The Allbirds shoes came into spotlight back in 2016 when the hype around their New Zealand Merino wool was spread far and wide. Originating from New Zealand, these shoes spread continents across the world with everyone who wore them raving like crazy. Since the best part about these shoes was their comfort and popularity for the travelers, I have brought a review for all the Lazy Trippers as well. If you are planning your next vacations and are on a search of shoes that won’t only stick with you throughout your travel plan, but won’t kill your fingers, Allbirds Wool Runners might just be what you are looking out for.
Let’s dive into the complete, detailed review of the runners and see if they are worth years on years of hype or not:
WHAT EXACTLY IS ALLBIRDS?
Even though they are here for quite some time and have now managed to introduce many more exciting editions of their wool runners, Allbirds remain a mystery name for many. It is a New Zealand based shoe company that takes complete benefit of the country’s abundance of wool. The Wool Runners in review today is their first product, which is made of Merino wool paired alongside other recyclable and eco-friendly, sustainable materials.
Allbirds do have a few stores, but it is famous for online shoppers because of their $95 policy for everything that’s on their website (which basically constitutes of shoes only). They offer free shipping and free returns, which is definitely a cherry on top. They skyrocketed to success for producing the Runners made of wool that isn’t only soft but looks out for the environment as well. The company’s second production was Tree Runner made of eucalyptus pulp, which might be less popular but is worth the money. For both the Tree and Wool Runners, there are casual shoes available as well.
Finally, Allbirds focuses on promoting the environment and sustainability. All the soles of their shoes are made from sugarcane, while the laces are the product of complete post-consumer recycled polyester. This is one of the major reasons the company has gotten the fame it has right now because the eco-conscious consumers appreciate all the efforts put in to make this product beneficial for the environment alongside keeping it nice and comfortable.
ALLBIRDS WOOL RUNNERS REVIEW
So, you might wonder, why am I reviewing wool runners on the blog today? Well, since I discuss everything about traveling, especially for cheap, the Allbirds is a good option for all the travel fans. The Wool Runners are one of a kind as wool shoes aren’t mainstream in the travel world.
Allbirds claims that their shoes reduce foot odor, have super soft wool and are moisture-wicking. We put them into a rigorous test, so let’s discuss what I found:
When you wear the shoes the first time, you instantly realize how comfortable and super soft they are. Your first wear feedback would be that the merino wool is super fine and they feel slipper-like, which is a good thing especially when you are wearing them while traveling. There is a good amount of cushion as the sole foam is spongy and gives a good space for the foot to absorb right inside the sole and relax.
They are lightweight as well. The weight is around 170z, which means that they would probably weigh what your washroom slippers do. If you are a backpacker, you can keep them in your bag without worrying about the space or the weight they will eat up. The weight also adds to the comfort when you wear them for a good amount of time and walk. As per Allbirds, the shoes can be work with or without the socks. Both ways, they won’t be uncomfortable and even if you aren’t wearing socks, you won’t get any blisters or rashes that generally the new shoes leave you with. However, there is one thing you should know that everyone might not have the same experience. Hence, do not wear your runners for the first time on your trip. I recommend you try and test them for a few days to see if they leave your feet comfortable or a little adjusting around is required. If the latter is the case, you might want to wear them for some time and get used to before wearing them on your backpacking journeys.
The setback associated with the runners you should be aware of is that they come in full-sizes only. If you are someone who falls in the half-size category, it might be a bummer for you. The website claims that the shoes have the capacity to stretch and fit the foot after a few wearing. If they don’t, the company offers 30-days to test the shoes and return them if you have any issues.
SHOE APPEARANCE AND COMFORT
The Wool Runners might not be fancy or chic looking, but they are decent. They are comfortable and even after wearing them for months, they will still be comfortable. The soles have bounce and a great amount of cushion to help add smoothness and comfort. There is not just the sole, but there are insoles as well, which makes sure that your foot arc doesn’t get disturbed after a lot of walking. If you compare them with other minimal shoes in the same price range or even more, you won’t find the same thing. So, that’s an added bonus.
You should know that Allbirds might have named them ‘Runners’, but they exactly aren’t. As far as walking and a lot of that is concerned, these shoes will keep your feet safe and comfortable. Unfortunately, they aren’t running shoes, so you can’t expect to run in the ease with them. The wool is soft and easy so you can wear them without socks for months and months on end without going through any harm. Moreover, the tongue also folds onto itself sometimes. This can easily be rectified after a little adjustment. Not a big deal, but it might piss you off when the tongue folds while you are walking. Though it isn’t a problem most of the time.
