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lululemon Cityverse Sneakers – $138

About the Author: Adam Terry is a thirtysomething business analyst in the construction industry. He enjoys whiskey, watches, boots/shoes, and working on his dad bod father figure.

While your average dude probably assumes that lululemon is either expensive workout gear for wealthy women or it’s a new citrus-based dessert that can be found on Tiktok, those of us who frequent the Dappered pages know that the brand has a solid line up of what I like to call “comfortable business casual” clothes.

These items include sweat wicking button-down shirts, their bestselling ABC chino-like stretch trousers, and a wide variety of sweatshirts, joggers, and more. Even Joe, Mr. Dappered himself (editor’s note: hi) loves their Metal Vent Tech polos and routinely features the brand in Dappered’s annual Polopalooza post. However, we’ve never seen the brand’s sneakers before as they were launched earlier this year. So, jump on the treadmill and join me on this athleisure adventure to see how their Cityverse sneakers stack up against brands like Nike and Adidas.

Enter the… lu

The Adam Review Scale of Excellence (A.R.S.E.)

  • 5 – Outstanding! Very nice and well worth the price of admission. Highly recommended.
  • 4 – Very satisfactory. Above average, may have very minor issues but still worth it.
  • 3 – Satisfactory. Average at best. May have notable issues, may be OK for some.
  • 2 – Unsatisfactory. Below average due to defects, flaws, or other imperfections.
  • 1 – Poor. Significant issues, not worth purchasing at any price. Avoid!

Details

  • Brand: Lululemon
  • Style: GAT-style Athletic Sneaker
  • Size: 10.5
  • Last: N/A
  • Construction: Glued
  • Upper: “Mixed materials”
  • Sole: Rubber cup-type sole with half-moon traction design
  • Details: Removable sockliner
  • Extras: Spare set of laces in oatmeal/khaki and a large polyester shoe/gym bag
  • Country of Origin: Vietnam
  • Price: $138 USD

GAT-style design.
Clean, understated white sneakers which easily fit into today’s casual dress code.

Ordering/Delivery/Returns

Everyone orders sneakers online these days and this review pair is no different. They were purchased through the main Lululemon website one lazy Sunday afternoon. The order shipped out a few days later from their Grove City, OH warehouse via FedEx Home Delivery service and it was delivered on Wednesday evening just in time to experience Leap Day. Nice!

FYI: Lululemon has a dead simple (and free!) 30-day return policy from the delivery date. You can return your online purchases either in store or online through their returns portal. Plus, Lululemon also offers a 30-day trial period and a performance guarantee for their sneakers.

Score: 5/5 Stars – Easy online ordering, fast and trackable shipping, and easy returns.

Nice box, extra laces, and a big shoe bag. Well done lululemon.
Extra goodies made the unboxing experience a pleasant surprise, earning full marks.

Packaging/Unboxing

My pair of Cityverse sneakers arrived in a nice white and black Lululemon branded shoe box. Inside, the shoes were wrapped in and stuffed with a few layers of Lululemon branded tissue paper. I was surprised to find a spare set of laces in an off-white, khaki color and a large polyester shoe bag that could easily double as a gym bag for temporary stinky shoe storage. While sneaker unboxings are rarely as luxurious as those with well made dress shoes, I think this experience was a bit nicer than average given the brand, price point, and what I expected.

Score: 5/5 Stars – Surprisingly nice for the price, with spare laces and a shoe/gym bag.

First Impressions

Fresh out of the box, these Cityverse sneakers have a somewhat sporty, yet generic “white sneaker” aesthetic. The overall package and design choices feel very familiar; like a chimera bred from one part Common Projects Achilles, one part vintage German Army Trainer, and one part Nike Air Force. If you were to search Google for a photo of a “white athletic sneaker” to represent the category as a whole, I would not be surprised to find this pair front and center.

Uppers are made from a leather-like coated material with accent pieces made from an odd, styrofoam-like material.
 Neither material feels inherently too cheap, but they don’t look, feel, or perform like actual leather or suede does.
It’s not a surprising choice(es), considering lululemon’s stance on being eco-conscious.

Clean, understated white sneakers are popular because they are simply so versatile in today’s casual and comfortable social dress code. Whether you’re working from home full time or fulfilling a hybrid role that sees you in an office some times and on the road others, a clean and minimally detailed white sneaker can help make outfit choices faster and easier. Heading out for a business trip? Grab your white sneakers for the post-office meetups and casual Fridays.



The embossed, domed plastic emblem adds a nice touch.

This pair from Lululemon is an artist’s rendering of that quintessential white sneaker, yet they’ve made it from an interesting mix of materials. The upper is made from a leather-like coated material with the accent pieces made from an odd, styrofoam-like material. I’m not sure if these were chosen for their animal-friendly, eco-conscious properties or if they were selected based on their lower costs. Lululemon does have a page devoted to their impact on the planet if that interests you. Neither material feels inherently too cheap, but they don’t look, feel, or perform like actual leather or suede does. I can’t speak to the long term durability or how these materials age, but perhaps this is one avenue that the fashion industry has taken to be more circular. I do enjoy the two materials for their visual texture and think that they’re slightly more interesting, but I wonder how well they’ll hold up after a year or two of routine wear and tear.

