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Allbirds Tree Runners are outrageously comfortable — this is no secret, they have been one of the company’s most popular silhouettes since the brand launched in 2016.
Allbirds has always been a sustainable-focused brand — it shares its manufacturing process, the carbon footprint associated with each individual product made (Tree Runners carbon footprint starts at 4.99 kg CO2e) and how it offsets its emissions.
Though Allbirds has experienced many successes, including being dubbed a wardrobe staple in Silicon Valley and sported by Barack Obama, it has also faced struggles with expanding its product line, from apparel to more technical footwear. At its core, the company makes really comfortable shoes that are great for travelling or walking around town while using interesting and sustainable materials like sugarcane and discarded snow crab shells.
Over the years, I’ve tried out quite a few Allbirds shoes — some are better than others. Below, I break down the styles I’ve tried and my thoughts on each pair — ordered from most to least favourite.
Tree Runners ($140)
Favourite features: These are a pleasure to wear. They’re lightweight, comfortable and neutral in appearance. They’re not only my favourite Allbirds shoe but one of my favourite shoes for travel, in general. The shoes are washing-machine friendly and last about a year or two before they need to be replaced (if you’re wearing them often). I like the Tree Runner’s simple silhouette and the lack of branding.
Least favourite features: Nothing — these shoes are simple and comfortable.
Tree Pipers ($140)
Favourite features: I also really like the look of the Tree Pipers. Similar to the Tree Runners, the Pipers are visually neutral — with a sportier look. This is my second favourite Allbirds shoe, as they’re still comfy, classic and simple.
Least favourite features: The rounded toe changed the sizing for me. I’m usually a size 10 in most shoe styles (including the Tree Runners) — sometimes I’m a 10.5. Though the website says the Tree Pipers are true-to-size, I found the 10 too small and would go up to the 11 next time.
Favourite features: These are winners. The best feature of the Risers is indeed their height. The Tree Runners, which I’m using as the baseline, are pretty flat, so the Risers are a good option for people who still value comfort, quality and sustainability, but appreciate a platform. They fit true-to-size and are great wear-all-day sneakers.
Least favourite features: They offer a unique look — one I like but it may not be for everybody.
Tree Flyer 2 ($210)
Favourite features: These are easy to put on and slip off. They have a nice platform, which gives extra cushioning while walking. Having run my first half-marathon, I’m much more attuned to what I’m looking for in a running shoe and the Tree Flyers meet my needs. I like the Tree Flyers as a running-shoe-looking walking shoe.
Least favourite features: Of course, everyone’s running shoe preferences are different, but I like a cushier sole (like in the New Balance FuelCell Propel v4s). I’d wear the Tree Flyers as walking shoes and runners in a pinch — like needing to sprint away from a spider.
Wool Runner Fluffs ($145)
Favourite features: They look like a teddy bear for my feet. They’re just as comfy as the Tree Runners but offer a very different look.
Least favourite features: They look wider than the Tree Runners.
Wool Runner-up Mizzles ($165)
Favourite features: They’re water repellent — by far their best feature. They’re still comfortable, but don’t compare to the Tree Runner. They look more like casual hiking shoes.
Least favourite features: They land at an unflattering place on my ankle — definitely a me-issue, not a shoe issue. But still, anything that gives me more of a cankle gets to be at the bottom of the list.
I’ve also tried the Anytime No Show Sock and they’re a treat for the feet. I look forward to laundry day as I’ll have a fresh pair of these No Shows.
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