A road-to-trail shoe that'll serve you well shifting from asphalt to packed dirt, with a women's specific fit that offers extra arch support and plenty of space for your toes. Just don't be tempted to try it out on anything more technical; it's not built for tackling roots and rocks.
Women's specific fit
Great arch support
Upper offers limited protection
Can't create a heel lock for security
Sole lacks firmness
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Lululemon Blissfeel Trail first impressions
Following on from its successful foray into road running shoes with the Blissfeel and Blissfeel 2, Lululemon has ventured off-road with its first footwear designed specifically for tackling trails. Easy ones, at least.
Lululemon makes all of its shoes using a women's specific last based on thousands of foot scans, which means they're better suited to the anatomy of a typical female foot. The two main differences you're likely to notice are a higher arch and wider toebox, giving your foot more space to spread naturally with each step.
I certainly noticed the higher arch, which makes the shoe feel particularly supportive, and the fit seemed true to size. Lululemon suggests going up half a size if you have particularly wide feet.
• List price: $158 / £148
• Weight: Women's US size 11 10.9oz / 308g
• Colors: light vapor / bone / florid orange, dewy / silver drop / faded zap, silver drop / baked clay / vapor and more
• Compatibility: mixed terrain, from roads to easy packed dirt trails
The tongue is thin and flexible, made from a neoprene-type material with a strategically positioned patch of padding in the center to prevent the laces digging in. The tongue isn't gusseted, which is unusual for a modern trail shoe, but despite plenty of runs on gravel that never proved to be a problem.
The soft, round laces have a little stretch, and there's no additional eyelet for creating a heel lock, so there's a limit to how snugly you can fasten the shoe. However, I found the molded heel cup kept my foot securely in place without rubbing, even over longer distances. The large heel tab is also a nice touch for pulling the shoe on easily.
Turn the shoe over and you'll find moderately-sized lugs spread across the outsole. These are round, so they aren't best suited to particularly wet conditions where you want something more aggressive to grab onto rocks and mud.
The Blissfeel Trail is a little on the heavy side compared to competitors from the likes of Hoka and Adidas. My women's US size 11 sample weighed 308g each, which is what I'd expect for a typical pair of chunky stability road shoes like the Asics GT-100.
Lululemon Blissfeel Trail: on the trails
I found the Blissfeel Trail comfortable straight out of the box, and like the Blissfeel 2, it has a pleasingly supportive fit that gently hugs your foot.
However, before you pick up a pair, be aware that despite its name, this is a road-to-trail shoe than one purely for off-roading. I'd recommend only using it for easier routes without any significant obstacles. I found it particularly well suited to canal tow paths, particularly after rain when the reinforced upper helped resist splashes from puddles, and it's equally at home on packed dirt trails.
Rocks and roots, however, are not its friends, as I discovered on a weekend training session with my running club. I tripped on a rock, which wasn't the fault of the shoe – these things just happen sometimes – and went down fairly hard on my knees. Once I was cleaned up I started running again, but soon realized something wasn't right, and it later transpired I'd broken the second toe in my left foot.
Could this have happened in a different pair of shoes? Yes, definitely, and I don't blame them, but it would be remiss of me not to mention it, and it does highlight an issue with the Blissfeel Trail. Its sole isn't as firm as you might expect, and although the toe has a small bumper right on the tip, the rest of the upper is very flexible and provides little protection from impacts.
Stay out of the woods, and you should feel much more at home. This is a shoe that'll take you from the front door to packed dirt trails and back again in comfort and style. If you like the Blissfeel 2 but want something a little more versatile, it's definitely one to try.
Cat is the editor of Advnture, She’s been a journalist for 13 years, and was fitness and wellbeing editor on TechRadar before joining the Advnture team in 2022. She’s a UK Athletics qualified run leader, and in her spare time enjoys nothing more than lacing up her shoes and hitting the roads and trails (the muddier, the better).