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  • gethinthomas7


Updated: Feb 18, 2022

Tech and Spec

What VJ Say

"The VJ XTRM is the go-to shoe for just about any terrain. The introduction of a full-length rockplate and a slightly shallower lug profile makes this shoe more of an all-rounder, offering incredible grip and a higher level of protection/comfort even on those longer harder trails. Increased responsiveness makes technical running in these a pleasure with the Butyl rubber giving confidence even in slippery conditions."

Activity Trail Running, Swimrun, Obstacle Course Racing, Sky Running

Fit Scale 2

Gender (details) Unisex

Midsole stack12mm/8mm

Outsole Superior Contact

Upper 42% DuPont Kevlar®, 58% Nylon

Lug depth 6mm

Weight 250g (UK 8)

First Impression

These remind me a lot of the old pre-graphene Inov-8 Mudclaws in terms of lugs and weight.

Looks: I like the look of the red and yellow/green colourway, the lugs look super aggressive as if they'd grip anything.

Weight: At only 250g these feel light in the hand and more importantly light when on the feet.

Feel: The shoe feels narrow or maybe half a size small. I've heard others with similar comments in relation to the width in VJ shoes in general.

First Run

I tested these out on one of my favourite training loops that takes in wooded trails, muddy fields, packed trails and tarmac. Straight off they felt fast and grippy, the fit lock keeps the shoe frim on the foot and although initially I was concerned they may be a bit small or tight this did not seem to be the case during the 8 miles.

The grip was good in the mud and on wet stones, giving confidence in my footing - this is down to the lugs and the tackiness of the rubber sole.

One thing I really like about the VJ XTRM is the use of a rockplate, these seems to have gone out of fashion with some trail shoes, combined with the cushioning gives nice underfoot protection. The rockplate does stiffen the shoe but it still have enough flexibility so that it does not feel like you're running in planks of wood.

On the whole they feel like they want to run fast.

Long Run

Taking these out on a long run I was concerned that the fact that they initially felt a little tight may cause me significant issues on a long run. However, I was pleasantly surprised to see that they didn't.

The long run was a combination of fields, footpaths and road and once again the XTRM performed strongly. The lugs did not dig in over the longer distance or on the road, in all honestly I felt as if I could run a lot further than the 16miles I did and still not have any ill effects.

The rubber sole feels a lot tougher and more durable than on other shoes. I wince every time I hit a road section in my Scotts as their rubber feels very soft. The VJs in contrast feel like they are built to last.

Final Thoughts

I am still not convinced by the sizing, although I had no issues over either run I would need to run longer and further in them to be sure. As mentioned above they remind me a lot of the Inov8 Mud claw in that they would ideal for fell running but in contrast to the Mudclaw I would be inclined to run longer distances in them.

What would I wear these for? I would wear them for trail/fell running all year round. Would I wear them for the UTMB? probably not. However I would consider them for the UTS100 as the route is less hard packed trail and more grassy and fell-like.

On the whole a very good shoe that I would consider buying and in some instances using instead of my Scott Supertrac Ultra RC.


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