A good thing about Allbirds is that it sells the replacement insoles for just $15. If they start to wear off or stink, you can easily get them replaced with a new pair and that too for cheap.
All in all, the Wool Runners are average looking, super comfortable, are almost weightless and light. The burning question here is are they really the World’s Most Comfortable Shoes? They are extremely comfortable, soft and light wear for heavy walking times, but I think calling them the most comfortable might be going a little overboard with the claim.
SOCKS OR NO SOCKS?
With the Allbirds runners, this is one thing that has been the center of many debates. As mentioned above, they are soft enough so there is no need to wear socks with them all the time. They are made of wool, which is famous for being resistant to bad odors and smells so not wearing socks would not have an effect on them. However, I recommend you wear socks if you intend to wear the shoes throughout the day without taking any break. Especially if you have sweat foot, the shoes will start smelling from extended wear while barefoot. Hence, depending on how long you are going to wear them to decide if the socks are necessary or not.
The good news is that if you don’t like wearing socks, but are afraid that not wearing them will turn your shoes into a stinky mess, you are in for a delight. You can simply throw your pair into the washing machine, wash them with cold water to get rid of the dirt and smell. Just air dry them and they will be good as new. The Airbirds take around a complete 24 hours to dry properly, so keep a day’s worth window before you wear them again.
ARE THEY SUMMER OR WINTER WEAR?
Although Airbirds have claimed that their Wool Runners stay warm in the cold and cool in the heat that might not be the case exactly. If you are in an extremely warmer climate, the shoes will get warm and your feet will sweat. There is no special cooling mechanism to prove the claim the company made. They might not get too hot, but you should rather wear slippers than these shoes when the weather is hot. This doesn’t mean they are super warm, but they are similar to the other sneakers so there is nothing special there. If you want an Allbirds pair that does keep your feet airy and breezy, you should opt for the Tree Runners instead.
As for the winters, I need to give the company a pat on the back here. They do keep your feet comfortable and warm in the chilly weather. They might not be similar to the insulated shoes, but they are decent enough to protect your feet.
The Allbirds aren’t suitable for the rain season. If you wear them while it is raining and walk over puddles, your shoes and feet will get wet super quickly. So, avoid wearing them in the rain season.
ARE THEY DURABLE FOR LONG WEAR?
This is the question that if said yes to, any shoe brand wins the jackpot. The Allbirds Wool Runners have a reinforced tongue and tow lining. The sole is flexible and the insole is sturdy. If you put them through a medium or light use of a few months, you will notice that they hold up pretty well against any unwanted wear and tear. If you don’t use them rigorously and for rough terrains, expect them to be your feet partner for a good amount of time. They will show signs of a little wear after a year or so but that is something to be expected.
If you are someone who heavily uses one shoe without any break, the Allbirds runners have the maximum lifespan of around 10 months with heavy use. This is impressive because if you compare this duration with the life span of some world-famous sportswear shoe brands, it is the same. So, the shoes are giving competitors a run for their money. Just keep cleaning them and I am sure, you won’t have to look for a replacement real soon.
ALLBIRDS OTHER PRODUCTS
Other than the Wool Runners, the Tree Runners are the famous option from the same brand. Made from eucalyptus pulp, they are classic sneakers with breathable space for your feet. There is an option of Tree Loungers too, which are the casual option in the same material.
Allbirds also has another stellar line called the Mizzle Collection for both men and women. The shoes are built on the idea that your feet will remain comfortable no matter what the weather is. The women’s collection is available in seven styles while the men collection has three styles at the moment. This collection is built with the Puddle Guard Technology, which keeps the feet dry and allows them to breathe. So, no external element (water) or internal problem (sweat) will be able to wet them. Hence, the best option for rainy areas or for those with sweaty feet.
Finally, Allbirds also offer socks called the Trino Socks made from trees and wool. If you want added comfort and softness with your Allbirds shoes, you can buy these socks for only $12 – $14. They are available in eleven different colors.
THE FINAL WORD!
Do I or do I not recommend the Allbirds Wool Runners for you to purchase? Definitely yes! If you are on a search for shoes that are stylish, comfortable, and will stay with you for long, I recommend you get yourself a pair right away. From medium to heavy wear, these shoes work great and are durable, hence I especially recommend them to travellers looking for something comfortable to wear without hurting their feet. You can go hiking, trekking, running or whatever adventure you have planned on your travels with them.
The bonus is that they are eco-friendly and sustainable. They are your chance to give them to the environment as well. Furthermore, you get free delivery and thirty days to test them and give them back if there is any problem. What more do you want? If you are planning your next trip, Allbirds Wool Runners are the best travel investment for only $95.