361 Centauri review: The Centauri offers reliable comfort for cruising but can it match its daily trainer rivals for spring and pace?
BUY IT NOW:
$130 / £120, 361europe.com
- Balanced and protective cushioning
- Roomy, breathable knit uppers
- A little long in the toe
- Heavier than many daily trainer rivals
If you’ve never heard of 361 before, the company’s all about delivering solid running shoes with slightly cheaper price tags. The 361 Centauri is its latest daily trainer and it’s designed to be cushioned, roomy and versatile enough to eat most of your daily miles.
It’s up against some seriously good rivals – including the On Cloudsurfer 7, Saucony Endorphin Speed 3 and HOKA Mach 5. So is it packing enough performance to make it genuinely good value? We’ve clocked some big miles to find out.
361 Centauri features
361 says the Centauri is built for versatility. It’s a daily trainer that aims to help you conquer everything from easy recovery miles to up-tempo training efforts. And there’s a lot of shoe tech here for the £120 price tag.
That includes a new midsole unit with a sizable 31mm/22mm heel-to-toe stack of soft and responsive E-TPE midsole foam with a calf-protecting 9mm drop.
The midsole also features flex grooves that work with the motion of the foot, intended to deliver a smooth, natural ride. There’s also a forefoot rocker to improve the roll through in each step and create added toe-spring for a more balanced and efficient toe-off. Inside, an Ortholite sockliner adds extra cushion to your landings.
Discover the best gym shoes for 2023
Up top, the Centauri has stretchy, flexible and comfortable engineered knit fabric uppers. They’re quite dense and hold the foot nicely without being restrictive, with plenty of wiggle room in the toe box. The heel collars are also plump and plush. Think saloon-car-seat comfort rather than the stripped-back, minimal racy design that you’ll find on lighter, faster shoes.
Speaking of weight, at 290g in UK men’s size 8.5, the 361 Centauri is up there alongside the Asics Gel Nimbus 25 as one of the heavier daily trainers.
Flip them over and there’s a high-abrasion rubber outsole that provides solid grip and boosts durability. Reflective heel detailing adds a nod to night-run safety.
361 Centauri performance
The shoe didn’t blow us away but after 30 miles in the Centuari at a mixture of distances (up to 10 miles) and paces, on roads and some compacted park paths, there’s still plenty to like here for the price.
There’s good step-in comfort straight out of the box. The uppers flex well and the plush heel padding offers good hold. However, the fit comes up a bit long in the toe and overall they’re less compact on the foot than something like the HOKA Mach 5.
Get kitted out with the best shorts for men
The ride is well-balanced, easy – and comfy, crucially – to run in, across a range of paces. However, the shoe is definitely happier eating easy miles than trying to bash out marathon pace or faster. There’s some spring and response, particularly when you get up on your forefoot, but this isn’t the punchiest daily trainer we’ve tested.
The soft and protective midsole does compress well to eat up road impact and kicks back with just enough bite at the right time to give the shoe a bit of spring and some versatility. It stops short of being dull and soggy and the rocker definitely helps create a decent clip-along feel underfoot.
The extra heft is noticeable, though, and this certainly isn’t as lively, sprightly or agile as something like the Cloudsurfer 7 or the HOKA Mach 5. You’ll need to like chunkier shoes to enjoy these.
Looking to upgrade your home gym? Discover the best dumbbell sets for home workouts
That bulkier feel knocks it out of the running for the award of best daily trainer you can buy right now, even with the lower price. There are more versatile options for not much more, like the Puma Velocity Nitro 2. That said, if you’re after a workhorse trainer, the 361 Centauri offers reliable comfort for cruising and it’s a solid everyday option that’s good, if a touch unremarkable.