The 361 Strata 4 are ultra cushioned, so you’ll keep running for longer.
Great for long distance
By Faye M Smith
Looking for a pair of running shoes to start a new exercise regime or give a boost to your current one? The 361 Strata 4 – which have been designed to support the foot when in full stride – could be for you. How to be sure? We’ve put a pair through its paces from the moment we took them out the box, so you can see if you think they are worth the investment.
I tested a wide selection of the best running shoes for women and considered how they fitted, performed and benefited my workout. All trainers were used at least three times for different workouts to see how they fared.
Keep scrolling for the full review to see if these running shoes are the ones for you.
361 Strata 4 specifications
Size range: UK 3-10
Who will the 361 Strata 4 suit?
The 361 Strata 4 will suit women who like to run for miles and miles.
What are the 361 Strata 4 like to wear?
At 276g, these are not the lightest running shoes in the world for long distances, but the comfort you get in return is well worth a few extra grams. This was especially noticeable when I was running on pavements and roads. Not only did the cushioning help take the pressure off my joints, which is really important for longer runs, but it also meant I didn’t think about my feet being in pain and needing to stop.
They are also very good when it comes to breathability, so I didn’t notice my feet feeling hot and sweaty at all.
The 361 Strata 4 design
This is possibly where the 361 Strata 4 loses a few points, but that’s only because we are being tough on them. The design choice for women is slightly limited. They are available in either Blue Sapphire/Peacoat (essentially different shades of blue) or Sleet/Ebony (grey). While neither of these options is off-putting, both colourways are not that exciting. Looks-wise, it’s definitely more about being practical, rather than being bang on trend.
However, these running shoes are still sleek and are not overbranded or brash in any way, so they could be used walking through the city streets if you were planning on pounding the pavement on the way to the office. They are more grown-up and practical, rather than flashy and fashionable, but this is good, as it means they won’t look dated, however long you wear them for – and with this type of quality, they will last for ages.
The versatility of the 361 Strata 4
I’ve previously worn the 361 Spire range, which are so versatile that I’ve used them for pretty much all sports and activities. The 361 Strata 4 are definitely more padded and comfortable, which actually works really well when doing high-impact moves, such as burpees and squat jumps.
I also felt they were good for Zumba and dance, and didn’t feel too clunky on the treadmill. They are definitely versatile enough that you wouldn’t need a different pair of trainers for each exercise, although they really work well for running.
Sizing and comfort of the 361 Strata 4
If I had to sum up the 361 Strata 4 in just one word, it would be ‘comfortable’. The cushioning is really noticeable, especially around the midsole, which is thanks to a mix of EVA foam and EVA rubber blend. My feet felt raised, with my arch supported from the Ortholite insoles. Every detail seems to have been thought about with comfort in mind. This even includes the tongue, which is very cushioned and integrated with the laces (via the Morphit upper lacing system), so it has been designed not to move. I felt this really worked and I never had to quickly try to reposition it mid-run. The heel area is also very padded and supportive.
When it comes to sizing, these running shoes do feel slightly large, but this could be due to the conversion from US sizes. Usually, it’s two sizes difference, so UK 5 is a US 7, but for the Strata 4, it’s 2.5 sizes, so UK 5 becomes a US 7.5. I’m usually a size UK 5, but tried a UK 4.5 and they fit very well once on (although I did need to squeeze my foot to get them in at first); this is because they have a good-sized toe box, so there is plenty of room to wiggle your toes. This pick is also available in wide fitting.
How do the 361 Strata 4 rate online?
At the time of reviewing, the 361 Strata 4 had only just been released, so there weren’t many other online reviews.
Reviews for the 361 Strata 3, however, are very positive, with many people rating the large toe box and how the cushioning really moulds to fit their feet over time. The Strata 4 is the natural next step up from these.
Are the 361º Strata 4 worth buying?
If you’re serious about long-distance running, then these are definitely worth the investment. Yes, they are pricey, but you do get your money back in terms of quality and comfort. They also work for so many other sports that you can throw away the rest of your trainers and just use these.
Faye M Smith is an award-winning journalist with over 15 years experience in the magazine industry. Her continued work in the area of natural health won her the coveted title of theHealth Food Manufacturers’ Association (HFMA) Journalist of the Year Award 2021.
Currently Acting Health Editor across several brands including woman&home, Woman and Woman’s Own, Faye specialises in writing about mental health, the menopause, and sex and relationships. In fact, having previously been the go-to sex columnist for Now magazine, there isn't much she won't discuss when it comes to women's health. This makes her the best person to review must-buy sex toys, describe how to have a mind-blowing orgasm or explain how to navigate sex in the shower without it ending in a medical emergency.
While not anti-gym, Faye’s fitness routine is more focussed on finding inner balance rather than burning excess calories. An advocate of mindfulness, she loves power breathing, yoga and plenty of walking in nearby woodlands rather than a sweaty HIIT class. Follow her @fayetuned
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