I’m Training for a Marathon, and These Running Shoes Keep My Plantar Fasciitis From Flaring Up

The running shoes are my go-to pick for recovery runs.

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When I decided to start training for a spring marathon, my biggest concern was that my old friend, plantar fasciitis, would decide to join the party — uninvited. Most marathon training programs are four months long, and I was starting with 10 weeks out and a pretty much non-existent running routine. Jumping headfirst into training would mean way more impact on my legs and a much higher risk of old injuries (see: plantar fasciitis) flaring up. (Plantar fasciitis, ICYDK, is inflammation of a thick band of fascia that runs from your heel to your toes, and it feels like a thousand tiny daggers stabbing the arch of your foot. Not to be dramatic.)

However, I’m also not someone who runs in maximalist shoes. I prefer a shoe with less cushioning, more stability, and just enough bounce-back to propel me forward, without feeling like I’m sinking — and that balance is surprisingly hard to find. Luckily, my prayers were answered by the new Lululemon Blissfeel 2 running shoes, a neutral, everyday road shoe that provides the perfect balance of stability and cushion to keep my fascia happy. 

Lululemon Blissfeel 2 Running Shoes Key Features

How I tested: I wore these running shoes for three weeks during three- to six-mile runs.

Perfect for: Casual runners looking for a neutral, everyday running shoe; HIIT lovers who want a shoe that’s versatile enough for the tread and strength training.

What you’ll love: These shoes were designed for women’s feet specifically and feature a new upper, including a 3D-molded midfoot panel that adds stability, for maximum support and comfort. 

Keep in mind: If you have a wider foot, you may want to go up half a size.

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Buy It: Blissfeel 2 Women’s Running Shoe, $148, lululemon.com

Lululemon Blissfeel 2 Running Shoes Review

When I took these shoes out for their maiden voyage, my first impression was that my midsole felt firmly supported with the neutral structure (meaning, there’s no extra cushioning to offset pronation). I especially noticed this feel-good fit in my instep, which felt hugged and cushioned with every stride. The firm stability makes this shoe a great choice if you love HIIT workouts or bootcamp-style classes where you alternate between strength and running; you’ll be able to run on treadmills pain-free, but you’ll have the stability you need to lift weights. 

The ventilation on the Blissfeel 2 running shoe is also top-notch, especially if you’re prone to sweaty feet. There are air vents all over the shoe, allowing your feet to breathe while wicking away sweat. Or, put another way, the ventilation helps prevent blisters — a major key for any runner. The seamless upper felt flexible and like it truly moved with me and my toes had plenty of room to wiggle and spread out (heads up: I did go up a half-size, which I typically do for all running shoes). And even though it’s a small detail, the shoe laces are thin enough to actually stay tied (who’s got time to re-tie shoes when you’re hitting your pace?) and the shoe has a sock-like fit that really molds to the top of my foot. 

Most importantly to me, the Blissfeel 2 was made and molded with the specifics of women’s feet in mind. I’ve finally found the Goldilocks of running shoes: not too hard, not too soft, but just right. The Blissfeel 2 is responsive enough to keep my stride supported without sinking into an overly soft sole.  My plantar fasciitis is firmly in the rearview, and I’m running pain-free and racking up the miles. You can shop the Blissfeel 2 running shoes for $148 at Lululemon.

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