allbirds wool runner shoes
ATA

I hate wearing shoes. If possible, I prefer to go barefoot or wear as little footwear as possible.

Allbirds sneakers are something I have never seen, they are pretty different. These shoes are more comfortable than running shoes and feel soft and cushy. However, they’re good enough to wear for city exploration.

Allbirds eco-friendly shoes are distinguished by their use of New Zealand Merino wool. This superfine wool is soft, breathable, and moisture-wicking. It’s also odour-resistant. Although I was unsure how wool would work in shoes, I was intrigued to read that Allbirds makes the most comfortable shoes in the world.

Two years ago, I purchased a pair and put them to the test during our trips from Australia to New Zealand. This Allbirds Wool Runners review focuses primarily on the pros and cons, but I will also compare them with the Allbirds Tree Runners that Simon has.

The women’s Allbirds look identical to the men’s, so I have reviewed both.

Contents


Different styles of allbirds

Wearing my Allbirds Wool Runners at the Brighton Bathing Boxes in Melbourne

Allbirds is a hugely popular style, with many styles available beyond the original Wool Runners.

All are available in both men- and women-friendly versions, with the exception of the Tree Breezers for women.

Here is their current lineup

  • Wool Runners – The original merino-wool shoes that created such a sensation. This will be the Allbirds review.
  • Wool Runner mizzles, and Runner up mizzles – These are similar to Wool Runners, but they are water repellent and have more gripping soles. You can also get them in a high-top model. For a comparison to the original Wool runners, read my Allbirds Mizzles Review.
  • Tree Runners – A summer version made with silky smooth, cooling eucalyptus fiber and the classic merino Wool insole. Simon loves them. Below is a comparison of Allbirds Wool vs Tree Runners.
  • Tree Dashers The Allbirds running shoes are my favorite for running. If you require more support, they can be used for walking. You can also get them in a water-repellent option. For more information, see my Allbirds Dashers Review.


                                                            My Allbirds Tree Dashers
  • Tree Breezers Women’s ballet flats. These flats are so light and comfortable that they can even be worn for dinner out. For more information and comparisons with other popular ballet flats Tieks or Rothy’s, see my Allbirds Flats Review.
  • Loungers – Slip-on, laceless shoes in wool or tree fabrics.
  • Tree Skippers – This is a slimmer version of the runners, but it offers less support. These boat shoes are great for warm days.
  • Tree Toppers – A high-top version for Tree Runners.
  • Pipers – These casual sneakers, which are as soft and cozy as the Wool Runners, but with a retro look and lower profile, are Pipers. This versatile look can be worn up or down.
  • Trail Runners SWT – Running shoes for off-road terrain, with rugged soles.

                    Simon in his Allbird Tree Runners at a Nelson vineyard, New Zealand.


Allbirds Wool Runner Details
Sizes: Women’s US 5 – 11 and men’s US 8 – 14 (no half sizes).

Colors: 17 colors in the US (fewer options in other countries)

Weight: 199g (7oz) per shoe (size US 8)

Price: US $98 with free shipping and 30-day returns (price varies by country)

Buy from: Allbirds website in many countries including US, UK, Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand.


Allbirds Wool Runners Sizing

Allbirds shoes, including Wool and Tree Runners, come in full sizes. Simon and I both found them to be true to size. They fit perfectly in our normal sizes (I am a US8).

Allbirds suggests that you order a size larger if you’re half-size.

After a few weeks, Allbirds Wool Runners can stretch a little (about a quarter-inch) It isn’t something that I noticed, nor did it cause any problems. They only got more comfortable with time. Tree runners don’t stretch.

Allbirds offers a great return policy if you have any doubts about your sizing. See below for details.

Allbirds Wool Runners Review: Pros

Many Countries Offer Free Shipping

Many of our favourite travel gear is only available in the US. I’m happy that Allbirds is now available online in the US.

Shipping is free on all orders above $50, which is the total cost of all shoes.

My Allbirds Wool Runners arrived four days after I ordered them from Australia.

Shipping to the US takes between 5-10 business days. You can also pay $12-20 for expedited shipping. Simon ordered his Allbirds from New Zealand, and they arrived within a few days.

The Allbirds come in a simple package that I love. The Allbirds use one box, 90% recycled cardboard, that is easy to open. It can also be used as a shoebox, shopping bag, and mailer.

