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Thread: VJ Irocks

  1. #11
    Senior Member Sam W's Avatar
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    I had a pair briefly (bought too small, persisted, then gave up & sold them). Impressed by the grip, obviously canít comment on fit in my case! Still didnít find them to be as grippy as Walsh PB sole on wet/dry rock or grass, though a more cushioned sole - given that the PB sole is very firm, thatís to be expected.

  2. #12
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Had a few more outings in these, culminating in the Buttermere Horseshoe yesterday. Still very impressed.

    I've had one minor slip in them, and that was on the steepest, most eroded section of that descent to Sail Beck off Whiteless Pike, on a section that a good number of people had elected to go down on their arse anyway... I suspect as much to do with my poor technique as anything else. Otherwise, grip has been perfect, admittedly in pretty dry and ideal conditions.

    Definitely the most fitting and comfortable pair of Fell shoes I've had. I really suffer when contouring, I don't know if poor technique, or the odd shape of my feet which are very narrow at the heel, but my toes fan out all over the place, giving me feet remarkably like a conche shell... this really seems to pull my shoes in all directions when contouring. So I still noticed this effect and some minor rubbing on the outer sides of my heel, but very little in comparison to other shoes I've worn.

    Cushioning is not massive. I got through 6hrs at Buttermere with no issues so it can't be that bad, but definitely a racers shoe. My only minor gripe is my right shoe needed tightening 3 times during the race... they are new, so perhaps I haven't quite got the lacing mastered, but I think it's more to do with my contouring issue above, my crazy feet just pulling the shoes a little loose.

    Overall I'm very pleased. Noticed a fair few of them being worn yesterday. Obviously Inov8 were the vast majority, but not far behind the amount of Salomons and Walshes that I saw, and certainly a lot more than any other makes.

    Only having the one Fell shoe means they'll never rival Inov8 for numbers, but, especially if Pete Blands were to start selling them, I think they could become a viable alternative and the 2nd choice above Salomons. In my eyes they're the best Fell shoes I've worn, I just hope their reputed longevity lives up to its reputation.

  3. #13
    Master Rob Furness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    Had a few more outings in these, culminating in the Buttermere Horseshoe yesterday. Still very impressed.

    I've had one minor slip in them, and that was on the steepest, most eroded section of that descent to Sail Beck off Whiteless Pike, on a section that a good number of people had elected to go down on their arse anyway... I suspect as much to do with my poor technique as anything else. Otherwise, grip has been perfect, admittedly in pretty dry and ideal conditions.

    Definitely the most fitting and comfortable pair of Fell shoes I've had. I really suffer when contouring, I don't know if poor technique, or the odd shape of my feet which are very narrow at the heel, but my toes fan out all over the place, giving me feet remarkably like a conche shell... this really seems to pull my shoes in all directions when contouring. So I still noticed this effect and some minor rubbing on the outer sides of my heel, but very little in comparison to other shoes I've worn.

    Cushioning is not massive. I got through 6hrs at Buttermere with no issues so it can't be that bad, but definitely a racers shoe. My only minor gripe is my right shoe needed tightening 3 times during the race... they are new, so perhaps I haven't quite got the lacing mastered, but I think it's more to do with my contouring issue above, my crazy feet just pulling the shoes a little loose.

    Overall I'm very pleased. Noticed a fair few of them being worn yesterday. Obviously Inov8 were the vast majority, but not far behind the amount of Salomons and Walshes that I saw, and certainly a lot more than any other makes.

    Only having the one Fell shoe means they'll never rival Inov8 for numbers, but, especially if Pete Blands were to start selling them, I think they could become a viable alternative and the 2nd choice above Salomons. In my eyes they're the best Fell shoes I've worn, I just hope their reputed longevity lives up to its reputation.
    How are they for sizing? Might get a pair of these. I also have narrow heels.
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  4. #14
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Furness View Post
    How are they for sizing? Might get a pair of these. I also have narrow heels.
    I wear a 10 in Inov8 Mudclaw and the 10 in the Irocks is fine for me.

  5. #15
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    My irocks have finally been consigned to the bin after using them week-in-week-out since June. Basically I've worn down the grip to almost nothing on some parts, I expect due to a punishing schedule of races over sometimes horrendously rocky terrain, during an incredibly dry summer.

    Final verdict is that they are the best Fell shoes I've ever owned. Fit is very snug and comfortable. Grip is outstanding and overall I've felt more sure footed in these then even the mighty mudclaw (although this is possibly due to an improvement in confidence and technique over the summer). Even on horrendously wet and slippy days, Sedbergh Hills for example, my technique has given out long before the grip from the soles.

    If there's any minor point, then I guess it's the lack of cushioning. I've got used to it, but certainly noticed it for example on the long descent down the Snowdon Ranger path, or on a hot and dry day over the Stretton Skyline. However I've used them on long days out over Peris, Buttermere, TourDeHelvellyn, and several 8 hour training runs, so it's merely a discomfort rather than a major issue.

    Uppers are still in absolutely perfect condition.... one of the laces gave up on me in the warmup to an xc race, but replaced them with Scott Kinabalu laces and all was fine again.

    I've just bought the new VJ shoes, the Xtrm, and will give them their first outing on Boxing Day. Supposedly very similar grip, but with a bit of extra comfort and cushioning. Certainly felt nice in the shop, although the extra room in them meant I plumped for a 9.5 instead of the usual 10 in the irock/mudclaw/etc. Will report once I've given them a bash.

  6. #16
    Master Travs's Avatar
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    After a few races in the VJ Xtrm I've yet to notice any major difference between the grip in these and the superb grip of the Irocks. i.e the grip is fantastic.

    The comfort however is vastly improved due to the inclusion of the rock plate.

    In short, these appear to be an improvement over the Irock, and are hands down the best fell shoes I've ever worn.

    2 points to consider before i get too carried away...

    I've only had them since xmas.
    and
    They are still a minimal fell shoe. However after running some long hard races in the Irock, these are easier on the foot.

  7. #17
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    I would agree with your conclusions. The iRock2 were my favourite ever feel shoe until I got the XTRM, which is even better. I used the iRock2 for about 600 miles of races and training runs including Haworth Hobble and Fellsman, and all of the BGR except leg 1 (for which my chosen shoes - Altra MT King 1.5 - suffered from the insole slipping when it got sodden; thank feck I had the iRock at Threlkeld to change into!).

    the Upper on the iRock is still fine after 600 miles and the grip only wore down because I did too much road in them.

    I never found lack of cushioning an issue, even on the Hobble, the Fellsman and BGR.

    Quote Originally Posted by Travs View Post
    After a few races in the VJ Xtrm I've yet to notice any major difference between the grip in these and the superb grip of the Irocks. i.e the grip is fantastic.

    The comfort however is vastly improved due to the inclusion of the rock plate.

    In short, these appear to be an improvement over the Irock, and are hands down the best fell shoes I've ever worn.

    2 points to consider before i get too carried away...

    I've only had them since xmas.
    and
    They are still a minimal fell shoe. However after running some long hard races in the Irock, these are easier on the foot.

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