We tried the lululemon Chargefeel 2 Workout Shoe on the golf course. Here's how it went
There are hundreds of great women’s golf shoes to choose from that are designed for the specific needs of golfers to support their swing, provide comfort over several hours of walking and ensure a stable base on the tough terrain golf courses may bring throughout a round. But let’s face it, we’ve all be in the situation in which we forget our golf shoes at home or pull our favorite pair out of the shoe bag to realize they haven’t dried out after a recent rainy round. Before you cancel, perhaps there is another footwear option that can work in a pinch. Our editors have been a fan of lululemon’s newest athletic shoe, the chargefeel 2, for its minimalist and modern styling, energy-returning cushioned midsole and lightweight feel. The shoe is built for training with an outsole mapped with gripping technology to provide traction in both lateral and forward movements—which got us thinking, can we wear this shoe for golf? We sent one editor out for a weekend of golf in her chargefeel 2 shoes to find out.
You may recognize the chargefeel shoe from lululemon’s first footwear collection release last year. The chargefeel 1 came with the tagline of being the “workout shoe for any activity.” A surprisingly refreshing detail about this shoe was that it was designed for women first, with a fit and feel optimized for the female foot—not a shrunken down version of a men’s running shoe.
The upgraded chargefeel 2 provides better support at the heel for a more locked-in fit and stable feel, especially in explosive moments, like taking off for a run or turning a corner quickly during training. It also features a supportive mesh upper designed to provide both breathability and stability without sacrificing weight—one aspect our editor and tester Courtney Kyritz noted immediately after taking these shoes for a spin on the golf course this summer.
“When I first tried these on and felt how incredibly lightweight they were, I thought there was no way something so light could have meaningful support and stability,” Kyrtiz said. “But it didn’t take long for me to realize that I felt just as stable and there was equal cushioning to my go-to golf shoes.”
Through warming up and the first few holes, Kyritz appreciated being able to skip the breaking-in process that some new shoes required. The low-profile design and true-to-size fit make this possible, along with the unique liner engineered to create a second-skin-like comfort.
As we move on to review how this performed specifically for golf, we will caveat again that this is not a golf shoe, it is not marketed for golf—especially because it is designed with a softer sole. Soft-soles are designed for cushioning, flexibility and allowing the feet to move more freely. Tennis shoes, for example, are designed with soft soles for better balance, agility and traction on court surfaces. Golf shoes typically have a harder sole or a bar-like support through the sole to provide better durability and will hold up on rough or wet terrain better. Stiffer soles will also allow for a more efficient generation of ground force than a bouncy, soft sole. From the lululemon athletic footwear collection, the Blissfeel Trail and Strongfeel shoes, also not specifically designed for golf, have harder soles with the trail shoe being designed with better traction on the bottom to handle tough terrain and the Strongfeel having a more stable platform.
On the golf course, the chargefeel 2 provided above average grip in dry conditions. The shoe (and in effect the golfer) performed better in the fairway and during swings on flat lies than in the sand or when awkward stances were required to hit the ball. Post-round, Kyritz had less foot fatigue than in other more traditionally structured golf shoes she’s tried.
Style-wise, these shoes have no problem fitting into golf outfits. The evolution of golf shoes, and golf style overall, toward a more casual and athletic look make it much easier to wear a sneaker on the golf course. This is great for new golfers looking to try out the game without spending too much up front. So ladies, take this as your permission to wear your sneakers to the golf course for casual rounds or trying out the game. You may sacrifice a bit of traction and lateral support, but that’s an okay sacrifice to make if it means new golfers will be more willing to try out the game and feel comfortable with their footwear selection.
For avid golfers like Kyritz, she sees these shoes getting the most use for quick range sessions and when trying to pack light for travel.
“I wouldn’t switch to these as my primary golf shoe, but that’s also not what they’re made for,” Kyritz said. “However, the convenience factor of packing one shoe to fit multiple activities just makes sense. These shoes are great for when you are traveling and limited on space but still need to pack something that is good for walking, working out, playing golf and is versatile enough to be dressed up a little.”