Lululemon’s first running shoe for women, Blissfeel, launches today
Lululemon has officially joined the sneaker market with its first-ever running shoe, Blissfeel. The Canadian-based athleisure brand celebrated International Women’s Day with a campaign ad introducing its sneaker line.
Blissfeel will be available online and in select stores across North America, China, and the UK. and are priced at $148.
Industry sources have long speculated that Lululemon would be entering the footwear market, competing against Nike and Adidas. Lululemon even leased 28k square feet in Portland last summer, and was reported to have on-boarded employees with career backgrounds at Nike, Adidas, and Columbia in preparation.
Performance shoes have neglected the design needs of women, says Lululemon
“Footwear is the natural next step for us to expand and apply our long history of innovation in fit, feel and performance, and it represents an exciting moment for our brand,” says Calvin McDonald, CEO of Lululemon. “We are entering the footwear category the same way we built our apparel business—with products designed to solve unmet needs, made for women first.”
Lululemon says it used its 20+ years of insight and expertise into the design of its sneaker design, taking into account how women move and how they want to feel.
“We intentionally started with women first because we saw an opportunity to solve for the fact that, more often than not, performance shoes are designed for men and then adapted for women,” explains Sun Choe, Lululemon’s Chief Product Officer. “That didn’t sit well with us. Innovating for women is in Lululemon’s DNA—now we’re bringing that same expertise to footwear, and women were part of this journey every step of the way.”
Lululemon says each sneaker from the collection will feature supportive methods designed to create the perfect fit.
Four Lululemon sneaker styles launching in 2022:
- Lululemon Blissfeel: A running shoe with underfoot foam cushioning technology, Blissfeel will launch in ten colors and is available starting today.
- Lululemon Chargefeel: A cross-trainer shoe designed for gym training & short runs, Chargefeel will launch this summer.
- Lululemon Restfeel: An elevated and fashionable slide designed to wear post-workout, Restfeel will launch in summer.
- Lululemon Strongfeel: A training shoe with a low profile, Strongfeel will launch in fall.
Colleen Quigley, Track & Field Athlete and Lululemon Ambassador, says it feels like a long time coming that women are offered a shoe that is built especially for them.
“I am so proud to have been a part of this footwear journey with lululemon and that soon more people will have the chance to experience Blissfeel. As a brand that has long been driving innovation, inclusivity and accessibility, it’s especially fitting, and personally very exciting for me that Lululemon is entering footwear with a women’s running shoe,” she says.
2022 is about putting women consumers first, but Lulu says a line for men is coming in 2023
The performance apparel and footwear company says it hasn’t forgotten men — the company plans to launch a line of men’s footwear in 2023. Lululemon says it will offer special edition and seasonal collections as it grows its footwear brand.
Will Lulu’s new sneaker line give the brand a boost?
Lululemon is slated to release its financial results for the fourth quarter & full year fiscal 2021 on March 29, but investors may feel a bit cautious. Lulu’s stock took a bit of a dip last week after an Underperfom rating by a Bernstein analyst.
Like many companies, Lulu faced supply chain issues and lowered its sales expectations for Mirror late last year.
The sneaker industry is promising – and if Lululemon can do for its sneakers what it did for leggings, there is great potential. Fast Company reports that the sneaker market is only going to get bigger, predicted to reach $120 billion by 2026.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.