 

 

Amazing Allbirds Return Policy

Allbirds were something I considered but was hesitant to buy. They weren’t warm enough to withstand the Melbourne winters nor comfortable enough to be used for long walks.

I was convinced to give them another chance by the Allbirds return policy. They can be returned within 30 days, even if they’ve been outside. No other shoe company offers such a free trial.

It was so comforting to know that they could be returned if things didn’t go my way.

Spoiler alert: My Allbirds were not returned to me.

It’s simple to exchange your Allbirds for a larger size by attaching the return label to the box in which they were received.

Allbirds donates gently used shoes to charities for people in need.

Soft and cosy


My wool runners have been great for winter beach walks

The Allbirds wool runners feel amazing the moment I put them on. They are so soft and cosy that it feels more like a slipper. They are especially comfortable when worn without socks.

Merino wool has a superfine texture that makes it much softer than regular wool. It also doesn’t itch. Merino wool is breathable, water-wicking, and odor resistant.

Even though I don’t like shoes, wearing my Allbirds sneakers is always a comforting experience.

There is no break-in period

My feet are very awkward so I struggle to find shoes that fit. Amazingly, my Allbirds had no break-in period.

They were great, even after a long walk around Melbourne. I felt no discomfort, rubbing, or blisters.

Simon had a similar experience working with Tree Runners.

Comfortable for walking


Wearing my Allbirds on an easy hike through the forest at Pelorus Bridge, New Zealand

My Allbirds and I hiked through the forest at Pelorus Bridge in New Zealand wearing my Allbirds

Shoes that are beautiful but not practical for a full-time traveler like me, don’t fit in my suitcase. My footwear should be comfortable enough to last for long days of exploration.

Allbirds Wool Runners are very comfortable shoes. They are lightweight and bouncy. My feet feel great even after a long day of walking in them.

They have been worn on many short hikes, including on beaches and through forests, as well as on gravel trails in Australia, New Zealand, and New Zealand.

They are not recommended for use on slippery or muddy terrains, but they offer more grip than I expected, and are perfect for hiking.

The Allbirds Mizzles has been my favorite for hiking. They provide more support for the ankle and offer better traction. Read my Wool Runner Mizzles Review.
Allbirds sneakers, although they are called runners are not made for running. They also don’t provide as much support as running shoes. You can run in Allbirds, see the FAQ below.

The Tree Dasher is a high-performance running shoe by Allbirds. It’s what I have been running in for almost two years. Check out my Allbirds Tree Dasher’s Review, which also includes a comparison to the Wool Runners.

You can wear socks without socks


I usually wear my Allbirds without socks

Because Allbirds sneakers have such soft soles, they can be worn without socks. They are very comfortable on my feet, and they don’t rub.

They are easy to put on and take off, even without having to untie the laces. They were great to wear to yoga class. I was able to keep my feet warm in cold mornings and could easily slip them on before class.

They aren’t yet worn to Japan, but I think they would have been great for our trip in the spring. Warm shoes that I could easily slip on at temples, traditional restaurants, and hotels would have been a great addition to my shoe collection.

My Allbirds were perfect for sailing in autumn when I wanted to switch between wearing shoes and being barefoot. They were easy to put on when it was colder or I needed more protection for dropping the anchor.

They were great on the yacht and also gripped well on wet decks.

Simple Design and Range of Colours

Just some of the colors available for the Allbirds Wool Runners


Allbirds runners are simple and I love them. They don’t have any logos or other details and are very easy to use in cities or the countryside.

These shoes would be great for a trip to fashionable Europe, where they will blend in better than bulky running sneakers but still be comfortable enough to pound the cobblestone streets.

The Allbirds can be worn casually with jeans or leggings. However, they can also be worn with a skirt or dress. Simon pairs his Tree Runners and a shirt with a blazer to create a casual, smart look that is great for dining out.



Simon wears a smart casual look with his Allbirds Tree Runners paired alongside a Bluffworks blazer and shirt.

Simon wears a smart casual look with his Allbirds Tree Runners paired alongside a Bluffworks blazer and shirt.

There are many colors available. There are six basic colors available for Wool Runners: I have the Natural Grey (with light grey sole), Tuke Jo, Natural White (with creamsicle), Natural Black (with dark sole), Natural White with cream sole), Dapple Grey with cream sole), True Black (with cream sole), and True Black with cream sole).

