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An all-rounder that promises to take you from your workout to work.
This year, lululemon launched footwear – a huge step for the athleisurewear brand that’s biggest selling point, for decades, has been their workout leggings.
In February, they launched their running trainer (read my review of the blissfeel, here) – a light, propulsive running shoe designed by women, for women. Next comes their chargefeel workout trainer, £138, an all-rounder designed for all sweat sessions and available in high and low-top options and 14 colourways.
Did you know that, until 2022, workout shoes were always designed for men and then shrunk down for the female foot? Pretty shocking, right. Yet this year, lululemon – alongside brands like adidas – have rewritten the narrative, going back to the drawing board and designing shoes specifically for the female foot.
I was invited by the brand to test the shoe out last week – here’s what, as a health editor who tests 5+ pairs of workout shoes a month, I thought. Don’t miss our guide to the best running trainers, as tested by team MC, while you’re here.
lululemon chargefeel workout trainer review: “A real all rounder – I can’t fault them.”
The brand share that they worked with leading biomechanics and analysed millions of foot scans before starting the design process of the chargefeel. They knew they wanted to design an all-rounder shoe as, realistically, most women will only buy one pair of workout trainers and will need them to be suitable for every session.
At current, most people work out in lots of different ways in shoes that are only designed for one – for example, weight training in super springy, cushioned running trainers or running in flat-as-you-like weight training shoes. Not only is this bad for your workout form, it can be seriously bad for your body, and lead to injuries along the way (read our expert-led guide to preventing injury, here).
So, yep, it’s fair to say I was excited about the chargefeel. You shouldn’t need to invest in more than one pair of trainers – they should be multi-faceted.
When I tested, I wore for a strength training class, a five-mile run, and a walk. My initial thoughts? They look simple, are easy to put on and are immediately comfy. When I pull them on for my strength class, I immediately noticed a bounce and a lightness in my step, which I wasn’t expecting from the heel size.
Pros: my arch feels supported and steady both lifting weights and pounding the pavement. During our circuit class, I’m surprised to find that the shoes really do offer the right support for both weights and high intensity movements, like high knees and jump lunges – normally two totally different disciplines that require different support. I’m stable for squatting but also springy for the cardio moves – a hard middle ground to strike. My feet are also blister-free after three workouts in the trainer.
The brand promised versatility with this launch, and that they’ve delivered on. They promised that the shoes would offer the bounce you need for running, the support you need for strength training, and a flexible yet super-charged outsole perfect for HIIT, circuits, and every workout in between – and they really do.
lululemon high rise chargefeel trainer – £138
Another key highlight for me: I’ve worn the trainers into the office with suit trousers and a tank top twice now, and they fit seamlessly into your working wardrobe – something which I think is essential for working, busy women. Nobody wants to lug two pairs of shoes around and similarly, investing in kit that’s multi-purpose is sustainable and a good way of guaranteeing value for money.
Cons: I’m clutching at straws, but if I were to find some, when trying the white colourway, they do get grubby fairly quickly (that’s what you get for living and run commuting in central London). I personally like the double logo branding on the shoe – it’s subtle and not hugely noticeable – but some might find it a bit much. As far as I’m aware, most other running shoes normally have a singular logo visible, but it varies from brand to brand.
lululemon have struck the perfect balance with this shoe, in my opinion – their customers love their kit for its versatility and the ability to wear itto everything from Barre to brunch. This is the shoes USP: it really is an all-rounder, but it’s grounded in performance, too, meaning it’ll not only look good, but support you through any workout, too.