Exclusive Fest Offers
Allbirds is part of CNN Underscored’s Deals Fest, our exclusive two-day sale event featuring deep discounts on 28 of our favorite products – available only to CNN Underscored readers. To see the full list of offers, click here.
Allbirds has been around for a few years now, but the brand known for making “the world’s most comfortable shoes” shows no signs of slowing down.
Founded in 2014 by New Zealander Tim Brown, Allbirds has been defined from the start by simple design and comfortable construction. The brand first found success as a Silicon Valley staple (which makes sense for the San Francisco-based startup). But the sneakers quickly rose in popularity with celebrities like Jessica Alba, fashion icons like Sarah Jessica Parker, and even environmentalists like Leonardo DiCaprio. Today, you’ll see Allbirds on everyone from students to busy parents, dancers, nurses and others who are constantly on their feet.
But internet famous shoes don’t come cheap: the majority of styles start at $95. And the brand makes many different claims about the quality, comfort, and maintenance level of its shoes. That’s why we’ve broken down everything you’ll want to know before investing in your own pair of Allbirds.
In short, extremely. The sole of an Allbirds shoe is made from a proprietary low-density foam that contributes to the shoe’s extremely lightweight feel, its main distinction from other typical sneakers. The shoes’ insoles are made from an exclusive merino wool fabric that gives Allbirds its signature “walking on a cloud” feel. The wool fabric is touted as both moisture wicking and odor minimizing (more on that later) and is also used on the exterior of wool treadmills, wool mizzles and wool lounge chairs. oldest boy.
When it comes to everything a shoe can do for you, Allbirds claims it can do a lot. Here’s a quick breakdown of how some of them compared to our testing and experience with the Wool Runners, Tree Runners, and Tree Toppers.
So soft you can go without socks: You can definitely wear Allbirds without socks. The Wool Runners, in particular, are super soft and almost look like slippers without socks. They’re a cinch to slip on and off, making them our quick and convenient shoe of choice for everything from runs to workouts like yoga or swimming.
However, if you plan to spend an entire day on your feet, we recommend wearing socks, just to maintain the softness and comfort of the shoes.
Minimizes odors: When worn with socks, it was nearly impossible to detect any scent despite long days and even moderate exercise. This is partly due to the temperature control capabilities of the material. Even without socks, we barely felt a smell. This may be due to Allbirds’ merino wool material, wool being a naturally odor resistant material. It also holds up well to sweat and bacteria, which helps minimize any long-term odor.
Temperature control: If you suffer from sweaty feet or plan to wear your Allbirds all summer, definitely go with one of the Tree models. They are super light, airy and perfect for hot temperatures. Although the Wool Runners are also lightweight and suitable for warmer climates, they impressed when it came to keeping our feet warm and toasty in the cold northeastern winter. If you’re going to be trekking in slush or snow, just make sure you opt for the Wool Mizzles over the Wool Runners, as they feature a weatherproof Puddle Guard to keep your feet dry.
The big question: can you just throw them in the wash? Surprisingly, yes. Washing your Allbirds is a great way to prevent odors or stains, especially if you wear them a lot and in environments where your feet are exposed to puddles, dirt or other unwanted elements. Allbirds recommends removing the laces and insoles from your shoes, then washing them in cold water with a mild detergent. However, there is a caveat when it comes to wool runners. The more you wash your shoes, the faster the material begins to wear out. This is especially true for lighter shades. After a few months and washes, the Wool Runners in Natural White, one of our best white trainers, started to stretch (especially around the toes) and the color gradually became duller and less white.
And one more thing: never put your Allbirds in the dryer! One of our editors accidentally threw his Tree Runners in the dryer, and they came out great, but there are horror stories about post-drying Wool Runners completely ruined.
What style and size Allbirds are best for me?
The first decision to make is whether you are looking for a sneaker or something a little different. Allbirds produces seven types of sneakers – Runners, Dashers, Toppers, Skippers, Pipers, Trail Runners, Mizzles and Flyers – as well as three other styles: Loungers, Dwellers and Breezers.
