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Allbirds Review 2020: Are These Wool Shoes All That?

Allbirds review

Allbirds wool runner after two washes! Still lookin’ good!

I love birds. In fact, I had to pull myself away from watching my favorite backyard visitors to work on this Allbirds review.  You can understand why I was slightly giddy when Allbirds made their debut last year as “The World’s Most Comfortable Shoes.” But guess what? The only nod to birds is the bird-shaped “s” in the minimalist logo–that’s it. The company is all about sheep, castor beans, recycled cardboard and a relentless passion for developing the most comfortable footwear from the planet’s natural resources. I can get behind that.

Allbirds

Allbirds Superbloom Collection for early spring 2020

Previously I discussed the history of the company (which you can now read here), but I’d like to get right down to the actual Allbirds review with a few updates after owning my wool runners for a full year now–design, confidence in comfort, made from nature (if you’re a guy reading this, check out  Mike’s review of Allbirds mens wool runners).

Allbirds wool runners

My second pair of wool runners in Savannah Night (navy on navy).

Simplicity in design:

While there’s a time and place for day-glo, logo-emblazoned sneakers (gym), sometimes you crave an uncomplicated shoe. Allbirds are uniform in color from heel to toe, side to side and come in the loveliest muted pastels and neutrals. As a high school teacher, I can pair my Allbirds wool runners with just about any outfit for a casual yet put-together look.

Confidence in comfort:

This is where the rubber meets the road for me (and most Barking Dog readers). Comfort is king, but that can mean different things for different feet, so I was careful not to read too many reviews before trying them on my picky feet (we recently reviewed the new Allbirds flats for women if you’re interested in a more feminine silhouette than the wool runners).

Allbirds Mizzles Water-Repellent Wool Runners

Allbirds Mizzles: Water-repellent, slip-proof wool runners for men and women.

I ordered the wool runner in natural white. My first thought when I received my order: Allbirds cares about first impressions! The recycled cardboard box is as sleek and minimalist as the shoes (it’ll go under my bed where I keep the cool shoeboxes in case my son is assigned a diorama).

Next I ran my hand across the merino wool uppers of my new sneakers: bliss. I slip my foot in, lace them up (I love a good, thick lace) and waited for the right words to describe the feeling and fit. Here goes: form-fitting plushness (not unlike those cozy animal slippers we wore as children, but all natural plushness, not synthetic). This is the softest merino wool fabric to ever touch my feet. They’ve been a treat to wear this cool spring in Chicago as the wool fabric is temperature-regulating and naturally moisture-wicking. And if they get dirty (and they will), just remove the insoles and laces, pop into the washing machine on the wool cycle and air dry! Mine are currently drying outside as I type.

My finicky toes couldn’t be happier when wearing my Allbirds. Due to the plushness of the fabric, there’s no irritation to bunions or hammertoes.  I immediately thought of my readers with peripheral neuropathy who can’t tolerate itchiness, rough seams or pinchy toe boxes–these shoes are a godsend to you.

Allbirds review

Allbirds minimalist logo

The insole is lined with the same soft, moisture-wicking merino fabric as the upper and is surprisingly made with plant oil-based foam from sustainably-grown castor beans! Who would have thought? Makes me appreciate all the R&D put forth by the company. For longer walks, I’d need to replace it with either my Treadlabs or other more supportive insole. For bumming around town, it’s just fine. If you have severe plantar fasciitis or pronation issues, the standard issue insole most likely won’t offer the support you need (but it is removable, keep in mind).

Allbirds at the beach

Allbirds wool runners – perfect for a cool day at the beach–wear and wash!

The outsole is substantially thick and shock-absorbing, yet lightweight and flexible. I’m hoping it wears well, as there isn’t much of a tread (update six months later: if you want to wear your Allbirds every day, don’t expect the tread to wear well–hoping the company is working on ways to improve durability of outsole).

The fit is spot-on: wider at the toes, tapering to a snug fit at mid-foot and heel–like a gentle hug for my feet. The size 10 fits me perfectly (I’m on the smaller size of 10). Since Allbirds are only available in whole sizes, refer to their sizing page for the best fit.

I recently asked our Facebook fans for their take on Allbirds; feel free to jump in the conversation, ask questions and leave a comment…

Click Below for Current Allbirds Colors and Pricing:

Made from nature:

Let’s see…you’ve got sheep, castor beans, recycled cardboard and bottles (one plastic bottle=one pair of laces) all contributing to make Allbirds leaders in the eco-friendly footwear category.

You can find Allbirds wool runners and Allbirds loungers in womens whole sizes 5-11, and mens sizes 8-14 for $95 from Allbirds.com. For women with larger feet than size 11, try ordering a men’s size–it’s basically the same shoe! And for our Canadian neighbors to the north, you’ve got your own Allbirds online store which offers free shipping on all orders over $70 as well as free returns and exchanges within the 30-day return policy.

Check out other Allbirds collections: light and breezy tree runners, loungers, skippers! I especially love the new Allbirds flats called Tree Breezers. Their uppers are made from a proprietary mesh knit incorporating eucalyptus tree fiber–what will they think of next? Stay tuned…

Read our disclosure policy regarding sponsored posts and affiliate links here.