From afar these look like generic white sneakers, but get in close and you’ll notice a lot of textures.

Design wise, these do have some features that you’d recognize if you’re into sneakers in any capacity. The upper design looks like an amalgam of the classic German Army Trainer with it’s toe box style, yet the side profile adds a chunky stripe or block down the middle that’s bolder than the three smaller stripes used by Adidas or the paneling and stitching used by Greats. I like the rectangular lace eyelets, the fabric lace keeper running down the front, and the subtle branding on the metal eyelet on the topmost hole. Around back, there’s a domed plastic emblem that feels slightly more premium than basic text or stitched designs found elsewhere.

Removable liner with a gel-like base.

Inside, these sneakers feature a unique fabric with a wavy texture that runs the full length of the shoe. This fabric is both visually interesting and practical, as I feel like it grips onto my socks a little bit better than those smoother, cotton-like poly fabrics that you tend to find elsewhere. This could just be a placebo effect, but I feel like it does work well when switching between the Cityverse sneakers and my Rothy’s RS02s. There’s also a removable sock liner with a gel-like base. It’s comfortable right out of the box and feels way better than the typical open-cell foam sock liners found in cheaper sneakers, too. Since these are removable, you can choose an aftermarket insert if you want more cushioning or need more arch support, help with pronation, etc. Obviously, you should always consult a podiatrist first; we’re shoe nerds, not doctors.

Finally, the outsole is another unique feature of this otherwise generic white sneaker. While this cup-style sole is chunky, it’s not overly thick and sadly it’s not stitched to the upper. However, it is branded on the outer, heel side edge to let the folks know you’ve got the lulu’s. The outsole gets its traction from a series of half-moon cutouts, similar to the siping slits you’d find on a pair of Sperrys or the small grooves on your car tires. All of these tiny surfaces increase the grip level when you’re walking on unstable terrain, like a slippery gym floor or the hotel bar after three 2-for-1 Mimosas. Hey, we’re not here to judge. Drink what you like, responsibly.

Score: 3/5 Stars – Basic, yet stylish. We’re concerned with long term durability.

Sizing/Fit/Comfort

In terms of sizing, I recommend trying your true-to-size Brannock measurement. I tried this pair in a 10.5 and while they fit well in terms of width, the length feels just a bit too short for my personal comfort. I tend to prefer at least a thumb’s width of space up front for expansion throughout the day and this pair feels like there is a pinky’s width. That has more to do with my foot shape and high arches than the shoe’s last shape. If I were buying another set for me, I’d try a size 11 to see how the length changes and if the width becomes too voluminous.

For size reference, I consider myself a 10.5 D on a Brannock device (10.5 heel to ball, 11 heel to toe with high arches). For roomier lasts like Alden’s Barrie or Grant Stone’s Leo, I take a half-size down to 10 D. For “true to size” lasts, like Allen Edmond’s 65 last, I tend to go TTS with a 10.5 D. For sneakers, I prefer a 10.5 with Converse and an 11 with Nike, Adidas, etc.

The insoles are easily removed if you have a preferred brand.
The wavy fabric inside the shoe is comfortable and slightly grippy.

Comfort is always subjective, but based on the fit and materials used (and overlooking the sizing issue for me), these feel incredibly comfortable right out of the box. The sockliner insoles feel squishy, yet supportive and the firm outsole is chunky enough to provide a stable base. I especially like the interior fabric lining and its wavy texture. This stuff feels great with socks and bare feet, providing just a bit of anti-slip to help keep your heels locked into the heel cup. While my Boost-powered Adidas sneakers are another level of comfort above the Cityverse line, I think they’re simply in different camps and would be more akin to the Rod Lavers or Sambas.

Score: 4/5 Stars – Fits a little small for me, but overall comfort is fantastic.

Final Thoughts

All in all, I am pleasantly surprised with how solid lululemon’s Cityverse sneakers look and feel in person. Looks are always subjective, but I prefer their slightly chunkier silhouette and retro style cues over the slimmer and more minimalist adidas Stan Smith’s. I can’t say for certain how the comfort and durability will fare over time, but I feel that the Cityverse sneakers will be slightly more comfortable than those adidas Stan Smith’s but a notable step down from something like the Ultraboost or even a pair of Vans with their squishy ComfyCush outsoles. Sizing on my pair aside, I think these are definitely worth taking a look at should you have a lululemon store near you. If not, don’t fret because that 30-day performance guarantee rocks. Give them a try for yourself and let us know what you think! Cheers, y’all.

Avg. Score: 4.25/5 – Recommended. These look OK, feel comfy, but might not last.

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