We first heard of Allbirds sneakers again in 2016 when our good friend from New Zealand was sporting them. She claimed these sneakers (which had been made out of New Zealand merino wool) had been tremendous snug — they actually seemed snug. Then just a few months later we began seeing them throughout New York Metropolis so we had been pumped when Allbirds requested if we needed to test them out for ourselves since they seemed like an amazing shoe for journey.
I’ve had my Allbirds Wool Runners for about 12 months — we’ve spent quantity of time pounding the pavement with these sneakers so we needed to do our personal Allbirds Assessment.
UPDATE: This publish was initially posted in October 2018 so I’ve had somewhat extra time with my Allbirds Wool Runners. I discovered they did a pleasant job maintaining my toes heat throughout the NYC winters (however we didn’t put on them within the snow/rain/winter muck).
Naturally, they’re exhibiting somewhat extra indicators of wear and tear and tear however nothing out of the unusual. I’ve learn stories from different Allbirds wearers who stated their sneakers lasted round 8-10 months of average use and I’m seeing comparable outcomes.
UPDATE 3: Allbirds just lately launched their water resistant Allbirds Mizzle line of Runners, Runner-Ups, and Dashers. I’m sporting them as we communicate and I’ll write up a overview as soon as I put just a few extra miles on them.
UPDATE 7: Allbirds just lately began making attire made out of wool and different recycled material. I’ve tried the Pure Run Tee and Pure Run Shorts however they’ve socks, underwear, sweats, hoodies, and a bunch of different objects.
UPDATE 9: Allbirds simply launched their Tree Flyer—which is trying to be a legit operating shoe. I’m at the moment testing them and I’m actually liking them after about 6 weeks of use.
As you possibly can see, Allbirds now has a number of completely different sneakers so I created an Allbirds Comparision Information the place I check most of their sneakers and a few attire.
Fast Background of Allbirds
For a little bit of background, Allbirds is a brand new shoe firm from New Zealand (a rustic well-known for its wool) that made its debut with their Wool Runners — a pair of sneakers made out of merino wool and different sustainable/recycled supplies.
They went the direct-to-consumer route (though they do have just a few bodily areas now) and all their sneakers promote for $95 through the Allbirds Web site (free delivery and returns). Folks appear to actually dig them and their reputation is skyrocketing.
Allbirds additionally has a mannequin referred to as “Tree Runners” (that are made out of eucalyptus pulp as a substitute of wool).
We additionally like how Allbirds put an enormous give attention to sustainability — their soles are made out of sugarcane and their laces are made out of 100% post-consumer recycled polyester.
My Allbirds Assessment
I’m all the time raving out wool relating to journey clothes however I’ve by no means thought of wool for sneakers. So once I noticed the Wool Runners we had been intrigued — particularly since Allbirds claims their wool is tender, moisture-wicking, and reduces odor.
And as you possibly can see from the chart above, Allbirds makes a whole lot of claims about their sneakers so we needed to check them for ourselves.
I really ordered my Allbirds sneakers on-line however I nonetheless headed to their NYC location on SoHo to test it out.
First-Put on Ideas
The superfine merino wool was instantly tender and comfy — the shoe could be very slipper-like. The froth of the only is spongy and gives a pleasant quantity of cushion.
I additionally instantly seen how loopy light-weight the Wool Runners are — a pair of measurement 9 is 17oz. They’re nice for journey as a result of you possibly can simply throw these into your baggage with out including hardly any bulk/weight.
Allbirds says you possibly can comfortably put on their sneakers each with and with out socks. With that in thoughts, I went sockless throughout my maiden voyage to the park with Henry. Even after quantity of strolling, I discovered them very snug straight out of the field and I’ve by no means gotten any blisters.
That stated, I’m not an enormous fan of sporting them with out socks on longer walks. Going sockless is okay for operating to the shop or bumming round, however I discover the consolation goes down with prolonged put on.
I’m actually digging the look of the Wool Runners. They’re a pleasant mix of vogue, athletic, and informal. They usually’re opening a retailer in Europe so I’m positive you’ll begin seeing them throughout Europe very quickly.
I selected the Pure Black with Black Sole. In addition they have an ever-changing collection of restricted version colours. If I had been to do it another time, I most likely wouldn’t get the all black as I believe having some distinction between the sole and the higher a part of the shoe can be good — however that’s simply private desire.
I additionally like how there isn’t any actual branding on the sneakers so it retains with the minimalist look.
Consolation & Sizing
After just a few months of sporting my Wool Runners across the streets of NYC, I nonetheless discover my Wool Runners to be completely snug. The soles have a whole lot of cushion and bounce. The insoles + sole really gives a good quantity of arch assist — which is pretty uncommon in different minimalist sneakers.
That stated, Allbirds Runners aren’t trainers — regardless that they’re referred to as “Runners”. They’re firmly informal strolling sneakers.
If you would like trainers (or only a bit extra assist), get the Allbirds Dashers.
Moreover, the wool is loads tender so Allbirds isn’t exaggerating once they say you possibly can put on these with out socks.
