361 Degrees Fierce Performance Review
NICK: The 361 Degrees Fierce was a first for me, as I’d never run in the brand before. This was an exciting experience for me, as I’m trying to sample a little of every brand out there to really get a feel for the market. The Fierce showed some promise, but one crucial element held it back from being a really great shoe.
COURTNEY: When I opened this box, my first thought was… 36-who? I wasn’t sure what to expect with the 361 Degrees Fierce. This neutral road shoe really surprised me, even maybe inspired me to want to train for another road marathon.
NICK: The upper on the Fierce is simple yet brilliant. A seamless knit comfortably wraps the foot and provides solid structure with very few if any overlays. Breathable yet stable, I’m excited to see how it fairs in the scorching spring and summer in Arizona.
The flared heel counter is exceptional, with padding around the Achilles to pile on the comfort. Maybe it’s a little too stiff for some, but I had no issues with it.
To top it off, the Fierce has a very roomy toe box. At no point does the foot ever feel cramped or hot, there’s plenty of room for your feet to lay naturally. Overall, the fit of this shoe is superb.
Also, no shoe is $110 anymore. Points for value.
COURTNEY: 361 Degrees prides itself on innovation and it’s easy to see when you slip into these shoes. The Qu!kSpring+ midsole, which is supposed to be the most responsive compound at 361, offers exceptional cushioning and noticeable energy return.
The knit upper is aesthetically pleasing, comfortable and the pressure-free tongue, which seems to be in most 361 shoes, is incredibly soft and doesn’t slip around. After running in the Fierce a few times, I assumed these shoes would retail for around $140. I was shocked to see the $110 price point, an impressive mark for the quality of shoe.
AUSTIN: I’ve reviewed numerous 361 Degrees shoes, and I continue to be wowed by the brand’s progress as they square off against other major players in the marketplace. Their newest trainer, the Fierce, may just be 361’s best offering yet.
Contrary to its name, the Fierce exudes simplicity: a seamless knit upper, flat, firm laces, and a heel collar taper that reminds me of the Clifton 7. The Fierce sports QU!KSPRING+, the godfather of midsole compounds. Despite the proliferation of super shoes, EVA, when done right, is still king.
According to 361, QU!KSPRING+ “reduces compression.” On foot, that translates to a firm ride. Taking the Fierce out of the box and pressing the midsole with my fingers, I thought it would be harsh on my feet. Thankfully, I completed multiple runs without any pain. The Fierce comes in at a respectable 9.8 ounces in a men’s 9 with an 8 mm drop. Step-in comfort rocks and toe box space is generous.Shop Fierce – Men Shop Fierce – Women
NICK: I just don’t know what this shoe is.
The QU!IKSPRING+ midsole doesn’t do it for me. Out of the box, it felt very firm. I told myself “Just wait till it softens up, all these shoes do.” So I waited. And waited. And waited. This midsole does not soften at all, as its comfort doesn’t seem to match that of the upper. It’s just a firm slab of EVA with no life to it. It’s a pretty disappointing feeling, knowing that the midsole doesn’t really offer you anything other than protection from the ground. It’s not soft enough to be a long-run shoe and not lively enough to pick up the pace. Also, it’s an exposed EVA with rubber in the toe and heel. I’m worried about how long it’ll take for the already dead midsole to kill over.
The laces are mediocre. I always double tie my running shoes, and the Fierce unraveled a fair amount, at least every other run. It’s a small detail, but something that a good-to-great running shoe should have figured out.
As for the tongue, I don’t have much of an issue with it, but it could be a bit lower.
COURTNEY: The only issue I experienced was with the laces. Even when the laces were double knotted they would come undone on each run.
AUSTIN: I’m still partial to rounded laces, and that preference keeps fueling my suspicion that flat laces are more prone to unraveling. I double-knot my Fierce laces during every run, and they were still squirrely, coming undone at inopportune times.
Also, I still don’t care for the 361 brand tongue. They tout it as a “pressure-free” tongue, but I sometimes have instep pain after a run in the Fierce. We talk about shoes and their tongue game all the time at BITR, 361 needs to tone it down.
Finally, aside from some carbon rubber in the heel and forefoot, a large portion of the midsole is exposed on the bottom. All that exposed EVA makes me question how long this shoe will actually last.Shop Fierce – Men Shop Fierce – Women
NICK: I’m so confused by the 361 Degrees Fierce. It’s kind of like any of The Hobbit movies. Is it good? No. But is it particularly bad? Also no. The Fierce is a shoe with some potential but needs an overhaul underfoot to be considered a top daily trainer.
COURTNEY: A friend and I have exchanged multiple text messages about how much we like the 361 Degrees Fierce. I was pleasantly surprised by this shoe, as it’s become a go-to road trainer in my rotation.
AUSTIN: I’m stuck on how I feel about the 361 Degrees Fierce. At $110, its value as a daily trainer is superb. Conversely, after a ten-mile run, my feet feel trashed. The knit upper is outstanding, and I love the heel cushioning and Achilles support. If you like a firm ride, pick this one up.
You can pick up the 361 Degrees Fierce for $110 by using the shop link below.Shop Fierce – Men Shop Fierce – Women
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