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Lululemon Chargefeel 2 Review: A Versatile Workout Shoe for Days When You Want to Do It All

SELF’s fitness director tested them during strength and cardio work.
chargefeel 2 sneaker during workout
Christa Sgobba / Amanda K Bailey

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  • Versatile for multiple kinds of exercise.
  • Cushiony and comfortable
  • Very pretty shoe
  • Not for heavy lifting or long running

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.

Christa Sgobba

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.

The streamlined silhouette made me (and my sorta wide feet) a little worried. But Lululemon’s shoes are designed specifically for a woman’s foot, which makes the toe box a little roomier—I didn’t notice any pinching along the sides.

When I stood up in them, I could feel the cushion underneath my foot—it was a lot softer than I’d expect with lifting shoes—and felt pretty supported at the ankle. I also loved the padded tongue, which allowed for a tight lacing lockdown without it digging into the top of my foot. After a quick walk around my apartment, I felt excited to take them to the gym to see how they do with more intense movement.

Christa Sgobba

At the gym

I decided to test out the Chargefeel 2 during a higher-rep, lighter-weight lower-body workout that followed a quick treadmill warm-up. From the get-go, I was stoked: I really enjoy prepping my legs for strength training with a short, easy jog, but I’m never able to do it because I always wear completely flat lifting shoes for a session—which are a no-go for me for running, especially since I’m prone to some lower-leg injuries.

My warm-up was less than a mile at my easy pace, but I definitely could have gone longer: These felt cushiony for running and weren’t blocky or unwieldy like some shoes I’ve tried that also promise to do it all. The heel support in the shoe helped keep my foot steady with each stride.

During my lifting portion, I did both dynamic moves and more traditional strength training exercises: barbell reverse lunges, dumbbell single-leg deadlifts, goblet squats, lateral step-ups, and some mini-band work. I really enjoyed the flexibility of the shoe during the lunges; sometimes with lifting shoes, I feel like the foot that’s moving has to really fight to get on its toes. As for exercises where both feet remained planted, these sneakers stayed stable on the floor and didn’t wobble (which often happens if I try to squat or hinge in running shoes). I found the shoe especially helpful during lateral step-ups. This kind of dynamic, side to side movement can be tricky in stiff, flat, running shoes, but the Chargefeel 2 supported me and allowed me the range of motion I needed.

Lululemon Chargefeel 2

Sizes: 5-12 (including half sizes); Widths: one; Weight: 9.1 oz; Heel-to-toe drop: 9.5 mm; Colorways: Baked Clay/Peach Fuzz/Sunset; White/Vapor/Delicate Mint; Vapor/Silver Drop/White; and Black/White/Anchor

Bottom line

For workouts that include a bunch of different modalities—running, lifting, lateral movement—the Lululemon Chargefeel 2 ensures each portion remains as comfortable as the others. I would choose this shoe for routines that are heavy on the dynamic movement, especially HIIT-based routines, circuit classes, or those that have you moving from the treadmill to the free-weight floor and back again. Thanks to their cushion, support, and general pretty appearance, they’d also be a solid choice for walks with friends, running errands, or casual gatherings.

I would lean toward the Chargefeel 2 for workouts that do a little bit of everything rather than those that are completely focused on going all in on one modality. For instance, while these felt great on a treadmill warm-up, I probably wouldn’t take them on a long run or a speed session. And they were supportive with dynamic strength training moves like lunges, but if I was doing a routine with max-weight big moves like barbell deadlifts, I’d stick to my flat-bottomed shoes to really dial in my stability. But for those days where your body is craving it all, these are a great option to get it done.