Sunday, June 16, 2024

361° Eleos Multi Tester Review:What the Eleos? Primo Fun! 8 Comparisons

Article by Renee Krusemark, Sam Winebaum, Peter Stuart, and Jeff Beck

361° Eleos ($145)

Pros: 

  • Comfortable, rebounding and responsive PEBA/EVA midsole: Renee/Sam/Peter/Jeff
  • Geometry: smooth transitions, broad and stable for such a soft foam: Renee/Sam/Peter/Jeff
  • Broad, soft well fitting upper: Sam/Peter/Jeff
  • Fun!  Peter/Sam/Jeff
  • Surprisingly wide toebox: Jeff

Cons:

  • Wide platform affects use for speed: Renee/Sam


Introduction

Sam:  The Eleos is a broad platform, relatively low stack height (36mn heel / 30mm forefoot) daily trainer. 361, with the Eleos, is following up on its Centauri (RTR Review) trainer which had an energetic and pleasing TPE midsole which surprised and delighted us. Here they emerge with yet another training focused super foam shoe, this time with an EVA/PEBA blend midsole foam called Primo and at a very fair price of $145  And the ride here matches the marketing as it is Primo and big smiles indeed! Please read on for all the details.


Most comparable shoes 

361 Centauri (Sam)

Adizero SL 2 (Sam)

New Balance 1080 v13 (Sam)

Saucony Ride 17 (Sam)

Mizuno Neo Vista (Peter)

NB SC Trainer 2 (Peter)


Stats

Spec Weight: men's 9.9  oz / 292g US9

  Sample Weights: men’s 10.05 oz / 285g US9 

                              women’s 246g / 8.67 oz US8

Stack Height: men’s  36 mm heel / 30 mm forefoot ( 6mm drop spec) 

Platform Width: 100 mm heel / 85 mm midfoot / 120 mm forefoot

$145. Releases July 1, 2024 


First Impressions, Fit and Upper

Sam: Broad and sort of low slung looking in these days of super high and high looking max cushion trainers that are almost comic in appearance, the Eleos has a sleek and streamlined look.

The mesh is thin, foot conforming and comfortable. The laces are quite fat and round and work well but are not the most attractive or sleek of laces.

My test pair was half size up from my normal US8.5 and required both a lace lock and thicker socks to get a solid lockdown.


Once adjusted by socks and lace lock for the size, the lockdown for daily training miles was fine for my narrow to medium fit as the mesh really wraps the foot  without excessive pressure anywhere.  This is a broad fitting upper which should accommodate wider feet well. True to size for most volume and width feet.


Renee: The Eleos is my first experience with a 361 shoe, so I had zero expectations. The “one degree beyond” slogan is a mind bend for me. Isn’t 361 degrees the same as being back at 1 degree? Anyway, the upper is comfortable overall. Plenty of width throughout without being sloppy for my average width and low volume foot. The upper fit isn’t super secure, but that’s fine as the shoe’s wide platform isn’t meant for speed intervals. The heel has a good amount of padding, which helps with security and reduces any “clunkiness” a high stack shoe can have when the upper is loose. The shoe looks massive on my feet, so it’s not a shoe I’d use to double for walking or casual use. I suggest true to size. 


Peter: This one came out of nowhere for me as well. We’re in the middle of a move and most of my shoes are in boxes somewhere. When we arrived at our new house there was a super-deluxe package with all sorts of 361 swag and a pair of Eleos. 


They look nice, and as Sam mentioned–almost traditional. Obviously a soft super-foam and a wide platform, but in comparison to some of the recent shoes I’ve tested the Eleos has a much lower slung and more traditional vibe. 


The upper is a soft engineered mesh that fits well and holds my foot very well. Fit is generous without being sloppy. I agree that the laces could be a little less poofy, but they hold well and don’t come untied.  Overall it's a comfortable shoe that’s pretty darn good looking. The upper interfaces with the rest of the shoe via a removable Ortholite insole. It’s very comfortable and supports the foot well. 


Jeff: Similar to Peter, this came out of nowhere, and very striking right out of the fancy box. I’ve reviewed a few 361s so far, but this midsole is immediately something else, and the electric orange helps keep the shoe from looking, dare I say it, almost boring it’s so traditional (I’m not complaining FWIW). 


I agree with Renee, the upper isn’t super dialed in for fit, but considering the shoe’s purpose that’s not a big strike against it. The fit is super accommodating for us slightly wider footed folks, with the toebox being one of the widest I’ve felt on a traditionally shaped running shoe. Definitely stick true-to-size.


