Allbirds Shoes Review: The MOST Comfortable Sneaker?

It’s been several years since our first pair of wool Allbirds shoes, and the most comfortable shoes on earth have treated us well. It was so good that we figured it was time to write an Allbirds shoe review. Allbirds is a line of sustainable shoes that utilize various natural materials to create a more sustainable and comfortable shoe. Their classic shoe, the Wool Runner, has a wool upper and a midsole made from sugarcane-based EVA foam.

After years of use and a half dozen pairs, we figured it was time for an updated review of Allbirds. For this Allbirds review, we’ll stick to their signature Wool Runners and Tree Runners and touch on their growing line of shoes. We were in search of the perfect travel shoe. Instead, we found new daily shoes for casual wear. Allbirds shoes live up to the hype with few drawbacks and many positives.

An Honest Allbirds Shoes Review

Tasha Wearing Tree Runners in Downtown Wilmington NC

While Allbirds has a few physical stores, it is principally an e-commerce store that fulfills most orders online. We have ordered all of our Allbirds shoes directly from their website. The baseline price for Wool Runners and most of their line is a reasonable $110. Free shipping and a good return policy make ordering online with them a no-brainer.

All of our orders have been fulfilled fast and delivered in a short time. Our first order was their classic Allbirds Wool Runners. The construction of these Allbirds shoes is from a blend of recycled polyester (laces), sugarcane EVA foam (midsole), and merino wool (upper). The result is a more sustainable product.

Natasha Walks Down A Road In France In The Fall

For those after a more animal-friendly product, Allbirds shoes have the Tree Runner. This is a more breathable shoe better suited for warm weather. Its construction utilizes eucalyptus fiber to weave the upper fabric. However, the insole still uses a small amount of wool.

If you haven’t guessed already, they are big on sustainable products. They’ve come up with some innovative ideas to lessen their impact on the environment. The shoes use the two primary builds of tree and wool to offer a wide range of shoe styles. Shoppers can now choose running, sneaker, boat, slip-on, and high-top shoe styles.

First Impressions

Natasha Shoes Off A Pair Of Blue Allbirds Wool Runners

As soon as I pulled my new Allbirds sneakers out of the box (with no plastic packaging), I was impressed by both styles’ softness. The merino wool Wool Runners won by a hair over the Tree Runners. I also loved the sponginess of the soles straight away. It was like I’d bought slippers in runner form. I am not ashamed to say that’s my kind of shoe. 

I also immediately noticed how light the shoes were. I can’t stand it when shoes bulk up my luggage, so both styles immediately got a big tick for travel. The style is great, and the simple shoe has no prominent patterns or logos. Allbirds Shoes set out to make a simple shoe that can go with various styles and has succeeded.

Style of Allbirds Shoes

Various Styles Of Allbirds Shoes On Their Website

The Allbirds site offers a range of sleek, neutral colors and fun colors like purple and pink. The primary color palette is gray, but Allbirds has expanded its range to include all sorts of amazing colors. I opted for blue in the Wool Runners and purple in the Tree Runners. Allbirds shoe colors regularly rotate, often offering limited-release colors for a unique look.

Are the Allbirds shoes sporty? Fashionable? Casual? A little from columns A, B, and C. Thanks to their neutrality, the shoe’s style is versatile. I love that they’re not covered in big logos and keep it simple. It’s the look of a classic shoe.

Pairing them with a nice travel outfit can look sharp, but they are very casual in nature. Their simplicity allows them to be worn comfortably in a more formal setting. They don’t feel out of place when worn with a blazer. The shoes feel as appropriate at a trendy bar as on the beach.


Cameron in a pair of allbirds treerunners on Naxos

I laced up the Wool Runners and hit the pavement straight away. I immediately noticed they had a nice bounce, which is a good indicator of long-term comfort. We’ve spent a lot of time in various Allbirds sneakers and have traveled all over the world in the shoes. With all that time, we’ve never had discomfort while wearing the shoes.

They even offer decent arch support. My mother, who suffers from Plantar Fasciitis, reports that they are some of her most comfortable shoes. The main difference between the two shoes is the warmth. Wool provides more warmth, while the Tree Runner material is best for hot summer weather. Allbirds tend to be worn without socks, and their airy design keeps your feet cool and comfortable. If they do get dirty, there is nothing to worry about as they’re machine washable.

