After 400 miles, it's time for a review of the 361 Meraki running shoe. It's a lightweight responsive option that can be used for training and racing.
Who's it for?If you are looking at neutral road running shoes for getting the miles in, this should be on your radar. It can be used from 5k to Marathon.
Weight and Construction
The men's weight is listed as 289g, which makes it a little lighter than some of the competition.
The upper is an engineered mesh, so maps to the shape of the foot well. The sidewalls are quite flexible for comfort and get gradually stiffer towards the heel for stability. There is a firm heel counter to guide you during landing, with a reflective safety element too. At the front, there is a soft reinforcement over the outside of the toe mesh. The tongue, described as "pressure free" by 361, is impressively comfortable.
The midsole is 361's Qu!kfoam EVA along the full length, plus a carbon fibre layer, providing great cushion and a controlled feeling when the foot lands. The area under the forefoot is designed to be flexible, for a responsive feeling when you toe off again. A layer of harder wearing rubber at appropriate places extends the life of the shoe whilst still managing to keep the weight down.
Drop is 9mm, with stack of 12mm at the front and 21mm at the back.
On the road
I've tried most types of training sessions in the Meraki, from easy miles, to long runs (up to 20 miles) and faster tempo or fartlek days, and enjoyed them all. The responsive forefoot made the faster paced sessions great fun, but it was also perfect at plodding along at easy run pace. If anything it felt even better after a few runs than it did to start to with. Whilst it's a road shoe, I also tried it on some dry, flat trails, and it worked very well on those too.
Qu!kfoam is meant to retain the same level of energy return and comfort throughout the life of the shoe and I can say that this is true, feeling similar after 400 miles to when I first tried them, apart from a little insole compression as you'd expect after this amount of usage.
The most telling point is that if I wasn't quite sure what to wear from my current shoe selection, I'd often pick the Meraki as it's so versatile and enjoyable to run in.
Take a look at the 361 Meraki in our store.