I have a wider foot at the top and a lot of strength training shoes pinch the little toe, so I often have problems. There’s plenty of room in the toe box here, though, and my feet felt able to spread out, both in motion and at rest. The shoe also has a slightly higher heel, which helps keep the heel stable until the side of the ankle tilts and flexes. It flatters the silhouette – a bonus for training shoes.
At $128, Strongfeels is a bit pricey than most other sports day shoes on the market, but I have to say , they do feel a bit more luxurious than other shoes. The bottom of these shoes feels firm and the top feels soft at the ankle, but what stands out to me is the tongue: It has the same buttery soft feel as the Lululemon leggings.
Standing in the shoe feels comfortable but not obtrusive – it’s not like standing in a soft running shoe, it feels like you’re on a cloud. It’s more like, you feel ready and eager to crush your workout without worrying about any discomfort in your shoes. Basically, it keeps you from thinking about your shoes, which I consider a plus when exercising.
How Your Body Feels
When you’re lifting weights in the gym, footwear becomes important for safety and comfort. Try squatting in running shoes with a barbell on your back, and you may feel like you’re shaky, unable to create a stable base through your heels. With these shoes, though, I found myself able to maintain good contact with the floor. In lifts where stability is key, I feel stable and strong. Plus, I feel like I’m able to drive my glutes through my heels.
Strongfeels performed well when my feet were kept still and planted during the duration of the movement – such as squats, deadlifts and Good morning exercises—and those more dynamic moves like reverse lunges and steps. With the latter, I didn’t feel any movement in the shoe, and it really seemed to move with my foot. By having almost no shoes to worry about, I am able to focus on my workouts and specific muscles. Then after my workout, I didn’t notice any blistering, chafing, or rubbing hot spots.
I also wear these shoes for upper body workouts and again I feel the stability benefits in exercises where maintaining a solid base is key such as heavy rowing and standing shoulder press . In fact, while I’m primarily interested in testing these when working out for the lower body — stability is more important — I find myself opting for these in any strength workout simply because they make me feel better.
Finally, I also took the shoes on an out of town family visit, which included lots of walking and a few workouts on the hotel gym elliptical. I wouldn’t say these are the best shoes for long walks, but they certainly last a mile or two at a time (and without blistering afterwards). They also feel surprisingly stable and flexible on the elliptical.
What is the reason I carry these shoes with me on the go? I love how they look! Typically, I use sneakers for the activity at hand, but they have a timeless, casual look that’s perfect for everyday activities. So I’ve definitely been wearing these off-white sneakers outside the gym.
COMPANY RETURN POLICY
Lululemon offers their shoes with a 30-day trial period, which means you can try them out in real-world conditions (meaning at the gym, not just in your living room) Test them for a good fit. You can use them for 30 days, and if they don’t do it for you during that time, you can return them for a full refund. (Lightly worn shoes will be resold on their Like New resale site.)
Should You Buy It?
I was testing these shoes when I headed out hoping they would work during heavy lower body strength training—they would keep me stable, safe, and help me achieve the PR I was fighting for—and the Strongfeels delivered. On the first day I tested them, I was able to deadlift my benchmark weight, something I hadn’t done since training for a half marathon recently. I was pleasantly surprised by how smooth the lift felt, which set the stage for a truly enjoyable testing experience.
If you’re looking for a specific shoe for strength training — and if you lift heavy weights, which you really should be doing, for both safety and comfort — the Lululemon Strongfeel is the gear for you A great addition to the cabinet. You may find yourself picking them up for other workouts (and non-workouts) too!