Lululemon has officially revealed its first footwear range for men, consisting of three different silhouettes that will be released this spring.
Unveiled at a press event in New York on Thursday, Lululemon’s first men’s style to be released this year is its first casual sneaker called the Cityverse, which will be available starting on Feb. 13.
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Two additional running models, the Beyondfeel and Beyondfeel Trail, will launch on March 19 and May 7, respectively. The collection will be available, in both men’s and women’s sizes, online and in select stores across North America, Europe and China Mainland.
“For over 25 years, Lululemon has been designing feel first,” Sun Choe, chief product officer at Lululemon, said at the NYC event. “Our feel first innovation philosophy is our ‘north star’ that blends art and science to discover technical and functional solutions in order to take a broader and more sensory focused approach to product creation.”
“With new performance running shoes and our first-ever casual sneaker added to our lineup, we can now outfit both men and women in versatile gear from head to toe,” Choe added. “Extensive research, wear-testing and ambassador feedback went into each of these designs to ensure a perfect fit, no matter the activity.”
Much like its women-focused shoe launch in 2022, Lululemon’s entry into men’s footwear is the result of extensive research and attention to detail. According to Simon Atkins, senior vice president of footwear at Lululemon, a new distinct shoe last was developed specifically designed to meet the needs of a man’s foot – which are typically wider, have a higher instep and have longer toes, he said.
To create each last, the brand studied the differences in foot shape between men and women, taking into consideration how each body moves, before fine-tuning for the intended activity. For example, the Beyondfeel running shoe contains seven different combinations of upper materials, foam compounds and construction methods between the men’s and women’s designs to achieve optimal comfort, fit and performance.
“We’ve considered every anatomical nuance through biomechanical research of men’s feet through individual foot scans for this launch,” Atkins said at Thursday’s event. “Now, many of these elements to accommodate the male foot are hidden in the structural design, but the wearer will feel the differences.”
Breaking down each new style further, Lululemon’s new casual sneaker, Cityverse, “brings the best of technical performance to a casual sneaker through a midsole that provides superior cushioning and contours to the foot for all-day comfort,” the company said. The new Cityverse sneaker will be offered in a men’s and women’s sizes and will come in four colorways.
The brand’s newest performance running shoe, Beyondfeel, will also be available in men’s and women’s sizes. Built so the runner experiences a softer heel-to-toe glide through Lululemon’s exclusive supercritical midsole foam, ventilation, and support in the mesh upper, are key elements to the new sneaker. It also features confident traction and flection in the outsole that enables a more comfortable and cushioned run.
And the brand’s new Beyondfeel Trail, which comes later this spring, is Lululemon’s road-to-trail running shoe. It features directional traction and a lugged outsole, a supportive upper that stands up to rocks, dirt and debris, and the same supercritical foam midsole as the Beyondfeel running shoe.
The company also noted that it plans to launch additional footwear innovations, including the Restfeel sandal, throughout the year including new material iterations, across the product line.
Thursday’s reveal comes after Lululemon chief executive officer Calvin McDonald told analysts on the company’s third-quarter conference call in December that the brand was “gearing up” to launch men’s footwear in the first quarter of 2024 — calling it an “important moment” for the company.
“We continue to be excited about footwear and the newness that the team has in the category that we’ll be bringing forward in 2024. But we’re seeing enough positive signals from guests that we have an opportunity in this category, and we’re going to take a long-term view and build it.” McDonald said at the time.
Lululemon first debuted footwear in March 2022. To launch the collection, Lululemon took a women-first approach, relying on data and foot scans from women to create a shoe specifically designed for the female foot. In June 2022, McDonald told analysts that demand for the new shoes were in excess of supply and “far exceeded” the company’s expectations.
On December’s earnings call, McDonald reflected on Lululemon’s footwear business so far, noting that he is “pleased” with its performance. “It’s a small category for us, especially in our Power of Three x2 growth plan in terms of the role that it plays in our growth targets,” the CEO said. “I’m glad we’re in footwear. I’m excited with what we’re learning, and now we’re seeing some of the early successes as we continue to test and learn.”
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