First Run 361 Degree Meraki v1

Okay this is getting a little ridiculous — another day, another first run in a pair of new running shoes.

Today it is the 361 Degree Meraki v1’s turn.

It is the season when shoes tend to suddenly appear on the doorstep as presents and who am I to not give in to the very normal urge for the running shoe geek in me to try them out as soon as I can?

So yeah, I did a recovery run around the Middle Road and answered several questions I had about the 361 Degree Meraki v1s.

First, I did a harder/faster workout for me yesterday and then this morning Bennie decided that it was a great day for a 3.0+ mile walk (lasting over an hour) before getting out the door for my run. Which meant the legs were toast/trashed/tired and I really was not into doing a whole lot more than what I had to do.

Recovery runs are supposed to be an easy effort and that is exactly what I did during the run, despite it being a first run in new shoes. It meant that I wouldn’t be doing any strides or faster stuff to see how they felt.

361 Degrees Meraki v1 – before the first run in them

Please notice that my Meraki’s are primarily white…not a great color when you run many of your runs through a dirt road, but it was the best color available at the price point they were at when D2 ordered them for me. So deal with it Harold. They will never be this white again, that I can pretty much promise. 🙂

Okay, enough intro crap, how did the run go?

They were pretty stiff out of the box, however, I could tell the cushioning is there they just have to get a few runs in to break in the midsole and carbon plate. I will say until I got to the end of Philbrick Road, it was holy wind tunnel Batman, the official wind mph was 9-10 mph, it felt closer to 20 mph in open areas or at the top of the hill. Which took my mind off the shoes and the shoes didn’t cause me to think about them at all. I was too busy whining to myself about the cold breeze.

Oh poor me. Heheheehee

If I am thinking more about the weather than I am the shoes after less than a half mile, that is pretty much a good sign for the shoes.

Going down the hill the Meraki were pretty quiet for a pair of shoes with a lot of rubber on the outsole and while I didn’t even attempt to go faster, I naturally picked up the pace a bit. The first mile was okay and the second a little better. I figured out the stride and foot landing for the Meraki’s and they felt really good getting to mile 2.0.

Mile 3.0 was a bit of a shit show. I always carry my phone with me on a run, but usually ignore all the calls unless it is family, but I wasn’t sure of who this one was, so I answered it on the road shoulder in front of the school. When I stopped a car buzzed by a lot closer than necessary (no car was coming in the other direction and I had a fluorescent orange running jacket and hat on, so they damn well could see me). Flustered me for a minute and I had to frig around to get back to the phone app. We are having work done on the garage roof, so just in case it was them, I stopped to take the call — it wasn’t. Damn spam calls, yeah one of those marketing calls that we all hate so much. I block the hell out of them and it has reduced, but not completely gotten rid of the crap calls.

After that I just kept plodding along, each mile getting slower than the one before. The legs were just too tired to turn-over any faster and once I turned back onto Philbrick Road, the “breeze” was back in my face, which made the last mile even more miserable than usual. I finished…

How did the Meraki’s do?

The weight was good for a daily trainer and the heel-to-toe transition was smooth.

A bit stiff to begin with, but I could feel them loosening up a bit on the last mile, so I imagine that they will do fine in that are once they are broken in. The cushioning was right where I am looking for, not super cushy, but not harsh either, but a bit firmer than the Pacer 2s that I ran in yesterday. Which did surprise me. The one thing I am wondering about is how firm they will be when it get cold up here this winter. I don’t like running on harsh running shoes in the winter, but tend to think they will do at least as well as other EVA midsoled shoes I have run in before.

They are white and surprisingly stayed mostly that way for the run. Only one mud splat going through down-back despite the big storm yesterday.

361 Meraki v1 after the first run – not too dirty despite running on a dirt road

Although if I could order them over again, I would probably go with my true to size 8.0 versus the 8.5 that I chose to to with. I have found that I can run in a shoe that is slightly too big just fine, but one that is too small doesn’t work at all. It isn’t that the Meraki’s are that much too big, but they do feel a bit longer than I need. The toe box felt just right and the only bother on the run was from my socks – not the shoes. Gotta find some good running socks that don’t have seams in the toe area to aggravate my little toe on the right foot. Although getting them a half-size up means that my Merino wool socks will fit nicely to keep the feet warmer later on.

Traction in the wet/muddy areas was outstanding and there were no issues with picking up major rockage in the grooves in the outsole. Even though I had to run on the dirt shoulder of the Middle Road several times, areas on hills that were sanded and running on the dirt road, which surprised me.

I will be interested to see how they deal with snow/slush and stuff, but with the outsole, I have a feeling the Meraki will do well enough that I won’t have to switch to trail shoes everytime it snows or is nasty out.

In all honesty, the first run in the Meraki’s was a bit unfair to the shoes, since my legs were so trashed and I had zero pop/energy. Even so they did as well as or better than most of the first runs I have had in shoes this year. If they felt decent on a day when my running was not great, it leads me to believe that they will be fine moving forward.

Friday’s run I have a feeling will tell me a lot more about them.

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