I discovered the joys of hiking and trail running late in life, but once I started exploring scenic parks and trails just outside of New York as an adult, it was an easy sell. Not only are the views like therapy for the soul, but the endorphins I get from sweating it out and breathing in fresh, crisp air is the best kind of exercise I can think of. While I mostly run nowadays on a treadmill, it’s an understatement to say that it, well, doesn’t hit quite the same. And if Lululemon’s latest footwear launch is any indication, I’m not alone in that sentiment. (BTW, National Running Day is June 7 — and we can think of a few ways to celebrate...)
Hot off the press, the lifestyle-meets-performance brand has unveiled its first trail running shoe: Blissfeel Trail. Featuring similar elements of the brand’s new-and-improved Blissfeel 2 runner, Blissfeel Trail is Lululemon’s first performance sneaker designed to take you from the street to nature’s most gravelly paths and beyond. “We’re taking a paradigm-shifting approach [to footwear] on two fronts,” Lululemon’s SVP of footwear, Simon Atkins, told a group of reporters during a recent visit to the brand’s Vancouver headquarters. “The first is being focused on the science of feel rather than just pure performance. The second area is meeting the unmet need for our female guests.”
You might be wondering what that means, exactly. “For too long, performance product was designed, created, and tested predominantly on men and adapted for women,” Atkins explains. “We want to completely overhaul that. [A trail runner] is a need we’ve been hearing from our guests for a long time and that’s truly a multi-surface, road-to-trail running product.”
I won’t spend too much time talking about the look of Blissfeel Trail since you already know it’s going to be as sleek and elevated, as everything Lululemon makes is. It’s available in five colorways, ranging from onyx black to a misty sky blue. The overall design features a similar profile to Blissfeel 2 but with some key modifications: “All of our [footwear] products have been engineered from the ground up to meet the needs of our guest,” says Atkins. “We have a much more aggressive traction outsole, and equally, for protection and support, you have a TPU film that goes around the whole foot and a back pull-on tab for easy on and off.”
Blissfeel Trail shares the same 5-12 women's shoe size range (including half sizes), so I took my true size: 5.5. As with my other Lululemon shoes, the fit is supportive yet comfortable, hugging my foot without being too snug. The treads at the outsole are super-grippy and really helped propel my run with every stride. At $158 ($10 more than the Blissfeel 2), they're in line with other trail runners I own in terms of quality and price point. Whether you live in the mountains or are looking to get into trail running, Lululemon's latest shoe innovation reminds us that, regardless of how fast or far we can go, anyone can be a runner.
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