If you’re in the market for new sneakers, you can easily find options for every kind of workout: A shoe for running (and another one for going long, and yet another for speeding up), for cycling, for lifting weights, you name it. While there are good reasons to choose activity-specific footwear—certain designs help provide support and facilitate certain movements—all the choices can make sneaker shopping pretty confusing and leave your shelves (and your wallet) feeling strapped.
The good news is that there are great shoes that can fill multiple roles, freeing up some much-needed closet space and taking the guesswork out of prepping for your workouts. That’s what Lululemon’s Chargefeel was created to do when it was released last year—and what its newest iteration, the Chargefeel 2, is meant to expand upon. But does it really fill the workout gap? The company sent me a sample to try for myself.
Who it’s for
The Lululemon Chargefeel 2 is made for an exerciser who wears a whole lot of hats—someone who likes to run, strength train, do HIIT classes, and throw in some explosive moves here and there. The shoe has features that enable both: enough cushioning to make runs comfortable and enough stability to keep you grounded when lifting weights.
Out of the box
The first thing I noticed was that the shoes look elegant for sneakers: They have a svelte, streamlined silhouette, and a muted color pattern (I tried them in an off-white with light lime green accents along the sole). The mesh upper is ventilated, which plays a functional role for breathability but also gives it a subtle dotted design that adds an aesthetic boost.
If a weight-lifting shoe and a running trainer had a baby, it might look like the Chargefeel 2: These don’t have the high stack height of a cushiony running shoe, but they’re not as flat as a pair you’d use only for lifting—they fall right in the middle.
Fit and feel
I normally go up a half size in running shoes (this allows space for your foot to move and slightly swell) and stick with my street size for strength training, so I faced a conundrum with these. I decided to try my street shoe size, and I think it was the right decision: I ended up with about a half inch of space at the top of the shoe.