Welcome to our first-ever Lululemon shoe review! The brand’s debut trainer is officially on the market, and reviews of the Lululemon Blissfeel shoe have been somewhat mixed.
Founded in 1998, Lululemon’s original focus was on perfecting yoga clothing for women. But over the years, the American-Canadian brand has built quite a reputation in the world of sportswear and has since expanded to offer all sorts of athletic apparel, accessories, and personal care products aimed at both men and women.
Now, they’ve entered the game of athletic shoes, with their first running-focused shoe released in April 2022.
Designed as a ‘neutral, everyday running shoe’, Lululemon’s Blissfeel is the first of four shoes that the brand is releasing this year – soon to be followed by the Chargefeel, Restfeel, and Strongfeel shoes (more on these later!)
As soon as the Blissfeel became available, we grabbed a pair. Having tested them for a few months on various terrains, distances, and workout trainings, we’re ready to run you through our impressions and road test of the brand’s first-ever running shoe.
|Comfortable||Runs 1 to 1.5 size small|
|Steady base, good grip||Energy return could be better|
|Secure lock-down in upper||Moderate breathability|
|Durable||Potential to rub ankles|
|Designed specifically for women||Not suited to wide feet|
|Available in 10+ colorways|
Lululemon Blissfeel: Specs And First Impressions
On opening the Lululemon Blissfeel, I’ve got to say, I was a little underwhelmed by the design.
The shoes look functional and sleek, however, I was looking forward to something a little more unadventurous for their long-hyped, debut shoe.
Saying this, if you like your running shoes classic and simple, then the Blissfeel should be right up your street. The simpler design does also hold the advantage that it can double up as athleisure footwear, resembling day-to-day sneakers that fit with non-gym outfits.
I also opted for the black design, and Lululemon has since brought out a number of new, different colorways that definitely make the design more eye-catching and exciting.
Blissfeel Specs Overview:
- Weight: 8.9 oz / 252 g (US 7)
- Drop: 9.5mm
- Terrain: Road
- Neutral/stability: Neutral
- Widths: One width
- Pace: Easy runs
#1: The Sole Unit: Midsole and Outsole
Lululemon have been pretty protective about the technology that they’ve used in this shoe, with little information disclosed about the upper, midsole or outsole. For this reason, most of the information below is observation based.
The midsole features a good, moderate-level cushioning under foot, with a pretty standard 9.5mm drop. From observation, the midsole looks to be constructed of a one-piece foam, EVA or similar.
The foam is plush but definitely on the firmer side. Think Brooks’ DNA Loft Foam rather than the cloudy underfoot of most HOKAs.
There’s a good amount of rubber on the base of the shoe, featuring decent lugs and grooving suggesting some good grip. There also appears to be more padding added on high impact areas that take an extra battering – a promising feature for durability.
There’s a good amount of rubber on the base of the shoe, featuring decent lugs and grooving which suggests good grip. There also appears to be more padding added on high impact areas that take an extra battering – a promising feature for durability.
The crashpad is segmented into four parts which Lululemon claims is ‘pressure mapped’ to increase both traction and flexibility. The heel pad is notably separated from the rest of the outsole, again aiming to add more flexibility.
Something noticeable about the Blissfeels midsole is the boomerang shaped side pieces running from the forefoot all the way to the back of the shoe.
These function as part of the heel counter (responsible for rearfoot stability) that connects to the midfoot, intended to aid transition.
#2: The Upper
The upper is constructed of some pretty basic, engineered mesh, which looks to be double layered with regular perforations for breathability.
Lululemon also boasts a ‘seamless, moisture-wicking liner that wraps your foot in comfort’, running all around the inside of the shoe to prevent chillblains and hot, clammy feet while exercising.
The heel clip is well padded and looks pretty high-rise. The tongue is a thin, pleathery material attached to the upper on both sides.
Despite being a neutral shoe, the upper features a structured fabric framing to support the foot while running. These support strips run up, down and across the midfoot, fading before the forefoot, presumably to increase space in the toe box.
#3: Colour and Width Options
The Blissfeel is available in 10+ colorways including Black/Rose Gold, Butter Pink/Scream Green and Charged Indigo/Delicate Mint.
The model comes in one ‘normal’ width option, however all buyers are advised to size up in the shoe, and those with wide feet should look into opting for 1.5 size up.
The Road Test: How Lululemon’s Blissfeel Performed
#1: The Fit
Designed as a ‘women-first’ shoe, Lululemon declared the Blissfeels as some of the first running shoes specifically designed to complement women’s feet (to all the men out there, don’t fret, you’ll just have to wait till next year for the male-specific Blissfeel model).
To date, the majority of athletic shoes on the market have been designed based on the anatomy and biomechanics of male feet – and then adapted for women. Yet, on average, women’s feet have distinct and notable differences in foot anatomy and biomechanics.
Just as Adidas realized with their female-specific Ultraboost 22, these differences require unique and specific design features to support the female foot and allow it to reach its full potential – which is exactly what Lululemon set out aiming to achieve. But did they succeed?
Knowing that the Blissfeels were designed specifically for women, I was super excited to see if I could notice any immediate differences in fit compared to the ‘male-first’ trainers I’ve been using in the past.
Yet, while the shoes were comfortable on first try, I was by no means overwhelmed.
