Not content to rest on its laurels of leggings, Lululemon, the Vancouver-based activewear success story, broke new ground recently: dressing the Canadian team for the Beijing Olympics, launching its first tennis collection and now take on the global sneaker giants with his very first shoes.
The first style of Lululemon shoes to launch bears the eye-catching name Blissfeel, and more will follow this summer, including an intriguing sock-like sneaker that hugs the ankles and a minimalist slide sandal. The brand says a key point of difference is that while much active shoe research focuses on men’s feet and biomechanics, Lululemon’s shoes are designed specifically for women’s feet; they were designed based on foot scans of “over a million women” for optimal fit and comfort.
The Blissfeel is built for running, with form-fitting foam padding meant to soften your steps and “propel” you forward. A moisture-wicking lining keeps the foot dry, and the padding around the tongue and heel is designed to hug your foot perfectly from all angles. It comes in a variety of colorways, from peach and slime green to sleek black-on-black-on-black.
Four Case the editors took the Blissfeel for the test; read on for our reviews.
Rani Sheen, The Kit editor-in-chief
I loved the look of the Butter Pink and Scream Green Blissfeel shoes right out of the box – once turned on, the effect is a sleek peach-colored upper that slowly melts into a pool of green slime. Fun! The design is sporty yet simple, with a single Lulu logo on the heel. I generally tend towards much more lo-fi sneakers for everyday wear (think Vans white high tops or Onitsuka Tigers) and when I put them on I immediately realized what I was missing by not wearing supportive sneakers adequate. It felt like my foot was hugged from every angle, gently but firmly.
I train barefoot since I’m into yoga/pilates/stretching, but I walk *a lot*. I first took these shoes on an outing of no less than eight hours: first to drop off my 4-year-old child at the circus class (and enjoy a delicious coffee coffee while waiting for him), then directly at the gargantuan Ontario Science Center, which is basically like brisk walking a marathon while weaving through a ground excited children. Honestly, the shoes seemed to help me through endless exposures and stairwells; with each step, I felt propelled slightly forward—I feel like I could run *really* fast if I felt so inclined. Then we went to dinner, and it was raining outside, and as I was very careful to avoid the muddy puddles, I noticed moisture pouring out of them.
I styled them with neutrals to really make the peach and green shine, contrasting the sportier feel with a classic trench coat and frayed black jeans. The neon hit is very spring 2022 and makes them easy to style like a fashion piece; they are perfect with leggings and a gray hoodie. They were visible in an Instagram story I posted from the cafe (let me live!) – and although I didn’t tag them, several cool ladies immediately DMed me if these are the new Lulu shoes and if I would recommend it. The answer: a resounding yes!
Laura Tabar, The Kit social media editor
My first impression of Lululemon shoes was that they looked really expensive. They felt very comfortable and united. Just when putting them on I noticed they felt quite narrow compared to other sports trainers I own so I can see people need to size up if they have a longer foot large. I loved that I didn’t need to break this shoe – from the first use it was comfortable and didn’t give me blisters or irritation which is rare. I can also tell that they already fit my feet and become more comfortable as I continue to wear them.
My first test of these sneakers was at the gym. As someone who does fairly simple indoor workouts, I found these shoes to be exactly what I needed. When I was running on the treadmill and doing cardio workouts, I could feel the extra support from my toes all the way to my heels. I really liked how they performed while I was training and I can easily see myself adding them to my running shoe rotation. I also got a few compliments from women in the locker room saying they loved the fun spring color (I have Mink Berry) and the design of the sneaker.
Even though they are light, the shape is thicker than what I’m used to wearing (I usually wear Adidas Ultraboost). Personally, I would only wear them to the gym or if I knew I would be doing a lot of walking. Although this is an easy shoe to take from the gym to the races, I wouldn’t buy them just for running errands. For me, they’re not very versatile when it comes to style – they’re easy to pair with sportswear or a fleece set, giving off a more sporty or laid-back vibe, but I found it a bit difficult to pair them with more Casual wear; maybe it would be easier with an all-white pair. It wouldn’t be my first choice of sneakers to wear for a casual look; I’d go for something a little cooler like New Balance 327s or a classic white Air Force 1.
One design detail I would change are the laces – no matter how I tied them, the laces were too long and always came out. Maybe flatter lace would have looked more elegant or less noticeable?
All in all, they’re worth the hype for a performance sneaker, so if you’re on the hunt for a new athletic shoe, look no further!
Brianna Daniel, The Kit assistant artistic director
I’m someone who has *lots* of sneakers. I tend to stick with Nike or New Balance when buying shoes because I like a balance between function and style. My first impression of this shoe was that I immediately appreciated the minimal branding and clean, sleek design. Although they are more basic and simpler in design than what I normally look for, they still look great on foot.
I took my first test drive on a day of racing, an activity for me where comfortable shoes are a necessity. Who wants to make a day of shopping in and out more exhausting than it already is? The trainers were super light and comfortable and made me feel like they fit my feet perfectly from the start – it’s great to find a nice trainer that doesn’t require an uncomfortable break-in period. I also wore them on a long walk around my neighborhood which again proved how comfortable they are. One thing I noticed during my walk was that they started to look a little grubby pretty quickly, partly because of the light colorway I chose. The ground was still wet from the rain and resulted in mud and water stains on the knit upper of the shoes, but these cleaned up fairly easily.
I would say these trainers will serve more of a functional purpose in my collection than a fashion statement as they work better in my wardrobe when paired with activewear than when I’ve tried them on with looks streetwear. That being said, I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I like them and will be incorporating them into my regular shoe rotation from now on.
Renee Tse, The Kit shopping editor
My first impression of the Lululemon shoes is that I love how sleek they look with the gradient design on the side of the shoe. They are true to size which is good to know when you don’t have the chance to try them on first when shopping online. They are very light, which is essential for me when looking for sneakers for my workouts. Although I haven’t trained in them yet (I’m still recovering from a recent Achilles tendon injury), I know they’ll help me feel light on my feet in my future Zumba classes ( yes, I still do Zumba!). I took them on my daily 30 minute walks around the neighborhood and never felt any pinching in my feet. I love how the tongue is thin yet plush so it doesn’t press on the top of my foot. The insole is padded, but it still has a solid frame, which makes my flat feet feel secure and supported.
I almost exclusively wear white sneakers with my everyday looks, but surprisingly these black sneakers were a great addition to my wardrobe. They definitely give off more sporty vibes than my white casual trainers, so I loved wearing them with jeans or leggings. My sister said I looked like I was ready to run in these sneakers. The pointed toe makes my legs look longer and slimmer. But if there’s one thing I’m not a big fan of, it’s long, thin laces. I feel like there was too much extra material left over and I didn’t know what to do with it after tying them twice. And yes, I had to double-cross them because they liked to unravel. I feel like thicker or flatter laces might help make them more secure.
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