Midsole & Platform

Sam: The magic of the Eleos is its Primo foam midsole. 361 starting with the Centauri with its TPE expanded pellet foam (similar to what Craft and Xtep use)  here they have cooked up an even more energetic and pleasing to run formula.  Primo is a “block” non expanded pellets supercritical blend of EVA and PEBA, so similar to New Balance’s Rebel v4 foam in materials but clearly in a different blend. 


The midsole has a noticeably energetic rebound that while it has “squish” is also quick to rebound so it is not mushy or energy sapping as softer foams can be. There is plenty of deep cushion here especially upfront with the 6mm drop and 36mm heel feeling a bit low at slower paces. .

The foam magic is helped by the “relatively” low 36 mm heel / 30 mm forefoot stack height and  broad and flared 100 mm heel / 85 mm midfoot / 120 mm forefoot platform. This geometry keeps the soft ride stable enough especially upfront as the 120mm forefoot is super broad. 

By being broad and not excessively high upfront with the outsole design als0 in the mix, Eleos has a mild rocker and some flex. Transitions are easy for such a broad shoe. 


Bottom Line: a really fine, fun, and protective daily training midsole that bridges underfoot comfort and performance just right over a wide range of paces.


Peter: The genius of the Eleos is the “Primo” blend foam. This is one of the best, most responsive foams I’ve run. These days I like my shoes a bit softer without having to give up energy. It’s hard to make a softer feeling foam without it starting to feel mushy or unstable–and 361 nails it here.


 I’ve been running in these as my daily shoes and even took them out for a longer trail run yesterday and they are performing well on pavement, dirt, gravel and rocky trail. The wider platform and lower (by current standards) stack keep this shoe feeling good through the miles. Turnover is fluid and the foam snaps back very nicely when I speed up. 


Renee: The midsole is great. At $145, with the amount of stack, the shoe is well priced as compared to similar options. When I hear the words “super critical” midsole foam, this shoe encompasses what I want. The midsole is soft when running easy and responsive when running uptempo. More on that in the ride section.


Jeff: It’s funny how much things have shifted in the last few years that this could be considering anything but maximum cushioning. The midsole bears a striking resemblance to the early days of the Hoka Bondi-B, but much more energetic and ergonomic, no clunky anything about this beast. I’m with Peter, you can’t get much softer than this without going too far or just creating a lounge shoe, and the width absolutely helps the shoe stay some level of stable. Truly impressive performance to cost ratio.



Outsole

Peter: Nothing too dramatic here. The outsole has some “High Abrasion Rubber Technology” in the rear and has enough rubber coverage in the rest of the shoe that durability doesn’t seem like it will be an issue. Traction has been excellent and as I mentioned above I’ve taken these out on a bunch of different surfaces and have felt good and secure on all of them. 


Sam: A very strategic effective coverage outsole that doesn’t get in the way of transitions and flex or add to weight.


Renee: As Peter wrote, nothing dramatic here. The coverage is typical for a road shoe, with the high abrasion rubber covering areas that receive the most wear. I ran on light gravel, no pavement, and found the coverage good. The shoe will work well for crushed rock paths. 


Jeff: It’s funny how much things have shifted in the last few years that this could be considering anything but maximum cushioning. The midsole bears a striking resemblance to the early days of the Hoka Bondi-B, but much more energetic and ergonomic, no clunky anything about this beast. I’m with Peter, you can’t get much softer than this without going too far or just creating a lounge shoe, and the width absolutely helps the shoe stay some level of stable. Truly impressive performance to cost ratio.


Ride, Conclusions and Recommendations

Sam: 361 mastered the fun training ride in the Centauri with its TPE midsole foam and here with the Eleos and its PEBA/EVA blend they up their game another notch. Despite its softness, the  Primo foam midsole is very energetic and forgiving without ever getting mushy.  


When great foam is combined with the broad platform and relatively low stack it is a great option if you want an energetic fun to run, everyday training ride. It's closest 2024 competitor for me is the Adizero SL 2.


The fit is generous and comfortable, if not a performance type upper and no there is no need for that here.


The weight at about 10 oz / 283g US9 is fine for its purposes although I do wish the Eleos was somewhat lighter.


If you want your training miles to include some big smiles as you bound along smoothly with definite energy, even when tired, the Eleos is a great option

Sam’s Score: 9.5 /10

I wish for slightly lighter weight, an 8mm drop and a bit more upper structure for my lower volume foot. 

😊😊😊😊 1/2


Peter: 

A really nice surprise for me. I’ll go out on a limb and say this is easily one of the three favorite shoes of 2024 for me. Maybe the best so far. 


