Allbirds Review: Wool Runners
The Allbirds Wool Runnersare the OG Allbirds.
This was the first line of Allbirds shoes to take the sustainable sneaker industry by storm.
ZQ Merino wool, Brazilian sugarcane, castor bean oil, and post-consumer recycled polyester.
Whats Different About the Allbirds Wool Runners?
This is Allbirds signature shoe and what initially set the company apart from other sneakers in the industry when they first came on the scene.
The Wool Runners are known for their flexibility, warmth, and coziness, as well as being a sustainable sneaker made from renewable materials .
The Allbirds Wool Runners are known for being on the warmer size.
Theyre also slightly cozier than the tree styles because the Wool Runners are mostly made from merino wool.
Who Are the Allbirds Wool Runners For?
The Allbirds Wool Runners are a good choice for anyone looking for a solid all-around comfortable daily sneaker thats versatile for a variety of leisure activities or easy walks.
These are good shoes if you need to be on your feet all day, which is why theyre a popular pick for doctors and healthcare workers.
If you live in a temperate to chillier climate or need a warm sneaker for colder days , these are a good pick.
The Allbirds Wool Runners arent the best choice if youre looking for sneakers that are good for hiking or working out since they tend to get warm quickly.
Other Allbirds Wool Runners Reviews
How Long Does It Take Allbirds Shoes To Air Dry
Allbirds shoes should not be put in a machine dryer as this may damage the shoes so you will want to let them air dry. In our experience, if the shoes are fully wet , it generally takes between 24 hours and 48 hours for them to fully dry when left inside to dry on a drying rack. The shoelaces and insoles took about 24 hours to dry.
The climate is going to affect the drying time. In Kenya during the dry season, it took about 24 hours for the shoes to dry indoors. But in the UK during winter, it took between 36 to 48 hours for the shoes to fully dry when left inside on a drying rack. If you have the option of air drying them in the sun, theyll probably dry within a day.
Are Allbirds The Most Comfortable Shoe
Youd 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 woolexcept for the soleand are some of the softest sneakers.
Whats great about how the brand made these shoes is that it succeeded in preserving the natural benefits of wool.
Theyre temperature-regulating, meaning theyre cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Wool shoes are also odor-resistant and highly breathable, which may keep sweat at bay.
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What Sizes Does Allbirds Have
Allbirds offers the following size chart for their footwear:
Some of the shoes Allbirds sells do not come in half sizes. For those pieces, they recommend customers size up for the perfect fit. If you have wider feet, they also recommend sizing up.
For customers interested in their Tree Runners, Allbirds recommends sizing down if you are between sizes or have wide feet. Allbirds flexible return policy ensures that even if you happen to purchase the wrong size, you are still able to return your shoe for a new pair.
Allbirds Wool Runner Price
They cost $95.
Thats pretty affordable. If thats an insulting price for wool stretched over rubber, you do have to remember the tremendous amount of work behind the scenes to make a shoe like this. By that I mean, its ethically made. I wont repeat all the stuff Ive already said about the sustainable farms and recycled laces and the fact that its a B Corp so everything from their waste management to employee leave policies are regularly audited, but I think its a very solid price, all things considered.
If you just want a shoe with a wool upper and you dont care about all that sustainability malarkey, you can check out the cheaper knockoffs from Dr. Scholl or Urban Fox, just know that theyre generally considered less durable.
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Our Overall Thoughts About Allbirds Sneakers For Travel
We have had the chance to try three different types of Allbirds shoes and have found all three to be comfortable, versatile, and travel-friendly. There are also lots of things to love about Allbirds as a company, from their environmentally-friendly and sustainable products and packaging to their easy 30-day return policy.
Are Allbirds shoes stylish? We personally like the look of the shoes, but whether you think they are stylish or not will depend on your own style preferences. They certainly have a simple minimalist design. For us this is perfect as it means they are pretty timeless and will go with lots of different clothing types and styles. This is one of the things that we look for in a pair of travel shoes.
We think that Allbirds shoes are great for traveling. Most importantly we have found these shoes to be very comfortable for us, even for a full day of city walking or on a series of long international flights. They are also lightweight, easy to pack, and machine washable . We also like that they can be worn with or without socks and with lots of different types of clothing.
In general, wed recommend the Wool Runners as a general travel shoe for temperate to cold locations and the Tree Runners for more warm and hot destinations. The Wool Runner Mizzles are a great option if you want a water-repellent sneaker. If you are still not sure which style might be best for you or an upcoming trip, read the next section of the article for more tips.
Allbirds Flats Review Are They Worth It
Breezers are so comfortable that they’re worth the price.
