Lululemon's entry into the footwear category is on a hot streak. In spring, the brand released its first-ever running sneaker, Blissfeel, designed specifically for female pavement-pounders. Now, to support you in all your sweaty endeavors, the activewear brand’s released the Chargefeel ($138 to $148), which it hopes will become your go-to cross-training shoe for weight lifting, HIIT, and those fast-and-fun sprint intervals you have on deck for your workout later.
Rather than launching with a single cross-trainer, Lululemon has opted to release two versions of the Chargefeel: a mid-top version and a low-top verison. While the latter mirrors the silhouette of the Blissfeel (sleek and simple), the former is designed with a mesh upper that hugs your ankle for extra support. This turtleneck-like feature will help stabilize your ankle as you move through lateral (or side to side) movements and more explosive exercises (like skaters or burpees).
Other than the extra piece of fabric (and the $10 price difference), the two styles are relatively similar. Both are designed with "dual-density" cushioning that helps you transition from running to training and feature an outer fabric that ventilates, supports, and stretches to make your exercise routine more comfortable. And, of course, both models are designed by women for women like the Blissfeels (eschewing the "shrink it and pink" practices that are all-too-common in the sneaker industry).
When you purchase your Chargefeels, you'll have six to nine glorious colorways to choose from (including magenta purples, pink clay, and highlighter yellow), plus a size range of 5 to 11 (women's, of course). Best of all, Lululemon offers a 30-day trial, so you can put the sneakers to the test before you commit. So if they don't elevate your workouts, you can return them in any condition for a full refund.
To put the Chargefeels to the test, I wore them for a week of strength training workouts. Here’s my honest opinion on sporting them through my cross-training attempts.
Shop the Chargefeel: Lululemon's take on cross training shoes
Lululemon Chargefeel: an honest review of squatting, deadlifting, and lunging in this sneaker
In a fortuitous coincidence, the Chargefeel arrived at my door at the exact moment I recommitted to my strength training routine. As a runner and climber, I know that lifting is an essential component of staying injury-free in my favorite sports... but I still tend to put weight lifting on the back burner. Slipping on the Chargefeel Mid inspires me, and I plan out three 25-minute strength training sessions for that week using Obé Fitness (a favorite on-demand workout app of mine).
The strength program turns out to be the perfect litmus test for the shoes: Each of my sessions centers around one keystone fitness move: the squat, the deadlift, and the lunge. This program gives me the opportunity to see how the sneakers perform across many planes of movement, and they do not disappoint. I find that I'm not thinking about my shoes at all during my sweat sesh—and that's really the number-one sign of a great shoe, isn't it?
While the sneaker carries me through almost three workout sessions without a single complaint for me, the side planking portion at the tail-end of my last session does point out one tiny flaw. Because the shoe box of the Chargefeel is a bit larger (reviewers note that the shoe range generally runs big), I find myself struggling to balance on the outer blade of my foot.
That said, I don't perform side planks enough to consider this a significant issue— so I plan on continuing to wear these babies as I (hopefully) stay committed to this season's strength training effort.
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