Austin: Preamble, In my review of the 361 Degrees Sensation 2 last June, I, along with Thomas and Meaghan, critiqued the shoe’s heavyweight (among other things). Version two weighed more than the original, but the designers of the Sensation 3 have made some drastic changes based on the feedback they received. Thomas said of the Sensation 2, “There is just too much going on in this shoe.” Let’s unpack his remark from last year as we revisit this daily trainer a third time.
Runners who lamented the weight of the Sensation 2 can rejoice as it has drastically come down in version 3. Those synthetic overlays across the upper? Gone. An external heel counter? Gone. The TPU stability shank? Gone. Lots of foam? Gone. The Sensation 3 is proof that weight can be shed without sacrificing comfort and structure. The retooled mesh upper – minus the overlays – gives the toes ample room to spread without a locked-down feeling. Fewer overlays also means the shoe breathes better and will accommodate more foot types from a width standpoint.
Like the Chaser 2, 361 added a carbon fiber plate (the QU!K Spine) in the Sensation 3 for torsional rigidity. QU!KFOAM is retained too, along with a medial post for runners who exhibit mild to moderate overpronation. The outsole pattern has also been reconfigured, though I didn’t observe it has having a positive impact on the shoe’s ride. Still, the simplification of the Sensation 3 from top to bottom made for a better ride than version 2 as a lot of bulk was shed in the time between the two versions. The drop also stayed the same at 9 millimeters.
Erin: Alright, so this section isn’t going to be very long. There were a lot of things that contributed to my dislike of this shoe. Even so, I didn’t really have any issues with the ride itself. The shoe is pretty firm but reasonably responsive, with a smooth transition. The midsole is 361’s QU!CKFOAM, which isn’t anything groundbreaking: it’s an EVA-rubber blend encapsulated in PU. The company’s tagline for QU!CKFOAM is “consistent cushioning and comfort”; I’d agree with the first bit. It feels good underfoot, and together with the dense rubber outsole, I imagine that this is a shoe you can get a lot of miles out of. I’d say that the Sensation 3 is very similar to the Asics GT-2000, if you’re looking for a comparative shoe. As a matter of fact, I did a short test run with one Sensation and one GT-2000, and if it weren’t for the fit issues with the Sensation, I’d have had a hard time differentiating the two.