The eight sneaker variants differ in a few key ways, with the main distinguishing element being the material. The Tree Toppers and Tree Skippers are essentially low and high versions of the same sneakers. The Tree Skippers are extremely light and perfect for summer. Tree Toppers are more expensive, but we’re big fans of the sleek high end. Both shoes feature a slightly flatter sole and wider toe box, giving your foot more room but less support.
The Wool Runners and Tree Runners are Allbirds classic styles and some of the most comfortable trainers around. The sneakers are particularly flexible and supportive, and truly designed for all-day comfort. It is the ideal type of shoe for city hikes, day trips or long walks. If you are unsure which material to choose, wool is softer and better for colder climates, while tree is more airy and better for warmer climates.
The Mizzles are a version of the Wool Runners that feature natural rubber treads and the brand’s Puddle Guard technology. Available in regular and high cut versions, the wool keeps your feet warm, while the shoe’s design ensures your foot doesn’t get too wet, although Allbirds are careful to point out that they’re not waterproof. They’re great for anyone willing to spend a little extra to make a sneaker purchase go further and last longer (or, of course, if you live in a colder, wetter climate).
If you’re looking for the perfect low-top shoe for running errands around town, the Pipers are for you. The super sleek and minimalist shoe can be paired with any outfit and be a real everyday sneaker.
If you need a running shoe, Allbirds has you covered with their new Tree Dashers. With a one-piece upper knitted from FSC-certified eucalyptus fibers and a dual-density SweetFoam midsole, these shoes are the perfect balance of comfort and performance. We tested them when they launched last year and loved the support and flexibility they offer. You can read our full review of Tree Dashers for women here.
And if you love running in the mountains, check out the Allbirds Trail Runners, which are extremely durable and offer excellent stability and traction so you can focus on your run. Plus, they feature a water-repellent finish to help keep your feet dry.
Available in women’s and men’s styles, the Allbirds Tree Flyers are the brand’s ultimate long-distance running shoes. They pack all the specs needed to make them suitable for long-distance running, from a cushioned footbed with plenty of flexibility, to breathable materials conducive to high-intensity, high-impact activity – and they look good. while doing it.
If you are looking for ultimate comfort, lounge chairs are the way to go. Available in both men’s and women’s styles, it’s the perfect slip-on and slip-off shoe for running errands or for any number of everyday tasks. However, they offer less support than sneakers, so don’t choose them if you want to take demanding day trips or long walks. Reviewers say they feel like they’re “wearing a super comfy pair of socks” wherever they go, and they hold up well in hot and cold weather.
The Breezers are a classic apartment, available in one style (but a ton of super fun colors). They’re perfect if you’re looking for something more work-appropriate than a sneaker.
As for the size, be sure to take a larger size. Allbirds says most customers choose to size up in all styles except the Tree Runners, which we also recommend. Fortunately, Allbirds offers a 30-day no-questions-asked trial period during which you can return or exchange your shoes for free.
An ultra-comfortable slipper, the Allbirds Dwellers are perfect for a lazy day around the house.
Sugar Sliders and Sugar Zeffers are the latest additions to the Allbirds range. Both shoes are made with sustainable sugarcane, which is not only kinder to the environment, but gives the shoes a bouncy feel and plenty of cushioning that makes them great for all your on-the-go needs.
If you haven’t been able to tell by now – absolutely. Comfort and style combined with high quality materials is something you can’t find in other sneakers.
The only thing to be aware of, especially with the Wool Runners, is that the wear you’ll get from them over their lifetime might not be as long as you’d get from typical running shoes. The woolen material is more delicate, susceptible to stains and begins to wear out after a few weeks. One way to counter this is to wear them not as your only pair of sneakers, but as a type of comfortable athletic shoe that sits alongside your grittier sneakers or running shoes. This way you can enjoy it longer.