In this Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review, I'll look at how you may or may not benefit from the new trail shoes' female-specific traits. It's exciting to be presented with a women's specific trail shoe based on one million scans of 3D foot scans from Volumental and four years of research, but what does that mean about the shoe's fit and cushioning? How does it differ from a regular unisex (ahem, read men's) fit shoe? And why do women need different cushioning than men?
Inside the box, the shoes looked stylish and very, er, purple! And comfy straight away – like, seriously comfortable – akin to slippers that you can run in, and run in, and run in... These are not only brilliant for roads and trails, but you can spend big chunks of time in these all day without foot ache, despite weighing slightly heavier than average.
The big difference compared to the original Blissfeel, as featured on T3's best women's running shoes roundup, is the grip, with circular 4mm lugs giving you the traction to turn to trails and munch through the mud while the ample cushioning protects you from pounding the pavements as well. Read on to find out more.
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: price and availability
The Lululemon Blissfeel Trail was released in May 2023 and is available to buy now directly from Lululemon UK and Lululemon US for a recommended retail price of £148/ $158 – AU price and availability TBC. It's currently available in five colourways. I tested the Violet Verbena/Purple Ash/Atomic Purple version.
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: key specs
- Weight: 272g/ 9.6 oz UK size 6.5
- Drop: 9.5mm
- Lugs: 4mm
- Fit: Women’s specific fit, regular toe box
- Characteristics: Cushioned and comfy with great traction
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: fit and sizing
The fit of the Lululemon Blissfeel Trail seems to be pretty spot on lengthwise, and the width of the toe box is as wide as most regular trail running shoes, plentifully roomie, but not as wide as a dedicated wide-fit shoe like you get with the noticeably little-toe-accommodating brand Altra.
I usually go for a size 6.5, and sometimes this can be a little on the large size for me, but these felt just right. Wonderfully, the volume of this shoe seems lower than the usual unisex trail running shoes that I’m used to. I often have to pull the laces in really tight over the mid-foot to get a snug fit, but presumably thanks to the Volumental foot-scanning research, these fit like a glove and feel superbly comfy all around the top of the foot, like a slipper, but a useful one that you can go outside and run in.
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: upper and lacing
The upper material feels soft yet durable, and there’s quite a lot going on support- and protection-wise. Firstly there’s a reinforced rand/toe bumper that extends all the way around the mid-foot for protection from rocks and rubble. Then there’s more solid plastic support along each side that swoops up and around the heel, and three of the upper lace holes are reinforced with plastic.
The laces are my favourite kind, thick and easy to tie quickly, with enough grip in them not to come undone with mile upon mile of running. One part of the upper is puzzling - there are two long, oblong reinforcement strips on the top of each side of the upper, where the rand meets the softer upper. They look a bit like plasters, strange!
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: midsole support
Lululemon don’t give much information about the type of foam used in the midsole, but it’s a neutral cushion that feels bouncy with a good rebound, and there’s plenty of padding there to be very comfortable on-road sections. With a drop from heel to toe of 9.5mm, this is sort of a road shoe but with enhanced grip for muddy trails, really, as the padding does disguise some of the ‘trail feel’ - for pure trail running, you often get a little less cushioning so that your foot can feel and respond more quickly to the lumps and bumps of the uneven trail surfaces. So, for this reason, the Blissfeel Trail will be best on roads, gravel tracks, hard-packed paths and easy muddy, grassy trails rather than off-path mountain running on very technical (rocky, roots) ground.
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: heel cup
This is a slight drawback for me in these shoes - the heel cup doesn’t fit as deeply and securely around my heel as it does in the best trail running shoes. There’s also no second eyelet at the top to do the 'runner's knot' style lacing. It’s definitely bedding in the more I wear them, but for me, there is a little slippage there, which makes it less attractive for longer runs. Every foot is different however, so if this isn’t a problem for you (you’ll know as soon as you try them on), then there’s no reason you can’t run an ultra in these super comfy shoes.
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: grip and traction
The outsole has circular 4mm depth lugs with grooves cut into them. These perform well on most surfaces and are deep enough to tackle a good bit of mud. The flat top of the circles also helps you grip rocks and pavements without skidding around. However, most of the leading trail running shoes use a chevron or A-shaped grip for the best traction on sloppier surfaces, so this will possibly be considered in the next edition of the Blissfeel. Having said that, this grip is perfectly good enough for what it’s designed for - both road and trail running in combination rather than pure trail running alone.
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: colours and aesthetics
The Blissfeel Trail comes in five colourways, including grey and mint green, faded peach and grey, pure black, purple pink and grey with an orange sole and details. This is a great range which caters to a lot of different tastes. The shoe looks like a modern, trendy running trainer rather than a retro one. The only slightly strange thing about this shoe which I haven’t seen on any others, is the two oblong reinforced sections on the top of the upper, across the upper and rand. In the purple/pink colour, it reminds me of plasters and looks a little odd. They don’t seem to be reflective (which would be a nice touch for night running); maybe they are there simply at a high wear point?
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: sustainability
There isn’t any mention of recycled materials, sustainability, or environmentally responsible practices on the Blissfeel Trail webpage, and the uppers use quite a few different materials, including the big plastic swoop around both sides and reinforcement at the laces so the shoe doesn’t seem particularly easy to disassemble for recycling. Although Lululemon do have an extensive section on sustainability, transparency and reducing CO2 emissions in the Community tab on their site, it would be nice to see what that actually means for each product they sell. It’s always nice to know if, for example, the sole is made partly from ocean plastics or if the midsole foam is sustainably sourced. We look forward to seeing more on the eco side of things from Lululemon on future product pages.
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: verdict
The Lululemon Blissfeel Trail is an excellent road-to-trail shoe, particularly for those dipping their toes into the muddy waters of the trail running world and also those who have to run a good section of the road first before reaching their local off-road run. It’s superbly comfy, designed especially for women, and has enough cushioning for roads balanced with a good grip on rocky and muddy trails. If you like the Lululemon Blissfeel trainer, you'll appreciate the new Blissfeel Trail.
Recommended for: Female road-to-trail runners who like cushioned shoes with plenty of grip.
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail review: also consider
The Saucony Xodus Ultra 2 (retailer link) is also a padded but grippy trail running shoe for a wide range of terrain with a fairly wide toe box, good heel lockdown and a 6mm drop. The Hoka Speedgoat 5 is a super bouncy trail running shoe with a neutral platform, 4mm drop and a narrow toe box, best for those with narrow. See our review here.