Allbirds Review : Allbirds Mens Review

Mike wears Allbirds Mens Wool Runners in natural grey

Our friend Mike owns a pair of mens Allbirds in natural grey. He likes the lightweight feel of the soft wool upper and resilient sole. The fit and feel “is a cross between a slipper and running shoe, making them comfortable to wear all day.” Mike travels frequently and brings his Allbirds with him since their versatile style goes with most outfits.

Mike wears a size 13 in Allbirds and feels they run true to size. If your foot is on the wide side, they may fit a little snug at first, but the soft wool upper stretches a bit and molds to the foot. Visit the mens Allbirds page to see all current styles and colors.

Do you have an Allbirds review you’d like to share? We’re anxious to hear your opinion! Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.

Allbirds Review : Mens Allbirds Wool Runners

See Mike’s Review of Mens Allbirds

To find out more about the Allbirds company, watch this captivating video entitled “From Wool to Shoe.” It’ll resonate with your senses to give you a big picture understanding of what goes into Allbirds shoes (hint: wool..and more recently, trees).

Allbirds Review

You can’t go wrong with white Allbirds because they’re washable!

Tim Brown, co-founder of Allbirds, understands the importance of comfortable footwear. A former soccer star from New Zealand, he joined his love of country and its natural resources (29 million sheep) to his passion for developing a simple, unbranded shoe (unlike the neon synthetic sponsored gear he wore as a professional athlete). Receiving a grant from the New Zealand wool industry, Brown jumped headlong into finding the softest, most durable material that could be worn without socks. After a successful Kickstarter campaign in 2014, Brown met renewable materials expert, Joey Zwillinger (thanks to their wives who were college roommates). The two discovered an Italian mill outside of Milan which refined the initial material into the super fine, durable, and certified-sustainable Merino wool fabric used in Allbirds shoes today.

Even though Allbirds’ best-selling shoe is called the “wool runner,” this is not a shoe for diehard marathoners, rather the every-day mobile working person who finds themselves on their feet running from work to lunch meetings to after-hour events. The stripped-down, logo-less wool sneaker is what sets it apart and makes it unique–there’s beauty in simplicity. For more information on the development and mission of the Allbirds brand, listen to this Launch Pad podcast by Penn Wharton Entrepreneurship.

Do you have an Allbirds review you’d like to share? We’re anxious to hear your opinion! Leave a comment below to let us know your thoughts.


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90 Responses to Allbirds Review 2020: Are These Wool Shoes All That?

  1. Mary Dean says:

    I love my Allbirds. I have three pairs. One wool, two tree runners. My problem with them is the tongue and lace. When I tie the shoe, after an hour of walking I get pain on the top of my foot. The other day, there was swelling and a bump. I am going on a 17 day trip over to Europe with lots of walking so I’m going to take one pair plus my Nikes. I do love them. I think the wool Allbirds last longer. I’m 70 years old, walk 3-5 miles a day and swim three times a week. No, I don’t swim with my Allbirds. I wish they would make fins🤣

    • Barbara Cullerton says:

      I have high arches and the top of my feet are very sensitive. When I wear lace up shoes, I go up the sides and then cross again at the top so that there is no pressure on the top middle of my feet. This has made a huge difference is my being able to even wear lace up shoes. Try it –

      • Suz says:

        Please explain what you mean by “I go up the sides and then cross again”? I am very curious about how you have managed to fix this issue! Thanks

  2. Jennifer says:

    Has anyone tried the Allbirds Loungers? I have Hallus limitus and need a wide toe box and arch support. They look so cute but I’m worried the toe box isn’t wide enough.

  3. lisa says:

    are the allbirds shoes are waterproof?

  4. Anurag Mehta says:

    overrated. Does not take on the contours of feet. the sole is not spongy enough.

  5. Mary Mount says:

    Tree Toppers are my first pair. They are so comfortable I forget to take them off …
    Jury is out on how hearty the soles are, since this is my first. Any long time All Birders out there that can comment ?

  6. Cheri says:

    I have 3 pair, and at first I absolutely loved them–I thought they were key in reducing my plantar fasciitis. But when winter came, and I started wearing the Mizzles most of the time, I realized they were encouraging serious supination, and I developed calluses and sore spots in a very specific place on the outside soles of my feet. Now that I’m aware, I can feel all three pairs pushing my feet to roll to the outsides, the Mizzles are just the most extreme. I’ll try inserts, but my initial enthusiasm has waned a bit.

    • Kirsten Borrink says:

      I love mine for a short time because of how soft and cozy they feel on my toes ( I have rheumatoid arthritis), but the lateral support is lacking, which is needed to help correct pronation or supination.

  7. Jim Knapick says:

    Had my Allbirds for 8 to 9 months. They were comfortable to start but they provide little arch support. I also have a hole in the toe area we’re the wool upper is separating from the sole. I also have another hole in the upper wool. They are overpriced slippers that aren’t very durable and don’t wear or age well.

    • Joanne says:

      I agree, I’ve had mine for less then a year and only wore them in the spring and summer and they already have holes at the toes. Comfortable Burt definitely not worthy the money. I wear them as slippers in the house since the toe holes.

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