There are also limited edition Allbirds colors that range from pale blue, pink, and apricot to earthy and brighter shades of red and blue.

Lightweight and travel-friendly

Allbirds shoes are lightweight and packable, as I only have carry-on luggage.

Because they are soft, I can easily fit them in my suitcase because of their flattening. My Wool Runners are lighter at 199g (7oz) than my Asics lightweight running shoes, which weigh 229g (8oz).

These are heavier than my Allbirds Tree Breezers Ballet Flats at 122g per shoe, but they’re still as lightweight as full-coverage, supportive shoes can get.

My Allbirds are small enough to fit in my luggage, but they’re my favorite shoes for flying. They are easy to slip on at security and keep my feet warm and cosy on the plane.



Keep your feet warm in cold weather


My wool runners kept my feet warm on a chilly, drizzly walk on Wharariki Beach in New Zealand

My Allbirds Wool Runners were originally purchased in Melbourne in winter because my ballet flats were too small.

The weather was perfect for allbirds, with temperatures ranging from 5-20oC (41-68oF) to my delight. Even when temperatures dropped to below freezing, my feet remained warm and cosy without socks.

They have been great in New Zealand, where I have worn them throughout the year. My Teva Verra Sandals are my favorite when it’s hot, but they can be useful for colder days.

You can increase warmth in freezing conditions by wearing merino wool socks.

They are not waterproof so they can’t be snowed but I like the classic Wool Runners for mild winters.

Machine-Washable

Allbird washing is simple as long as they are put in the washer.

This has been done three times. However, I find it easier to just wipe any dirt off with a damp cloth. It comes off easily.

 

Made from Sustainable Materials

Allbirds is an environmentally-friendly company. It is carbon neutral by offsetting its emissions and uses sustainable materials.

They are vegan because they don’t use leather, but not vegan as wool.

Merino wool shoes consume 60% less energy than synthetic materials.

According to the company, they work with ZQ Merino and other leading organizations to ensure that their wool meets high standards of farming, land management, animal welfare, and production. The wool comes from sheep that roam free on open pastures.

The laces are made of recycled plastic bottles. One bottle equals one pair.

SweetFoam soles are made of sugarcane, which is a renewable resource that can be grown quickly by rainwater instead of irrigation.

Allbirds is striving to have their shoes leave no carbon footprint. They are doing better than many. The Allbirds Wool Runner emits 7.1kg CO2e to a standard sneaker, which emits 12.5kg CO2e.

Durable

My Allbirds sneakers were worn almost every day for nearly 2 years until I decided they needed to be replaced.

They were replaced with the Mizzles winter. However, I will likely get a new pair of Wool Runners soon as I love the light and airy feel.

My new Allbirds Mizzles (left) vs 2-year-old Wool Runners (right)

These uppers held up to the abuse. Although the uppers were a little floppier than I expected, it wasn’t noticeable while wearing them. The soles and uppers were in perfect condition.

The sole problem I have had is the wear of the wool at the heel of my insoles. It is possible to buy replacement insoles. I have done this twice. This prolongs their lifespan. They will feel so soft and cozy again.

The upper was a little grubby and my light soles had some black spots. After over a year of use, this was not an issue.

The tread on the soles’ bottoms also began to wear away, leaving them less grippy.


The heel area of my insoles was starting to wear out so I replaced them

You can also purchase replacement laces. Mine looked almost new, perhaps because I seldom untied them. ).

They have lasted me a lot, considering how many times I’ve worn them.

Allbirds Cons

Waterproof but not waterproof

The Allbirds Wool runners are not waterproof. They are waterproof and can be worn in light rain. However, if it is heavy, my feet will get wet.

Merino’s moisture-wicking qualities make my feet feel comfortable even in heavy rain. However, it is not ideal.

The Allbirds mizzles are better if you plan on wearing them often in the rain. These are very similar to the Wool runners, but they have a thicker, non-slip sole and a water-repellent coating.

For a comparison to the Wool Runners, see my Allbirds Mizzles Review.

You can get hot feet

The Allbirds Wool Runners work well in spring, autumn, and non-snowy Winters. However, I find that my feet become too hot when it gets above 22oC (72oF).

