Wednesday, June 28, 2023

On Cloudboom Echo 3 Multi Tester Review: 16 Comparisons

Article by Ryan Eiler, Derek Li and Joost De Raeymaeker

On Cloudboom Echo 3 ($290)


The ON Cloudboom Echo 3 has been spotted on the feet of their professional runners for over a year now. It is easily the most anticipated super shoe release for the second half of this year. The original Cloudboom Echo had a very aggressive rockered ride, and many runners felt it was too firm for the marathon distance. The Echo 3 is widely expected to address this with a more forgiving ride. How does it stack up against the latest crop of super shoes? Read on to find out. 


Upper: Superbly crafted precision fitting with great comfort upper also includes multiple lacing options: Sam/Joost/Derek

Smooth front roll without a mid foot plate hump that has to be consistently “found” for the shoe to work: Sam/Ryan/Derek

Heel is more stable than most comparable ‘supers’ - Ryan/Sam/Joost/Derek

Aesthetic is clean and sleek - Ryan/Joost/Sam/Derek

Feels nimble and fast - Joost/Sam


Not a slower paces plated shoe. Plate just ahead of the heel is firm and over rigid. 8:10 or faster per mile needed for most:  Sam/Ryan/Joost/Derek

Top level pricing at $289 Sam/Ryan/Joost/Derek

Not as quick or forgiving as shoes of comparable price - Ryan/Sam/Derek

Upper doesn’t lock down foot as well as competitors - Ryan

Toe box feels too unstructured for a racing shoe - Ryan

Upper rubs a bit over top of first metatarsal - Joost

Outsole design/durability - Ryan

Tester Profiles (in brief, full run bios below)

Ryan, 37  is a 2:18 marathoner (2023) who trains in the Boston area

Derek, 40 is a 2:39 marathoner who trains in Singapore

Joost, 55 is a 2:26 marathoner (2019 at age 51) who trains in Angola, Africa

Salomon Running Courtney Dauwalter Shortney Tee and Shorts Reviews.

Article by Renee Krusemark

Salomon Running Shortney Tee ($70) and Shortney Shorts ($90)

Courtney Dauwalter remains [un]arguably one of the best (if not THE BEST) ultra trail runners, only adding to her credentials after smashing the Western States course record in 2023 by over an hour! 

Photo Credit: Oliver Denton for Salomon

Her fun-loving attitude and race day smiles embody the trail atmosphere us mediocre runners enjoy. Salomon wasn’t wrong to finally sell her signature long shorts and tee in a women’s specific style. While the Shortney Short Sleeve T-Shirt and Shortney Shorts won’t make you faster, you might have more fun wearing the gear while hopping around on single track. Plus, “sky’s out, thighs out” doesn’t have to be our motto, ladies. Cover those legs if it makes you comfortable.

First, both the shirt and shorts are quality performance wear from Salomon. Add in the Courtney-inspired style and the $70 (tee) and $90 (shorts) price tags are reasonable compared to similar products. 

Testbericht: HOKA Tecton X 2 | Gutes noch besser gemacht (German)

Artikel von Marcel Krebs 

HOKA Tecton X 2 (220€)


Fast genau ein Jahr ist es nunmehr her, dass ich die Originalversion des HOKA Tecton-X testen durfte. Der Tecton-X überzeugte auf ganzer Linie und wurde am Ende des Jahres folgerichtig auch mein Trailschuh des Jahres 2022 (Testbericht hier). 

Darüber hinaus war er mein Wettkampf-Schuh für alle Distanzen zwischen 30-60km und zudem eines der wenigen Modelle, ich die zwischenzeitlich bereits nachgekauft habe. Ein größeres Kompliment kann man als Schuhtester einem Modell kaum machen.

Umso gespannter war ich, als ich im Frühjahr die Nachricht bekam, den Nachfolger bereits frühzeitig testen zu dürfen. Denn während bei Erscheinen des Tecton-X 1 die Anzahl an Laufschuhen mit Carbonplatte noch vergleichsweise überschaubar war, hat sich seitdem einiges am Markt getan, z.B. in Form der TNF Flight VECTIV Series (Deutscher Testbericht hier) sowie des jüngst erschienen Nike ZoomX Ultrafly (Englischer Testbericht hier).

