(The Gear Loop) - The 361 Degrees Camino WP is a shoe with a bit of an identity crisis. Not quite a fully-fledged hiking boot and not really part of the lightweight, trail-running contingent, it adopts a place somewhere between the two.
This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, because after spending some time with them, you’ll quickly realise they have all the facets to be used for both and underpinning all of it is a super squishy chunk of the brand’s Quikfoam midsole that makes them, quite simply, a really comfortable pair of shoes to wear.
Based on the company’s Yushan 2 trail running platform, the Camino WP go one step further will a fully waterproof upper (hence the WP bit), as well as a number of small design changes with the sole purpose of keeping the weather out and your feet dry.
There’s also a high traction sole and what 361 Degrees calls is Quikspring+ comfort base that is designed to assist with a natural running gait and take some of the shock out of every stride.
The Camino WP adopts a fairly niche space that sits somewhere between a trail running shoe and comfortable, weather-proof trainer for walking or longer hikes.
It doesn’t sport the same safety features as a fully fledged hiking boot, nor can it compete with the more technically sophisticated trail-running shoes that we have tested recently, but it’s a fairly enticing proposition nonetheless.
If you’re simply looking for a comfortable, weather-proof shoe that you can use for a multitude of disciplines, this could be just the thing. But with the likes of On, Merrell and The North Face all offering something similar, there’s tough competition for 361 Degrees.
The Camino WP are available to buy from the 361 Europe website.
361 Degrees Camino WP
- High traction sole
- Muted colours
- Feel bulky
- Lacks ankle support of a boot
- There are lighter options for running
You say Camino, we say camo
The shoes feel sturdy straight out of the box, with the waterproof membrane appearing more like a second skin that covers the majority of the toebox and flanks. Buyers only get the option of deep green with contrasting orange laces.
Completely unrelated, but this colour scheme cleverly blends into fern and forest trails nicely, should you wish to appear to be floating when out for a walk or run.
There’s serious reinforcement at the heel, which immediately locks the foot into place when slipping them on, which in turn is aided by a toughened heel tab that makes it easy to grab, even with gloved hands.
It feels like 361 Degrees has deliberately opted for a wider fit here, as there’s plenty of room for thicker or padded socks, but this doesn’t do much for a slimline, compact footprint. Nor is it great for those with very skinny feet. These folk might there's too much wiggle room inside.
Even in a relatively small UK size 8, these felt and looked very chunky, especially with this reviewer’s pipe cleaner legs poking out of them.
It’s easy to achieve a really locked-down fit thanks to the clever use of grippy laces and a flat, "gusted" tongue that allows the wearer to get the top of the shoe to clamp down on the foot when needed.
This will please anyone thinking of doing a bit of trail running or scrambling, as they feel reassuringly solid when tightly laced up. That said, they’re still not the most stable trail shoes we’ve tried and this is likely down to the 25mm stack height, there to make room for all the cushioning.
At 396g, these are also not the lightest shoes for running in and as you’ll read later (if you can be bothered), they generally feel too bulky to attempt to smash personal bests or tackle lightning fast, technical trail running routes.
That said, they are fantastically comfortable and if covering ground at an ample pace is more your thing, you’ll find the Quikfoam and Quikspring+ midsole is perfectly suited for long hikes or gentle climbs.
Marathon, not a race
After subjecting a pair of Camino WP’s to some light trail-running, a few muddy dog walks and the odd half-day hike around the Jurassic Coast, we can happily report that they make good on their promise of being comfortable and what’s more, feet came home dry.
The trail-orientated outsole provides good levels of grip, but it does come unstuck on some of the faster, slippier sections, where we found something like Saucony’s aggressive PWRTRAC rubber outsole to be the better performer, for example.
However, if you’re predominantly using these as an all-day walking shoe, it’s not likely you’ll come across any problems. And here, the additional height of the collar and the reinforced heel really come into play, as they decrease the chances of rolling an ankle on treacherous terrain.
The tongue and lacing system did a great job of keeping debris out of the shoe, while that deeply plush cushioned midsole proved fantastic for lengthier hikes. Although not sold as thermal in any way, we also found them to be much warmer than more dedicated trail-running shoes - a positive during these chillier months.
Although not quite robust enough to handle tough, technical hikes, nor light and nimble enough to set PBs on the trails, the 361 Degrees Camino WP still makes a solid all-rounder that keeps the feet dry and comfortable out in the wilderness.