The Lululemon Blissfeel running shoe is a surprising entry into an already crowded field. Surprising partly because it's the brand's first running shoe, but also because it's better than I'd expected.
Weight: 8.9 oz US 7/UK 5
Widths: One width
Available sizes: US 5-11 including half sizes
I’ve been reviewing running shoes for long enough to know that, more often than not, when a lifestyle brand releases a shoe, it’s not something to shout about. There have been rumors and rumblings about this product for the past few years, and I’ll be the first to admit I wasn’t expecting it be, well, good. The Canadian brand, founded in Vancouver in 1998, is best known for its wonderfully soft yoga pants, but in recent years it’s made steps into the running world, both with the launch of the Seawheeze Half Marathon, and its collection of running leggings, apparel, and sports bras.
Well, I underestimated it — because the Lululemon Blissfeel is a solid everyday running shoe. Lululemon scanned the feet of more than a million women when designing it (a men’s version will be released in 2023), and the result is a good mix of comfort and responsiveness in a running shoe best suited for easy miles.
Lululemon Blissfeel review: Price and availability
The Lululemon Blissfeel will be available online and in stores from April 5. It's available in 10 different colorways (I tested a “triple white” pair), from sizes US 5 to US 11, including half sizes.
It costs $148/£138, which is about average these days for an everyday running shoe — slightly more expensive than the likes of the Nike Pegasus 38, which retails at $120, but ever so slightly cheaper than the Brooks Glycerin 19, which is $150.
Lululemon Blissfeel review: Design and fit
I wasn’t overly enthralled by the look of the Blissfeel — it just doesn't look as cool as some of the other best running shoes on the market. Yet beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and actually, who cares what a running shoe looks like, as long as it gets you around your first 5K, or your daily miles comfortably.
Plus, underfoot it feels pretty good. Lululemon nabbed Heather Pieraldi, who used to work as head of running development for Salomon, to design this shoe, and it shows. There are all the elements of a great everyday running shoe — it supports the foot, it’s flexible, and it’s responsive. I wore the shoe for the first time for a 5K race and was surprised at how well it picked up the pace when I needed it to. This isn’t a racing shoe, but it doesn’t pretend to be; it’s a solid, comfortable option for everyday miles.
Fit-wise, it’s definitely worth going up half a size in the Blissfeel, as it comes up pretty short in the foot. I am a UK 4.5 in everyday sneakers, and I run in a UK 5 in most brands — but in the Blissfeel I’m wearing a UK 5.5. Lululemon suggests if you have a particularly wide foot, or you're between sizes, to go up, and I’d agree.
Other than coming up a little short, I found the shoe to fit my feet well. Lululemon says it looked at the biomechanics of a woman’s foot when creating this female-first shoe, and has made tweaks to make it more comfortable on the run — the heel angle, for example, has been positioned to cope with a woman’s heel strike, and the angles of the shoe constructed to be supportive of a woman’s stride.
The upper of the Blissfeel has a seamless design, with extra support in areas that usually take a bit of a battering on a running shoe, like the toe. There’s a moisture-wicking liner, which keeps the foot dry and comfortable, and a plush, padded tongue, which lies flat on the foot without any hotspots. The heel collar also has a good deal of padding to support the back of the foot, and prevent blistering and chafing. Right out of the box, this shoe was comfortable, and during my run testing, I didn’t have any issues with blisters, hot spots, or chafing.
One of the first things you’ll notice when you look at the Blissfeel is the plastic rails that run alongside the shoe — Lululemon says they’ve added a heel clip to provide additional support and a locked-in feel. This is definitely a neutral running shoe, but during testing, I found there to be a good amount of structure to the shoe.
Lululemon hasn’t gone into much detail about the foam used in the midsole, other than describing it as “tuned foam cushioning,” designed to soften your landing and spring you forward. There’s a good amount of foam underfoot in this shoe, but it is by no means overly soft. Compared to the likes of the Nike Invincible Run, or the Hoka Bondi 7, it feels relatively firm underfoot, and while this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, don’t expect an overly plush, bouncy running shoe, especially if you’re running on concrete sidewalks.
The outsole of the Blissfeel is designed for the road, with a good amount of traction, even on wet, snowy sidewalks. Lululemon says the “pressure-mapped” outsole increases traction and flexibility, and while there’s not a huge amount of grip there, I didn’t have any issue on the run wearing these.
Lululemon Blissfeel review: Performance
I’ve tested the Lululemon Blissfeel on a number of different runs — from a 5K race to an easy 10-miler, and I’d definitely say these are suited for gentle, everyday miles. Having worn them for a race, I found they didn’t have quite enough kick, and left me with sore hips the next day. Then again, I am a stompy runner, and Lululemon itself has said these are for “every day” runs.
Compared to everyday running shoes such as the Nike Pegasus 38, the Blissfeel is marginally heavier, weighing in at 8.9oz to the peg’s 8.2oz, but I quite liked the weight — there was still enough responsiveness in the shoe to keep me running, and it prevented me from pacing my easy runs too fast. I’d definitely reach for these shoes for slower training miles, where you’re not trying to play with pace, and would rather just get lost in the run.
Lululemon Blissfeel review: Verdict
In today’s world of carbon fiber plates and technical midsole foams, the Luluemon Blissfeel is a pretty basic running shoe, but it’s not pretending to be anything more than this. It’s a solid workhorse, designed for Lululemon fans who want to head out for a run a few times a week, while repping their favorite brand.
It’ll easily get you round anything up to a 10K, but I’d probably want something a little plusher if I was running further. I also wouldn’t race in these again; instead, I’d opt for one of the best carbon fiber running shoes, which have a little more bounce for race day.
If you find these a little low to the ground and are looking for a similar shoe in the same price bracket, the Nike Pegasus 38 has a lot more foam underfoot, and enough of a snap to cope with faster miles.