Über welche Neuerungen der Tecton-X 2 verfügt, welche bewährten Vorzüge beibehalten wurden und wie er sich im Vergleich zur Konkurrenz geschlagen hat, erfahrt ihr in den nachfolgenden Abschnitten.

Tuesday, June 27, 2023

Nike ZoomX Ultrafly Trail Multi Tester Review: 10 Comparisons

Article by Sam Winebaum, Mike Postaski, and Jeff Valliere

Nike ZoomX Ultrafly Trail ($250)


Sam: The Ultrafly Trail, releasing August 2023, is Nike’s first true entry in the high performance ultra run category. It features a full Zoom X midsole as in the Vaporfly and Alphafly but here wrapped in a tight outer fabric that protects the foam and stabilizes along with a full FlyPlate carbon plate for protection and propulsion. 

In a huge and welcome change, at long last, Nike Trail gets new “tires” with a state of the art Vibram MegaGrip with Traction Lugs Lite Base outsole. Long a weak point for Nike Trail shoes on wet rock, the Vibram is proven and effective. 

Ultra shoes these days mean higher stack and here we have a 38.5 mm heel / 30 mm forefoot ( 8.5 mm drop spec). My US8.5 sample weighs 9.8 oz / 278g so about 10 oz in a US9. This is very respectable for the stack height and full coverage outsole  but heavier than I might have imagined given Zoom X is so light in Nike road racers and that its most direct competitor in stack, carbon plated and purpose the Hoka Tecton X 2 weighs about 1 oz / 28g less. We’ll try to figure out why! 


So where will this top end $250 new shoe fit in and how did it perform?  Mike ran them in Idaho including for part of a 175 mile Boise Trails Challenge and I tested them New Hampshire where I not only ran them on trail  well as  paved and gravel dirt  roads and even took them up the Rock Pile in the all uphill, and lots of it, Mt Washington Road Race. 

And we now also have just in race results as Tyler Green and Anthony Cosatles wore the Ultrafly  to 2nd and 3d places at the 2023 Western States 100, a smoother trails fast course. Promising for sure! Let’s get into it.


Fast door to trail, gravel, road and smooth terrain, a deep, soft cushioned and plate powered “near” rocket: Sam/Jeff/Mike P

No plate harshness, easy to roll on moderate terrain and flats with full carbon plate well masked by the soft Zoom X foam: Sam/Jeff/Mike P

First Vibram outsole ever (or certainly in recent memory) on a Nike.  About time we got some MegaGrip chez Nike! : Sam/Jeff/Mike P

Fit/comfort: Jeff/Mike P/Sam


Best run faster and on moderate grades due to broad flat rear of shoe, stiffness of plate, and upper: Sam/Jeff/Mike P

Wish plate/shoe was more flexible: Sam/Jeff

Why not a more flexible (and lower cost) nylon plate here? for slower paces and for steep climbs: Sam/Jeff

Surprisingly “heavy” at 10 oz US9 given ZoomX is such a light foam and upper is in no way hefty:  Sam/Jeff/Mike P

Pricing at $250. Rich for any trail shoe, even one as here with a carbon plate and supercritical Zoom X foam: Sam/Jeff/Mike P

Too soft underfoot impacting stability? Mike P/Sam

Monday, June 26, 2023

Gossamer Gear Fast Kumo 36 Fastpack Review

Article by Markus Zinkl

Gossamer Gear Fast Kumo 36 ($190.00)


When it comes to fastpacking, a lightweight and efficient backpack is essential for tackling long-distance trails and multi-day adventures. The Gossamer Gear Kumo 36 has earned a reputation as a reliable companion for those seeking a balance between minimalism and functionality. 

Gossamer Gear now introduced a new edition to the Kumo line. The Kumo 36 Fast. With its streamlined design and an impressive array of features, the Fast Kumo 36 aims to meet the needs of fast packers and ultralight backpackers alike. In this review, we will explore the strengths and capabilities of the Fast Kumo 36, highlighting its features, performance, sizing and fit. Whether you're a seasoned fastpacker or someone venturing into the world of ultralight backpacking, join us as we delve into the details of the Gossamer Gear Fast Kumo 36 to see if it lives up to its reputation as an ideal choice for lightweight, fast-and-light adventures.

