We tested Lululemon’s first sneakers
Not content to rest on its leggings laurels, Vancouver-founded activewear success story Lululemon 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 pool 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.
Rani Sheen, Editor of The Kit wearing Lululemon Blissfeel Sneakers in Butter Pink and Scream Green, $198, lululemon.com SHOP HERE
I loved the look of the Butter Pink and Scream Green Blissfeel shoes right out of the box – once 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 because I’m into yoga/Pilates/stretching, but I walk a lot. I first took these shoes on a no less than eight-hour outing, which included a trip with my four-year-old to the gargantuan Ontario Science Center, which is essentially a marathon of brisk walking 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 felt like I could run really quick in these if I felt so inclined. Later in the day, a little rain rolled over the shoes.
I styled them with neutrals to really let the peach and green shine, contrasting the sportier feel with a classic trench coat and frayed black jeans. The neon hit feels very spring 2022 and makes them easy to style like a fashion piece; they are perfect with leggings and a gray hoodie. Spotting them in one of my Instagram Stories, several cool women immediately DMed me about the new Lulu shoes and if I would recommend them. The answer: a resounding yes!
Laura Tabar, The Kit social media editor, wearing Lululemon Blissfeel sneakers in Mink Berry (currently unavailable), $198, lululemon.com SHOP HERE
My first impression of Lululemon shoes was that they were expensive. They are also very comfortable and supportive. They are quite narrow compared to other athletic trainers I own, so people may need to size up if they have a wider foot. I loved that I didn’t need to break this shoe in – from first use it was comfortable and didn’t give me blisters or irritation which is rare. And they are already adjusting to my feet and getting more comfortable as I continue to wear them. (Although no matter how I tied them, the laces were too long and always came out.)
These shoes were just what I needed for my simple gym workouts. 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 the way they performed 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. Personally, I would only wear them to the gym or for a lot of walking. While this is an easy shoe to transition from the gym to running, it’s not very versatile when it comes to style. They’re great with sportswear or fleeces, giving a sporty and laid-back vibe, but I found pairing them with casual clothes a little tricky; maybe it would be easier with an all-white pair, something that looks a little cooler like a classic white Air Force 1. All in all, they’re worth the hype for a performance sneaker, so if you’re looking for a new athletic shoe, look no further!
Briannah Daniel, Deputy Creative Director of The Kit wearing Lululemon Blissfeel sneakers in white (Currently unavailable), $198, lululemon.com SHOP HERE
I am someone who has a lot 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 simple in design than what I normally go for, they still look great.
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.
Renée Tse, Editor of The Kit wearing Lululemon Blissfeel Sneakers in Black, $198, lululemon.com SHOP HERE
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 cushioned, but 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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