As an avid 30-mile-a-week runner and NYC dweller, I’m always on the lookout for comfortable shoes that withstand pounding the pavement—while both walking and running. I’m also trying to be more environmentally conscious so I was intrigued when Allbirds made a number of updates to their sustainable Tree Dasher running shoes. Let’s dive into my Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 review to read my in-depth thoughts after testing this new running shoe from Allbirds.
I’ve owned the previous generation Allbirds Tree Dasher (read the Tree Dasher review if you’re interested). I’ve also reviewed other shoes from Allbirds—including their Wool Runners, Tree Runners, and the Mizzles. You can read all my Allbirds reviews on my Allbirds Comparison Guide.
How I Tested My Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 Running Shoes
For this review, I tested my Tree Dasher 2 shoes for use in two scenarios:
- Long Distance, Urban Walking: In addition to everyday walking, I also did a handful of longer-distance walks of anywhere from 4 to 8 miles through NYC. This is to help mimic how much someone might walk when traveling to Europe, etc.
- Short/Mid-Distance Running: I also wore my Tree Dashers during a handful of my daily 3 to 4-mile runs around a paved park path.
A majority of my testing was during the spring months but I’ll update this post as I wear them in the summer as well.
Although Allbirds does say you can wear Tree Dashers without socks, I prefer wearing socks with all my Allbirds so I did all my testing with socks.
Quick Review Of The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2
Here are my quick, top-line thoughts on the Tree Dasher 2 but keep reading for a more in-depth review.
What’s New With The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2
The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is the newest evolution of the brand’s foray into making a legit, high-performance running shoe that uses sustainable practices and natural materials.
The Tree Dasher 2 improves on the previous generation by removing a little weight, adding more responsive foam to the sole, improving the outsole’s grip, and adjusting the heel collar to help lock the ankle in place while also reducing ankle rubbing.
The Tree Dasher 2 also has a lower carbon footprint than the previous version.
Comfort, Fit, and First Impressions of The Tree Dasher 2
The Tree Dasher 2 is probably the most comfortable and supportive sneaker available from Allbirds—which is already known for making super comfortable shoes.
The sole offers a ton of cushioning that delivers a lot of padding and springy bounce. The surface area of the sole and heel is flared so that gives the shoe extra stability. In short, these are super enjoyable as an everyday pair of sneakers.
The sock-like fabric of the upper is soft and breathable and the heel is lined with soft wool—all of this gives the shoe a “slipper-like” feel.
What Is The Tree Dasher 2 Best For?
Personally, I feel the Tree Dasher 2 is best suited for everyday wear, walking (from everyday walks around the neighborhood to all-day-long city walks), runs under 4-5 miles, and light workouts.
Is The Tree Dasher a Legit, High-Performance Running Shoe?
I’d classify the Tree Dasher as an athletic-lifestyle shoe that can be used for light running, but no, I don’t believe the Tree Dasher is a “high-performance running shoe” (at least not for me).
The Tree Dasher 2 is a little too heavy, the design doesn’t quite lock in your foot so you might get some rubbing after a few miles, and the sole isn’t quite as “responsive” as you’d find in a similarly-priced pair of high-end New Balance, Nike, Saucony, etc. running shoes—then again, none of these mainstream shoes are eco-friendly/sustainable.
Overall Thoughts About The Tree Dasher 2 from Allbirds
As an everyday shoe, the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is great. They’re super comfortable, have a lot of bouncy cushioning, and they’re very breathable.
They’re just fun to wear.
I find myself throwing them on whenever I leave the house to run errands or take a long walk. I also think they have a nice look to them (although next time I’d get a more basic color) that doesn’t feel out of place when worn outside the gym.
I also think the Tree Dasher 2 are great travel shoes since they’re light, comfortable, and have a minimalist aesthetic.
But as a true “running shoe,” I’d say the Tree Dasher 2 still falls a little short. If you’re a serious runner then I’d skip the Tree Dashers because their shortcomings become obvious after about 4 miles.
But again, the Tree Dasher 2 is great for everyday walking/athletic lifestyle sneaker that easily crosses over to something you can wear to the gym.
And, of course, Allbirds’ sustainability mission is a major factor that draws people into the brand so they’re something you can feel a little better about buying.
The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 cost $135 (with free shipping and free returns) from the Allbirds Website.
In-Depth Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 Review
Ok, let’s get into the nitty-gritty details about the Tree Dasher 2.
Are The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 Comfortable?
Yes, the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is a very comfortable sneaker that holds up well during everyday wear and my feet still felt fine after putting them through long, all-day walks around NYC.
As soon as you slip on the Tree Dashers you notice how much bounce you get from the SweetFoam (sugarcane) sole. The soft, sock-like eucalyptus fiber mesh of the upper offers excellent breathability, and the soft merino wool lining around the heel all adds up to create a very comfortable shoe.
