Allbirds Shoes Review—Are They Worth the Hype?

Dubbed as ‘the world’s most comfortable shoes,’ Allbirds are growing in popularity. However, the brand makes a lot of bold claims, like the ‘no-socks needed’ statement or that they’re machine washable.

We’re here today to shed some light on these statement kicks in our Allbirds shoes review. We’ll show you everything you need to know about Allbirds and if this brand is worth your time and money.

Before we get into our Allbirds shoes review, here’s a quick look at the best Allbirds shoes:

 

About Allbirds

Allbirds was launched back in 2016 by creators Tim Brown—a New Zealand native—and San Francisco-based engineer Joey Zwillinger. Its first shoe—the Allbirds Wool Runners—was a sneaker displaying both innovation, comfort and sustainability.

The brand quickly stood out from the other shoe brands, thanks to its use of merino wool. And today, the startup has several lines in its portfolio, which we’ll get to soon.

 

Are Allbirds Shoes Good?

Allbirds shoes are fantastic. The brand has managed to create styles that are incredibly versatile while still being stylish.

The shoes are excellent whether you’re walking long distances, traveling or running your daily errands. The sneakers are lightweight, minimizing foot fatigue, and are easy to maintain—another point we’ll get to soon.

 

Why Are Allbirds So Popular?

There are several reasons why this brand is so popular. For instance, its sneakers comprise many of the principles that today’s generation values, such as sustainability and minimalism.

Are Allbirds the Most Comfortable Shoe?

You’d think that a shoe made from wool would be itchy, hot and incredibly uncomfortable. However, the brand utilizes a unique technique using proprietary dual-faced wool. This wool is ultra-soft and non-itchy to wear while being incredibly durable.

Out of all Allbirds’ shoes, one of its comfiest models is the Wool Runners. These consist entirely of merino wool—except for the sole—and are some of the softest sneakers.

What’s great about how the brand made these shoes is that it succeeded in preserving the natural benefits of wool.

They’re temperature-regulating, meaning they’re cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Wool shoes are also odor-resistant and highly breathable, which may keep sweat at bay.

Sustainable Materials

Besides being comfortable to wear and suitable for running, All.birds shoes are popular thanks to the sustainable materials it uses. Let’s start with the exterior.

Merino Wool

The brand sources its merino wool from New Zealand. According to the brand, Allbirds’ production process wastes 60 percent less energy than other materials usually used in synthetic shoes.

The brand also states that it works with leading animal welfare organizations, such as the ZQ Merino. This is to ensure its wool sources follow high standards of land management, farming and animal welfare.

Tree Fiber

Another remarkable, innovative material used by this brand is tree fiber. According to the brand, this matter requires 95 percent less water than materials like cotton during production. This, in turn, reduces its carbon footprint.

Through processing, the brand creates something called ‘Tencel lyocell.’ This is regenerated cellulose—a wood pulp that’s been chemically processed into a fiber.

Although it isn’t entirely natural, it’s still considered sustainable since it’s produced using less toxic chemicals that are then recycled.

The brand sources the material from South African farms that have earned the Forest Stewardship Council certification. This means that they meet high standards to protect forests as well as animals and the people who depend on them.

top view

Recycled Bottles

The shoelaces on the shoes consist of recycled plastic bottles. According to the brand, one bottle equals one pair of laces. Pretty incredible.

Sustainable Sugarcane

The brand utilizes sugarcane to produce its SweetFoam shoe sole. Sugarcane is a self-sufficient material. And when processed, it creates a bouncy, contouring sole that makes you feel like you’re walking on clouds.

The brand gets its sugarcane from southern Brazil, from farms that rely on rainwater rather than irrigation. Sugarcane is fully renewable and grows fast while removing carbon from the atmosphere.

Minimalistic Look

What many praise about Allbirds sneakers is their simplistic vibe.

Allbirds ditched the bright neon colors and large branding tags—frequently seen from many brands—for a neutral, earthy appearance. The styles don calm colors, ranging from white and grey to navy and black.

Of course, Allbirds does offer some variants that ‘pop’ a little more color-wise. But, they’re all still quite neutral.

Why are Allbirds so popular

 

Allbirds Sizing and Fit

Allbirds footwear runs mostly true to size. Following some investigation, it seems that most feedback from users states that the sizes fit as expected.

Most Allbirds styles are available in sizes ranging from 5 to 11 for women and 8 to 14 for men.

It doesn’t offer half sizes on all models, so if you’re between, we recommend that you size up. Still, the styles are quite comfortable, even if you have wide feet. The sneakers have flexible uppers, enabling the material to stretch and conform according to the wearer.

 

Can You Wear Allbirds Without Socks?

You can easily wear Allbirds without socks.

We wear socks with shoes to protect our feet from rubbing against the lining and to keep moisture to a minimum. When your feet remain in a moist environment for a prolonged time, it increases the chance of fungal infections.

The fungus will infect your feet, causing discomfort and unpleasant odors. However, because wool is odor-resistant and moisture-wicking, you could easily wear them without socks.

