In a year where every running brand seems to be launching their own carbon plated race shoe, Chinese company, 361 Degrees drops an update to the popular Feisu 2. A lightweight shoe that's focussed heavily on getting you across the finish line in the fastest possible time.
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Like the previous version, 361 Degrees has stuck with the idea that less is more, stripping down the shoe to the essentials that you need for race day. We've been putting the shoe to the test to see if it's an option worth looking when you're chasing that next PB.
Price: $119.95 | Weight: 204g/ 8oz (men) 165g/ 5.80oz (women) | Type: Road/Race | Stability: Neutral | Heel to toe drop: 9mm | Sizing: Sizing is correct but does feel thin around the midfoot | Alternatives: adidas SL20, On Cloudflash, New Balance FuelCell Rebel
For us, the 361 Degrees range has always seemed a bit behind the curve in terms of design aesthetics. That's not to say some of the other products aren't nice looking shoes, more that they can look a bit dated in comparison to other options out there at the moment.
The Feisu 2 doesn't follow in the same vein, offering an interesting and slightly retro style that stands out rather proudly with one white, red an blue colorway that we're a big fan of.
The technology and features that you'll find in the Feisu 2 are essentially a slimmed-down version of what you'll find across the rest of the 361 Degrees range. Ultimately because features tend to mean more weight, and that is not something that this shoe wants.
That's not to say it doesn't have a few tricks up its sleeve in order to deliver the goods on race day. As well as the thin, breathable lightweight upper, there's also a MORPHIT microfibre mid-foot structure that sits around the mid-foot for support and a new outsole that features blown runner in the forefoot and carbon rubber in the heel for stability.
We've tested the Feisu 2 out between short distance speed runs up to 15k training runs. As you'd probably expect from a shoe with such a clear focus, it delivers the best results when it comes to picking up the pace.
It is, in every way, a shoe made for racing. It's noticeably light when you put it on and the upper designs straps your foot in securely meaning you can go flat out without a second thought about stability. That updated outsole does a good job offering a taster of cushioning that, twinned with the 9mm drop, makes for a more enjoyable ride that would get from something closer to a racing flat.
Despite the hint of cushioning, it's definitely not a training shoe, however it does offer just enough to make it slightly more palpable for someone looking for a fast lightweight shoe, but still needs a little bit of protection.
We found it works best for short distance speed training runs up to half marathon racing. For us, running a marathon in it may be a bit of a push, unless you're a veteran of more minimal shoes.
Perhaps the most impressive element of the shoes, especially considering the weight, is that update outsole. An addition that offers a surprisingly thick level of rubber that really helps to up the durability of the shoe. We've covered around 80km in it so far and it's showing very minimal signs of wear.
In terms of fit, the Feisu 2 is true to size, although those with wider feet may struggle with the mid-foot section of the shoe which is likely to feel restrictive when strapped down.
Overall, the Feisu 2 is a great shoe if your sole focus is chasing some fast times, either in speed sessions or in a road race. The design is limited to save weight but still has enough in terms of cushioning and supportive features to make it a stable and moderately comfortable piece of kit on race day.
If you're not interested in carbon plates or experimental new foam technology the Feisu 2 offers a simple but competent option for race day. The 9mm drop and slight cushioning – in comparison to a racing flat – make it worth a look if you're new to more minimalist shoes and want to test the water.