently well if I want to spice up the pacing which is fun, though still on the heavier end at faster paces. I feel pretty secure in the Spire 5 and find I can run in multiple footing and terrain as well. This a neutral workhorse trainer that can run on a little bit of everything.

STABILITY

I found the existing stability of the Spire 5 to be functional. The upper lockdown is pretty good throughout with minimal stretch. The outsole has pretty good grip and also provides some rigidity to the platform. The base underfoot feels pretty good and I do not find it to feel too narrow. The topsole also provides a pretty solid footbed under you. The shoe certainly still runs on the neutral end with no major stability mechanics in place, but I do think I'd place this is into that stable neutral middle ground thanks to the various elements discussed. 



Thoughts as a DPT: Dual Density Midsoles
By David Salas

One thing I find more and more common in recent years is dual density midsoles in training shoes. Dual density midsoles used to be something more indicative of a stability shoe. In recent times we are seeing so many companies playing with new materials to enhance the running experience through different properties. The 361 Spire 5 has two full length layers of midsole of different density. The majority of the midsole is PEBA based and gives a softer and bouncier experience. Along the top of the foam is a thin layer of a firmer top sole that creates a little more rigidity to the foot bed. This helps with creating a more natural experience on these softer foams. The Spire 5 can be a great shoe to transition to using PEBA. Because PEBA is softer and bouncier, it normally is a little more compliant. When the foam is more compliant our ankles and other joints need to maintain a little more stiffness around the joint to prevent any excessive movement. You can think of balancing on one foot on a soft spongy balance pad. Everything tightens up. When running, this is happening inside of us as we are landing and pushing off. These newer foams can provide more responsiveness, though increased intrinsic muscular demand. The firmer top sole seems to help with easing that process a little bit, though flattening out the toe off a tad. The usage of dual density midsoles are creating a fun avenue to play with materials in the footwear world. 



RECOMMENDATIONS

The 361 Spire 5 performed quite well for me. This is a shoe I find myself thinking about on easy days. I will say, the upper is on the thicker end and I would prefer it a little thinner and airy. The midfoot still has a little slap to it and I think either rounding the heel a little more or extending the outsole in the rearfoot a little more forward would create a little less flex and slap through that midfoot. 

WHO THIS SHOE IS FOR

The 361 is a premium daily training shoe for someone that likes the feeling of the newer PEBA based materials but still want to maintain a sense of firmness. The Spire 5 provides a ride that is similar with the "traditional" high drop trainers like an ASICS Nimbus, Mizuno Wave Rider, Brooks Ghost etc. with a slightly softer and bouncier feel. The shoe carries a little bit of weight to it but provides a consistent and reliable ride as a workhorse. I find I can take in most surfaces I wish to run in without much issue. 


GRADING

David
Fit: A- (Pretty neutral fit throughout with good lockdown. Upper runs warm.)
Performance: B+/A- 
(Weight takes some appeal away, though performs quite well as a premium performance trainer. Midfoot is a little slappy.)
Stability: A (I actually am really happy with the security of the Spire 5 as a premium daily trainer in the neutral category)
DPT/Footwear Science: A- (I like the integration of newer materials in a traditional feeling package)
Personal: B+ (I like this shoe a lot for my easy days, though it is still a little heavier than I normally run in and a little warmer than I'd normally like)
Overall: B+/A- (A solid daily training option in the premium trainer line, though a little heavy and warm)

SHOP | SUPPORT DOR

Price: $159.95 at 361 Degrees

*Using the following link to purchase helps support Doctors of Running. Thanks so much!

Check out Gear We Love
Ultraspire Fitted Race Belt: The best way to carry your phone and goods on the run. No bounce and various sizes for waist. (Also recommend the Naked belt)
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goodr Sunglases: Run in style with goodr's super fun sunglasses.
Feetures Socks: Massively grippy socks that will make you feel more one with the shoe
Amphipod Hydraform Handheld Water Bottle: Perfect for long runs when you need hydration in the summer
Trigger Point Foam Roller: Help get those knots out post-run and feel better for tomorrow
Theragun Massager: This small version is great on the go for working tired legs
Ciele Hat: Our team's favorite running hat of choice!


FURTHER READING

The Best Gifts for Runners -
Our favorite things we use daily!
Reebok Floatride Energy Symmetros 2 - A new sustainable upper tops this former favorite of ours
Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 Runshield - The weather resistant upper keeps you warm for winter
New Balance Fresh Foam X 860v13 - A big update to this classic stability cruiser
Topo Athletic Ultraventure 3 - Moderately high stacked road to trail runner with a wide fit
361 Degrees Centauri - A new, surprisingly solid daily from 361

Find all Shoe Reviews at Doctors of Running here.

Thanks for reading!

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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 Degrees 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.

Please feel free to reach out, comment and ask questions!
Contact us at doctorsofrunning@gmail.com


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Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 Runshield

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