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The internet is obsessed with Allbirds sneakers—are they worth it?

I bought the trendy wool shoes to see if they're worth the hype.

Allbirds as seen on instagram Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar & Naidin Concul-Ticas

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Allbirds sneakers can be seen on everyone’s feet these days. The San Francisco-based, New Zealand-born footwear startup claims that its popular Wool Runners are some of the softest, most comfortable shoes that you’ll ever find. They have the added benefits of being washable and environmentally friendly. Plus, you don’t need to wear socks with them, making these sneakers sound like a dream come true.

However, one has to wonder—do Allbirds shoes stand up to the claim of being the world's most comfortable sneakers? And are they really worth the money? After multiple seasons of owning, wearing, and washing these sneakers, I am happy to report that they are worth it for me. But whether they're right for you depends on what you're looking to get out of them.

If you're on the fence, our Allbirds review can help. Find out what sets them apart from other sneakers, if they're comfortable, how easy they are to wash, and more.

What are Allbirds—and what makes these shoes different?

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The footwear company claims it is dedicated to producing ethically sourced, environmentally-friendly shoes that also happen to be supremely stylish and outrageously comfortable. Co-founder Tim Brown sought to create a shoe that was both wearable and eco friendly. They do this by using merino wool from New Zealand's plentiful sheep population.

But it’s not just the use of merino wool that is good for the planet. The brand released a new sole material called SweetFoam. Synthetic rubber can release harmful, potentially carcinogenic compounds into the environment. But SweetFoam is derived from sustainably-grown Brazilian sugarcane, instead. This reduces the ecological footprint that is normally associated with mass-producing sneakers. It's so effective that the brand has offered to share the technology with any shoemaker who asks for it.

Beyond the shoes' construction, I appreciate their lack of superfluous packaging. Instead of getting boxes within boxes stuffed with packaging materials, they use shoe boxes for transit. This way, you only get one box, making online shopping a little bit better for the environment.

Are Allbirds comfortable?

Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

When looking for shoes, I’m most interested in seeing how long I can bear to stay in a pair over 24 hours. The Allbirds are so comfortable, I could sleep in them if it were socially acceptable to wear shoes in bed. The shoe fits snugly against your foot with a tapered toe for an elegant, elongated look. The sole is raised near the heel, which is fantastic for arch support.

Aside from the woolen construction of these shoes, the soles are very lightweight and supportive. When I first gave my mother a pair she compared the experience to walking on a cloud. She’s notoriously hard to please when it comes to shoes, so that was a huge point in favor of Allbirds.

The other great thing about these shoes is that you can wear them without socks. In fact, the sneakers are meant to be worn without socks. This is because the merino wool construction of the shoes is moisture-wicking and anti-bacterial. (This is a natural property of a cute sheep’s clothing.)

As someone with particularly smelly feet (especially on hot summer days), I’m thrilled to have found a pair of shoes that don't require constant application of Gold Bond foot powder.

Allbirds shoe review—are they worth it?

Allbirds Wool Runners will set you back $110, which is comparable to similar sneakers from Nike and Adidas, and the money is worth it. Given that I've been wearing my pair at every possible juncture, I feel like I’ve gotten more than $110 worth of mileage out of these shoes already. (Especially since I can wear them year round!)

The wool upper also makes this shoe ideal for the winter, but it’s important to note that these sneakers aren't waterproof. Having spent my last several years braving the cold in the northeast, it’s a dream to have a pair of sneakers that doesn’t let in every gust of wind. And while I wouldn’t recommend these shoes for the hottest summer days in Texas, the wool is still surprisingly breathable.

That said, they certainly aren’t without fault. If you’re looking to go to the gym in these shoes, don’t. While they can certainly withstand long walks or short jogs, they’re not meant as running shoes or for intense workouts.

They’re too warm for extended strenuous physical activity. These shoes simply aren’t designed for long distance runs or tough kickboxing sessions. For those sports, you’ll want more structured, breathable shoes that offer support across your foot, like Allbirds running shoes.

