Allbirds have taken the world by storm and they can be found on the feet of everyone from celebrities to handsome savvy travel bloggers. In fact, I’ve owned five different styles of Allbirds over the past few years and you can read my in-depth reviews below:
So what makes these eco-friendly sneakers so popular? And which Allbirds model is best for you? Let’s take a deep dive and find out!
Quick Background on Allbirds
Dubbed “the most comfortable shoes in the world,” Allbirds is a New Zealand-American footwear company that launched in 2014 and uses sustainable materials like merino wool, sugarcane, eucalyptus pulp, and recycled materials.
They launched with their popular Wool Runners (which quickly became the darling of Silicon Valley) but they’ve since expanded to offer multiple models that cater to different needs (athletic, casual, etc).
Materials And Sustainability
Aside from the comfort, the main reason to buy Allbirds comes down to the sustainable materials they use — notably wool in their Wool Series of shoes and eucalyptus tree fibers in their Tree Series of shoes.
- Wool Series are made from Merino wool.
- Soft and fuzzy
- Tree Series are made from eucalyptus tree fibers.
- More breathable
- Soft and smooth
Main Upper Materials
And I know what you’re thinking… wool shoes? But it actually works pretty well since wool is moisture-wicking, odor-resistant, and breathable.
The other main material for their “Tree” series is eucalyptus tree fibers. Eucalyptus fibers are durable and breathable (more breathable than wool).
Soles, Insoles, and Laces Materials
Allbirds soles and insoles are made mainly of sugarcane as well as castor bean oil — both materials provide a good amount of cushioning and bounce. The laces are made from recycled plastic bottles and nylon.
Sustainability & Renewability
The footwear industry is terrible for the environment and it produces 700 million metric tons of carbon dioxide every year and most shoes will never biodegrade.
That’s why many fans of Allbirds flock to the brand because of the sustainable materials they use. Allbirds has also started buying carbon offsets in an effort to go carbon neutral. Both of these efforts contribute to Allbirds’ premium price but that’s also one of the main reasons why Allbirds are so popular.
Allbirds Models Explained
Alright, let’s take a look at the multiple different types of Allbirds (many of which I’ve personally worn).
Wool Runners are the original Allbirds and they continue to be the most popular shoe in the Allbirds lineup. They’re super comfortable, have a lot of cushioning, and I like the minimalist style.
Confusingly, the Wool Runners, while being athletic-inspired, aren’t running shoes. The Wool Runners are solidly everyday casual shoes with a sporty style — get the Allbirds Dashers if you want true running shoes.
The Wool Runners are made from merino wool so I think they’re slightly better for cooler weather but I’ve also found them breathable for summer use as well.
The Tree Runners are the same as the Wool Runners but they’re made out of eucalyptus tree fiber instead of wool. Again, the Runners are a casual everyday shoe so you’ll want the Dashers if you need a true running shoe.
When compared to the Wool Runners, I’d say that the Tree Runners breathe better so they might be a better option if you’re wearing them in hot weather. However, I personally like the look of the wool fabric better than the eucalyptus tree fiber fabric — but that’s just a personal preference.
Wool Runner Mizzles
The Wool Runner Mizzles are basically the same shoe as the Wool Runners but they have an added weather-resistant layer and the wool is treated with a water repellent coating. I also believe the Mizzles have a slightly higher sole that helps put a little more distance between the shoes and puddles.
It’s important to realize that the Mizzles are weather-resistant but not waterproof — from my experience they do well in light rain or short stints in heavier rain.
Wool Runner-up Mizzles
The Wool Runner-up Mizzles is a boot version of the Wool Runner Mizzles so they too have a weather-resistant layer and the wool treated with a water repellent coating.
The Wool Runner-up Mizzles is a little warmer than the Wool Runner Mizzles thanks to their boot design and they offer a little more protection from the elements.
Tree Dashers and Tree Dasher 2
The Tree Dashers are true legit running shoes. The Tree Dashers are made from eucalyptus tree fiber as opposed to merino wool found in the Wool Dashers. I find that the Tree Dashers are more breathable than their Wool Dasher counterparts.
The Dashers have the most amount of cushion of all the Allbirds but they’re also the most athletically styled of the shoes. That’s why some people might think they lose some of that “everyday” style found in the Runners.
UPDATE: The Tree Dashers have been updated to the Tree Dasher 2 so many aspects of the Tree Dasher have been improved (I’m currently testing them).
