Before 2018, I had never heard of 361 Degrees. But after my first run in the Spire 3, I was hooked.

Women’s Meraki 2 shoe

Related: What we think of the new Spire 3

361 Degrees was created by Otto Lin and Jim Monahan, and they have since made strides in the running and triathlon community. Worn by 2018 WTS runner-up Katie Zaferes, 361 Degrees is a brand you’ll want to keep an eye out for in your local running store.

361’s QU!KFOAM midsole material

According to the company, Meraki is Greek for the soul or creativity you put into a task – kind of like the soul you put into running and triathlon. In its second edition, the Meraki shoe retains its combination of cushioning and responsiveness provided by 361’s QU!KFOAM midsole material. My first experience with this technology came while testing the Spire 3, and I was relieved to get that same smooth feeling when making ground contact with the Meraki 2.

361 Degrees Meraki 2

Type: neutral cushioning
Heel-toe drop: 9 mm
Weight: 9.6 oz. (men’s), 8 oz. (women’s)
MSRP: $169.99

Flex grooves in the forefoot outsole mimic the foot’s natural motion at toe-off

For heel-strikers who like a lot of cushioning under the heel, the shoe has a 9 mm drop. The Meraki 2 keeps most of its defining features, including its thin tongue, molded heel counter and the outsole’s carbon fibre plate. Flex grooves in the forefoot outsole mimic the foot’s natural motion at toe-off, providing both traction and acceleration.

Improvements include 0.6 oz. less weight, a sleek new streamlined upper with enhanced breathability, and a new internal Fitz-Rite wrapping system.

Improvements to the original Meraki include 0.6 oz. less weight, a sleek new streamlined upper with enhanced breathability, and a new internal Fitz-Rite wrapping system features webbing on the inside to hold the foot securely in place, meaning the outside can be smooth and aerodynamic. The shoe’s just-wide-enough toebox prevents excessive movement in the shoe, and features like the shoe’s thin, pressure-free tongue and molded insole mean you’ll be problem-free, whether you’re doing pickups on the track, or going long on a Sunday morning.

The shoes are available online and in local running shops.

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