Activewear retailer lululemon is making its long-awaited foray into footwear.
Kicking off its entrance into the category, lululemon is releasing a women’s running shoe dubbed Blissfeel.
The $148 runner will hit shelves March 22, rolling out across North America, China, and the UK.
Ladies first. According to lululemon chief product officer Sun Choe, the company set out to fill a void in women’s footwear:
“We intentionally started with women first because we saw an opportunity to solve for the fact that, more often than not, performance shoes are designed for men and then adapted for women. That didn’t sit well with us.”
On the heels of its debut runner, the company will also release women’s cross-trainers and post-workout slide-ons this summer, followed by another training shoe in the fall.
Be on the lookout: lulu said its men’s footwear line will arrive in 2023.
Lace ’em Up. lululemon joins a growing number of brands challenging Nike’s top spot in athletic footwear.
- NOBULL reached a $500M valuation last year on 80% YoY growth and just launched its first performance running shoe.
- Brooks Running unseated Nike in the women’s performance category in Q1 2021, increasing sales by 88%.
- Touting comfort, HOKA has posted 96% YoY growth and grew its DTC channel by almost 15%.
- Both Allbirds and On Running IPO’d last year at billion-dollar valuations, boasting sustainability as a differentiating factor.
Punchline: With the global athletic footwear market set to reach $66B by 2027, brands are finding whitespace among runners who value performance, inclusivity, and authenticity.