One factor I discovered somewhat annoying is that Allbirds at the moment solely are available full sizes (i.e. no half-sizes). Their web site says that their sneakers naturally stretch to suit your foot after just a few wearings. Fortunately, they offer you 30 days to totally check the sneakers and their return course of is tremendous easy.
The one small gripe I’ve is with the tongue. It generally folds onto itself so I have a do some adjustment after placing the shoe on. It’s not that massive a deal however it’s an annoyance.
I’ve worn my pair for a number of walks (often one to 3 miles at a time) with none points however a majority of the time I’ve worn them across the neighborhood/metropolis and on walks with Henry. That stated, I recurrently stroll for 10+ miles/day once I journey so I’m unsure how my toes would really feel if I put in that form of millage with these sneakers.
So, to sum it up, I believe the Wool Runners have a wonderful weight/measurement to consolation ratio — they’re so gentle which you could simply throw them into your baggage with out including any bulk.
So are they the “World’s Most Snug Footwear”? That may be a little bit of an overstatement. However they’re actually snug and I take pleasure in sporting them — particularly contemplating how loopy gentle they’re.
Word: I’ve learn stories that some ladies felt the toe field was somewhat tight so that they had been advised to attempt the marginally wider males’s model — fortunately the return/change course of is easy.
Heat & Cool Climate Put on
Allbirds says their Wool Runners “keep cool within the warmth and heat within the chilly.” Effectively, on scorching days my toes nonetheless obtained a bit heat and sweaty so don’t anticipate these to be like air con to your toes. That stated, I didn’t really feel like these had been an excessive amount of completely different than different sneakers I put on they usually did dry pretty shortly.
Nonetheless, the Allbirds Tree Runners are rather more gentle and breezy than the Wool Runners so that they’re higher fitted to the summer time.
And now that Autumn’s cooler climate has arrived in NYC, I discover that my Wool Runners hold my toes comfortable once I take Henry out on his nightly walks across the block.
Allbirds aren’t made for wet climate so your toes will get moist pretty shortly in case you get caught within the rain.
Odor and Washing
Allbirds are actually tender sufficient to put on with out socks. Wool is of course odor-resistant so this was one factor that intrigued us about wool sneakers. I’ve worn our Wool Runners a number of occasions with out socks and have but to expertise any noticeable foot odor. Good!
I nonetheless advocate sporting socks in case you’re going to put on yours all day lengthy as a result of they may most likely finally begin to odor from prolonged barefoot put on.
That stated, you possibly can merely toss your Allbirds straight into the washer (chilly water) in the event that they do get smelly or soiled. They do have to air dry — I haven’t personally washed our Allbirds but however folks on-line say they take a few day or two to air dry.
I do like how Allbirds sells alternative insoles for $15 since insoles are what maintain probably the most quantity of stink. So, ought to yours begin to odor, simply throw in a brand new pair of insoles.
Earlier than I obtained my Allbirds I learn some stories that the Wool Runners’ toebox had an inclination to stretch out over time. I solely seen very minimal stretching — so I did some analysis and it seems that Allbirds made just a few enhancements in 2017 to bolster the toe lining and tongue (in addition they improved the insole and made the only extra versatile).
My Wool Runners are nonetheless holding up fairly effectively after just a few months of sunshine to medium use. I usually put on them across the neighborhood, to the espresso store/retailer, and once I take Henry for his walks. I’ve carried out a handful of multi-mile journeys with them they usually’re nonetheless holding up effectively. They’re beginning to present a little bit of age however that’s to be anticipated.
I’ve learn a handful of stories on Reddit from different individuals who have worn their Allbirds fairly arduous (i.e. each day for 6-8 months) and the max lifespan appears to hover round 8 to 10 months of heavy use — which is actually the identical outcomes as I get with my Nike or New Steadiness sneakers.
I’ve learn that the wool tends to draw hair and canine/cat fur so that you would possibly have to de-fur your sneakers infrequently. Additionally, some folks additionally reported that their sneakers had a little bit of extra clear glue the place the only attaches to the higher.
After spending a strong period of time sporting Allbirds Wool Runners we will see why Allbirds has grow to be so widespread (they’re now valued as a billion-dollar model). They’re cool-looking, snug, have fairly good sturdiness, they usually’re made utilizing sustainable manufacturing processes. We additionally like their easy return course of and their 30-day assure.
They’re nice sneakers for sporting across the neighborhood, operating errands, and concrete exploration. I wouldn’t hesitate to throw these into my suitcase earlier than our subsequent journey as a result of they’re light-weight and take nearly no house.
Are you touring quickly? Try our different favourite journey sneakers for extra footwear suggestions.
Extra Allbirds Choices
In late 2019 Allbirds launched their Mizzles — which are available Runners and Runner-Ups. These are water resistant Allbirds with a barely thicker sole and water resistant lining that make them higher fitted to these cool drizzly days.
I picked up a pair of the Mizzle Runner-Ups from their SoHo location and up to now I’m actually digging them. They’re tremendous cozy, I really like their type, and up to now they’ve carried out effectively in gentle rain.
Learn my Allbirds Mizzles Assessment right here.
Extra Journey Gear Recommendation
We’re all the time on the hunt for the perfect journey gear. Check out these widespread articles that can assist you plan your travels.
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Thanks For Studying! — James