Allbirds Review:
The World’s Most Comfortable
(And Sustainable) Shoes

by | Mar 20, 2020

Allbirds calls itself the world’s most comfortable shoe, but, it turns out, that’s just the beginning. 

Among the thousands of different footwear options in the world, if you a) want high-level comfort and style, and b) care about the conditions your shoes are made in and the materials they are made from, well, Allbirds hits the mark.

In short, our team loves them. End of review. 

…If for some reason that’s not convincing enough for you, let us explain how this San Francisco-based shoe company won us over. 

We will get to our review of each of Allbirds styles, but we would be remiss if we didn’t also gush about the sustainable production and work practices that make Allbirds a hit.

Allbirds, founded in 2014, has created the perfect blend of sustainability, comfy fit, and style with their shoes. If you look through the Allbirds lineup, you’re sure to find a versatile and affordable pair of shoes that exceeds your standards for style, comfort, and good-for-the-world production.

Now that you’re reading this Allbirds review, you can kick your feet up and relax during the shoe shopping process, knowing that we have found you some comfortable kicks from a company that is helping the world.

Our Buy Ensemble Rating: Allbirds

Product

5/5

Your Allbirds will truly be the most comfortable shoe in your closet. The different designs make Allbirds a go-to for almost any occasion.

PEOPLE

5/5

Allbirds is a certified B-Corp and a leader in ethical manufacturing.

PLANET

5/5

Allbirds is a leader in sustainable production practices. Even still they have plans to do more to benefit the environment in the future.

PRICE

4.5/5

Starting at $95, Allbirds aren’t cheap, but they’re still accessible. Their versatility and durability takes the edge off the price tag.

Let’s start with the shoes themselves. Every pair of Allbirds is crafted from sustainably sourced materials. Their most common and popular design uses merino wool, sourced from the sheep of New Zealand, but everything from recycled plastics to eucalyptus pulp and sugar can be found in their shoes! From the exterior to the eyelets for the laces – every design and model is made with the earth and your comfort in mind. 

Allbirds’ sustainability goes beyond their materials. They went Carbon Neutral last year, but they aren’t stopping there. They are working to effectively reduce all carbon emissions within their supply chains. This is not pie in the sky stuff. From increasing energy efficiency in their offices to collaborating with their manufacturers and product distributors to do the same, they are actively finding ways to make their organization a net benefit for the earth.

  Thinking of Getting Some AllBirds? Here’s what to consider…

#1 — What are the workplace practices of the business behind the shoe?

Allbirds is a certified B-Corporation and partner with Reda, a 150-year-old wool factory in Italy, to manufacture their shoes. These shoes are ethically crafted from start to finish.

#2 — What is the environmental impact of purchasing these shoes?

As mentioned before, Allbirds is a carbon-neutral company and they are rigorous in analyzing their supply chain and finding ways to cut down on their environmental impact. 

#3 — Do these shoes perform well in any kind of weather condition?

While not every pair is meant to splash around in, one line of Allbirds is made for the rain. Their Mizzles are specifically designed with water in mind. But, no matter what model you go with, if you get them a little dirty during your outdoor excursions, don’t worry, every pair is machine washable!

#4 — Is there anything a little “off” about them?

Other than their insane comfort, Allbirds does have one quirk worth mentioning. With the exception of their tree-runners, they don’t do half-sizes. The company’s recommendation is to always size-up—so if you are typically a 9.5, get a 10. Their materials stretch naturally, so if they are snug at first, give them time!

The Complete Allbirds Review: Birds of a Feather Wear Allbirds Together

When shopping with Allbirds, you can’t go wrong. Really. They have 6 designs to choose from: The Runners, Skippers, Loungers, Mizzles, Toppers, or Breezers. You’ll find a review of each style below!

While the Allbirds wool runners are their original style, their newer designs offer more variety for style and functionality. If our reviews below leave you with any unanswered questions, you can scrupulously go through the options at allbirds.com to narrow in on the design that best fits your needs. 