Cameron Walking In Pair Of Tree Runners

The shoes’ outsoles are very soft, which adds to their comfort. However, we are selective about where we wear them, as you can feel rough or uneven terrain underneath. They aren’t technical shoes ready to tackle hikes or a hard gym session. You could run for a bus in them, but not trail run. However, they do offer an athletic shoe called the Dashers.

Are they the comfiest shoes ever? That’s a little subjective. They are very comfortable. I can easily clock ten miles in them without blisters or pain, and even without sock-wearing, my feet don’t smell at the end of the day – unless it’s been crazy hot and humid out. They are soft, lightweight, and have good arch support. I recommend them based on comfort alone. 


Cameron In Tree Runners In Oman

Both Tree Runners and Wool Runners are true to size. It helps that the material is compliant, so it’d be tough for them to be too small. I am always thankful that I am not a half-size. It seems that hardly any brands make half sizes, including Allbirds. If you are a half size, try the smaller size, as it will likely stretch out. You should be fine, but you have 30 days to test and return them if they are not right.

Warm Weather Wear

Cameron In Tree Runners In Egyptian Ruin

I wear my Allbirds Tree Runners for warm-weather destinations like the Philippines and Thailand. They let my feet breathe without odor. Cameron wore his during our tour of Egypt in 100+ degree heat and felt as comfortable as possible in that kind of heat.

Cold Weather Wear

Natasha In Her Allbirds At Saint Malo In France

Both styles keep your feet cozy in cold/freezing weather, especially with a good pair of wooly socks. However, wool is always going to be slightly warmer than anything else. I wear my Wool Runners for winter travel.

This is important: Allbirds Wool Runners do not get along well with rain and snow. They are fine in a shower or drizzle, but avoid wearing them if you’re walking around in a downpour or a blizzard, as they will just get dirty and tire faster. They get pretty soppy, like wet clothes.

Odor and Washing

Natasha In Munich With Her Allbirds Tree Runners

After initially hesitating on wool shoes, I found that wool is odor-resistant. That said, if you wore them without socks daily, they’d eventually get smelly. I wore mine for a month in Greece and eventually had to throw them in the wash. The good thing is you can throw them in the washing machine. So convenient! Just make sure you’ve got the washer set to cold water. You can’t put them in the tumble dryer. However, you’ve gotta let these bad boys air dry.

It takes about 24 hours unless it’s warm and dry, and you can place them in the sun. Don’t plan long walks on washing day if you don’t have a backup pair of shoes. This is one of the reasons I love Allbirds shoes—the ability to consistently throw them in the wash and not have them ruined is terrific.


Natasha Walks Down Policeman's Creek Boardwalk In Canmore In Allbirds

Allbirds provide great value thanks to their durability and longevity. That said, they don’t last forever! My first pair made it about three years while rotating with other shoes and a lot of use while traveling. They held up very well, even after wearing them almost daily for an entire European summer.

However, similar to other reports, the toe box stretched out over time and formed a hole. This is due to the big toe stretching out the fabric. If you are a heavy user and wear your Allbirds daily for all activities, I’d say they will get you 1-2 years of awesome use. That’s pretty solid, in my opinion. They won’t fall apart on you. Just wear out like your old favorite t-shirt.

Tree Runners Vs. Wool Runners

Tree Runners

Allbirds Tree Runners In Red

Quick Specs | Price: $105  | Material: Eucalyptus Fiber, Recycled Polyester, Sugarcane EVA Foam

The Wool Runners

Allbirds Wool Runners In Grey

Quick Specs | Price: $110  | Material: Merino Wool, Recycled Polyester, Sugarcane EVA Foam

When comparing shoes, it comes down to personal preference and how you’ll use them. If I’m honest, I didn’t have much of a preference. The two styles have more in common than they have differences. The Wool Runners and the Tree Runners have the same aesthetic design. They both keep things minimalistic, with neutral and pastel colors. They are equally comfortable.

