You’ve probably seen the Allbirds hype – so we’re here to see if it lives up to all the talk, or if they’re not worth splashing out on. Let’s dive right in.
What are Allbirds sneakers?
The first thing you’ll probably hear about Allbirds, from the word on the street, is that they’re made in New Zealand, and made from merino wool. Both of these are true, but that’s not all these wonderful shoes are.
They’re known for being comfortable, and perfect for travel. You can see these shoes pretty much anywhere and everywhere.
AllBirds debut shows were their Wool Runners, made out of merino wool, recycled and sustainable materials.
Their shoes sell for $95, with free shipping and returns on their website. People seem to be obsessed with them, they’ve even been named “the most comfortable shoe in the world”.
Allbirds makes a few claims about their shoes, which we put to the test. These are that their shoes are:
• Soft and cosy
• Adapts to weather
• Wicks moisture
• No need for socks
• Minimises odour
• Machine washable
• Low carbon footprint
Are they too good to be true?
Sidenote: they’ve all released a Tree Runners model – these are made out of eucalyptus pulp rather than wool. They also boast a “loungers” series, which are for the more casual wear.
We tested out the Wool Runners – their most popular model. Mainly because we wanted a pair of these for ourselves, and also for you. Without further ado, let’s see if they’re worth the $95.
First of all, how on earth do you get a pair of these popular shoes?
They’re mainly sold through their website. However, they do have some brick and mortar stores, if you’re valiantly against buying shoes online (for obvious reasons.
Unfortunately, these physical stores are located in only the biggest cities. Think New York, Berlin, London, and Shanghai as examples.
We had no issues, and so our shopping experience was seamless. We explored reviews (for research purposes) and saw that those who had ordered the wrong size, had a quick and easy return/exchange experience, too.
The good news is – their website is super easy to navigate and we honestly couldn’t think of any issues you may have. As we mentioned, shipping and returns are also free- in case the size isn’t right for you.
If you treat yourself to these shoes, you’ll more than likely have the same first thought – they’re so soft. Yes, they live up to the softness and cosiness hype. It kind of feels like you’re walking on a cushion.
We also quickly realised why they’re considered the perfect travel shoe. Not only would they be great for airports and aeroplanes, but they’re so lightweight, too. You would virtually add no weight to your luggage with these.
The sockless claim, from Allbirds themselves, was bold. Sure, you can wear these without socks – they’re the right material for it. However, we do suggest that you wear your Allbirds in before testing this – just like with any shoes, blisters are a possibility.
Something to consider – Allbirds does not do half sizes. They claim to naturally stretch to your foot, which is a little daunting but it seems extremely plausible. Allbirds does give you 30 days to test this out, which makes it much less scary.
Allbirds states: “Mother Nature is our muse”. This shows in all their material choices, too.
They place a heavy focus on using sustainable/recycled materials. For instance, they use recycled bottles for their laces, castor bean oil in their insoles, and recycled cardboard for their packaging.
Being more eco-friendly is on the majority of people’s minds at the moment. These shoes are a conscious fashion buy. We love this.
How do they look?
Let’s talk about how these shoes look – after all, you’ll be wearing them on your feet, out in public, for everybody to see. You want to look good.
Truthfully, we love how they look. We know aesthetics are subjective – but we think the Wool Runners cater to a large audience. They’re a perfect mix of athletic, casual, and fashionable.
You can choose from a selection of colours. Of course, black and grey are always a firm favourite. However, they also have more daring colours like blue and yellow.
So, are they as comfy as everybody claims? In short, yes.
To elaborate – the comfiness never disappears either. We walked and walked and walked, and they’re still as bouncy as ever.
Don’t be fooled by the name, though. These would not be a comfortable shoe for running in. They should be kept for use at a walking pace. The merino wool is so soft and comfy, they almost feel like slippers.
How do Allbirds deal with weather change?
One of Allbird’s claims is that they stay cool in the heat, and warm in the cold. We went into this kind of expecting this to be like air conditioning on our feet. They performed much like other sneakers, which isn’t necessarily a negative. We will mention, they are not made for rainy weather. Your feet WILL get wet, that’s a given.
To say that you can wear these shoes without socks, and also claim that they minimise odour seemed too good to be true. It proved us wrong.
We found out that wool is naturally odour resistant – which is why you’ll never experience noticeable foot odour.
You can also just throw your Allbirds into a washing machine, making sure that it’s a cold wash. Never machine-dry these shoes though, wool and tumble dryers are not a good mix.
Allbirds have taken feedback on their early models and improved their shoes over time. This is admirable.
They’ve improved the tongue, toe lining, and the insole. Now, their Wool Runners will last you months, without any noticeable changes. Of course, they do start to show age over time, but that’s always expected.
We dug into reports from those who wore their Allbirds frequently and used them heavily. They lasted for around 8-10 months.
Honestly, we understand the hype around Alllbirds. Everything from their materials, design and feel is close to perfect.
We recommend these wonderful shoes.