From there, you can find the closest retailer to you or simply order online to have the most comfortable shoe shipped directly to your home! You will find that every pair comes in men’s and women’s sizing although, with the exception of the Breezers, the shoes themselves are unisex.

You can expect 5-7 business days for typical shipping, but there are expedited shipping options for a fee. If possible, go into the store and try on some pairs so you know which size is best for you given the lack of half-sizing. Many of us at Grow Ensemble have a pair (or two) of Allbirds. 

When you try on your first pair, you’ll notice that it feels like your feet are slipping into soft clouds instead of your typical insoles. This is the work of the merino wool lining. While several of our team got mild out-of-the-box blisters on the back of their heels, each reported the comfort of the wool allowed them to keep wearing their new shoes without notable discomfort, and they haven’t taken them off since.

If they feel a little tight, like your big toe isn’t enjoying its usual space, worry not! Their materials are made to stretch, so you can expect the toebox to form to your feet.

And if you take your shoes out for an adventure or a night on the town, and that feeling doesn’t go away, simply return the shoes. Allbirds offers a 30 day, no questions asked return policy for full refund.

Quick Look: Different Styles & Designs 👀

Once you decide that you want a pair of Allbirds, you’ll need to decide which style to enjoy. While Allbirds wool sneakers are the staple of the company, they have branched out (sometimes literally) and created a number of selections.

1. Allbirds Runners Review

The flagship design from Allbirds comes in two models: the classic merino wool or the sleek tree fiber. These are the traditional sneaker that put Allbirds on the map, and the hype is real.

The Runners are great as a pair of walking shoes, for hitting the gym, and they are even stylish enough for a night out. Both the tree fiber Runners and the wool Runners offer excellent arch support and are exceptionally breathable and moisture-wicking, which some of our sockless team members love. 

It’s probably even more appreciated by our team members who are vulnerable to the sockless-stench. The moisture-wicking lets them rock that full ankle style with minimal stink, and if that fails (nobody has reported any serious issues), they’re grateful they can always throw these kicks in the washing machine. 

We are confident these will immediately become your go-to pair of sneakers. Because they are machine washable, they can be multi-purpose and getting them dirty isn’t a serious issue. That’s important because the Grow Ensemble team won’t ever take them off.

We wouldn’t recommend any heavy athletics in these shoes given their minimal traction. Our CEO had a hard fall racing his dog in wet grass. It was worth the good laugh, and on the spot, we promised we would put it in our review.

These kicks do make for exceptional shoes to take travelling. Because of their functionality and sleek style, you can adventure all day and still look good when you go out. With so much versatility, the $95 price point is pretty reasonable.

2. Allbirds Skippers Review

A potential staple for your closet, the Allbirds Skippers come in a variety of colors. Great with a pair of shorts and a refreshment in hand, these casual shoes are made for relaxing. That being said, they also make for a nice walking shoe given the right conditions. 

Even though they are a casual shoe, don’t think you can’t wear these to work! Many reviewers noted how this is their favorite office shoe due to the comfort and breathability that comes with the style it offers.

At $95, these shoes are among the cheapest models that Allbirds offers.

3. Allbirds Loungers Review

The wool loungers and tree loungers are an incredible pair of shoes for low maintenance. If you like to go sockless and step out with flair, then these shoes might be the pick for you. These Allbirds were not crafted with athletic performance in mind—comfort is first and foremost.

Allbirds ditched the laces and created the perfect slip-on shoe that fits like a seamless glove, taking coziness and comfort to the next level. The easy slip-ons are a good option for the commuter or for a quick walk out of the house or office. 

The convenience of this design makes it another great traveling option. But if you have more athletic endeavors for your trip, you might want to bring a second pair of shoes for those activities.

At $95, this simple design provides the style and the convenience of any classic slip-on with the addition of unbelievable comfort.

4. Allbirds Mizzles Review

Rain, rain, go away! And if it doesn’t get a pair of Mizzles. These water repellent shoes are great if you live in a place with a wetter climate or if you plan to take your shoes on any water-ridden journey. The Mizzles are available in both hightop and low top design. Both have the wool upper for that classic Allbirds look and feel. 