Friday, June 23, 2023

Testbericht: The North Face Summit VECTIV Sky & VECTIV PRO 2.0 (German)

Artikel von Marcel Krebs, Nils Scharff, Markus Zinkl

The North Face Summit VECTIV PRO 2.0 (€250) 

The North Face Summit VECTIV Sky (€200)


Marcel: Nicht erst seit der ganz unbescheiden schlicht “The Running Event” (TRE) getauften großen Sportartikelmesse im Winter war mein Interesse an der neuen Summit VECTIV Serie von The North Face geweckt. 

Vielmehr hatten die TNF-Athleten bereits entsprechende Prototypen beim UTMB in Chamonix getragen. So waren beispielsweise die CCC-Gewinnerin Katie Schiede als auch unsere deutsche Lokalmatadorin Ida-Sophie Hegemann in Prototypen des Summit VECTIV PRO 2.0 am Start gewesen. 

Umso gespannter war ich daher, als im Frühjahr sodann Testexemplare des Sky sowie des PRO 2.0 bei mir eintrafen. 

Wie sich die beiden neuen Modelle aus dem Hause TNF im Praxistest geschlagen haben und welche Eindrücke Nils, Markus und ich hierbei gesammelt haben, erfahrt ihr in den nächsten Abschnitten. 

Thursday, June 22, 2023

Fractel Hats Multi Tester Multi Hats Reviews: Fun and High Performance Running Lids!

Article by Jana Herzgova, Renee Krusemark, John Tribbia, Michael Postaski and Sam Winebaum

Fractel Hats 

B Series-Bucket ($60), M Series ($42-$45), F Series ($40-45), L Series- Legionnaire ($48-$55)


Fractel is an Australian company and run hats are their only game! We first heard of them through our Australian contributor Bryan who raved about them. Now they are available more broadly including in the US, France, and the UK as well as of course Australia. 

A cap is a cap, a bucket hat a bucket hat, right? Well not quite as here we have superbly designed and assembled lids designed for running with just the right combination of brim and side panel structure to go with super soft, super breathable crowns including PolarTec PowerDry. The sweatbands are stout and work, the construction is impeccable and we think the detailing is fun. There are many, many fun colors for each series.

Fractels are made from 100% recycled Bluesign certified fibers. Fractel is also a 1% for the Planet contributor.

Performance has been outstanding for our testers in Utah, Idaho, Colorado, Nebraska and New Hampshire. Read on the details and our reviews. We liked them so much we have ordered Buckets and F-Series in RTR colors as our first merchandise for sale. See designs at the end of the article.

Monday, June 19, 2023

adidas Adizero Boston 12 Multi Tester Review 12 Comparisons

Article by Peter Stuart, Sam Winebaum, and Sally Reiley

adidas adizero Boston 12 ($160)


Sam: The adizero Boston 12 is a highly cushioned, EnergyRods plated daily to uptempo road trainer. While visually quite similar, it is a significant upgrade to the 11 with new midsole foams, a new EnergyRods system, a somewhat modified underfoot geometry and Continental rubber outsole, and a far more streamlined upper all leading to a giant 40g drop in weight.  

Sunday, June 18, 2023

🇧🇷 🇵🇹 Review do New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3 (Portuguese)

Artigo de Daniel da Silva 

New Balance FuelCell SuperComp Elite v3  (R$ 1,999.00 / $229.95 USD)

Com a introdução da tecnologia “Energy Arc”, será que a New Balance finalmente criou um super tênis de placa à altura de seus demais competidores?


O SC Elite v3 chega ao mercado como o novo super tênis de placa de carbono da New Balance. É o tênis top de linha, feito para o o seu dia de prova. Vem como o sucessor do RC Elite v2, com mesma entressola FuelCell e mesma altura de entressola (35mm/31mm, drop de 4mm). O peso é praticamente o mesmo (230gr). Mas não se engane, pois as semelhanças param por aí: temos diversas mudanças e praticamente um tênis totalmente diferente.

