Here at VIX Protection we live by the motto “never compromise”, and the technology we use has allowed us to live up to it. VIX not only offers the most cut resistant leggings on the market, but does so while also ensuring 100% protective coverage, forgot-I-was-wearing-it levels of comfort, and total warmth down to -15° C.
Our technology can be broken down into three levels:
We began our work with testing: a pretty obvious starting point but one that most skip over. Instead of relying solely on data provided by suppliers (or by Google), we spent eight months developing, conducting, and analyzing tests before taking any other steps. At first we used the 2 testing standards that everyone relies on for cut resistance: EN388 and ANSI (the ones that produce the Level 1-5 value) but we quickly realized that these were not sufficient. They were neither rigorous enough nor did they even come close to replicating ski cuts: cut forces were extremely low (500 grams for EN388), blade angles were extremely acute (~20° for both), and blade geometry was entirely different.
So we built our own test that does capture the variables of skiing. And then we built 21 more improved versions:
We collected and tested 220+ fabric samples. We found out a few interesting things:
-Cut resistance varies tremendously and cannot be estimated by feel alone
-Our results did not correlate with the ‘cut levels’ produced by the two existing tests
-Our competitors’ fabrics only lasted between 5cm and 27cm before getting cut through by skis
Only 5 out of 220 fabrics made it across the ski without cutting. 4 of those were extremely thick, itchy, and stretch-less. We took the fifth fabric, redesigned it to fit the particular needs of ski racers, and created VIX from it.
With cut resistance, the old adage “you get what you pay for” is particularly true. We only accept top quality, which is why our cost of production is incredibly high (and why we cannot sell through regular ski shops - because of our margins, we would lose more than $50 on each retail sale).
We source only the highest quality materials from companies with strict testing protocols, quality control measures, and a proven track record.
Our core material used is called Ultra High Molecular Weight Polyethylene (UHMWPE). It is 15x stronger than steel on a per-weight basis and 40% stronger than Kevlar. Unlike Kevlar, it is also UV-resistant, chemical resistant, and does not degrade with exposure to moisture, salt, or artificial light.
Our suppliers have tested and validated every UHMWPE fiber manufacturer (including Dyneema) and noticed extreme variability in quality - ours is little known but stands out significantly in the quality and consistency of their product.
The construction is the most critical step for the end product - no matter how protective a product is, if it’s not comfortable then no skier will wear it and if they won’t wear it then you might as well not make it.
In most cases, companies compromise some safety to achieve comfort: many simply incorporate patches of protection while others eliminate cut-resistant fabric from the knees or groin to create comfort in those joint areas. While this is probably more comfortable, the groin and back of the knee have some of the most critical blood pathways - places you don’t want to get cut. Our solution to this was to engineer our yarn and its knitted structure to be soft and flexible enough to be worn on any part of the body - including joint areas. We’ve tested and developed this with 15 of the current top 30 World Cup ski racers and they all agree - the comfort and performance is excellent. All 15 said they forgot they were wearing them.
We didn’t just want to make a product that was more comfortable than other protection - protection is never comfortable anyways. We wanted to make the comfiest and best-feeling leggings available - cut resistant or not. The most obvious points of weakness for comfort as well as protection are the seams. We spent months alone on the seams, reinforcing them and experimenting with dozens of stitching techniques until recently we came up with a brilliant idea - eliminate them altogether.
We use 3D knitting technology to manufacture our leggings with the greatest possible level of comfort, and with zero points of weakness.