We were excited to say goodbye to the added poundage rain adds to your footwear. These shoes are extremely lightweight compared to your typical water-resistant boot or sneaker, which is a huge plus in wet weather.

These shoes are similar to the runners in terms of intended use. If you are on the go or want a shoe that you can run in the rain in—without the lingering moldy odor that often comes with it—then these shoes are for you. 

The Runner Up Mizzle (low top) starts at $115, and the high top comes in at $135—the most expensive Allbirds you can buy. Anyone who lives in a wet climate (some of our team live in Seattle), understands that a shoe with this level of design catered to wet and winter weather is an investment well worth the cost.

5. Allbirds Toppers Review

Made from the very breathable eucalyptus pulp, these might be the most breathable hightops you ever slip-on. Their refreshingly simple design makes the Tree Toppers a great addition to nearly any outfit.

Normally you expect hightops to come with a little bit of weight and clunkiness, but that is not the case for the Tree Toppers. We were pleasantly surprised by this style. They are extremely light and provide a little more support than you’d get from the low top Runners, for example. They’re perfect to wear to work, a night out, and for some light athletic activity. 

At $115, these stylish kicks are reasonably priced for such a sleek shoe.

6. Allbirds Breezers Review

The only Allbirds design to not grace the men’s section: the Breezers. This women’s shoe is a step up from their other casual designs, while still maintaining the same comfort. Some have described these shoes as “hugging” their feet while working.

Because they are extremely lightweight and also machine washable, this pair is another pair that makes for a great travelling companion. If you want to look just a tad more formal than the other styles offer, then this $95 pair of Allbirds is for you.

The Good & Bad of The Allbirds Shoes

 PROS

  • Made from eco-friendly materials
  • Machine Washable
  • Diverse styles and options
  • Generous return policy
  • Certified B-Corporation

 CONS

  • No half-sizes
  • Retail stores not available everywhere
  • First few wears may create blisters
  • Limited traction (don’t make high speed, sharp turns in wet grass)

Allbirds—Features & Benefits

Machine Washable, Say What?  

Along with being the world’s most comfortable shoe, Allbirds are also the easiest to clean. Simply remove the laces and insoles and toss your shoes into the washing machine. To maintain their form and fit, air drying is going to be your best option.

Sustainable Materials, Now That’s Sweet (Literally!)

Merino wool and eucalyptus pulp, as previously mentioned, are the two main components of Allbirds shoes. And on their own, that’s awesome. But if you take a deeper look into how this impacts Allbirds’ manufacturing and impact, it’s even cooler.

The merino wool they use allows them to use 60% less energy than materials used in the typical synthetic shoe. They work with organizations like ZQ Merino to ensure that their wool comes from the highest standards of farming and that the sheep they shear are “living the good life.”

 [via Allbirds.com]

Their tree fiber, Tencel™ is sourced from South African farms that minimize fertilizer and utilize rainfall, not irrigation. This uses 95% less water and cuts their carbon footprint in half. Allbirds has the Forest Stewardship Council (“FSC”) certification and ensures they are sourcing their materials from places that protect forests as well as the animals and people who depend on them.

 [via Allbirds.com]

Every pair of Allbirds has merino wool fabric lining the insoles. This allows for moisture-wicking, odor reduction, and sheep-like softness. Castor bean oil is also included in their insoles, while most shoes use a petroleum-based foam. Their SweetFoam™ on the bottom of the shoe is born from Brazilian sugarcane, which is the world’s first carbon-negative, green EVA (the foam that gives you the bounce and comfort under your foot).

 [via Allbirds.com]

Even the eyelets for the laces on their shoes come from Bio-TPU—a microorganism that consumes plant sugars. The laces themselves? Recycled plastic water bottles. Not to mention, the 90% recycled cardboard that is used for their packaging. From factory to your feet, Allbirds is pulling out all of the stops to ensure a sustainable show production and delivery experience.

 [via Allbirds.com]

Waterproof Options are Making a Splash!