Allbirds’ Tree Runners sneakers also include mesh at the top and liners, which increase their breathability. Still, if you’re going on a long walk or run, it’s probably best to wear socks.

feel free

 

Are Allbirds Really Machine Washable?

You can clean your Allbirds in the washing machine. Use a gentle cycle and allow them to air dry—avoid using the dryer as the heat can cause felting, shrinkage and damage to the wool.

Allbirds tree fiber shoes are also able to take a machine wash. But again, avoid the dryer. Leave them in a well-ventilated room overnight to dry.

For both types, use a gentle detergent. Never apply bleach or hard cleaners that could ruin the material.

For more information, please go to our How to Wash Allbirds guide.

Reviews of the Best Allbirds Shoes

Allbirds Wool Runners

steves top choice badge

The Allbirds Wool Runners are the brand’s flagship creation, so of course, they’re on the top of the list.

As the name gives away, the Wool Runners have a merino wool construction. Made with Allbirds exclusive technology, they’re soft and itch-free inside, while durable and dirt-resistant on the outside.

The Wool Runners include the brand’s SweetFoam midsole. Made with Brazilian sugarcane, it’s contoured and quite bouncy, making them ultra-comfortable.

What’s impressive about this midsole is that it’s made with the first carbon-negative green EVA. The shoes are also very light, allowing you to walk for longer.

One thing to keep in mind, however, is that the sizes run a bit small. If you usually wear a wide size, you may have to size up to stay comfortable.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Ultra-soft.
  • Non-itchy interior.
  • SweetFoam midsole.
  • Lightweight shoes.
  • Layered castor bean oil insoles.
  • Several colors available.
  • Sizes run small.

Allbirds Tree Dashers

If you’re searching for specific running shoes, we recommend Tree Dashers.

For the upper, you have eucalyptus tree fiber, manipulated to form a flexible fabric. It’s both breathable and lightweight.

The Tree Dasher shoes also include Allbirds’ SweetFoam sugarcane midsole. However, this is a dual-density variant, increasing the energy return for runners.

For additional support, the heel contains a liner, which keeps your foot in place. Then the outsole consists of SweetFoam and natural rubber traction pads. These increase pronation control and stability.

Pros:

Cons:

 

  • Soft and breathable upper.
  • Flexible material.
  • Dual-density midsole.
  • Wool heel liner.
  • Natural rubber traction pads.
  • Half sizes available.
  • Not suitable for vigorous runners.

Men's Wool Loungers

The Allbirds Wool Loungers are another example of fine craftsmanship.

These slip-on shoes are ultra-comfy—soft inside and durable outside. They’re fantastic either as home slippers or for light city walks.

Although loungers, they’re not short of Allbirds’ comfort features.

They include both the SweetFoam midsole and castor bean oil insole. In addition to this, the shoes are lightweight and versatile.

Pros:

Cons:

  • Flexible material.
  • Slip-on comfort.
  • Versatile usage.
  • SweetFoam midsole and castor bean oil insole.
  • Lightweight.
  • Limited color options.
Our Rating
4/5

Women's Wool Runner Mizzles

For those living in rainy regions, the Allbirds Mizzles are worth a look.

Consisting of the same cozy merino wool, they also feature a bio-based water repellent shield. This makes the shoes ready for a stroll in the rain.

For the midsole, you have the brand’s SweetFoam, which is eco-friendly and durable. Additionally, the Mizzles also come with Allbirds’ recycled plastic bottle laces.

However, like the Wool Runners, the Mizzles run a bit small. You may have to size up.

Pros:

Cons:

 

  • Wool upper.
  • Bio-based water repellent shield.
  • SweetFoam midsole.
  • Recycled plastic laces.
  • Lightweight and eco-friendly.
  • Sizes run small.


 

Frequently Asked Questions

Do Allbird Shoes Have Good Arch Support?

The shoes have decent arch support from the insoles. However, they aren’t ideal if you require focused arch support.

But you may be able to wear insoles with better arch support if needed.

Are Allbirds Shoes Good for Plantar Fasciitis?

With plantar fasciitis, excellent arch support is essential. Because the footwear doesn’t have the best arch support, they may not be sufficient.

That said, for minor cases of plantar fasciitis, you may be fine.

Are Allbirds Worth the Money?

Allbirds aren’t exactly budget-friendly, with a pair of sneakers costing well over $100. Still, if you’ve got the money, they’re a worthwhile investment. Not only will you wear sustainably produced footwear, but they hold up well.

Are Allbirds Good for Running?

The brand has a few lines of running shoes, including the Wool and Tree Runners, Dashers, and Mizzles. Although running shoe preferences differ between runners, many users state that its running shoes are fantastic.

Besides consisting of breathable materials, the wool shoes comprise a superb balance between support and lightness. They include foam insoles that increase comfort and, thus, improve support.

Additionally, the runners come with curved arches with a slight lift at the heel. Then the outsoles consist of natural rubber, which improves durability.

morning round

 

The Takeaway

To conclude our All birds shoes review, we’ll say that these are perhaps some of the most comfortable sneakers on the market. The brand utilizes great materials, with an emphasis on sustainability. It also has a couple of fantastic lines behind it, suitable for a variety of wearers, whether you’re a runner or a traveler.

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