Lululemon, the brand that made wearing stretch pants 24/7 a thing, is taking its first steps (literally) into the running shoe market. On International Women’s Day, the Canadian Athleisurewear brand has released more details about its first shoe collection in New York City.
The first shoe to be released, named ‘Blissfeel’, is said to have been based on scans of the feet of more than a million women, to give a better fit and feel on the run. The shoe is available in ten different colorways, in sizes ranging from a US 5 to a US 11 (including half sizes). ‘Blissfeel’ will cost $148, putting it at the more everyday range of the running shoe market, where performance shoes can cost upwards of $200, and will be available in stores and online from April 5, 2022.
While we’re yet to run in these shoes, it seems, for now, Lululemon is focusing on the female running market, saying it has crafted a ‘women-first footwear collection’. Although Lululemon has said men’s shoes will launch in 2023. In a statement, Lululemon has said, “Using data from millions of foot scans, we worked with leading biomechanics and foot morphology experts to build a brand-new women’s last for an unparalleled fit. Then we gave it to her. Through countless rounds of wear testing, we gathered feedback from a diverse set of women. Several iterations later, that feedback is what shaped the final collection.”
Lululemon's chief product officer, Sun Choe, said, "How do we recreate the unparalleled feeling of our pants, in footwear? That was the spark. From there we had engineers, scientists, and researchers figuring out that design challenge."
Of course, there have been whispers and rumors about this launch for a long time, but until now, Lululemon has remained tight-lipped about the details of the shoe. The brand is entering a very busy market, with the likes of Nike and Adidas dominating the best running shoe lists, but that’s not to say there isn’t space for a new contender — Allbirds, for example, launched an environmentally-friendly running shoe in 2020 to great success.
What are the other shoes in the collection?
The range is also expanding throughout the year, with the release of a hybrid cross-training running shoe, ‘Chargefeel’ hitting the market in July 2022. The workout shoe has a low and a higher-top design, and a midsole created to cope with the demands of both running and cross-training. The shoe will be available in sizes US 5 to US 11 and will cost $138/£128 for the low shoe, and $148/£138 for the mid shoe, which has ankle support.
Lululemon has also announced ‘Strongfeel’, a training shoe with a supportive midsole to be worn in the gym. The shoe will cost $128/£118, and will hit the market in fall 2022. The final shoe in the collection is a slider, named ‘Restful’ which will cost $58/£48, and will launch in summer 2022.
If you’re looking to shop while you wait, we’ve found the best women’s running shoes, as well as the best race day running shoes with a carbon fiber plate. We’ve also hand-picked the best running phone holders to keep your tech safe on the run, and have created a beginner’s running plan that’ll get you from the couch to running for 30-minutes continuously in six weeks.