The Eleos has quickly moved to the top of my daily training rotation and I’m reaching for them first every day. The foam is a goldilocks combination of soft, snappy and responsive. This is a stable and efficient feeling daily trainer. For me, the Eleos captures the sweet spot between traditional running shoes and new technology. The result is a superb daily trainer


I agree that the Eleos would benefit from being a touch lighter–which might help propel it into trainer/racer category. That said, they are a terrific and FUN daily trainer. I think these will work for pretty much anyone who wants to go out and have mile after enjoyable mile. 

Peter’s Score: 9.7/10 

They could be a touch lighter and the laces could be a little sleeker. 

😊😊😊😊😊


Renee: With the EVA/PEBA blend midsole, the Eleos ride feels premium. The high stack and wide platform aren’t my preference for speed or interval runs, but the Eleos is not "slow" thanks to its midsole. 


The Eleos will be great for easy paces for all distances from short to long/ultra runs. While not a light shoe, it’s not heavy and runs lighter than its weight. I was able to run 15 minutes of tempo during a 90 minute easy run at my normal pace, and while the wide platform is awkward for strides (running on gravel), it’s fine there too because the transition is smooth. 


I’d recommend the Eleos for runners needing a high stack shoe with a fun, comfortable, and responsive midsole. The shoe will work better for those who like a broad platform. I didn’t mind the Eleos on gravel, but the wide platform can deter stability and nimbleness when the landings aren’t even. For crushed rock on flat or rolling terrain, it’s fine. 

Renee’s Score: 9.4/10 

(-.30 weight, -.30 broad platform/upper fit best for easy paces)


Jeff: 

Absolutely the biggest surprise of the year, I’ve been impressed with 361’s previous shoes but this is a whole different echelon. I could see slower runners who don’t embrace “speed” shoes making this their go-to race shoe, there’s that much bounce, but still so much comfort. Wider footed runners will have nothing to complain about, and while the others might feel there’s some extra weight, I was almost taken aback by how light they were for how substantial the platform is in both height and weight. Not to mention the sticker shock going the other way, this shoe for $145 resets the curve of cost-to-performance. Easily one of those shoes that virtually any runner can find a place for in their rotation, and runners who just use one pair of shoes at a time (in other words, the weirdos) aren’t going to be disappointed. Some shoes come out of nowhere and they serve as more of a proof of concept, as fthey had the right idea but the execution needs a little more iteration. The Eleos is the first of it’s name and they got it right from the jump. This shoe should put 361 on virtually every runners’ radar.

Jeff’s Score: 9.1/10

Ride (50%): 9 Fit: 9(30%) Value (15%): 10 Style: (5%): 8

😊😊😊😊😊


8 Comparisons

Index to all RTR reviews: HERE 


361 Centauri (RTR Review)

Sam: The Centauri has similar stats with the same 36 mm heel but a higher drop at 8mm and at 27mm a lower forefoot. It came in at a reasonable 10 oz / 284g in my US9, same as the higher stack Eleos.  While the Centauri upper was a bit suffocatingly thick, the Eleos could be beefed up a bit. The Cenaturi was a great “start” with its fine TPE the Eleos is a clear step up in fun and performance.


New Balance Fresh Foam 1080 v13  (RTR Review)

Sam: The 1080 has a soft friendly (overly friendly and soft for me) ride with more stack height at 38/32 and lighter weight at 9.28 oz / 263g (US9). It is all about comfort with the soft ride joining a plush stretch knit upper. I find it goes too far in stack height, somewhat mushy softness and easy going manners and is not really practical for me as an all around daily trainer. The Eleos is lower slung, more energetic with its roomy upper better held and with its soft ride fun and quicker at all paces.


Jeff: While the 1080v13 is the softest of its line, the Eleos is on a different level that’s softer as well as much bouncier. Sam’s right, it’s definitely a more fun shoe, but I think it’s also a more protective one as well.

.  

ASICS Novablast 4 (RTR Review)

Renee: Both shoes have a fun factor. The Novablast is better if needing a higher drop, and as a daily trainer, I’d choose it. For comfort underfoot for long runs, I’d go with Eleos. Sizing is similar. 


Jeff: Definitely both fun shoes, the extra width of the Eleos’ platform gives it more stability, while the Novablast geometry is much more pronounced than the 361. The Eleos also wins the toebox battle.


