A Deep Dive On Every Single Allbirds Shoe

Eco-aware shoe brand Allbirds is now in its sixth year of business, and the initial buzz that surrounded the brand following its launch and expansion (successful Kickstarter campaign, gleaming stores in major US cities, endorsement from Barack Obama, undisclosed investment from Leo) shows no signs of dying down. But a quick scan of the brand’s website leads a shopper to believe that the hype is well-founded — not only do the shoes feel like “walking on clouds,” according to one reviewer, they’re also made from a host of eco-friendly materials rarely found in footwear, like moisture-wicking merino wool, Tencel, and sugarcane. Allbirds is also a certified B corp, which means they’ve received a third-party designation acknowledging a high level of commitment to social good. (Did we mention that the shoes are machine-washable?)

After reading many customer accounts of their near-otherworldly comfort and breathability of the brand’s wares, we’re ready to hop on the bandwagon. We’ve also personally road-tested a number of styles over the years, like the workout-friendly Dasher, the street-friendly Piper, and the business-casual Breezer — even Allbirds’ minimal, eco-luxe apparel collection — and the general consensus is A+++/would do business with again. But since almost every style on their website has near-flawless ratings and effusive customer praise, the purchasing decision is turning out to be a tough one. Do we want a lightweight slipper for wearing around the house for running errands, or the brand’s classic breathable wool running shoe for low-impact exercise? To answer this question, we decided to go deep. We boned up on all of the product information and combed all the reviews to determine the pros and cons of every Allbirds style, so that we can all make an informed decision about which of the tech-y kicks to add to our summer rotations.

Wool Runners

Our Analysis:
Allbirds launched with the Runner in 2016. The most athletically styled of all the … birds, they have a larger arch and heel-to-toe drop, and are best for low-impact exercise, like short jogs or easy hiking. The wool version — while it seems breathable enough to wear year-round — is better suited for cooler times of year.

What The Reviewers Are Saying:
“I purchased Allbirds wool runners in time for an upcoming trip with no break-in time. I tromped all over London and the Cotswolds, 14 miles a day with not a single blister or foot pain. These shoes walked me through mud, rainy wet grass, and all kinds of tube/underground dirt. When we got home I threw them in the washer and they came out perfectly clean and bright. These shoes really live up to the price and hype!” — Holly L.

Allbirds Women's Wool Runners, $, available at Allbirds

Wool Loungers

Our Analysis:
New Zealand famously has more sheep than people, and the country specializes in the export of merino wool, a super-fine material that’s “breathable, temperature-regulating, and moisture-wicking,” according to the brand’s wesbite, “all without that irritating scratchiness.” Customers attest to this on Allbirds’ website, professing their devotion to the material and tallying many pairs they’ve accumulated (for themselves and others). The Lounge style can go from outdoors to indoors, and even into bed, according to one customer.

What The Reviewers Are Saying:
“This is my 4th pair of Allbirds in about a year. I was skeptical at first bc I have wide feet, but they stretch like a glove and fit beautifully. I love both styles of the wool shoes. (I’ve even slept in them when my feet were chilly.) I also bought the wool runners for my husband, and my daughter-in-law and they love them too. My Allbirds have now traveled the country with me and Western Europe as well. LOVE these shoes.” — Vicki H.

Allbirds Women's Wool Loungers, $, available at Allbirds

Tree Runners

Our Analysis:
A summer-weight revision of the brand’s classic Runner, these sneaks are a lighter-weight alternative to the more insulating wool. (The “tree” fabric also uses 95% less water than cotton, and Allbirds sources their eucalyptus-fiber Tencel from a South African provider that relies on rainfall, not irrigation.) We recommend these for height-of-summer outdoor activity to keep your tootsies as cool as possible.

What The Reviewers Are Saying:
“Brought on vacation at Disney with friends and walked several miles the couple of days we were there and they were excellent. No break-in period and just perfection. Great for daily use as well. I have gotten so many compliments! Great brand mission too!” — Taylor H.

Allbirds Women's Tree Runners, $, available at Allbirds

Tree Toppers

Our Analysis:
Allbirds’ nod to the classic high-top style, the Tree Toppers are for those who like the look of a retro basketball shoe. These are also available in lightweight Tencel, making them a hip and comfortable option for summer.

What The Reviewers Are Saying:
“I bought these because I needed new shoes that looked cool but could also handle my walking commute. I ended up taking them with me to Coachella this year (50,000 steps in one weekend), and they were perfect. They protected my feet and were comfortable all weekend. I went home, washed them, and they’re good as new. I’m very happy with my purchase.” — Katy C.

Allbirds Women's Tree Toppers, $, available at Allbirds

Tree Loungers

Our Analysis:
This slip-on style is the lowest-commitment of all the super-comfy Allbirds offerings, requiring very little from the wearer other than the ability to slide a foot in and out of them. While the shoe itself is made from eucalyptus fiber, it’s still lined with the brand’s signature merino wool, for maximum softness and odor reduction. We recommend this option for the lowest-impact, inside-to-outside wear.

What The Reviewers Are Saying:
“I am preparing for a double hip replacement and I bought these (slip-on) shoes to wear post-operatively. I LOVE them. There is no ‘breaking in’ period. They feel as though they were made for my feet. I look forward to purchasing more, in other styles.” — Heather B.

Allbirds Women's Tree Loungers, $, available at Allbirds

Click HERE to read more from Refinery29

Do you believe in super being called "God"?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


Confirm you are not a spammer! *