361° Futura Futura Review: A Do it All Cruiser 9 Comparisons

Article by Jeff Beck and Mike Postaski

361° Futura ($150)


Jeff: The Futura is a new model from 361 that seems to be positioned as a do-it-all trail cruiser. Featuring their latest TPE midsole, Engage Foam, this is a shoe that a few years ago would be considered “max cushion” but in today’s market is more of a “well cushioned” shoe. It also boasts Vibram’s Megagrip rubber in the outsole. On paper this shoe should check quite a few boxes for most trail runners. But how does it hold up out on the dirt, rock, and mud? 


Energetic soft but not mushy supercritical foam midsole: Sam/Jeff/Mike P

Plush very supportive rear of upper with a roomy easy going toe box : Sam/Jeff/Mike P

Solid door to trail shoe given the energetic midsole (even with the big Vibram outsole): Sam/Jeff

Friendly trail cruiser ride and fit: Sam/Jeff/Mike P


Toe box could use a bit more structure/ lockdown for more technical trails use: Sam/Mike P

Outsole is a mud magnet: Jeff

Rides a bit “tall” on uneven/moderate trails Mike P

Foam feels a bit uncontrolled on twists and turns Mike P


Approximate Weight: men's 10.65 oz  / 302g (US9) 

  Samples: men’s  10.4 oz  /  295g US8.5, 11.0 oz / 312g US 9.5

Stack Height: men’s 33 mm heel / 28 mm forefoot ( 5mm drop spec)

$150 release 7/1/23

First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Jeff: “Is that a road shoe?” was my initial take as I took the Futura out of the box. While the outsole is clearly trail focused, or at least trail capable, the upper is reminiscent of a number of road shoes.

This is only my second 361 shoe, but so far the company is two-for-two on fit and sizing. I prefer a little bit of room, especially in the toebox, and while no one is going to confuse the Futura for something coming from Altra or Topo, there’s plenty of room up front to let the toes splay. The downside of that is there isn’t an incredible lockdown, making these shoes less than ideal for really hairy technical terrain - but the rest of the upper is kind of telegraphing it wasn’t meant for that anyway. 

The knit upper is very breathable, made of 40% recycled yarn, and has minimal overlays from the toebox back to the midfoot, taking me back to my initial reaction that it might be a road shoe. While the upper doesn’t have much give to it, instead they went with a relaxed fit that is accommodating for even my wider-than-D-narrower-than-2E foot. 

There’s solid cushioning around the heel collar to help keep the foot planted, and the internal heel counter isn’t over the top firm or intrusive, and it is capped with a nicely functional pull tab on the heel. 

The tongue is gusseted, and while it’s not the thickest tongue around, it has some strategic padding that they refer to as a “Pressure Free Tongue” and that’s largely an accurate claim. 

Further reinforcing the midfoot hold we have 2 webbing straps reaching from the yellow lace loops to the midsole.

Considering how much bright yellow is featured throughout the shoe, it’s surprising how borderline subtle the whole thing is. And bonus for fans of the Michigan Wolverines - you get to buy a shoe in your team’s colors without any upcharge!

Mike P: I was very interested in testing a trail shoe from 361, after having a great time running in their full TPE midsole Centauri road shoe. That shoe feels great on the road - with the midsole foam feeling stable, energetic, and surely durable. I did wonder at the time how that setup would perform on the trail - but the Centauri’s outsole was way too smooth for crossover testing.

Enter the Futura - with the same full TPE midsole, this time on top of full coverage Vibram Megagrip rubber. I’ll say it’s a pretty sweet looking shoe, although a little bit heavy on the scale. But in comparison to the Centauri, the stack has been upped to a quite thick and high 38/33mm. (Centauri comes in at 31/22mm). 

Initial impressions, similar to the Centauri is that the upper appears to be a bit overbuilt. The material itself is on the thicker, denser side, and clearly this contributes to the highish weight. Clearly not designed as a svelte-racer type, the Futura does give off trail cruiser vibes. 

On foot, the feel of the cushioning is, let’s say, copious. With a very plush feel underfoot, again, it just feels like a cruiser. Jeff describes the fit of the upper well - I agree that even though it looks a bit thick, there’s plenty of space across the forefoot at my TTS US 9.5 and it feels quite comfortable, although lockdown could be better up front. 

I also noticed the yellow webbing straps on the inside of the upper - I did feel them on the sides of my foot and was initially concerned that it would be irritating on the run. But not so, while I still felt them, it was no issue or irritation on the run. I’m sure they’re aware that the stack is quite high and with the energetic TPE foam, they needed to add something to strap the foot in.


