Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

361 Onyx

- published February 2017

70

2017

RATINGS

Fit
4
Comfort
5
Responsiveness
3
Ride Quality
4
Speed
4
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
70

SHOP

MSRP
LOW PRICE
$100.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • Great ventilation in uppers
  • Good grip and road feel from outsole
  • Comfortable cushioning for training mileage

THE BAD

  • Sloppy midfoot fit
  • Stiff overall feel
  • Poor energy return in midsole at high speed

THE VERDICT

The 361 Degrees Onyx is for runners who like a firm platform and moderate heel-toe drop. It runs heavy and has disappointing energy return at higher speeds, so it is definitely more of an base mileage training shoe than something to reach for on fast workout days.

FULL REVIEW

Fit
The length for the Onyx is true to size, and the toe box runs a bit narrow. The last feels snug in the rearfoot and looser in the midfoot. A thin padded tongue and traditional lace system help stabilize the midfoot fit, but our testers still found it sloppy with high-agility running. 

Comfort
The heel cup is large and rather stiff, causing some mild irritation in the Achilles area for some of our users. The seamless mesh upper has no sewn overlays, and felt comfortable against the foot without any rubbing or hot spots. Ventilation of the mesh upper is quite effective for temperature regulation in warm weather.   

Responsiveness
Three layers of material combine for cushioning and energy return on the Onyx: the lowest level is a stable rebound EVA that blends with the outsole rubber for high-density rebound. Above that is a layer of 361’s Quickfoam midsole material, and the molded insole above that also has a thin layer of softer foam to further enhance impact resistance. We found the Onyx to have a very firm feel, but with minimal bounce or energy return after impact. 

Ride Quality
The Quickfoam midsole has comfortable cushioning, but is lacking an appreciable transfer of momentum from rearfoot to forefoot. A full-contact blown rubber outsole ensures solid ground feel at cruising speed, and the segmented outsole provides a bit of forefoot flexibility, although the shoe feels quite stiff overall. With a 9mm heel-toe drop, the Onyx is much better suited for heel strikers than midfoot strikers. 

Speed
This is the heaviest shoe in our test group, and when combined with a stiff feel and limited responsiveness, the Onyx makes you work to earn your speed. 

How We Tested It

The shoes in this test covered approximately 80 miles of running in Monterey County CA, predominantly on asphalt and all-weather track surfaces, in wet and dry conditions, with about 20% of mileage on dirt roads.  Longest single run was 24 miles.  

For more reviews beyond this 2017 test, check out our other lightweight road running shoe tests, road running shoe tests, trail running shoe tests, and other related running gear tests

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Donald Buraglio

Donald Buraglio

Donald is a physical therapist, ultrarunner, barefoot aficionado, and father of three with more than 20 years of experience in endurance sports. When he's not training for ultramarathons, he enjoys hiking or slacklining with his family in Monterey County, CA.


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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$100.00
N/A
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Fit
4
Comfort
5
Responsiveness
3
Ride Quality
4
Speed
4
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
70

Specs

  • Heel Height: 19mm
  • Forefoot Height: 10mm
  • Heel Drop: 9mm

Weight

10.4 oz

Weight

Manufacturer's Stated Weight

10,2

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