However, the Tree Dasher becomes less comfortable during long runs because the design of the mesh upper doesn’t allow for the laces to truly tighten so it’s hard for the foot to lock into the shoe—which can cause the foot to slip and this can lead to blisters/hotspots. The wide base of the sole does help with foot stability but a serious runner will want a more secure fit.
Tree Dasher 2 Materials and Sustainability
Allbirds is known for its commitment to using sustainable materials and manufacturing practices—which is a major selling point for fans of the brand.
The “tree” in Tree Dasher means the upper of the shoe is made from eucalyptus tree fibers. There is a merino wool lining around the heel, the SweetFoam sole is made of sugarcane, the insole is made from castor bean oil-based, the laces are made from recycled plastic bottles, and the tread is made from natural rubber. They also use recyclable shipping materials.
Additionally, Allburds also funds high-impact carbon projects to further reduce the company’s overall carbon footprint.
Tree Dasher 2 Upper and Laces
The upper of the Tree Dasher 2 is made from eucalyptus tree fibers. The fibers are soft and the knitted weave pattern offers a ton of breathability.
As you can see, the Tree Dasher 2 features a sock-like tubular design so there is no tongue. This design makes it easy to slip the shoes on and it hugs your feet. The laces are attached to the shoes with “cheerio” eyelet rings which are sewn onto the exterior of the shoe.
The main downside to this design is that it’s not great for locking your foot down during longer 5+ mile runs or if you’re trying to really pick up the pace. Even when I pulled the laces tight I still never quite felt as secure as I wanted—which I can see leading to hotspots and blisters. Again, short easy jogs in the Tree Dasher 2 were totally fine.
Tree Dasher 2 Sole and Midsole
The Tree Dasher 2 “SweetFoam” midsole is made from a sugarcane-based EVA and it offers a surprising amount of bounce and cushioning. It’s springy and fun to walk in.
The “SweetFoam” midsole does offer a decent amount of return while running—especially for a natural material. That said, the midsole performance doesn’t yet match what you’d find with high-end synthetic materials.
I’ve mentioned before that the sock-like design and lacing configuration of the upper doesn’t provide a ton of stability but the Tree Dasher does have a wider than normal midsole and they added a sizeable crash pad to the heel—both of which help add a lot of extra stability.
Unlike the previous version of the Tree Dasher, this new model has a much better outsole that actually has nice treads so its traction is much better.
Tree Dasher 2 Interior
The heel of the Tree Dasher 2 is lined with soft merino wool and the heel cup has been redesigned with extra padding to help prevent ankle rubbing—which was a major problem with the previous version. The lining + extra padding can get slightly hot but it’s a very minimal issue (it’s better than rubbing your ankles raw).
The wool lining is only around that ankle so there is no lining on the rest of the shoe’s interior. I found the eucalyptus tree fibers to be soft and breathable so it makes for a comfortable fit.
Tree Dasher 2 Style
Allbirds is famous for its minimalist and largely unbranded styling—both of which apply to the Tree Dasher 2.
The Tree Dasher has a quirky, sporty vibe that’s still minimalist. The angled midsole adds some fun visual interest without being distracting. And while I don’t think the Tree Dashers will win any awards for fashion, I do think they’re minimalist enough to fly under the radar.
I opted for the orange color since I like running in brightly colored shoes (especially since I run in NYC and drivers don’t always pay attention) but I’d go with one of their more basic color combos if you’re mainly wearing these as an everyday shoe.
The round “cheerio” eyelets aren’t my favorite stylistic choice but they do match the chunky laces so it’s a minor comment.
Are the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 Worth The Money?
Priced at $135, the Tree Dasher 2 aren’t cheap shoes but they are quality shoes. And people obviously love how comfortable they are and the sustainability factor justifies the higher price tag for many Allbirds fans.
From a pure price to performance standpoint, the Tree Dasher 2 doesn’t perform as well as other running shoes in the same price range. So if you’re a legit runner, I’d stick with an established brand.
But as everyday shoes, yes, I think the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 are worth the money if you’re looking for comfortable, minimalist footwear.
Final Thoughts About The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2
- Are you an advanced runner or someone who does multiple 4+ miles runs a week? I’d stick with an established shoe from a traditional running shoe company.
- Are you looking for a shoe that can handle everyday life, light jogging, and normal gym work? The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is great.
- Are you looking for a shoe for long walks and one that can withstand hours on your feet? The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is great.
- Are you looking for a great travel shoe? The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is great.
The Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 is priced at $135 (with free shipping and free returns) from the Allbirds Website.
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Thanks For Reading! — James