Lightspeed, what's in it and why?

Lightspeed, what's in it and why?

VJ Lightspeed, what's in it and why?

The VJ Lightspeed in actionThe VJ Lightspeed in action.

The VJ Lightspeed is an ultralight racing shoe developed together with elite trail runners with the goal to create the fastest trail running shoe in the world. Now it is here.

As the Lightspeed was specifically made with racing in mind, it was built to be as light and fast as possible, without compromising performance. We’ve removed every bit of unnecessary weight to achieve the performance needed, this is why for example the midsole and sole are narrow from the heel. To better understand the importance of weight in a racing shoe like this, think about this: if the shoe was for example 20 grams heavier, you would need to pick that extra 20 grams up every time you raise your leg. Now multiply those 20 grams with the steps you took on your run - that’s a lot of reps and weight in the long run!

Lug configuration

The Lightspeed’s lug size, design and shape is not random, but a carefully thought-out configuration. The shape of the lugs maximize grip in every direction, allowing the runner to make fast and sharp turns in fast speeds. The lug placement is designed to be as fast as possible. We’ve optimized the outsole by removing unnecessary weight from it, since rubber is the number one heaviest material on a running shoe.

Branched composite plate

Inside the Lightspeed, on top of the midsole, you can find a branched composite plate. This plate was added to offer the runner protection, energy return and improve running economy. The plate allows the runner to run faster for longer since it pushes the runner forward like a spring, it also works in slower and more challenging terrain. You may ask why wouldn’t we just use a carbon fibre plate? Through rigorous testing and multiple prototypes, we found that carbon fibre plate would be too stiff for trail running and the varying terrain. The composite plate is softer and better suited for trail running.

The plate is branched in a Y-shape to allow the runner to tackle slanted surfaces, since it better adapts to the terrain. The plate’s curved shape is also there for a reason, it enhances the force of the push the plate offers for the runner. The curve is not too aggressive though, because in trail running the speeds are lower than in traditional road running.

Midsole & stack

One of the biggest new features is the all-new midsole foam, which is in the shoe designers’ words themselves “elite tier stuff”. The SuperFOAMance -midsole is made of nitrogen-infused material that offers better cushioning and rebound while being lighter and more durable than the average midsole material used in running shoes.

The midsole has a curve to it, this means the shoe is rockered, meaning that it helps the runner achieve a more natural stride and assists the forefoot in rolling forward. The rocker also helps with optimizing the running form and maintaining the running pace even when tired.

The Lightspeed’s stack height is 29mm/23mm, so it offers enough cushioning for longer distances, but doesn’t make the shoe too high or unstable for technical terrain and maintains a good ground feel.

The composite plate is also covered with a piece of SuperFOAMance foam, improving the cushion and comfort.


The Lightspeed’s last is precisely shaped since it’s after all a racing shoe, but it still offers enough room for the toes to move, adding comfort on longer runs. Compared to the other SuperFOAMance release, the MAXx2, the Lightspeed is designed to be the more competitive one out of these two. The fit of the shoe could be described as an extension of your foot, a sock-like fit.

The upper

The upper fits into the nature of a race shoe with its precisely fitting, knitted one-piece upper that adapts to the shape of the foot. It is made of durable material that can handle rugged, wet and rough conditions which are very familiar to us at VJ from the orienteering world. A thin red layer of reinforcement wraps around the whole shoe, offering just a little bit of extra protection for the runner, while not adding a lot of weight to the shoe. The gap on the bottom of the lacing makes the upper flex a little, allowing the toes some more room when needed.

Shop the Lightspeed!

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