VJ Sports VJ Maxx Review | Cushioned Trail Running Shoes
VJ Sports VJ Max Review
I was very excited when the VJ MAXx arrived in the post because I’ve grown to really enjoy the VJ Shoe brand with the VJ Irock2 being super aggressive and great for racing fast on the Lake District fells and the VJ XTRM with a wider toe box and slightly more cushioning being a favourite for longer fell races and sky races.
Slipping the VJ MAXx onto my feet, I knew they were going to be a good fit for my feet. My initial impression was with the toe box. I think it feels marginally wider than the XTRM, we are talking fractions. When I put on the VJ XTRM they catch my little toe until they soften after a few runs. Where these shoes feel good from the very first run.
The MAXx like the other VJ shoes I have used, have Kevlar fibres woven into the uppers, this initially makes them feel stiff to start with but they do soften after being broken in. Personally I don’t mind this for the extra durability and protection to the feet they provide.
The MAXx with extra cushioning, 6mm drop and a 4mm trail grip are aimed at providing a shoe for trail and mountain running. I really noticed the extra cushioning in these shoes which was great on the hard pack trails when running around Loughrigg and would be good for trail races. I wanted to see how they were when you applied pace, so running hard down my home trail I applied pressure to the feet and flew. The shoes were snug and although cushioned, it is firm cushioning, they responded to the pressure rather than a feeling of losing all your energy into a sponge.
I did not just want to stick to trails, I wanted to push them further, to see how the grip would cope with rock and fell, so I ran up Fairfield. It was the down I was wary about with only a 4mm lug but with every step my confidence grew as I descended the classic fell race route. The shoes coped well with a multitude of terrain and were comfy for the long day out in the fells. The butyl rubber helps provide fantastic grip, although they don’t feel quite as sticky on wet rocks compared to other models.
I would not use them as my out and out fell racer but they are a brilliant all rounder for trail, fell and long days out in the mountains.
Kim Collison – Veteran Ultra Running & Professional Coach
Check out my Strava test run: https://www.strava.com/activities/2414941258