As someone who reviews things for a living, I pride myself on never quite being satisfied with anything. I feel that most things, even things I love dearly, use regularly, and push upon my friends and family to excess, can be improved in some way.
With these flats, though, I am stumped. I wish I had more complaints about these shoes. But what would I say? That I’d prefer each step I took had slightly less of a springy cushion? That the insoles werent quite as supportive? That they could make my feet just a little sweatier?
The Allbirds Tree Breezers have a textured, sneaker-like sole that provides good traction.
Some reviewers on the Allbirds website say they run small and can cause weird-looking bumps where their toes protrude in the toe box area. But that can be easily fixed by getting a half-size bigger than usual, and, as such, most of the reviews are as effusive as mine.
One thing I will say is that, because they consist of a matte woven fabric and have a blunted toe, they dont look as formal as some leather flats. Because of this, they may not be appropriate in some officesbut that shouldn’t stop anyone from wearing them on a commute.
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Allbirds Tree Runners Reviews
“In addition to being super comfy , I prefer to travel with closed-toe shoes and the Tree Runners are easy to pull on and off at the airport. I will say that the fit is meant to be snug and I don’t wear them with socks, so perhaps they’re not for you if the idea of standing barefoot on an airport floor grosses you out. The sleek shape works well with everything from athleisure wear to casual dresses, thus helping to tackle the age-old question of how many pairs of shoes to pack. I also love that you can easily throw them in the wash when they inevitably need freshening up.” Karen I. Chen, Editorial Producer
“I love wearing my Allbirds for when I go to work out. Note: not for when I’m actually working out. I’ll wear them commuting to and from my Pilates class because I love how lightweight and breezy they are. But I don’t feel that there’s enough arch support for a full workout in them. Nonetheless, they’re my favorite shoes to slip on real quick when I’m in a hurry and my only pair of sneakers that are breathable enough to wear in the summer.” Kim Duong, Digital Assistant Editor
So Why Do People Love These So Much
I have a theory.
The vast majority of shoes out there are cotton, synthetic, or leather none of these are particularly terrible, but can potentially cause problems related to next-to-skin stickiness, breathability, overall stiff structure, and so on. I also expect most people havent yet been introduced the glory of merino wool clothing, and have no idea how vastly superior it is, especially when it comes to socks.
If any of those people were wearing sticky, icky, smelly, awful white cotton gym socks, and then switched over to merino wool sneakers, and especially if they slipped barefoot into them, it was likely the greatest experience of their lives. No longer would their toes be swimming in a puddle of their own bacteria-infested sweat, but rather swaddled in the soft, comfy, cozy, temperature-regulating, moisture-managing, odor-eliminating glory of merino.
But if you were already wearing merino wool socks this whole time anyway, you might not see the big deal.
And thats precisely what I was doing. After all, merino shoes over merino socks just means more merino, but as the next-to-skin sensation was already there, it doesnt do much to add a second layer.
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How To Wash Allbird Shoes
The big question: Can you just toss these in the wash? Surprisingly, yes. Washing your Allbirds is a great way to prevent odor or stains, especially if you wear them a lot and in environments where your feet are exposed to puddles, dirt or other undesirable elements. Allbirds recommends removing the laces and insoles from your shoes, then washing them in cold water with a gentle detergent. However, there is a caveat when it comes to the Wool Runners. The more you wash your shoes, the faster the material starts looking worn-out. This is especially true for the lighter shades. Over a couple of months and washes, the Wool Runners in Natural White, which are some of our best white sneakers, started to stretch and the color gradually became more dull 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 came out looking just fine, but there are horror stories of Wool Runners post-dryer being completely ruined.
Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles Shoe Review
The Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles are similar to the Allbirds Wool Runners, but they also have a water-repellent coating on them so they will fare better with light rain, puddles, and snow than the regular Wool Runners.
I have a pair of Allbirds Wool Runner Mizzles in the color Ironbark with a Light Grey sole and Laurence chose the Wool Runner-Up Mizzles in the color Natural Grey with a Light Grey sole. The Runner-ups are the high-top version of the shoes.
The main difference between my Wool Runners and Wool Runner Mizzles is of course the water repellent coating. The shoes are treated with a fluorine-free, water-repellent coating. This causes water to bead up and roll off the shoes rather than soaking into the wool. There is also a thin layer of bio thermoplastic polyurethane that is layered between the wool upper and the interior of the shoe to help keep water out.
Other differences are that there are natural rubber track pads added to the bottom of the shoes, the soles are thicker, and the wool uppers are a bit thicker. These changes are all designed to add more protection and water resistance to the shoes.