Wool Dasher Mizzles
The Wool Dasher Mizzles are true water-resistant running shoes with Allbirds’ bio-based weather-resistant shield and they’re treated with a water repellent coating. This is a good option if you’re looking for a more rain-friendly running shoe but I’d look into the Tree Dasher if you need something for the summer.
The Wool Pipers are Allbirds take on the casual low-top sneaker — kind of like Vans, Keds, and Converse. I like how I can just throw these on with anything from jeans to shorts and they are neutral enough to wear to my job.
The Wool Pipers don’t have as much arch support as the more “athletic/athletic-inspired” Runners and Dashers so they’re not as comfortable. However, they have a more classic and versatile style.
The Tree Pipers are the “tree” version of the Wool Pipers. These are casual low-top sneakers — kind of like Vans, Keds, and Converse. I like how I can just throw these on with anything from jeans to shorts and they are neutral enough to wear to my job. These have become my “throw them on whenever I’m leaving the house” summer shoes.
The Tree Pipers don’t have as much arch support as the more “athletic/athletic-inspired” Runners and Dashers so they’re not as comfortable. However, they have a more classic and versatile style.
The Tree Toppers are a minimalist high-top sneaker that reminds me of a lot of the high-top Converse sneakers. These are made from Allbirds’ eucalyptus tree fiber so they’re breathable. The soles and arch support on these are similar to the Wool Pipers so don’t expect as much “cushion” as the Runners or Dashers — but they’re still comfortable.
Other Allbirds Models
Allbirds also has a few very minimalist shoes that are basically flats or house shoes. I haven’t tried any of these so I can’t comment on them but I figured I’d list them here anyway.
Allbirds Style, Colors, and Aesthetics
Allbirds is known for its minimalist designs that feature little or no branding. However, most of their shoes come in multiple color options — many of which are anything but subtle.
In addition, they have started releasing limited edition colors and collaborations with designers. I believe they also offer limited edition offerings via their app as well.
I also read that they’re working with Adidas on a special project but there aren’t any more details at the moment. That said, I think it’s safe a assume we’re going to be seeing a lot of interesting developments in the future.
Common Questions Asked About Allbirds
As someone who has worn multiple pairs of Allbirds, I wanted to try answering a few common questions people have about these shoes.
Are Allbirds Comfortable?
There’s a reason why Allbirds has been dubbed “the world’s most comfortable shoes.” So yes, Allbirds are comfortable — ok, the “most comfortable” moniker is probably a bit of hyperbole but they’re easily way up there when it comes to comfort.
In terms of comfort, the Dashers (their running shoes) have the most cushion/support but the Runners (their everyday athletic-inspired shoes) is a close second.
I found both the Wool and the Tree versions to be comfortable with the wool being the most “cozy” and the Trees to be a bit more breathable.
Do Allbirds Have Good Arch Support?
Are Allbirds Waterproof?
The Allbirds Mizzles are not waterproof but they are water-resistant so you can wear them in light rain and they’ll keep your feet dry. However, a heavy downpour or submerging them in water will cause them to leak.
Are Allbirds Worth It?
Priced between $95-$135, Allbirds are fairly expensive for sneakers but they’re well-made and use Earth-friendly sustainable materials so a lot of people think Allbirds are worth the price.
Are Allbirds Good For Running?
The Allbirds Dashers are legit running shoes so yes, Allbirds are good for running. Ironically, Allbirds Runners aren’t meant to be running shoes — stick to the Dashers if you want to do jogging/running.
What’s So Special About Allbirds?
So what makes Allbirds so special? In my mind it comes down to three things:
- Comfort: They feel great on the feet.
- Sustainability: They’re made from Earth-friendly materials unlike most every other brand of shoes.
- Minimalist Style: Allbirds have a minimalist and largely unbranded style. That said, they do release a bunch of fun colorways if you’re looking for make more of a statement.
Does Allbirds Make Clothing?
Yes, Allbirds now makes a range of apparel options made from sustainnable fabrics — including socks, underwear, outerwear, casual clothing options, and activewear.
Where To Buy Allbirds
Allbirds has a few physical retail locations (they’re quickly expanding) but they’re mainly an online retailer. Luckily, they offer free shipping and free returns — plus you can even return the shoes if you’ve worn them (they donate lightly worn shoes).
Check them out at Allbirds.com.
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Thanks For Reading! — James