VJ Trail Running Shoes are relatively new to the UK Market but the design, espceially the grip is really well suited to the demands of British Fell and Trail running. The brand is also the choice of current Skyrunning Ultra World Champion, OMM Winner and multiple Obstacle Course Champion Jonathan Albon. If it's good enough for him...
We have just introduced two models from the Finnish brand VJ's range; the XTRM and the Irock 2. With the wet muddy winter conditions well and truly here, we're going to have a look at the slightly more aggressive Irock 2 in more detail below. If you want a full rock-plate, super durable, well cushioned shoe that will serve you well pretty much all year and is slightly better suited to longer distances in a wide range of conditions then check out the VJ XTRM here.
If we had to liken the VJ Irock 2 to another trail running shoe it would probably be the Inov-8 Mudcaw & X-Talon. Grip wise it is certainly on par with these thanks to the deep, well spaced cleats that keep you moving forward however muddy and slippy it gets.
Where the Irock 2 really stands out is grip on wet rock. The butyl rubber provides exceptional traction on wet rock. This is without the hardest element for trail running brands to master and without doubt the Irock 2 has mastered it. You'll be surprised by the confidence this gives you to really attack technical terrain and thus improve your overall performance. The compromise with excellent grip is usually a faster wear rate but the butyl rubber is also very hardwearing...win, win!
Central to the VJ brands principles is to design and build trail running shoes that will last a long time in the conditions that you will be using them i.e. tough, rough terrain. To address this the Irock 2 upper is made from Schoeller®-Keprotec®, a material that incorporates Kevlar into the weave. Kevlar is used in motor sport clothing for safety reasons...this is a tough material!
Despite the uppers durability it is extremely comfortable thanks to the shoes ergonomic shape that mimics the shape of your foot. It's built on a narrow last that means your foot is held securely and gives a great feel for the ground. Don't be put off by the narrow description, the shape is perfect and doesn't feel restrictive, just supportive and secure. The Fitlock system around the instep helps to provide additional support and protection.
Despite it's racing pedigree the VJ Irock 2 doesn't skimp on comfort. The midsole cushioning is enhanced by KvamO which positions microfibre-urethane cushioning units in the heel and forefoot to absorb impacts and protect you.
We think the VJ Irock 2 is going to be a huge hit the UK so why not be a leader and get yourself a pair before the rush to follow! See full details and buy here.