Jeff: The midsole is made from 361’s Engage TPE supercritical foam, which is the same midsole material they used in the road Centauri (RTR Review). I wasn’t in on that review, so I can’t speak to how that was executed, but in this case it is very reminiscent of adidas Boost, but softer, lighter and bouncier. That’s something adidas fans have been clamoring for for nearly a decade, so well done 361. It’s relatively low 5mm with a 33 mm heel / 28 mm forefoot keeps things balanced with the heel and forefoot both  well protected from the ground. There isn’t a rock plate of any kind, but between the robust outsole and thick enough forefoot, most runners probably won’t need one - especially if you’re using this shoe for more of a day-to-day dirt trainer.

Mike P: The TPE midsole is the main distinguishing feature of the Futura, as it was with the road Centauri. The sheer volume of it underfoot ensures that there’s not much ground feel on the run. Throw in a quite-thick Ortholite insole, in addition to the thick Megagrip rubber, and you’re pretty well insulated from the ground.

After a couple of initial runs, with the ground feel being quite muted, I wondered if swapping insoles could help give a better feel. Surely the TPE foam would provide enough cushion, and possibly a thinner, firmer insole might help. But this didn’t quite work out - with a different insole, it made the TPE feel noticeably firmer and also for some reason made the drop feel higher. It seems like the Ortholite insole with the TPE midsole is the best fit. 


Squishing the midsole foam in hand, it looks and feels incredibly soft and conforming. But on the run, it doesn’t feel as squishy and soft underfoot as you’d expect. I was surprised that it didn’t feel softer on the run.


Jeff: 361 outfitted the Futura with Vibram’s Megagrip rubber, and the outsole design has lots of v-shaped chevrons and parallelograms throughout the shoe. The result is a very grippy, and durable, outsole that digs into the dirt very well. While the lugs are pretty healthy, they don’t make road running awkward in any way - making the Futura a top-notch road to trail shoe for those who like to run to the local trailhead. 

They are so fluid on pavement, I’d recommend them to runners who don’t take them off road just as much as I would to those who live on the dirt, they are that smooth on the road with plenty of flexibiiity.

My only gripe about the outsole is its mud performance - it’s an absolute mud magnet. One of my runs was on my local neighborhood trail, which was slightly damp, but not really muddy. Before I’d gone a tenth of a mile I had cement shoes that had encased every bit of rubber, and the shoes didn’t want to shed any of it.

Mike P: That’s definitely a solid Megagrip outsole. Full coverage, no cutouts, flex grooves or anything like that. I’m sure some consideration was given to the properties of the TPE foam above it, and that more rubber would be needed to “hold things together”. 

I didn’t test them too much on the road, but that’s mainly due to the weight and not the outsole. As a lighter runner myself, the Futura just feels like a bit too much on foot for any appreciable road duty. In my quite sandy and loose trail testing, the outsole handled everything quite well, and gave nice grip in that specific terrain. I can see Jeff’s issue with the mud though - the lugs are quite tightly spaced and mud running is surely not their strong suit.


Jeff: The Futura has a nice balance between soft and bouncy that leans just slightly to the soft side, making this a great pick for a daily shoe. There’s enough dynamic response to make the shoe come alive when you pick up the pace, but without a super refined upper hold I wouldn’t run all out fast in them. The rocker geometry is subtle, but definitely there, helping toe-off just a bit to keep your feet moving forward.

Mike P: The Futura surely falls into the category - rides faster than its weight. The TPE midsole gives a nice energetic feel, without feeling bogged down by softness or weight. I enjoyed the ride for runs in the 1-2 hour range, but beyond that I’d probably notice the overall weight of the shoe a bit more. 11.2 oz for me is on the high side, but like I said, on the run at easier cruiser-type paces, the weight is not felt that much. 

The main issue I had with the shoe was when I tried to run a bit more technical (more like moderate) terrain, or just plain uneven surfaces. The shoes felt a bit “tall” to me on the run, and the lack of ground feel was a bit disconcerting at times. The TPE foam is quite energetic, with a bit of bounce to it. But with the pure volume of foam, Ortholite insole, and full rubber outsole, I just don’t have a good proprioceptive feel when the ground is uneven. 