The Tree Runners keep stinky feet at bay without socks a little better than the Wool Runners. On further investigation, Allbirds agree that the Tree Runners are better for hot weather. They are ever so slightly more breathable and light.  

The Benefits Of Tree Runners
The Benefits Of Wool Runners

The main difference lies in the materials they’re made from. The Wool Runners are, as expected, made of premium merino wool – some of the best wool in the world. Meanwhile, the Tree Runners are made from Tencel, created from Eucalyptus trees. Try both pairs and cycle with the seasons if you can swing it. Or purchase the pair that fits the current season.

There’s also the wool vs. eucalyptus debate. Are you vegan? Or do you want to avoid wool for whatever reason? I bet you still want that incredible softness and comfort that wool runners bring. That’s why I’m sure you will be happy with the Tree Runners. Tencel is also a very cool technology. 

Final Thoughts on Allbirds Shoes 

Cameron In A Tomb In Egypt With Tree Runners

The runners have a beautiful minimalist design. They’re also incredibly comfortable, with pretty decent support. Sure, they’re not something you’d want to run or hike in, but they are great everyday shoes. They’re certainly up there with the best pairs of shoes I have taken on a trip. You’ll easily hit ten miles in these without a blister or stinging heels. To think of it, I’ve never gotten a blister with Allbirds shoes.

It’s inspiring to see a company that creates options for different lifestyles and preferences. I also like to see companies that are brave enough to experiment with new materials for footwear. For all their comfort and style, the best thing about Allbirds sneakers is their unshakeable commitment to sustainability.

They use 5% of the water and ⅓ of the land compared to other footwear manufacturers. They only source eucalyptus from plantations that abide by sustainable forestry standards. Their laces come from recycled plastic bottles; the packaging is made from 90% recycled cardboard. Amazon has tried to copy them at a fraction of the price, but we all know those are cheap knock-offs. With zero care about sourcing or sustainability.

Allbirds start at $110 (depending on style). At that price, with that level of ethics, you can feel good about buying yourself a pair of Allbirds. I wish more footwear companies were like Allbirds. I know I will see more great designs and shoes from this brand. Every time I check their site, I see new innovative products and different colors.

Allbirds Wool Runners

The Wool Runners

Quick Specs | Price: $110  | Material: Merino Wool, Recycled Polyester, Sugarcane EVA Foam

Tree Runners

Quick Specs | Price: $105  | Material: Eucalyptus Fiber, Recycled Polyester, Sugarcane EVA Foam

Allbirds Tree Runners

My Other Favorite Allbirds shoes

Since writing this Allbirds shoes review, Allbirds has sent us a few more pairs of shoes to try out. Here are some of my favorites.

Allbirds Trail Runners

The brand-new Trail Runner SWT is ideal for those seeking more activity out of their Allbirds. These are designed for the trails and have durability and comfort for off-road terrain.

Allbirds Trail Runners
Allbirds Pipers

Allbirds Pipers

These are my favorite Allbirds since they are more stylish than the regular Tree Runners and Wool Runners and look great with chinos, skirts, and dresses.

Allbirds Mizzles

These are Allbird’s shoe answers to a Rain-Ready Sneaker. They are rated as a great Water-Repellent Sneaker, and perfect for cold weather with their thick wool. Also, expect a No-Slip Natural Rubber Grip.

Allbirds Mizzles
About Natasha Alden

Natasha is the co-founder of The World Pursuit. She is an expert in travel, budgeting, and finding unique experiences. She loves to be outside, hiking in the mountains, playing in the snow on her snowboard, and biking. She has been traveling for over 10 years, across 7 continents, experiencing unique cultures, new food, and meeting fantastic people. She strives to make travel planning and traveling easier for all. Her advice about international travel, outdoor sports, and African safari has been featured on Lonely Planet, Business Insider, and Reader’s Digest.

Learn more about Natasha Alden on The World Pursuit About Us Page.

2 thoughts on “Allbirds Shoes Review: The MOST Comfortable Sneaker?”

  1. I love that picture from the boardwalk in Wilmington, NC! I lived there for 4 years after college and it is, to this day, my favorite city in the world. Such a magical gem of a place. Thank you for the review on these shoes, I’ve heard great things and I am going to buy a pair!

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