On arrival, overall we both found these comfortable to wear out of the box. However, I did find that the toe box on my right shoe felt a little too tight when I wore them for the first week or so, but the wool naturally stretched and loosened a bit with time and now they fit great.
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How To Wash Allbirds Shoes
You should follow the directions for your specific Allbirds shoe style, but in general you want to do the following to clean your Allbirds shoes in the washing machine:
- Remove any excess dirt or mud from shoes with a brush or cloth
- Remove wool insoles and shoelaces before putting the shoes into the washing machine
- Put shoes in a mesh laundry bag before putting into the washing machine
- Use gentle laundry detergent dont use bleach
- Wash on wool cycle or gentle cycle
- Allbirds recommends that you wash the shoes by themselves
- Dont put in a dryer machineâlet shoes air dry naturally
However, although all of Allbirds shoes are machine washable, I would only throw them in the washing machine if they really need to be machine washed.
It is better to spot clean your Allbirds shoes rather than putting them in the washing machine if you can. As with any pair of shoes, machine washing shoes can damage the shoes structural integrity and decrease their longevity. So Id start with seeing if you can wash them up with a bit of spot cleaning with some gentle soap and a wet cloth. If this isnt enough, you can of course toss them in the washing machine.
However, I would not wash the Allbirds shoes from the Mizzle collection in the washing machine unless it is really needed. As noted by Allbirds, washing them can reduce the effectiveness of the water-repellent coating and decrease the longevity of the shoes.
Are Allbirds Flats Comfortable
Flats are almost always uncomfortablebut Allbirds’ Tree Breezers claim to be as comfortable as sneakers.
When my flats arrived, they looked just like they had onlinedelicate blue cloth knit upper with a slightly darker blue sole and a light gray insole.
But when I slid them on? It may sound hyperbolic to say the Tree Breezers were the most comfortable things I have ever put on my feet. And, technically, that would be a lieI have worn Uggs and I have worn Crocs with wool socks , both of which are strong contenders for the comfort gold medal. But the Tree Breezers are a close runner-up.
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So Why Would You Ever Wear Anything Else
Well, merino wool isnt going to hold up against a jagged rock the way leather or nylon would. Its probably going to be on par with cotton, although some of the cotton canvas options out there are pretty tough. These are actually quite pliable, which makes them feel as comfy as slippers, but youll probably want to avoid heavy trail use.
Theyre also rather fuzzy, so you might not want to wear them on dirt roads at all, as they gather dirt and dust rather quickly. Its easy enough to wash them, by throwing them in a laundry machine or running them under a faucet , but I find myself a little reluctant to walk through mud puddles with them.
Also, theyre warm. Merino wool is temperature regulating and all that, but with as much merino wool as there is here, theyre noticeably warmer than a pair of cotton sneakers. I like wearing them with socks, though, and since Im always wearing wool socks, the combined ensemble heats me up. If you plan on wearing these in hot weather, try to get a size that works with thin socks, rather than thicker, more cushioned ones.
And that brings me to:
Allbirds Tree Dashers Vs Tree Flyers
The latest Allbirds running shoe is the Allbirds Tree Flyer, which I am currently testing. Its designed to be a lighter, more responsive, higher performance shoe thats suitable for longer runs.
So far I havent noticed a huge difference in the Tree Flyer vs Tree Dasher. It does feel slightly lighter but the sole is bulkier.
The new heel counter at the back adds to the bulk and creates a more athletic look. Its designed to give more support and stability, but I havent noticed a difference on my short runs.
The mesh upper is similar. The soles have different treads but both shoes have good traction .
Overall, the Allbirds Flyer seems like another good running shoe, but Im not sure its worth the extra $25 cost. The differences seem minimal to me.
As I prefer the look of the Tree Dasher and it works well for casual wear as well as running, Ill be sticking with it for now.
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Are Allbirds Shoes Good For High Arches
I love Allbirds’ padded insoleit’s soft and cushy, which is ideal for my high arches and keeps my feet happy even when I’m standing or walking all day long. … That said, if you think you might need extra support, you can easily remove the insoles and replace them with your own inserts or orthotics.
Allbirds Return Policy & Exchanges
This brings me to the Allbirds returns and exchanges policy.
Allbirds policy says you can return your Allbirds shoes within 30 days, no questions asked.
This even includes if youve worn them outside.
It doesnt matter. As long as its within those 30 days, youre able to send back your shoes for an exchange or refund.
Their only requirement is that you send back your shoes from the same country of purchase.
And their return and exchange policy only applies to their shoes, so you wont be able to send back Allbirds accessories.
The one exception is Allbirds socks, which youre able to send back within 30 days as long as the packaging is unopened.
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