Puma Magnify Nitro 2 (RTR Review)

Sam: The Puma is considerably higher stacked at the heel with 40mm heel, 30 mm forefoot vs. 36/30 for the Eleos so it is a 10mm drop shoe. It weighs the same as the 361. Its TPEE Nitro foam is similarly energetic and given its stack height it is more cushioned yet. The Puma wins in the outsole department with its profiled Puma Grip rubber. The 361 is more agile, quicker feeling and more fun leaning more all around daily trainer while the Magnify leans slower paces and easier runs. The 361 upper is simpler and more comfortable although not quite as secure.


Adizero SL 2 (RTR Video Review)

Sam: With the same heel height of 36mm but with a 10mm drop so 26mm at the forefoot, the new SL2 is considerably lighter at 8.25 oz / 234g. Its platform is somewhat narrower and less stable than the 361 Its combination of now softer Lightstrike  and supercritical Lighstrike Pro foams give it a soft and energetic ride with its lower forefoot giving it a more agile toe off than the Eleos. I find the adi somewhat more versatile and quicker at the same time.  Both uppers are quite roomy with the adidas given its flat sockliner, soft foam and no tongue gusset  having a bit less midfoot support. 


Saucony Ride 17 (RTR Review)

Sam: At about the same weight and heel height but with the Ride having a  2mm lower forefoot with not as broad a platform, these are very similar shoes in terms of cushion, generous fit  and uses. The Saucony is a bit more agile while the 361 has a more energetic if similarly soft foam.

Renee: I agree with Sam. The Eleos is the better choice for a softer, more cushioned ride. The Ride 17 is more agile. Both shoes could lose a bit of weight. Sizing was similar for me. 


Jeff: The Ride is easily the most “traditional” shoe I’ve put on my foot in some time, and here feels a little more versatile when the run picks up the pace - but the Eleos has a much higher fun factor.


Mizuno Neo Vista (RTR Review)

Peter: The Mizuno and the Eleos are both really fun, but the Eleos is lower to the ground, more stable and provides a much more traditional ride. While I really enjoy the Neo Vista–I feel like the Eleos takes all of the things I like about the Neo Vista and hones them into a more palatable and equally fun package. I’m all about the Eleos. 


Jeff: Agreed, both have the fun category covered very well. I thought the Neo Vista was a great value at $180 considering what it brings, but the Eleos doesn’t miss really anything the Mizuno brings and is $35 less, that’s hard to ignore.


New Balance SC Trainer 2  (RTR Review)

Peter: Like the Mizuno, the SC 2 is high stack and fun to run in. The Eleos is a more traditional but equally, if not more, fun to run in without any of the potential instability of being on such a high stack or having its rear carved out Energy Arc.  


The 361 Eleos will be available July 2024


Tester Profiles


Renee is a former U.S. Marine journalist, which is when her enjoyment of running and writing started. She isn’t that awesome of a runner, but she tries really hard. Most of her weekly 50-60 miles take place on rural country roads in Nebraska, meaning mud, gravel, dirt, hills, and the occasional field. She has PR’s of 1:30:59 for the half marathon and 3:26:45 for the marathon.


Peter lives in California and has been a sub 3 hour marathoner as well as a 1:21 half marathoner in recent years.


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.


Sam is the Editor and Founder of Road Trail Run. He is in his 60’s  with 2024 Sam’s 52th year of running roads and trails. He has a decades old 2:28 marathon PR. These days he runs halves in the just sub 1:40 range if he gets very, very lucky. Sam trains 30-40 miles per week mostly at moderate paces on the roads and trails of New Hampshire and Utah be it on the run, hiking or on nordic skis. He is 5’9” tall and weighs about 164 lbs, if he is not enjoying too many fine New England IPA’s

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6 comments:

Steve C said...

Looks like a really cool shoe! I love the 361 Flame RS and ST. Do you know if this replaces the Centauri, or will that remain their daily trainer while this is more their max cush option?

Anonymous said...

NB Rebel comparison?

Sam Winebaum said...

@Steve
Will find out on Centauri. Might still have a place as a touch more stable and conventional

@anonymous
While the Rebel v4 also has a blend of EVA/PEBA so also a "fun" ride as here, it is lighter more a speed days or race even shoe as it for sure requires a forward strike while here we are leaning more daily trainer. The Eleos is more versatile if you are seeking an all arounder.
Sam, Editor

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Anonymous said...

Sam, how does this compare to the craft pacer? I noticed the platform width is similar. Would you consider the Eleos to be a better all around type of shoe?

Gens Linton said...

You recently reviewed the Topo Atmos. How does that shoe compare to the 361 Eleos? Thanks and I love your articles and comparisons!