The Allbirds Tree Runners is a great choice if you’re looking for a summer shoe. Simon loved them in New Zealand’s spring, summer, and winter. They also kept his feet warm in the autumn and winter.

Below is a comparison of Allbirds Tree Runners vs Wool Runners.

It’s not completely odor-free

Merino wool is well-known for its resistance to odors. I have been able to wear merino socks multiple times and not get them to smell.

However, all birds can still smell. After wearing the insoles every day for six weeks, I noticed a distinct smell. The problem was solved when I washed and then replaced the insoles.

It might be worth buying a second pair of insoles if you are wearing them all day and have odor problems.

The shoes can also be put in the washer, but the smell came from the insoles.

Slow to dry

The Wool Runners take a long time to dry if they are wet. It took me over 48 hours to dry my Wool Runners the first time, and less than 24 hours the second time I washed them (in a warmer area).

How to wash allbirds

Allbirds can be washed in the washer, but this is not something I did until they were six months old. They have been machine washed three times now with no problems.

You can easily remove dirt from their skin by wiping them with a damp sponge, cloth, or sponge.

I recommend that you soak the insoles in warm soapy water for at least an hour to remove any odors. Rinse them off after. They can be dried overnight.

You can wash them in the washer if you need a thorough clean. However, it is best to remove any dirt and grime first.

Allbirds suggests that you remove the insoles and laces first. However, this seemed like too much trouble to me. It is also recommended that you use a laundry bag. I don’t have one.

I tied my shoes and took out the insoles. Simon washed both his Tree Runners insoles and Wool Runners at the same washing machine.

They came out clean and dry after being washed on the wool cycle at low temperature with no spin (low spinning also works).

The shoes can’t be tumble dried and took over 48 hours to dry. Insoles dry much faster. They dried for just over 24 hours in a warmer environment.

Allbirds Wool Runners vs Tree Runners

Simon’s purple Tree Runners on the left and my grey Wool Runners on the right.

It is possible that you are confused about the differences between Allbirds Wool Runners and Tree Runners. Here is a comparison between Simon and me, who has the Wool Runners, and Simon’s Tree Runners.

Similarities

Here are the Allbirds Wool and Tree Runners’ commonalities.

Both:

  • Have a minimalist design
  • You can choose from a variety of fun colors
  • Insoles made of merino wool are best
  • They are soft enough to be worn without socks
  • Comfortable, lightweight soles that can be worn for walking are a good choice.
  • Travel light and easy to pack
  • Can they be washed in the machine?

Differences

This is how Allbirds Tree Runners are different from Wool Runners.

They are:

  • Tencel is used to make this product, which is made from eucalyptus tree eucalyptus instead of merino wool.
  • More breathable and lighter
  • Warmer temperatures are cooler
  • It is less likely that your feet will be warm in winter.
  • Less durable

Simon purchased the Tree Runners when summer was approaching and he absolutely loves them. They’ve been worn almost every day since Simon got them, for more than two years.

He was used to hiking shoes that provide more support but he liked the light, comfortable feel of these shoes.

He did get a blister from wearing them first without socks. He has worn them with socks without any problems since then.

Due to their lighter fabrics, Tree runners are less durable than Wool runners.

Simon took his Tree Runners apart after 17 months. One of Simon’s toes was beginning to poke through the upper, and it looked as if a hole might develop. This also happened to a friend who had Tree Runners.

His soles were also more worn than my Wool Runners. The soles of the shoes are identical so I don’t think there is any difference. Simon may be heavier than me or simply walk differently.

He was happy to purchase the same shoes again, even though he had to replace them.

Should You Buy Allbirds Wool Or Tree Runners?

The Tree Runners is a great summer shoe.

The Wool Runners offer a better alternative for colder conditions. Simon hasn’t experienced cold feet while wearing Tree Runners in New Zealand’s winter. However, the temperature has seldom been below 10oC (50oF). He also wears socks.

Both shoes work well in spring and fall.

I love the warmth and coziness of Wool Runners. I will continue to wear them in cooler temperatures. My runner is my go-to for hot weather. Flats by Allbirds (which are made from the lighter Tree fabric) Teva Verra sandals.

Allbirds Common Questions

What’s so special about Allbirds

Allbirds are made of merino wool, which is a natural and sustainable material. The shoes are ultra-soft and cosy and don’t feel like shoes.

These shoes are light and comfortable to walk in and come in a variety of colors.

