Allbirds has been around for a few years, but the brand known for producing “the most comfortable shoes in the world” is showing no signs of slowing down.
Founded in 2014 by New Zealand natives Tim Brown, Allbirds has been defined by simple design and comfortable construction from the outset. The brand first saw success as a Silicon Valley staple (which makes sense for the San Francisco-based startup). But the sneakers quickly became popular 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 college students to busy parents, dancers, nurses, and others who regularly stand on their feet.
But the internet’s famous shoes don’t come cheap: Most shoe styles start at $95. And brands make a lot of different claims about the quality, comfort and maintenance of their shoes. That’s why we’ve broken down everything you want to know before investing in your own pair of Falcons.
In short, infinite. The sole of the Allbirds shoe is made from a proprietary low-density foam that contributes to the shoe’s extremely lightweight feel, its #1 distinguishing feature from other typical sneakers. The lining of the shoes is made of a exclusive merino wool fabric that gives Allbirds its signature “walking in the clouds” feel. Wool is advertised as both absorbent and odor-reducing (more on this later) and is also used on the outside of furniture. Wool athletes, Len Mizzles and Wool relaxation chair.
When it comes to everything a shoe can do for you, Allbirds claims to be able to do a lot. Here’s a quick breakdown of how some of them stack up against our testing and experience. Wool athletes, Tree Runner and Tree cover.
So soft you can wear socks: You can definitely wear Allbirds socks. The Wool athletesIn particular, it’s super soft and feels almost like slippers without socks. They’re easy to just put on and take off, making them our quick and convenient choice for everything from running errands to workouts like yoga or swimming.
However, if you are going to spend all day on your feet, we recommend wearing socks – purely to maintain the soft and comfortable quality of the shoes.
Reduce odors: When worn with socks, the odor is almost impossible to detect despite a long day and even moderate exercise. This is partly due to the material’s ability to control temperature. Even without socks, we hardly experienced any odors. That could be due to Allbirds’ merino wool material, with wool being a natural odor-resistant material. It also fights sweat and bacteria, helping to minimize long-term odors.
Temperature control: If you suffer from sweaty feet or plan to wear your Allbirds throughout the summer, be sure to pick up one of these Tree model. They are super light, cool and suitable for hot temperatures. While Wool Runners are also lightweight and well-suited to warmer climates, they made an impression when it came to keeping our feet warm and cozy during the cold Northeast winters. If you’re going to be walking in any snowy or slippery weather, just make sure to choose Wool Mizzles instead of Running Wool, as they feature weatherproof Puddle Protection to keep your feet in check. always dry.
Big question: Can you throw these in the washing machine? 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. Recommended by Allbirds Remove the laces and soles in your shoes, then wash them in cold water with a gentle detergent. However, there is one caveat when it comes to Wool Runners. The more you wash your shoes, the faster the material starts to wear out. This is especially true for lighter shades. In a few months and washed off, Natural white wool runner begins to stretch (especially around the toes) and the color gradually becomes 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 looked fine, but there are Wool Runners post-dryer horror stories that have been completely ruined.
Which Allbirds Style and Size is Right for Me?
The first decision to make is whether you’re looking for a pair of sneakers or something a little different. Allbirds produces seven types of sneakers – Runner, Dashers, Toppers, Skiers, Pipers, Trail runner and Mizzles – along with three other styles, Bench, Resident and Fridge.
The seven sneaker variations differ in several key ways, the main distinguishing factor being the material. The Tree cover and Snowman in the tree are essentially low-cut and high-top versions of the same sneakers. Tree Skippers are extremely lightweight and perfect for summer. Treetops are more expensive, but we’re big fans of stylish tops. Both shoes have a slightly flatter sole and a wider toe box, giving your foot more space but less support.
Wool Runners and Tree Runners are the classic Allbirds style. Sneakers are exceptionally flexible and supportive, and truly designed for all-day comfort. They’re the perfect shoe for city walks, day trips, or long hikes. If you’re not sure which material to choose, wool is softer and better for colder climates, while Wind Tree is cooler and better for warmer climates.
The Mizzles is a Wool Runners product featuring the brand’s own natural rubber tread and Puddle Guard technology. Available in both turtleneck and casual versions, the wool keeps your feet warm, while the shoe’s design ensures your feet don’t get wet – though Allbirds make sure to emphasize that they’re waterproof. They’re perfect for those willing to spend a little more on sneakers that 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 then the Pipers are the shoe for you. The super stylish and minimalist shoe can be paired with any outfit and become a true everyday sneaker.
If you need a pair of running shoes, Allbirds has it for you Tree Dashers. Featuring an FSC-certified eucalyptus knitted one-piece upper and dual-density SweetFoam midsole, this shoe is the perfect balance between comfort and performance. We reviewed them when they launched last year and loved the support and flexibility of Tree Dashers.
And if you’re into mountain running, check out Allbirds’ trail running app, which is super durable and offers great stability and grip so you can focus on your run. Plus, they have a waterproof finish that helps keep your feet dry.
If you are looking for maximum comfort, Couch is the way to go. Available in both men’s and women’s styles, they’re the perfect shoe to slip on to run errands or any daily chores. However, they are less supportive than sneakers, so don’t pick them up if you’re looking to do day trips or hikes. Reviewers say they feel “like wearing super comfortable socks” everywhere they go, and they hold up well in both hot and cold weather.
Air-conditioner is a classic apartment, available in one style (but in lots of super fun colors). They’re perfect if you’re looking for something more work-appropriate than a pair of sneakers.
When it comes to sizing, remember to increase the size. Allbirds says that most customers choose to size up in every style except the Tree Runner, which we also recommend. Luckily, Allbirds offers a 30-day no-answer trial period, where you can return or exchange your shoes for free.
An incredibly cozy slipper, the Allbirds Dwellers are the perfect choice for a lazy day around the house.
If now you still can not tell – absolutely. Comfort and style combined with premium materials is something you won’t find in other sneakers.
The only thing to be cautious about, especially with Wool athletes, is that what you take out of them during their lifetime may not be as long as what you’ll get out of regular running shoes. Wool is more fragile, prone to discoloration and begins to wear out after a few weeks. One way to combat this is not to wear them as your only pair of sneakers, but rather as a comfortable sneaker to go with your better sneakers or running shoes. This way you will be able to enjoy them for longer.