There are other wool shoes on the market, but these sneakers stand above the rest in terms of design and comfort. Although all wool shoes are ultimately cozy and super soft, Allbirds are the lightest I’ve tried.

They have a uniquely supportive sole that can withstand even the longest days of sightseeing and exploring. Their unique aesthetic makes sightings of Allbirds easily recognizable, and they come in a wide range of colors. If you’re in search of your next great shoe obsession, these may just be your best bet.

Get Allbirds Wool Runners for women for $110

Get Allbirds Wool Runners for men for $110

Which Allbirds shoe is right for you?

In addition to the original Wool Runners featured here, we’ve also tested and reviewed other types of Allbirds shoes, including the Tree Dashers and Tree Breezer Flats. But there are a slew of shoes to choose from when it comes to Allbirds, so we’ve outlined a few of their most popular styles below.

Tree Runners

Allbirds womens tree runners
Credit: Allbirds

If you like the Wool Runners but want a sneaker that’s more breathable and suitable for warmer weather, the Tree Runners are the perfect shoe for the job. This shoe essentially has the same design as the wool runners, but it’s made with eucalyptus tree fiber instead of wool to provide optimal comfort and cooling for your feet.

Get the Women's Tree Runners for $105Get the Men's Tree Runners for $105

Tree Pipers

allbirds mens tree pipers
Credit: Allbirds

If you’re looking for an Allbirds shoe that still has all the comfort of the runners, without the athletic look and feel, then the Tree Pipers are a great option. The sneaker design is similar to that of a low-top Converse, but the material is super lightweight and breathable thanks to the eucalyptus fiber construction. Allbirds also offers Wool Pipers that are perfect for colder weather.

Get the Women's Tree Pipers for $105Get the Men's Tree Pipers for $105

Trail Runners SWT

Allbirds womens trail runners swt
Credit: Allbirds

While the original runners and pipers may not be ideal for running or hiking up trails, Allbirds does offer the Trail Runners SWT that are designed for durability, stability, and traction. These shoes are also water repellant and quite comfortable (like every other shoe from Allbirds), making them the ideal shoe for your next adventure, no matter the terrain.

Get the Women's Trail Runners SWT for $140Get the Men's Trail Runners SWT for $140

Mizzles

Allbirds released its Mizzle line of water-repellant sneakers. The Mizzle collection includes both the Wool Runners and the Runner-Ups, which are a high-top version of the original runners. These sneakers feature natural rubber treads, a reinforced sole, and the brand's patented Paddle Guard protection which wicks away water.

Women's Wool Runner Mizzles $125Men's Wool Runner Mizzles $125

How to wash Allbirds

Pair of feet on steps wearing weatherproof Allbirds.
Credit: Allbirds

Allbirds in the wild.

Part of creating a sustainable product is steering away from overconsumption. Washing a pair of Allbirds means your shoes last longer, and the company aims to make cleaning easy: they're machine washable. When your sneakers are looking a bit worse for wear, remove the insoles and laces, and brush off any excess grime with a towel or soft brush. Then, just put your shoes in your washer on a wool or delicate cycle—be sure it uses cold water.

Another tip on how to clean Allbirds? The brand recommends placing your shoes inside a laundry bag when washing, but I’ve never done this. You can also wash the insoles, if needed, by hand.

The shoes are made of wool and tree fibers that can be damaged in high heat. That means you should never tumble dry your sneakers. Just let them air dry, and by the next day, they should be as good as new.

Where to buy Allbirds shoes

You can order them directly from the Allbirds website or at one of the brand's 18 brick-and-mortar locations. In the U.S., Allbirds stores exist in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Seattle, Boston, Washington, D.C., Austin, Chicago, and New York City. Globally, the brand has retail locations in China, Japan, South Korea, Netherlands, New Zealand, England, and Germany.

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Prices are accurate at the time this article was published, but may change over time.

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