Are Allbirds eligible for free returns?

Allbirds offers a great return policy. They can be returned within 30 days, regardless of whether they were worn outside.

Are Allbirds good at running?

Allbirds Wool and Tree Runners were not made for running. The soles are not as cushioned as regular running shoes, and the Wool runners might get hot.

They might be a good option if you’re used to running in minimalist shoes. However, it is better to transition slowly to minimalist shoes to avoid injury.

Allbirds are something I could imagine running for a few miles on a treadmill, but not on a long run.

The Allbirds Tree Dashers are a better choice, as they offer more cushioning and are designed specifically for running.

These shoes are great for running. I have run more than 600 km in them.

You can run with Allbirds Runners. Jumping is possible, but not running. (Simon, in the middle, and our friend on right are wearing Allbirds Tree Runners at Lake Tekapo. New Zealand.


Can you run in Allbirds Runners? No, but jumping, yes! (Simon in the middle and our friend on the right are both wearing Allbirds Tree Runners at Lake Tekapo, New Zealand)

Are you a fan of Allbirds socks?

You can choose. Allbirds can be worn with socks, but they also have a wool lining that makes them warm and comfortable without socks.

My Allbirds are sometimes worn with the Trino Sprinter socks. These socks are great for running and when you need a light, breathable sock. They dry quickly and are extremely resistant to odors.

Do Allbirds stretch?

Allbirds Wool Runners are stretchy, so if they feel tight initially, they will likely become more flexible over time. The Allbirds Tree Runners don’t stretch.

Are Allbirds water-resistant?

Allbirds Wool Runners don’t have waterproof capabilities. The Allbirds Mizzles have a water repellent coating so they are ideal for use in rain.

Merino wool is very moisture-wicking so even if my feet do get wet in my Allbirds, it doesn’t make me feel uncomfortable.

Are Allbirds sour?

They can. It shouldn’t be an issue for average usage. However, I noticed that after wearing mine every day without socks for several months, they started to smell.

Soak the insoles in soapy warm water for about a minute, then rinse them and dry them. You can also purchase replacement insoles.

With the Wool Runners as my primary pair of shoes, I have replaced my insoles three more times, washed them twice, and washed the whole pair in the washer three times. Two of those were because they got caught in the ocean while on beach walks. ).

Is it possible to machine wash Allbirds

Allbirds can be machine washed. For instructions, see the image above.

Are Allbirds Wool Runners hot in summer?

Allbirds Wool Runners can be hot in summer. Allbirds Wool Runners can be worn in warmer weather because they are made of a cooling eucalyptus fabric rather than merino (although they still have the same merino insoles).


Despite this, I did wear my Allbirds a lot in New Zealand’s summer. They were comfortable for colder days (20oC/68oF) or lower.

Simon in Allbirds Tree Runners at Hobbiton

Are Allbirds truly that comfortable?

Simon and I find our Allbirds to be very comfortable. The soft lining and wool insoles make them very comfortable.

Another aspect is the light, flexible sole that offers enough support to go for a day of walking.

Tree and Wool Runners may not be as supportive for your feet as a cushioned running shoe.

Allbirds Wool and Tree Runners are great options if you’re looking for a stylish, minimalist shoe.

How much do Allbirds cost?

Allbirds Wool and Tree Runners are available in the USA for $98. The Waterproof Mizzles are $118

Spare Insoles are $15, and it’s well worth purchasing a pair.

They do not offer discounts or sales.

Are Allbirds worth it?

My Wool Runners in Apollo Bay, Australia’s Great Ocean Road

Yes, Allbirds are worth the investment. The price is reasonable for quality, environmentally-friendly shoes, and they are unlike any other shoes I’ve tried.

My Allbirds Wool Runners feel so soft, cosy, and flexible, I don’t even feel like I’m wearing sneakers.

They are comfortable to wear all day and easy to store in my suitcase. They are comfortable to wear without socks, and they keep my feet warm in winter.

It’s easy to see why the amazing returns policy is so appealing. Allbirds are worth a look. You can get a 30-day trial for free.

Where to buy Allbirds Shoes

Allbirds can be purchased online in the USA, Canada, UK, and EU. Free shipping is available to Australia, New Zealand China, Japan, South Korea, Australia, New Zealand, Australia, New Zealand, China, Japan, and China.

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