Lululemon has always been the go-to for workout apparel, but with their new line of Blissfeel clothing is it a healthy obsession or too good to be true? We tried out this Lulu’s latest product to find out.
In the early 2000s, I remember wandering through the rows of leggings at Lululemon with the objective of owning — or at the very least trying on — each pair. I started checking Lululemon’s website every day for new releases, just like so many other die-hard Lululemon fans: That’s why Lululemon’s historic women’s running shoe release is such a big deal. The Blissfeel is a wonderful addition to the brand’s ever-expanding line of clothes, accessories, and workout equipment.
As on March 22, they’ll be available in certain areas throughout North America, Mainland China, and the United Kingdom, and we had the opportunity to put them to the test so you can decide whether they’re appropriate for you.
The Blissfeels have your back whether you’re preparing for a race, adding more walking or jogging to your routine, or need a reliable running shoe to get you from one end of a big airport terminal to the other (and feet). According to research published in the journal Medicine and Science in Sports and Medicine, the Blissfeels were created after the brand analyzed the foot scans of over one million women in order to create a shoe designed specifically for the female foot, which differs from men’s feet at the arch, lateral side of the foot, first toe, and ball of the foot. The vented top is meant to make you feel as if you’re wearing nothing at all, and the foam cushioning minimizes stress on your joints during high-intensity activities. They’re $148 each and available in full and half sizes 5 to 11.
I wouldn’t generally choose a running shoe with a classic shape like these, but Lululemon’s logo could be slapped on a rubbish bag and I’d proudly wear it (guilty as charged). The shoe is available in ten colours, and I was happy to get the Electric Lemon model, which has a black mesh top, bright yellow detailing on the side, and a big white heel that adds some much-needed height to my 5-foot-3 frame.
I could immediately feel its well calibrated foam cushioning, which provided enough of bounce to urge me ahead. It’s a lighter shoe than I’m accustomed to, but with this much energy in my stride, I can’t imagine wearing anything else.
I enjoyed the several logos, not to stress on the minutiae, but as someone who has unironically pondered getting a Lululemon tattoo. The rear has an expanded logo that looks like the one they used to put on their flared Groove Pants in 2003, and it acts as a stop sign that says, “Talk to me about yoga mats and heart rate monitors!” I really like the more modest logo on the side of the tongue, but I was unhappy to see that when I lace them up, it tucks back into the shoe (the website showcases said logo exposed, so this could be an issue of my own foot shape). Despite being my typical size 6, I noticed they were a little snug in the toe box when I first squirmed my way into them. I almost crushed my fingers attempting to put shoes on since there was no loop to hold at the heel. Despite this, they elegantly enveloped my foot and I felt supported from practically every position.
I wore them about the home for many hours, doing a variety of activities like cleaning and folding laundry, and sitting for several hours while working to see how they’d hold up as a daily shoe. The sneaker took on the shape of a treasured antique sweater or blanket that softens and relaxes with use, much to my delight. Just this time, instead of many years, it took only a few hours to feel like they were designed for me. If you’re intending to use them purely for daily use, they’re a little technical, but if you’re working out anyhow, keeping them on for a time will be a delight for your feet.
I was a little hesitant to go from my Hoka One Ones, which provide unrivaled cushioning, so the Blissfeels had large shoes to fill. I felt a lightness and length to my posture the instant I walked onto the treadmill that I hadn’t felt since I initially put on my Hokas two years ago (this might be a hint it’s time to change them permanently). The lightness of the shoe, as well as the inch-high heel, contribute to this sensation.
To give them a fair shake, I put them through 45 minutes of sprint intervals (or “sprintervals,” as I like to call them), which included walking, jogging, running, and sprinting at full speed. I felt myself jumping — no, leaping! — ahead in that gloriously thrilling manner that only a fresh set of running shoes can provide. The tight fit of the shoe provided complete support for my feet and ankles, and the arch support was strong enough to retain the natural shape of my foot without making me feel like I was walking on a stress ball.
I anticipate this to go away when the shoe molds to my foot even more over time, however the tongue on my left foot did scrape into my instep. My two feet, like the bulk of the population, are somewhat different in form and size, so this isn’t a criticism at the shoe.
Do I think of them as a running shoe? Yes. Would I put them on for a cross-training session? Only if I’d been jogging and wanted to supplement my cardiorespiratory regimen with some weight training. The shoes excel in the cushion category, and certain schools of thought believe that during weight-training or cross-training, you should avoid any bouncy materials with too much give. Otherwise, the shoe may unintentionally aid you in your movement by encouraging you to depend on momentum rather than your inherent strength. These shoes were quite comfortable to wear while doing jump squats, deadlifts, and back lunges with lateral raises.
Here’s when things start to get interesting: It’s almost as though the traction is too excellent. Because my gym is carpeted, I could feel the grooves and ridges become trapped in the fibers during sliding or side-stepping activities like side lunges. This makes me to think they’d perform well on gleaming hardwood or even ice (though, given their thinness and high ventilation, I wouldn’t suggest them as a winter shoe). I can’t comment to how well the traction will hold up over months or years of usage since I’ve only had them for a week.
The Blissfeels are a good pick if you’re searching for a new running shoe to add to your collection. They’re certainly pricy at $148 for a pair, but they’re within the usual shoe price range.
Three additional shoes will be released later this year: the Chargefeel, Restfeel, and Strongfeel, with a men’s line set to debut in 2023. Because the Blissfeels have won me over, I’m even more enthusiastic for their next shoe releases, and I’ll be sure to keep you updated so you can partake in the wonderful sneaker ecstasy as well.