MAXx2 - twice as good?

MAXx2 - twice as good?

In this blog, we go over the new VJ MAXx2 in all of its glory, component by component. What's in it, what is it made of and why? Is it twice the shoe its' predecessor was? Read this blog and find out!


Action photos of the VJ MAXx2.The MAXx2 in its natural habitat.


The MAXx2's outsole.The MAXx2 has an aggressive lug configuration and chevron-shaped lugs.

As do all VJ shoes, the MAXx2 offers “the best grip on the planet” with its Superior Contact -outsole made of our own butyl rubber. The butyl rubber outsole is more expensive and three and a half times slower to manufacture compared to your average trail shoe sole, but it offers superior features which is why we’ve chosen to use it.

Normally when testing the grip of trail running shoes in DIN abrasion tests, the values used range from 130 to 180. VJ shoes are tested in 190+, which in layman’s terms means that VJ shoes, on paper, offer roughly 22% better grip compared to your average trail running shoe.

The Superior Contact –butyl rubber outsole is mainly natural material, which is more eco-friendly compared to normal rubber soles. Natural rubber offers softness, which allows the sole to adapt and grip to the surface of for example wet rocks and roots. The material and its’ softness together create the best grip on the planet.

What about the lugs then? The MAXx2’s 4mm lugs have a new more aggressive design and pattern to offer better grip in varying terrain. On harder terrain you get the grip from the material, and on softer terrain from the lug shape and height. The 4mm lug was chosen for this shoe specifically, because it was proven to work the best in versatile conditions, wet and dry.

The aggressive lug design and shape grant the runner the ability to make sharp and fast turns and thanks to the lugs in the heel pointing the other way, break your speed when running downhill. The chevron-shaped lugs also don’t block up from mud and debris since it’s designed to empty itself while running.

Rock plate

As a new feature for the MAXx, you can find a full-length Hard EVA -rock plate inside the MAXx2. It protects the runner from rough and sharp edges underfoot, making the running experience more comfortable and enjoyable when you can focus on running itself and not the pain in your feet. The full-length rock plate increases energy efficiency and stabilizes the shoe making it torsionally more rigid. If the plate was shorter and not full-length, the shoe wouldn’t bend evenly, and the runner would miss out on full protection.

The rock plate itself is light, durable and test-proven to be the best choice for this use case. It is placed between the midsole and outsole so that the runner can better enjoy the cushioning of the midsole, compared to it being placed on top of the midsole.



The all-new SuperFOAMance -midsole offers great cushioning and rebound.

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 MAXx2 offers cushioning for longer distances with its’ stack height of 31mm/25mm, while still being light enough to be comfortable. Despite being a very cushioned shoe, it offers a good amount of feel to the ground beneath. Thanks to the material it is made of, the midsole doesn’t “die out” as easy and recovers itself even after longer runs.


The toebox is roomier than in the previous version.

The last has also seen some changes from the previous version. The last needed an update because of the new rocker and the feedback we’ve received. Compared to MAXx, the MAXx2 offers more comfortability with more room for the toes and the ball of the foot. Even though comfort was a big factor in designing the shoe, the precise and good fit has been kept, so that the performance doesn’t suffer.

The upper

The comfortable woven one-piece upper handles rugged conditions.

The upper is a comfortable woven 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. The upper is closed tight in terms of nothing extra (rocks, sticks and other debris) being able to get inside the shoe. A thin layer of TPU 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 heel

As another new feature, the MAXx2’s heel is now soft with double-layer foam, reducing the pressure on the Achilles tendon, and adapting to the shape of the runner’s heel. One of the reasons the new soft heel adapts so well to the heel is because of the heel cap. The heel cap has a cutout in the back, meaning it doesn’t wrap all the way around the heel and harden it, only on the sides. The fabric inside the heel features woven antislip material, which helps in holding the heel in place even in the toughest of performances.

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