I have ALL the VJs and these are the only ones a bit tight in the box, more so than the Ultra 1
Can’t wait to test them at the OCRWC
Shoes is amazing! Love the colorway too
Bought these for runs longer than 10 miles and after several long runs I have found myself going back to the vj maxx instead of the ultra 2 the shoe is great for grip but just is not as comfy as the maxx.
I brought these to replace the original xtrm and I feel they are better. More comfortable, more room in the toe box. Still the greatest grip. If your original xtrms are getting tired upgrading to these is a great idea
These shoes are the best one-shoe-does-it-all trail shoe I have found. It is the ideal shoe for long days, especially with lots of mixed terrain. I have two other models of VJs, both excellent; but, the MAXx are the ones I find myself defaulting to more often than not. Have done the Oachitas, Ozarks, Massanutten,White, and Blue Ridge in these, and they have performed beautifully every time: wet, dry, cold, hot, you name it. Hope they make them forever. Just don’t wear them on the kitchen floor or you will get in trouble!
So, I prefer to run in sandals… But when a shoe is required, VJ‘s are the shoe of choice. Like others have commented; a fine shoe but a tight toebox. I felt the only option to solve the issue was to perform surgery on the material covering the top of the shoe, as well as removal of the insoles. It was that or toss them out. They don’t look pretty, but now…they work, and are my ‘go to’; even on the road. The sole is fantastic, and after hundreds of miles…little to no wear down. Before pulling the trigger on these, I would order (2) pairs…one 1/2 size up, the other a whole size up; keep the best fitting one. To the designers: there’s room to tweak this shoe, and its in the toebox. Because of the mid-foot fit (of which is the best in the business), if the toe area is opened up (even considerably), the foot would not slide inside the shoe, and be…well…perfect.
I broke my VJ Ultra's in on this year's 19 mile Escarpment Trail Race. I appreciated the rock plate and extra cushioning over such a long and technical course. The soles grip like a mountain goat and I had no PF pain or ankle fatigue. The rubber is starting to peel away from the toe of the shoe, just a little bit at this point though. Otherwise a wise investment for any trail runner.
I already have a pair of Ultras (and now the Ultra 2), but I had several people rave about these to me, so decided to try a pair. I honestly had my doubts since the fit was so different than the Ultra, and I was really worried about the width of the toe box (I'm very sensitive to that). Did a couple short trail runs with them, and then took them out for a very hilly Rugged Maniac (at a motocross track) this past Saturday. Absolutely amazing, and LOVED them. So insanely grippy. While people in regular sneakers were sliding down the hills, I literally (just to see if it would work) stopped my run down in the middle, and stood on the hill, not sliding at all. Decent drainage too for sure. These are definitely going in my OCR rotation.
Been wearing these for trail running since they came out, and they fit just like the Ultras. The grip is fantastic, and have had 0 issues on the trails in Colorado. I'm still giving them a 5 star even though they don't drain super well because I knew that going in. Wore them at Savage Chicago this past weekend (flat course), and they were great on the obstacles, but like I said, don't drain great. Definitely takes a little extra time for the water to get out. BUT I still love them enough where honestly after the initial "oh they work like this," I didn't even notice it at any of the other water obstacles. I'll definitely keep wearing them on the trails, and looking to take them to OCRWC as well. I had to size up an extra 1/2 size. I have the XTRM 2 and have those in a 9, but for these had to get a 9.5.
Excellent shoes soupier gripping for down hill running but you must start making you shoes in wide I hate I had to get a size to big for me 13 wide is perfect and hard down you will have the best shoes on the planet
Built on a men's last, they will never fit my female foot just right... But they are still amazing... They do what they do so well, it's worth the heel blister! Looking forward to the woman's...
Perfect fit in a half size up for me.
Good balance between the Spark and Ultra 2, consisting of ample cushioning in the midsole for any distance.
Super tough upper that will protect you from rocks, roots, and debris.
The MAXx - perfect fit for my normal D feet, light, well made, good materials. Fatigue free walking and running without breaking in period.
I like the amount of firmness, I don’t think about the shoes while I wear them - they are like an extension of my body. They just function very well. Good protection. Not too warm, quick drying and strong material, they seem very durable. Excellent grip.
I use also the XTREM2 when I need a more close to the ground feel and even more grip off trails.
Very happy with my purchase.
I ordered the same size I used to buy in other brands, but they were smaller.
I recommend to choose an additional half size.
Took the XTRM2’s out for their first race and they shone brightly through loose/rocky terrain, mucky water crossings, steep uphill, and bombing downhills. Grip was amazing! Fit was super solid! Overall the XTRM2 has secured its place in my racing quiver and would highly recommend!
Fits perfectly in a half size up and allows for multiple sock thickness.
Very stable on multiple surfaces including road.
Maximum protection against rocks and roots.
Unequalled outsole grip on wet surfaces.
VJ shoes has really stepped up their game!
If you’re new to the VJ line, this is the perfect introductory to precision off road racing and training.
I'm not sure why newer shoes are still opting to have narrow toe boxes with all the science coming out that wider toe boxes are healthier and more natural for feet. These shoes did the trick for climbing up the back side of half dome with the 6mm lugs, but my toes were killing me the entire way.
Hi Ben - The iRock 3 is designed to be a narrow show, built on a narrow last on purpose. There are many people who this style fits better and prefer the snug feeling.
Perfect for my feet, good space in toe box, no break in, not too hot, breathe well, dry quickly. I feel sure footed, close to the ground, good protection.
Not to forget the very good grip. I currently use only on local Pennsylvania trails but I will take these instead of heavy hiking boots when I go hiking in Swiss Alps. And I have the Xtrm2 in my gym shoe rotation as well.
I wish they came in more discreet colors and I would wear them as a casual shoe as well.
I recently used this shoe for a Spartan Super and Beast in one weekend. They had excellent grip and the mud would not stick to the bottom of the shoes. Absolutely would buy these again!
Loving the new Ultra 2 its perfect for rough trails! I have both the original ultra and the new version. Very happy with both!
I’m a solid Age Group OCR racer. I picked these up at a Savage race after realizing I’d left my running shoes in my car an hr away. They were great right out of the box! The Sparks are super light weight, good room in the toe box, and have fantastic grip. They feel like part of your body, not clunky rubber strapped to your feet. Like a firm sock with protection and grip on the bottom. Very very cool shoes! I have two pairs of Solomon Speedcross 4, I love the grip, cushion, and spring but felt I was always on the verge of rolling my ankle because I can’t connect with the ground. The Sparks make to feel very grounded. The only things I found that take some getting used to are: 1. At first the tongue felt too tight and like it was digging into the front part of my ankle, to solve that issues I switched the laces to the other holes and loosened them. You can still keep the rest of your laces tight even with the loosening of the top hole. 2. Being a lower drop shoes, they don’t automatically encourage forward momentum, you have to work for it more. 3. Occasionally I’ll feel some rocks through the sole, hasn’t made my feet tender so far, but idk how it would be on very rocky terrain, I’m going to take the rock plate from Ultra’s and use that for super rocky training runs. I’ve only used them on softer trails so far. But I believe in these Sparks enough to take ‘em to Utah for the NS Beast. Will ABSOLUTELY BUY THESE AGAIN! These are fantastic shoes! PS. I usually wear 4.5 size kids shoes (Keen, Nike, etc) bought 5.5 Sparks that fit perfectly. Go up in size 👍