I’m a health editor and this is my honest take

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  • As a health editor and marathon runner, I put them to the test.

    When I first heard that lululemon was launching female-first footwear, I was intrigued. I’m a runner, you see, and I know how fussy we runners can be about our footwear. Are they springy enough for race day? Supportive enough for long runs? Simple enough to be functional, but also stylish enough that you could wear them with your work outfit?

    Launching a whole new category – and contending with the likes of Nike, adidas, and New Balance (all of who feature on my round-up of the best running trainers for women) – seemed like a bold move. So I jumped at the opportunity to be one of the first four UK journalists to try them. 

    Some stats on the shoe for you, before I share my review: the blissfeel running trainer was designed from the scans of over a million foot scans, and is unique in that it’s one of the first-ever shoes (just behind the adidas female-focused ultraboost last December) to be designed specifically for women. Mad, isn’t it, that in 2022, the majority of shoes are still designed for the male fit.

    That’s where the blissfeel promises to be different – and where my interest, as a health editor, was piqued. Could a clothing brand truly design shoes well? And would they stand the test of time over a longer distance?

    Keep scrolling for my honest review.

    lululemon blissfeel running trainer review: “Designed for running but a great, reasonably priced all-rounder” 

    Women’s blissfeel Running Shoe – £138 | lululemon

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    Need to knows: 

    First up: know that the shoes were developed over a period of four years with a team of designers, biomechanics experts, foot morphology pros, and more. Based on over a million women’s foot scans, they created what they thought was the perfect shoe – then enlisted hundreds of volunteers to actually put them to the test over thousands of miles.

    They share that they let the feedback shape the shoe that’s now on sale – which all sounds pretty snazzy, right? But did the shoe stand up to the test when I tried it?

    lululemon Blissfeel running trainer review: The trainer at the launch in New York

    Pros of the blissfeel running shoe

    • An all-rounder that you could wear for the gym or running
    • Functional yet stylish
    • A breathable yet supportive upper that doesn’t run tight for wider feet
    • A unique cushioning system and noticeable run return.
    • A wide range of colours available – ten different colourways
    • More affordable price point than other competitors (RRP ££138).

    Initial thoughts and point one of my lululemon blissfeel review: the shoes are gorgeous, and come in a range of ten colourways, including a “green ray” – the pink and green pictured above – “water drop” blue, “mink berry” pale pink, and “triple black” (yep, you guessed it) all black.

    Once I’d put them on for my first test in them – a 5km along the Hudson River in New York – I noticed that they’re cushioned and springy without feeling too, well, cushioned. Ever tried shoes on and felt a bit like a clown because of how much you’re suddenly bouncing around? These pave a good middle ground, and when you run in them, you clearly feel the return.

    Wearing them to an early morning high intensity interval training workout the next day highlights one of the standout pros of the trainer, for me. While they’re been designed with running in mind, they’re a great all-rounder, IMO – cushioned enough to support you through mid-distance runs, but not so cushioned that they won’t work for weight training, too. Winner, winner.

    lululemon Blissfeel running trainer review: The trainer at the launch in New York

    MC health editor Ally Head with Track & Field athlete and lululemon ambassador Coleen Quigley

    They’re designed for neutral runners – again, ticking the all-rounder box – and my feet felt supported but also comfortable, too. I have slightly wider feet and there was no issue with the upper being restrictive or too tight. Support-wise, they’re most similar to an ON Running Cloudstratus shoe or HOKA Mach, and on the comfort front, they’re definitely parallel with my forever favourites, the adidas Ultraboost.

    I think one review on Shape sums it up quite well – “They felt light, bouncy, supportive, and exactly what I look for in a running shoe as someone who runs more casually (aka I don’t run races or long-distance, typically).” They’re absolutely great all-rounders for lulu’s demographic – women who run semi-regularly who likely head to Reformer Pilates, yoga, and the occasional HIIT class too.

    My honest lululemon blissfeel review? I’m a big fan of the design for short to mid distances and to lace up for 5km, 10km, and half marathons soon. Not forgetting to wear to the gym, work, and every event in between..

    lululemon Blissfeel running trainer review: The trainer at the launch in New York

    Cons of the blissfeel running shoe

    • Wouldn’t be my go-to for longer (21km+) distances
    • Flatter and less responsive than carbon plate alternatives
    • Runs small – I’d recommend sizing up half or even a whole size.

    I really rate the blissfeel as an all-rounder, but I’d opt for a slightly more cushioned shoe for things like sprints or speedwork – same for seriously long-distance runs or marathon training.

    They also run a little small, so do make sure to size up at least half a size or even a whole size when buying. Better still – head in-store to try them on for yourself, but do remember that you’re meant to go up half a size with workout shoes anyway to account for foot swelling.

    lululemon Blissfeel running trainer review: The trainer at the launch in New York

    Do keep an eye out later in the year for the Chargefeel, a hybrid shoe designed for both high-intensity gym training and short runs, the Restfeel, an elevated slide for post-workout, and the Strongfeel, a training shoe designed for multi-directional movement.

    What do you reckon? *Adds to basket immediately*

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