Lululemon Chargefeel Shoe Review
Does Lululemon’s Chargefeel shoe really work for any workout?
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Only recently, Lululemon began making its own footwear, adding even more function to its fashionable athleisure offerings. On the heels of its first-ever footwear release, the Blissfeel running shoe, the activewear company dropped a second sneaker: the Chargefeel, a workout shoe designed for activities including HIIT sessions, dance, boxing, short runs, and, well, looking sporty—the brand is hardly a slouch in the style department.
While Reviewed’s testers regularly rave over Lululemon’s fitness clothing—including its famous Align leggings—does the company really have a leg up against footwear brands? I tested a pair of Chargefeel sneakers from the company to see how they stack up for gym workouts, running, and looking cute while walking to work (I am Reviewed’s style writer, after all).
What are we wearing?
What is the Lululemon Chargefeel?
According to press materials, the Chargefeel was designed for those who do different types of workouts and want a shoe to “support them in every activity.” While Lululemon claims the shoe provides the “stabilizing side to side motion” typical of cross-training shoes, it also “defies typical cross-training construction by leading with the bounce and forward motion” of a running sneaker. So, what type of shoe is it then? While it’s ostensibly a cross-trainer—not a runner like the Blissfeel—the brand describes it as a “revolutionary” type of workout shoe for “running, training, and on the go.” Its design borrows from both cross-training and running shoes, as it features a “dual-density foam midsole,” with a top layer to “absorb the impact” of training, and a bottom layer to “[provide] the energy return needed for running. ”
Beyond its multiple uses, the Chargefeel is also constructed specifically “for the female foot.” This follows in the footsteps of the Blissfeel; for the running shoe, the brand created its own last (the form of the foot that shoes are built around), rather than shrinking down a men’s sized one as some brands do.
The “female-first” sneakers are sold in two styles: the Chargefeel Mid, which features a mesh upper, and the Chargefeel Low, which more closely resembles a typical cross-training shoe. They’re available in 14 colors, and retail for $148 and $138, respectively. I tried the Low for this review.
What I like about the Lululemon Chargefeel
I tested the Chargefeel during a heat wave and while the rest of me was dripping in sweat, my feet never felt overheated or bogged down. The shoe is fairly lightweight at 9.4 ounces (in the women’s size 7), making it a good fit for sprints or quick transitions during workouts. While I’m not sure whether the “female-first fit” specifically made a difference, it’s just snug enough and flexes with my size 8 feet—ideal for mountain climbers during a HIIT day.
It offers a lot of bounce
When I wear the Chargefeel for burpees or squat jumps, the “dual density foam” provides good bounce and has enough cushioning to seemingly absorb some of the shock. The high bounce is helpful outside the gym as well, as the shoes seemed to put a spring in my step, so to speak, when I wore them for a sprint down the block.
It provides good stability
Despite being lightweight, the shoe kept my feet stable during single-leg, weight-bearing exercises like RDLs, and I didn’t feel like my ankle was about to roll in. Because Chargefeel touts a “run-first, train-second” design, I tried repeating the same single-leg exercise with a running shoe (the Puma Run XX Nitro) to see how closely the Chargefeel’s DNA differs. The squishy double-layered foam of the Chargefeel provided a more comfortable, less dense feeling during RDLs as well as for lightly weighted squats using 20 pounds of dumbbells. That said, the 9-millimeter heel-to-toe drop may provide a little too much heel lift for more dedicated weightlifters, who prefer a flat-soled shoe.
It comes in several style options
If you’re looking to put your best foot forward post gym session, the Chargefeel pairs nicely with everyday outfits. I tried the all white version, which I wore with skirts, jean shorts, and so on for a casual weekend look. There are plenty of color options to suit any style, running from neutrals to an eye-popping neon green.
What I don’t like about the Lululemon Chargefeel
It’s not well suited to running
As a former college cross-country runner with frequent foot injuries, I wouldn’t use the Chargefeel for any running beyond hurrying to the gym when I’m late for spin class. While it has lots of bounce and a pleasant amount of cushion, it doesn’t have enough support overall to function as a running shoe for me. That said, if you have healthy feet and are just doing a few treadmill sprints during a HIIT class, the neutral shoe could be a fine fit.
There’s a break-in period
When I first slipped the Chargefeels out of their (very fancy, neon green) box, I immediately put them on for a walk home from the office. The shoes made an uncomfortable first impression, as the rim of the upper was digging into my foot all the way home. The shoes fit perfectly otherwise, so I don’t think sizing played a role in the issue. It wasn’t enough to cause a blister, thankfully, and I never had a problem with them after that brief break-in period.
Is the Chargefeel worth it?
It depends on what you use it for
By producing a sneaker that claims to do so much, Lululemon's Chargefeel runs the risk of being jack of all trades, master of none. After trying them in the gym and on the run, I’d say the shoes master some activities (namely HIIT, jumping, and lightly weighted squats). The Chargefeel is a solid choice for a cross-training shoe that looks stylish while running errands on your way home.
However, even if you’re not putting in major mileage, you might want to change into your running shoes before pounding the pavement or treadmill. If your workouts tend to be more running-heavy, you might even consider going with the Blissfeel instead, which I found to be lightweight and versatile as running sneakers go.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.