I knew from the moment I opened the package of Lululemon Chargefeel sneakers, their neon green box emblazoned with the many activities they’re suited for like running, jumping, chilling, squatting and skipping, that they wanted to be everything to me all at once. With that kind of promise, it seemed safe to eschew all my other pairs in favor of this one.
While I’ve long considered myself a sneakerhead — or, rather, a running shoe head, as a certified personal trainer and overall fitness enthusiast — it was only until Lululemon’s latest footwear release that I even considered it might be worth it to look toward sneakers designed specifically for the female foot.
Chargefeels may just tick off all your boxes. At $138 and $148 a pop for both the low- and mid-top versions, respectively, the prices are very much in line with what you’d expect to pay for a high-quality sneaker.
Innovating for women’s bodies has been at the core of Lululemon since its inception, and the brand noted across several press materials that it was about time it extended that same technology into the footwear category. To shrink the gender shoe gap, the brand developed three sneaker styles this year, with its most recent being the just released Chargefeel shoe.
Using data from millions of foot scans and countless hours of wear-testing, the brand developed numerous iterations of the Chargefeel until it felt just right. The result is a super-bouncy yet supportive sneaker designed for cross-training, short runs and everything in between. The shoe is now available in mid-top or low-top versions for $148 and $138, respectively, in 14 colorways and sizes 5 to 11.
With its socklike material that extends just beyond the ankle, the mid-style Chargefeel shoe, the version I tested, is oddly reminiscent of the influencer’s uniform that includes squeaky-clean sneakers paired with matching crew socks. While the style is, aesthetically, an ode to ’90s schoolyard fashion and its subsequent resurgence, these sneaks are anything but a game: They feature a layer of padding below the collar at the ankle as an extra source of comfort and support, they include a dual-density foam midsole to reduce impact on the joints and propel you forward and they’ve got a much-needed loop to shoehorn my foot in that the Blissfeels lacked. I always judge a shoe by its branding, so I love that Lululemon used its oversized logo on the back of the heel.
I first took them for a spin during a Peloton Bike Bootcamp class. This way, I could get a better (charge)feel for them while stepping firmly into their mid-foot, and alternating into more dynamic movements during the weightlifting and plyometric segments of the workout. While pedaling, I noticed an incredibly bouncy yet supportive fit underfoot, not unlike the recently released Blissfeel sneakers I reviewed earlier this year.
I knew upon looking at them that the mid-top design would bother me during my workouts both from a sensory and biomechanical perspective, but I gave it a fair shot. While I prefer a standard low collar, I’d likely recommend this shoe or similar to a client who’s looking to activate their proprioceptors, or build a mind-body connection and bring awareness to their ankle region as a means of reducing the chance of injury. Though it’s definitely not a panacea or replacement for physical therapy, this shoe makes for an all-around wise choice in the weight room or on the running track.
It was only once I transitioned to the resistance training portions of the workout that the mid-top situation started to bug me. Whereas some folks might find the elevated collar adds a bit of extra support — especially for those with slight ankle instability or weakness — I found it to be cumbersome. While I didn’t get my hands on a low-top version of the Chargefeels, I imagine they’d feel as blissful as their Blissfeel counterparts. If Balenciaga-style sock shoes have long been part of your off-duty model wardrobe, these are bound to feel like a second skin.
I kept the shoes on post-training to see how they’d hold up during everyday errands and chores, and found the source of my discomfort was primarily attributed to the exposed portion of ankle skin touching the elevated collar. If, like me, you’re looking to avoid developing blisters while extending the life of your shoe (read: reduce the amount of foot sweat directly seeping into its material), opt for higher crew socks that are breathable enough for exercise.
The same way the anatomy of a woman’s foot varies from that of a male, no two women’s feet are the same. While I, personally, prefer a low-top sneaker for any type of rigorous training, these Chargefeels may just tick off all your boxes. At $138 and $148 a pop for both the low- and mid-top versions, respectively, the prices are very much in line with what you’d expect to pay for a high-quality sneaker (and given that Lululemon is frequently under fire for “overpriced” athleisure, the Chargefeels seem that much more reasonably priced).
With a 30-day money-back policy to give you a fair chance at putting them to the test, they’re a pretty low-risk investment. Despite my minor quips, the Chargefeels made my feet feel like they were sitting atop two mini mattresses, which is kind of nice to think about when all I want to do is lie down during my last rep.
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