361° Sensation 2 – a long term test by heart
Kai Markus – the best test runner – sent us his extraordinary test results of the Sensation 2. Thanks Kai for the strong belief in our brand and the product we create. Read his review here!
361° Sensation 2 (UZB1 - Uzbekistan1)- Review based on long term usage
START KM: 4792 – Uzbekistan border
FINISH KM: 5733 – Buchara, Uzbekistan
TOTAL DISTANCE: 941 KM
TERRAIN: Street, sand, pebble, scree, rocks, mud, salty underground, thorns, scrub and cacti (mainly street 30%; dessert sand 25%; pebble, scree, rocks, thorns, scrub and cacti 30%; others 15%)
TEMPERATURE: 15°C - 48°C (mainly more than 35-40°C)
WEATHER: Dry, warm, dessert, rain (less than 5%)
USAGE TIME: 17 days / 10-18 hours each day. Each day take shoes on and off about 5-12 times and more
TEST RESULT (by Kai Markus)
“The shoes I have been receiving are all standard without any changes from the factory even without any customization (that was one of my requirements while choosing a brand for the project). So the shoes I tested are from stock – they can be bought in shops or online.
This pair of shoes I have been reviewing here (“UZB1” is the name I have given them – it is already the 9th pair of shoes on my tour) and have been worn the longest time from all shoes - more than 940 KM in about 17 days.
To understand the usage of shoes you may know I never open them once tied up the laces. That means I slip in and out the shoes without tying the laces again. On a normal running day, I take them off about more than 5-12 times a day. Why? I want to prevent blisters by taking out every little stone and during breaks to dry my socks as well the insides of the shoes. Wet feed are usually cause blisters and while I’m running in desert area my feet are always sweating. This is not related to these shoes, because I tried several shoes from different companies before. It is just my feet. The first thing I have been expecting was that the back of the shoe will be broken fast. In and out without opening the laces killed already a lot of my shoes I have tried before my trip. As you can see at the pictures, the Sensation 2 made a great job! Not one broken part in the back of the shoe which still impresses me a lot. Especially because this part scratches a lot after it has been broken and additional blisters will appear easily. BTW: Running on the Sensation 2 I never had a single blister at my achilles - Which is another surprise.
Cushioning and stability
Let me tell you one thing first: from my professional understanding running shoes should be changed after 450-550 km – at least for runners taller than 180 cm and with a weight above 70 kg. Why? To avoid the risk of shin splints and further injuries. You might think I am getting paid to say this - no not at all. Try to run on a pair of shoes for 500 km and than change into the exact same style of the same the brand - you will feel and experience the huge difference especially in cushioning. Well, I run my 361° Sensation 2 now for more than 940 km which is not recommended especially for the distance of my project, but I did it on purpose! Because I wanted to check the limit of the shoe. My personal limit, I know it quite well and I wanted to run this shoe until their death. Believe me or not - this is impossible at this number of KM I have been running on them. As you can see in the pictures, the sole is strongly used, but still in a good shape. The decrease in cushion of the QU!KFOAM is not easy to measure so I tried several times a new pair of the same shoe to compare. After about 600 km I could feel a change to softer or weaker cushioning. It was not a big difference, but enough to realize it would better to change into a new pair of shoes. After 800 km I strongly felt a difference to new shoes and I already felt the first problems coming at my shin, heel and knees. (One reason why I made the test now is because I finally know my body quite well after more than 5000 km running. I know exactly if the pain is caused by long distance or by the shoe itself). Now I can see that ± 600 km is the healthy maximum of this shoe. To understand the result, you need to know I run about 60% on heel, 20% on forefoot and 20% on middle foot. Also my steps are more economically than other runners. I slide more short above the ground than to lift up the feet very high. This have impact to the sole and usage there. The abrasion is stronger than for other runners. But in the end, I have to say this shoe is a small miracle. No relax time for the shoes in Uzbekistan and they still made a good job after running this distance in a very challenging terrain. I have been running on a lot of different shoes in my life, but I only found one running shoe of a competitor brand that keeps up with the 361° Sensation 2.
Inside of the 361º Sensation2
I totally care for the upper and inside of the shoe. This is a crucial part because you cannot immediately see the changes caused by the usage of the shoe. Only when we take out the insole. But there are just a few runners who seriously take care of the inside. I do care - every evening.
- I dry the inside of the shoe and insole separately.
- I take out all dirt and little stones.
- I immediately see small damages inside of the shoe.
- By doing so I prevent the bad smelling of the shoe.
Inside the seam there isn’t one broken part. I'm not a very heavy runner but still as I can see the quality is very high. I compared with several other brands/shoes and can see the difference. After 300-400km strong usage some other shoes are already broken inside or deform, but not the 361º Sensation2. The combination of cushioning, responsiveness and stability is one of the reasons why this shoe lasts for so long.
Let's talk about the front part of the shoe. I used them on very challenging surfaces where people usually would prefer wearing trail running shoes. Of course the stability of the front you can't compare with the stabilityand grip trail shoes provide, but I am impressed to see that this "all-round" shoe does an amazing job off road. Several other shoes I tried before, can't compete with the off road performance of the Sensation 2. Also the grip is great. I tried this shoe already 700 km on snow and ice - now on sand in the desert - a great reliable product. Worth the word: "all-round talent"! There’s only one small negative thing I could find: It is not the best shoe for running on sand! The upper material (mesh) is good for letting the feet breathe without getting wet feet easily. But sand and dust get inside though easily. This increases the risk of blisters dramatically because the sand makes the shoe much tighter. I can easily help myself by getting rid of the sand as fast as possible, but for my purposes the upper material could be a little bit protective. Small stones on the other hand which can kill your feet are not a big problem with this upper material. They fit close around the leg without being to tight. Great!
The 361° Sensation 2 is a well performing running shoe. The shoes are not only made for longer runs like I currently do, it is an all day running shoe for most of the "average" runners. You can wear the shoes easily for other activities, e.g. hiking, cycling etc. The quality of the shoe is on same level as all other big brands in the running industry or even better. If you are looking for a shoe provided with adequate cushioning to prevent you from knee, shin or waist injuries, the 361° Sensation 2 is definitely a shoe for you. You can run this shoe easily forefoot or middle foot - even it was created for heel strikers.
With the 361º Sensation 2 you have a shoe for all terrains e.g. street, forest, and even off road. The platform compensates several wrong running styles and helps you to have fun while running. After several tests and especially after this long distance test - I have to point out: The Sensation 2 helps me to perform beyond my expectations.
Xiong, Kai Markus