Kit Focus – 361 Yushan 2 Trail Running Shoes Review

361 Yushan Trail Running Shoes Review
There are very few pairs of running shoes that I would run an off-road marathon in, having only worn them for 15 kilometres previously. I did just that with the 361° Yushan Trail Running Shoes, back in 2019 on the Challenge the Wight event. They were, and are still, the most comfortable off-road trail running shoes that I have worn to date.

My fond association with the 361° brand came after trying their Strata 3 Road Running Shoes in early 2018; they proved to be incredibly comfortable, stable, and supportive straight out of the box. I have subsequently run over 700 kilometres in them.

When I signed up for the 'Challenge the Wight' night marathon, I was well aware that my shoe choice would not only play a part in comfort, but also whether I would even finish the event. Due to a relatively collapsed arch and a wide toe spread, I have suffered from repeat problems with cramped or blistered toes, and vulnerable ankle joints—I was the kid who had to wear boots to school (before that was cool)—an anatomy that did not bode well for an off-road marathon event.

From the moment I tried the 361 Yushan Trail Shoes, they fitted perfectly: with their wider toe box, super breathable and flexible one-piece knitted upper, and the arch support that runs the length of the shoe.

Out on the trails, my initial commendations were concreted. The 361° Yushan (and now Yushan 2) feels like a second supportive skin, and the cushioning is exceptional thanks to the combination of the bouncy Quikspring+ base and a full length Quikfoam layer for comfort and shock absorption. A QU!K flex forefoot provides a balanced toe-off contact point, and a moulded QU!KFOAM insole supplies added comfort.

Grip and protection are also faultless, with the toe shield providing hidden protection for your fore-foot, and the StoneShield rock plate protecting the sole. The grippy outsole provides traction on loose rocks or mud.

Finally, I think the defining factor with the Yushan is the lightweight feel and the perfect 8 millimetre heel-toe drop; these two attributes have previously attracted me to shoes like the Salomon Sense Ride, but with the Yushan 2 they seem to be provided without compromise in either area.

I ran the Challenge the Wight event in the Yushan trail shoes—non-stop, 26.2 miles off-road, with 2600 feet of elevation—they were superb: no blisters, no knee pain and no ankle pain; just a smooth fast ride. I won the event (my first marathon).

After wearing the original Yushan trail shoes into the ground (approx. 800 kilometres later), I replaced them with the new 361° Yushan 2 shoes, and have continued to enjoy the same comfort and performance. These really are winning kicks.

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