The Mizzles are making it a breeze to dance in the rain…literally. You ever wake up and the forecast calls for a chance of rain and you don’t know which shoes to pick? The Mizzles have solved that. Even if it doesn’t rain, pull out your Mizzles and you will still look and feel amazing knowing that even if it did rain, no big deal.

While you might want to skip the puddle stomping, these shoes will keep your feet dry and happy, even if you’re not.

No Question Return, Say Less!

Allbirds is so confident that you will love your new pair of shoes that you can return them within 30 days, no questions asked! One of our team members wore his on a hike and decided they were a size too big. Allbirds was happy to accept the exchange, and he is now the proud owner of two well-fitting pairs of their shoes.

You Can Workout or Work in These Shoes!

Because they are designed for comfort and breathability, Allbirds make a surprisingly great workout shoe. They won’t stink like your typical gym shoe, and your feet won’t get super hot during strenuous workouts. Plus, you can toss those suckers in the washing machine whenever they need to freshen them up for a night out. 

Keep in mind, this is not to be said for all of their designs. The Loungers or Breezers might be a bad choice for a deadlift – but we can vouch for the gym-worthiness of the Runners, Toppers, and Mizzles.

What’s the Word About Allbirds?… 💬 

After interrogating our team and scouring the web, the reviews remained immensely positive for Allbirds. The 30-day return policy was praised by dozens of satisfied customers who incessantly touted the comfort and performance of the shoe. 

Here are some of out-of-office reviews we found helpful:

Not Sold On Allbirds? Other Options to Explore… 🤔

First, check out our broader write up on 15 Sustainable Shoes & Shoe Brands for Men & Women for additional options.

Here’s a quick preview:

veja-logo-small

Veja, a footwear company based in France, is authentic good-for-the-world. They even made a Vegan shoe. Their shoes are primarily made from sustainably-sourced rubber (they have saved 120,000 hectares of the Amazon!) as well as other eco-conscious materials. They conduct annual audits of their factories as well as their supply chain in order to constantly improve their methods and reduce their impact.

They are a bit pricier than Allbirds, with prices starting at around $130. However, they do offer an incredible selection of men’s, women’s, and even children’s options! Their 28-day return policy is great, but if you’re returning from outside Europe, you’ll have to pay for shipping.

Veja has collaborated with designers like Rick Owens on their footwear—their shoes have a very European feel. 

View their full selection of shoes, here.

nothing-new-logo

Nothing New is doing business remarkably different than most shoe manufacturers. They have a unique offer—the Virtuous Circle Program—where you can send them your used pair of sneakers, they recycle the materials, and you get $20 off of your next Nothing New pair of shoes. A pretty sweet deal for your pocket and the planet. 

The shoes themselves look very similar to the traditional Converses, both low tops and high tops. They come in a variety of colors, but with only 2 models available, there is not much stylistic variation.

Check out Nothing New’s full line of shoes, here.

Conclusion: Allbirds Could be Your New Favorite Shoes

Since 2014, Allbirds has evolved from a kickstarter campaign to make wool shoes into the leading sustainable shoe brand. They have done so by churning out sensible, stylistic, and, most importantly, insanely comfortable shoes. While the hype for these shoes continues to build, founder Tim Brown consistently maintains that the company is about “making better things in a better way.” And they have.

If you are looking for a one-shop-stop shoe that provides style and comfort in a broad range of contexts, then Allbirds might be your next pair.

And with their 30-day return policy, they are a low-risk investment.

While they do not have retailers set up around the United States, they are in most major cities. If they don’t have a retail location in your city, check out allbirds.com and you can find the pair that calls your name. There, you can get some limited edition colors and unique styles that may not be in stores anyway!

We are excited to see what this company comes out with next. We are guessing it’ll sweep us off our feet.

Henry Burgess-Marshall

Henry Burgess-Marshall

Founder & CEO, Maribel Creative Agency

Henry is an entrepreneur based out of Seattle, Wa. He is an avid reader, writer, and lover of nature. His passion for people and connection with others has led him to work with some incredible individuals and companies. He is always looking for the next exciting adventure, whether it be in his personal life or business pursuit. 
You can connect with Henry on LinkedIn and at his Company’s website here

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