Perhaps I allowed the hype of the first marketed female-specific shoe to lift my expectations unrealistically, but I didn’t notice anything specific or novel about the fit of these shoes. In fact, there are a number of shoes, such as the Brooks Glycerin GTS 20 or Hoka Rincon 3 that I found more instantly comfortable.
A recurring criticism that you’ll find across reviews of the shoe and which I also experienced is that the Blissfeel runs considerably small – around a size small for those with narrow or normal-width feet, and almost a size and a half smaller if you’ve got wide feet.
While definitely a considerable overlook on Lululemon’s part, this isn’t necessarily a problem as long as you’re aware of the sizing issue before you place your order.
Overall and once I’d found the right size, the fit was good. The upper supported my foot well while the sock liner and base of the shoe felt soft and stable, without being overly plush. My arch felt well supported, and reviews suggest this is also true for runners with a high-arch.
As mentioned, the tongue is pretty minimal – thinly padded and attached on both sides, reminding me of the tongue in my Nike Vapor Flys. It felt secure and didn’t slip without feeling restrictive.
The laces on this model are pretty standard and do what laces are supposed to. I liked that they were slightly elasticated like those on the Brooks Adrenaline GTS 21, providing more flexibility to the top of the foot, while maintaining a supportive lock-down.
I have normal width feet, and even for me the toe box initially felt a little tight. While not as bad as I first expected, this did restrict my toes ability to splay naturally and expand during my runs, making my take-off a little uncomfortable after a while.
#2: Landing and Takeoff
The rubber base and lugs on the outsole provided good traction on road surfaces and some light trail routes – in both wet and dry weather.
I found the moderate-level cushioning to give a landing that was on the firmer, flatter side. The foam was more stiff than expected, not particularly springy or bouncy.
This felt a little stompy at times and didn’t make for great energy return. I noticed that on my longer runs (18km +) my calves felt more fatigued than usual, and experienced some light pain in my knees, hips and lower back.
Saying this, the shoes were responsive enough for easy runs – but certainly not a fast shoe. On speedier or longer runs, I’d definitely opt for something more peppy, like the On Cloud Monster or the Saucony Endophin Speed.
I think introducing a rockered base, such as those regularly featuring in HOKA models, would help improve the energy return, supporting a smoother, less energy demanding toe-off.
Saying this, the lack of bounce and soft cushioning underfoot is a positive or negative depending on your preferences and running style.
The heel cup is pretty generously padded compared to models I’m used to, which supported my ankle and the back of my foot well.
I did find that the opening came a little too high up my ankle, causing some rubbing. After playing around with some different lacing tension and wearing the shoes in a little, the rubbing was no longer a problem.
Other than the rubbing, I didn’t experience any notable issues with the lockdown, feeling pretty secure and supportive – if a little tight in areas (perhaps due to their sizing issue).
While it sounds like a criticism, the lower responsivity and heavier feel of these shoes underfoot do have their benefits.
For example, by not supporting faster runs, the Blissfeels helped me to stick to the target slower pace of my recovery or easy runs – great for those runners out there who can get a little overexcited on these slower parts of their training plan.
Having worn the Blissfeel as a workout shoe at the gym and during some CrossFit sessions, I was presently surprised at the shoes’ ability to handle multi-directional movements, feeling pretty supported and stable throughout. For this reason, I’d recommend the model for anyone looking for a shoe to use during functional fitness training at the gym.
With exception of the above, the landing and takeoff experience of the Blissfeel has confirmed my suspicions that it is overall a pretty unversatile shoe – which for me, is one of the main drawbacks.
Something that Lululemon has succeeded well with the Blissfeel is durability.
I’ve run around 80km in the shoes, mostly on road and some very light trails, and so far there is no serious wear to the upper and only some minor wear to the rubber base of the shoe, showing that the brand’s three rounds of wear-testing paid off.
Conclusions: Who Should (And Shouldn’t) buy Lululemon Blissfeels?
The Lululemon Blissfeel was designed as a shoe to help women clock every day, easy miles – and despite limitations in other areas, this is definitely something the model is capable of.
Whilst not as heavy as the Hoka Bondi 8, the Blissfeel isn’t a particularly light nor peppy shoe. For this reason, I wouldn’t recommend using this model for speed sessions, nor for distances longer than a half marathon.
In fact, in my opinion, it’s best suited for runs under 15km – any further and you’ll be wishing you were wearing a sprightlier shoe that can keep you feeling energized for longer when you start to flag.
The shoe is definitely more suited to casual runners that head out for a few short runs each week at a relaxed pace. Seasoned runners such as marathoners, ultramarathoners and sprinters would likely be disappointed.
Overall, Lululemon’s Blissfeel is a pretty average running shoe. It does what it needs to do and does excel in some areas such as durability and traction. However, for the price point, there are definitely better value, better performing and more versatile models out there. The Reebok Floatride Energy 3 and Brooks Adrenaline are two that come to mind.
But, to give credit where it’s due, Lululemon is primarily a yoga and lifestyle brand, so their shoes shouldn’t be expected to compete with running-dedicated brands such as Saucony, HOKA, or Brooks – especially not their debut range.
With that, you’ve got our rundown of the Lululemon Blissfeel. Next up, we’ll be looking forward to reviewing the three other shoes in their debut series – the Chargefeel, Restfeel, and Strongfeel – a hybrid speed shoe promising high energy return, a cushioned recovery slide, and a sports training shoe developed for multi-directional movements, respectively.
Need some help with Running Shoe Fit?
Look no further. Check out our shoe fitting guide here.