My foot got thrown a couple times unexpectedly, which made me very cautious whenever the terrain became more difficult. I never tested them in truly technical terrain as there’s no way they’d be safe in that type of terrain. Twisty and turny paths were also a bit of an issue. I found that I had to be aware of steering them in a straight-ahead manner. Clearly the shoe works best in terrain that requires less attention. 

Conclusions and Recommendations

Jeff: The Futura stands out to me as one of those shoes that doesn’t really get anything wrong. And the more I run in the Futura, the more I want to run even more in it. Over the last few years most of my trail shoes have leaned much deeper into max/super max/egregious levels of cushioning, and I’m not complaining, but getting back into a shoe that has just enough cushioning for a couple to a few hours on the trail is a nice shift. Its road performance surprised me, considering how aggressive its outsole is, making the shoe that much more versatile. The upper doesn’t stand out as a top-five execution, but really I can’t find anything to complain about - or even any aspect I don’t actively like. 

Ultimately it feels like a shoe that can do everything pretty well, and runners who like to just have one shoe in the rotation (I know some of you monsters exist!) are unlikely to find a better shoe for their minimalistic quiver.

Jeff’s Score: 9.1/10

Ride: 9 Fit: 9.5 Value:9 Style: 10 Traction: 9 Rock Protection: 8


Mike P: It’s hard for me to peg the Futura as a true “trail” shoe, given its moderate and technical limitations. But, if you’re sticking to smoother stuff, gravel roads, rail trails, etc. the Futura is a great cruiser shoe that will eat up miles - lots of them. The TPE midsole will be much more durable than an equivalent EVA stack, and the Vibram Megagrip outsole will also outlast most generic outsoles. I’ve got them pegged for my slower, easy run type paces on easy terrain. The mileage you could put into them in those conditions could be virtually unlimited. It’s a solid cruiser shoe and a great value.

Mike P’s Score:  8.4 / 10

Ride: 8 - Nicely smooth and energetic - but stick to smoother terrain

Fit: 8 - Nice upper fit, maybe more security would help on technical terrain?

Value: 9 - Midsole/outsole should be extremely durable for cruiser miles 

Style: 9 - Nice and sleek looking, I like the color combo

Traction: 9 - Good in sandy & loose, I wouldn’t take them in mud

Rock Protection: 9 - Lots underfoot, but I’d stay away from rocky, technical terrain anyway

Smiles 😊😊😊

9 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE

361 Spire 5 (RTR Review)

Jeff: 361’s similarly cushioned road shoe, the Spire 5 has a similar fit with an expanded PEBA pellets midsole similar to Saucony’s Endorphin Speed 1,2.. The Futura’s Engage midsole is a little softer, which provides just a little more give at landing. They’ve got nearly identical toe boxes, and the upper fits are very comparable. I’d favor the Futura for its offroad versatility.

361 Centauri (RTR Review)

Mike P (9.5): Centauri is a road shoe, but both have the Engage TPE midsole. Both have rides that are smooth and energetic, but the Futura is necessarily bulked up a bit for trail duty. I prefer the ride of the Centauri on road compared to the Futura on trail. It’s probably the weight difference between the two, and the fact that I still feel restricted to easier trails with the Futura.

ASICS Trabuco Max 2 (RTR Review)

Jeff: Both shoes slot in the do-it-all category very well, and from a 30,000 foot view, are very similar shoes. The 361 has more traction, better lockdown, and a slightly firmer ride. The ASICS is overall wider, both in the toebox and midfoot where it is even more relaxed in fit than the Futura, and it also has a little more cushioning underfoot. 

Hoka Speedgoat 5 (RTR Review)

Jeff: Similar shoes in stack, the Futura has a more accommodating fit, softer cushioning, and a little more bounce. The Speedgoat feels a bit dull underfoot next to the Futura, but its tight hold on the foot is much better for technical running. Traction is a coin flip between the two.

Mike P (10): The SG’s foam feels less bouncy, but the foam and the shoe itself is way lighter. If the fit and footshape works for you, the SG is much more secure, and stable on real trails. The SG also features a much wider platform, and although the stack is also high - it doesn’t feel overly “tall” as the Futura can. 361 is not yet in the same league as Hoka’s SG for real trail running. 

Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 (RTR Review)

Jeff: This shoe was my immediate comparison when I first tried the Futura on. The Futura has noticeably more cushioning and room in the toebox, and it’s much softer. Traction and durability is a toss up, while the Saucony feels much lighter on foot, and has a rock plate.

Mike P (9.5): This is a good comp, and although I feel like Saucony took a bit of a step back with v2, it’s still overall a much more versatile trail shoe than the Futura. Perhaps the Futura could hold up and be a more durable long term option for pure easy miles, but the Xodus Ultra 2 could also cover those miles as well. I do think Saucony went a bit too far though in tapering the V2 toebox. The Futura has a more comfortably shaped toebox. 

Topo Ultraventure 3 (RTR Review)

Jeff: Another close call. The Futura is more cushioned, but it’s a firmer cushioning, and it has noticeably more traction. The Topo wins the toebox award (obviously), has a much softer landing, and the upper is much more plush.

Mike P (10.0): This was the shoe that I initially thought of as a comp when first running in the Futura. Both shoes are great for easier, long distance mileage. The 361 has a much beefier outsole, but I don’t think it’s much of a factor in easy terrain. The Topo is every bit as comfortable on foot as the 361, but its wider base does make it more stable and confident when the terrain leans more moderate. I’m much more comfortable taking the UV3 in stretches of rougher terrain than I would be in the Futura.

Craft Endurance Trail (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.0): The Craft has a similar, dense yet energetic feeling TPE midsole. Both shoes feel and run a bit “tall”, i.e. lots of stack and cushion underfoot, but atop a bit of a narrower platform in relation to height. The Craft’s tall feeling is exacerbated by its poor fitting upper - with not much ability to adjust or tension. The Futura in comparison feels a little bit softer, and somewhat less controlled, even though the upper has a better fit. I actually prefer the Futura, since I can’t get anywhere with the Craft’s ill-fitting upper. 

Saucony Ride 15 TR (RTR Review)

Mike P (10.0): Post-testing, I’d say this is the closest comp in terms of ride. The Ride TR is specifically designed as a door to trail shoe, and uses a much lighter outsole and overall the shoe is much, much lighter. Its upper feels very similar to the Futura, in that it has a nice fit and shape, is comfortable, but foothold struggles in more adventurous terrain. I really like the Ride TR when I’m mixing roads and trails - it feels so light, almost like a road shoe and handles decently well on the trails. Where the Futura has the advantage is durability - I’m fairly certain its TPE midsole will maintain a more consistent feel over the long haul while the Ride’s EVA-based PWRRUN will pack out a bit over time.

The 361 Futura releases July 1, 2023

Tester Profile

Jeff Beck is the token slow runner of the RTR lineup, and as such his viewpoints on shoe and gear can differ from those who routinely finish marathons in three hours or less. Jeff runs 20 miles per week on roads and trails around Denver, CO (and sometimes on the treadmill when the weather gets too much for a Phoenix native). Jeff only got into running in his 30s, as a result his career PR's are 4:07 for the marathon and 5K at 23:39. Jeff has finished several ultra marathons, from 50K up to 50 miles, and is still debating if he wants to go down that road again.

Mike Postaski currently focuses on long mountainous ultras - anywhere from 50K up to his favorite - 100M. 5'10", 138 lbs, midfoot/forefoot striker - he typically averages 70 mpw (mostly on trails), ramping up to nearly 100 mpw during race buildups. A recent 2:39 road marathoner, his easy running pace ranges from 7:30 - 9:00/mi. In 2022 Mike won both the Standhope 100M and IMTUF 100M trail ultras within a 7 week period - both extremely rugged Idaho mountain races. Mike's shoe preferences lean towards firmer, dense cushioning, and shoes with narrower profiles. He prefers extra forefoot space, especially for long ultras, and he strongly dislikes pointy toe boxes.

Samples were provided at no charge for review purposes. RoadTrail Run has affiliate partnerships and may earn commission on products purchased via shopping links in this article. These partnerships do not influence our editorial content. The opinions herein are entirely the authors'.

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Men's and Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
Use RTR code RTRTOP4 for 5% off all products, even sale products

Men's & Women's  SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE
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Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's & Women's SHOP HERE

Men's and Women's SHOP HERE


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