Lululemon Blissfeel running shoe review
I tried Lululemon’s first running shoe to see how it stacks up
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While I’ve given most of my running shoes, well, a good run, I’ve never found one brand or model to stay permanently loyal to. Whenever I find a shoe that seems like it might be “the one,” I can’t help but wonder in the back of my mind: “Is there something else that would be even better?” Having competed in cross-country and track throughout high school and college, I’ve tried several shoe brands over the years. And now that I have plantar fasciitis, a chronic foot injury, my footwear has become even more important.
Having worn many of the major running shoe brands, including Brooks, Mizuno, and Asics, I was excited when I heard Lululemon was making its own sneakers for the first time—and in particular that the brand aimed to customize its shoes for women’s feet. I reached out to the brand to try a pair of the Blissfeel Women's Running Shoes, which retails for $148. Over a week of wear, I put the “women-first” footwear to the test.
What is the Lululemon Blissfeel running shoe?
Lululemon is known for its ubiquitous athleticwear and accessories, ranging from its ever-popular leggings to best-in-class yoga mats. In March 2022, the brand took its first step into the sneaker industry with the Blissfeel running shoe. The company plans to make more strides in the shoe space soon, as it’s set to release the Crossfeel, a cross-training shoe, the Restfeel, a slide, and the Strongfeel, a training shoe, later in 2022.
While some companies design women’s sneakers as a scaled-down version of the men’s ones, Lululemon sought out to create “women-first footwear” with the Blissfeel. The brand created its own last (the form of the foot a shoe is built on) based on several rounds of wear testing and scans of over a million women’s feet. The result? A shoe Lululemon claims has features designed specifically for female feet and includes an “energy-filled underfoot foam cushioning technology” and an upper “that supports movement.”
The Blissfeel is a “neutral” running shoe, which means it doesn’t offer stabilization attributes that would prevent pronation, or the inward rolling of the foot that some runners experience, particularly those with flat feet. It has a 9.5 millimeter heel-to-toe drop, which refers to the difference between the height of the heel and the forefoot of the shoe. The average sneaker was once between about 10 millimeters and 12 millimeters, according to Zappos, however the rise of minimal running shoes has likely shifted that figure.
What I like about the Lululemon Blissfeel running shoe
There’s a lot of bounce
Although I like my Brooks Adrenalines, my current go-to running shoe, I always felt they were a bit clunky for speed work and weighed me down during 200s on the track. When I took the Blissfeel for some sprints, I loved how lightweight my feet felt. While I’ve regularly worn at least five running brands—and many more designs—for a couple of years each, I’ve never tried a shoe that gave me the same bounce feeling as the cushioned heel of the Blissfeel. Although my training doesn’t include long runs right now, the running and two-hour walks I did in them made me think they’d stay comfy for the long haul, too.
There’s no break-in period
Sometimes sneakers require breaking in, but I didn’t experience any blisters or discomfort the first time I slipped on the Blissfeel. The toe box was just wide enough to be spacious without feeling too spacious, and I really appreciated the cushioning at the front of the shoe. The Blissfeel is a moderately cushioned sneaker, and the heel also has a decent amount of cushion and support. Even the tongue of the Blissfeel is padded, a design detail which made my feet feel cocooned in cushion.
It’s stylish, as sneakers go
The Blissfeel is available in six colors, ranging from several neutral shades to pastel pink. The company sent me the black version, which matches everything, although I wish it wasn’t completely monochromatic. Just as Lululemon leggings can be worn from the gym to the grocery store, the Blissfeel has a sleek style that easily fits in off the treadmill, track, or trail. I can’t say the same for some of the other sneakers I’ve worn over the years.
While Lululemon is set to release a separate cross-training shoe this summer, I also found the Blissfeel itself to be a good fit for non-running activities. Because I’m still recovering from plantar fasciitis, my routine includes lots of cross-training right now. The cushy soles were a great companion whether using the elliptical, attending spin class, or going for a long walk. While they’re ostensibly a running shoe, both the sleek appearance and lightweight feel make them easy to wear for other activities.
What I don’t like about the Lululemon Blissfeel running shoe
It doesn't look as quality as it feels
After a week of use, I noticed some creases and wrinkles on the heel of the shoe, as well as scuffs on the inside. While I’d expect some wear and tear after pounding the pavement, the shoes didn’t have the same luxurious look I’ve come to expect from Lululemon.
It didn’t feel supportive in the arch
The Blissfeel is a neutral shoe, which means it provides support and cushioning but, unlike stability shoes, isn't designed to change your gait or stabilize your foot by restricting side-to-side motion. Because I have a tendency to pronate slightly (in other words, my foot rolls inward a bit when it touches the ground), I wavered back and forth between neutral and stability shoes throughout my college career, based on the advice of various podiatrists. I typically run in the Brooks Adrenaline, a mild stability shoe, and use Hoka Cliftons, a neutral shoe, for everything else.
So, while I was disappointed that the arch of the Blissfeel didn’t feel super supportive, I know it’s in the nature of the shoe type. However, for me, the lack of support in the midfoot area was an issue. Because most of my foot pain ends up in the arch area, however, I’m more sensitive to arch support than the average runner. Overall, I found the Blissfeel to be more supportive than my Hoka Cliftons—although I’ve been putting wear and tear on those for a few months, whereas I tried the Blissfeel for a week.
Is the Lululemon Blissfeel shoe worth it?
Yes, if you’re looking for a versatile neutral sneaker
Whether Lululemon can justify its famously high price tags is often, well, the million dollar question. However, while some of its offerings are splurges in my book, the Blisfeel’s nearly $150 price tag made sense to me. Most quality running shoes will run you about the same amount or more, and I feel the value of the Blissfeel makes it well worth it.
If you’re looking for a neutral running shoe with a lightweight yet cushioned feel—and don’t mind something a little low on arch support—the Blissfeel is worth a try. Plus, if they’re not a good fit for your feet, you can always return the shoes for a full refund after a 30-day trial period.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.