- TYPE Road
- PRICE £138
- NET WEIGHT 251g
- DROP 9 5mm
The first-ever Lululemon running shoe is a women-specific high-performance trainer. The brand-new footwear, which has been given the name "Blissfeel," has just been released into the market today (April 5, 2022).
In response to a need for women-specific running shoes, Lululemon, which has been developing high-end apparel since 1998, has been planning its entry into the footwear category for some time.
Shoes for women were designed using cutting-edge information from more than a million foot scans and the insight of top biomechanics and morphology experts.
Shoe designer and Lululemon co-founder Mark Oleson says that "most performance shoes are designed primarily for men, and often for elite male athletes, and then adapted for women." Even so, on average, women's feet are a different shape than men's. Women's biomechanics, from the location of their heel strike during running to their center of gravity, are distinct from men's. '
There is an emphasis on the way running makes you
Blissfeel is intended to make traveling long distances a pleasurable experience.
Customization of the shoe's fit and how it 'feels' are major design priorities for the latest model. According to Oleson, "prioritizing feel is a real paradigm shift for the footwear industry," which has traditionally prioritized performance at the expense of feel. Given that the foot contains some of the highest concentrations of sensory receptors in the human body, we saw this as a promising new area to apply our distinctive "Science of Feel" design lens. '
The materials and construction methods used to create the Blissfeel were selected for their effect on the runner's sensations, with the goal of making the miles fly by in a state of blissful ease. Oleson explains that the bright Green Ray hue used for Blissfeel was inspired by the sun at dawn and dusk, a time of day that runners are very familiar with. '
For which runners is Lululemon's newest shoe designed?
The shoe is made to accommodate runners of all skill levels, from novices to pros.
Shoemakers told us, "Blissfeel is designed for our guests who are running every day," when we inquired about the intended use of the shoe and the type of runner it was made for. To help our guests get out the door and enjoy their run, we created Blissfeel as their go-to performance run shoe. '
What's intriguing, though, is that Lululemon's 'guests' (how the company refers to its customers) seem to care little about how much running experience they have when deciding which shoes are best for them. According to Oleson, "the emphasis is on the feeling and supporting our guests' journey in whatever stage that might be." It's a more welcoming strategy, and we know it's what our guests want, whether their goal is to beat their own personal record or to win the race. '
In that case, what do we think of the shoe?
RW were given the opportunity to try on the sneaker for the first time at the New York launch.
On a four-mile tempo run, we were pleasantly surprised by how much ground feel the Blissfeel offered. Assuming a 32-cubic-inch stack The shoe's heel-to-toe drop is 5 mm, putting it firmly in the cushioned/maximal running shoe category; however, the compound foam midsole from Lululemon strikes a nice balance between being soft enough to absorb impact and being too squishy.
After two months of testing across a wide range of sessions, from slow recovery runs to structured interval work, we can confirm that Lululemon's claim that the shoe is designed to move with you is accurate. The upper has a sock-like feel to it due to its stretchiness and lack of overlays (except for some minimal reinforcements around the saddle that we suspect are purely cosmetic). Especially in the midfoot region, our feet felt very secure in these, and we appreciated the generous toe box. The upper wraps around your foot snugly thanks in large part to the padded tongue, which is surprisingly thin. They run a little small, so order a size and a half up.
The heel counter is reinforced on both sides with thick plastic overlays, which offered noticeable heel support and kept our feet from sliding around inside the shoe. The molded heel collar adds welcome padding to the area of the foot that supports the achilles tendon.
Our heel-striking tester found the decoupled heel to be "noticeable" in its ability to cushion hard landings, and the pressure-mapped outsole provided good traction and flexibility. Although she liked the shoes overall, she wished that the cushioning was softer in the heel and more responsive in the forefoot so that they would better protect her feet, especially on longer runs.
High-abrasion rubber is pressure-mapped to provide traction and flexibility.
The lack of 'pop' when your foot hits the ground is a minor complaint; the shoes aren't lifeless by any means, but they could benefit from a bit more bounciness in the midsole foam. Having a shoe like this could make your long runs more bearable and your short sprints more effective.
As Lululemon's first attempt at the running shoe market, we are genuinely impressed. However, it's important to remember that nobody ever succeeds at something the first time they try. These are a great option for new runners looking for a daily trainer that can handle distances from 5K to a half marathon thanks to their snug fit, cushioned upper, and supportive heel counter.
Lululemon plans to release an entire footwear collection in 2022, with Blissfeel serving as the first shoe. It features a variety of workout shoes (Chargefeel), a training shoe (Strongfeel), and a recovery slider (Restfeel), all of which share the same underlying "Science of Feel" design philosophy. The same care and attention to touch will be applied to the men's collection, which will debut in 2019.
The Blissfeel is available in a rainbow of hues right here!