There’s nothing quite like a run in nature: trees around you, a fresh breeze in the air, dirt at your feet, and maybe even a stream burbling in the distance. But getting into trail running can feel intimidating—especially if you don’t have the right gear to get started.

Enter: The Lululemon Blissfeel Trail, the brand’s first off-road shoe that was designed to help ease runners onto those peaceful paths. As part of SELF’s 2023 Sneaker Awards, I tested out a pair to see just how well it handles trickier terrain.

Who it’s for

The Blissfeel Trail is an everyday trail running shoe, or more accurately, a “road to trail” sneaker, as the company describes it. That means that it’s rugged enough to protect your feet on uneven ground, but not so bulky that it can’t go on the pavement too. To me, the shoe is for runners who want to give trails a try, but probably aren’t going to jump into really intense ones right off the bat.

Christa Sgobba

Out of the box

The “road to trail” aspect was strong when unboxing these: Aside from the lugged outsole on the bottom (which helps provide traction) and little more hardiness along the upper, the shoes look a lot like a regular running shoe—there’s no high ankle support or laceless fastening that you see with some trail-specific models. I’ve tried trail shoes with both those features in the past, and they bring sort of an…intense feel to them that I think might be a little off-putting to those dipping their feet into a new kind of run.

Fit and feel

Like all Lululemon sneakers, the Blissfeel Trail was designed specifically for a woman’s foot, and that may be why I was able to wear my usual street shoe size instead of going up a half size, like I normally do with running shoes.

When I tried these on, the shoe really hugged the curves of my foot, giving it more of a streamlined look than I expected with a trail shoe. My foot felt cradled and supported, and although I wouldn’t call it cushiony, it definitely felt comfortable. To me, it was a welcome relief from some trail shoes, which can just feel like a lot as soon as you slip them on.