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Are Allbirds flats as comfortable as super popular sneakers?

My verdict: Tree Breezers are a true treat for the feet.

allbirds Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar / Naidin Concul-Ticas

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The mythical comfort of Allbirds shoes is well documented—and impossible to exaggerate, according to most people who wear them.

The brand is also impossible to avoid. The shoes are heavily advertised on social media and seem to be on everyone’s feet, from young employees of tech startups to Baby Boomers and Gen X-ers. Allbirds come in a number of styles, but I tried the brand’s “Tree Breezers”—which, in normal-people speak, means “ballet flats.”

I have a contentious relationship with ballet flats. Basically, I straight-out (flat-out, if you will), don’t like them, despite trying many cult-y Instagram-famous brands including Rothy’s and Tieks. The results have been borderline disastrous: The flats were too flat for my arches or tore up the backs of my heels and made me bleed all over the place as I hobbled to and from the office on my walking commute.

What makes Allbirds' flats different?

But Allbirds' Tree Breezers seemed unlike other flats. They come from the brand that trumpets a claim of having constructed the world’s most comfortable sneakers, so if any brand were to create flats that wouldn’t make me wish I didn’t have feet, it would be Allbirds. The flats' construction also gave me hope.

In addition to being a part of the brand’s overall eco-friendly plan, they have attributes that seem legitimately comfy: A woven upper with a knit cuff around the opening to keep them in place, soft merino wool insoles, and a sugarcane-based sole, called “SweetFoam,” the same used in the brand’s sneakers.

Are Allbirds flats comfortable?

allbirds flats next to the box they come in
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Flats are almost always uncomfortable—but Allbirds' Tree Breezers claim to be as comfortable as sneakers.

When my flats arrived, they looked just like they had online—delicate blue cloth knit upper with a slightly darker blue sole and a light gray insole.

But when I slid them on? It may sound hyperbolic to say the Tree Breezers were the most comfortable things I have ever put on my feet. And, technically, that would be a lie—I have worn Uggs and I have worn Crocs with wool socks (and what about it?), both of which are strong contenders for the comfort gold medal. But the Tree Breezers are a close runner-up.

What makes Allbirds flats so comfortable?

Allbirds' flats have wool insoles
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Allbirds' insoles are made of super-soft wool.

The Tree Breezers feel a lot like slippers, but with a structured, tractioned, rubbery sole, so wearing them outside of the house doesn’t feel like a mistake. I walked quite a bit in them for about two months—to and from my office, but also out to bars and yoga classes. The springy, supportive footbed felt more comfortable than some casual sneakers I’ve worn.

The stretchy collar around the opening kept the Allbirds flats secure without any chafing or digging in on my heels—and there was no break-in period. The shoes don’t really have built-in arch support. However, the insole is thick and squishy but not flabby, so my feet didn’t feel as achy as they do after wearing other flats for long periods of time.

Best of all, the woven upper and wool insoles make for great breathability, so my feet didn’t get sweaty—another complaint I often have when wearing flats. In terms of style, the blue didn’t exactly match with everything in my closet, but I loved them so much I found myself making excuses to wear them anyway.

They feel a lot like slippers, but with a structured, tractioned sole, so wearing them outside of the house doesn’t feel like a mistake.

Are Tree Breezers washable?

The Tree Breezers didn’t get too dirty during the time I tested them. Still, Allbirds says they are machine-washable, so I gave them a wash toward the end of my experiment.

I followed the instructions: I brushed off excess dirt, and removed the insoles. I then launder them in a cold, delicate cycle. (Allbirds recommends washing them in a laundry bag.) After they’re washed, let them air dry. Afterward, the shoes looked pretty much the same as they did before going through the washing machine. You can also wash the insoles, if needed, by hand.

I’m not sure how Allbirds would hold up after, say, 30-odd washes, but considering they didn’t show too much dirt or get particularly smelly in my time with them, I doubt I would wash them more than a few times a year.

Allbirds flats review — Are they worth it?

allbirds flats are comfortable on the feet
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

Breezers are so comfortable that they're worth the price.

As someone who reviews things for a living, I pride myself on never quite being satisfied with anything. I feel that most things, even things I love dearly, use regularly, and push upon my friends and family to excess, can be improved in some way.

With these flats, though, I am stumped. I wish I had more complaints about these shoes. But what would I say? That I'd prefer each step I took had slightly less of a springy cushion? That the insoles weren’t quite as supportive? That they could make my feet just a little sweatier?

The sole of Allbirds' flats has good traction
Credit: Reviewed / Jackson Ruckar

The Allbirds Tree Breezers have a textured, sneaker-like sole that provides good traction.


It pains me to admit it, but I must: There are very few nits to pick with the Allbirds Tree Breezers.

Some reviewers on the Allbirds website say they run small and can cause weird-looking bumps where their toes protrude in the toe box area. But that can be easily fixed by getting a half-size bigger than usual, and, as such, most of the reviews are as effusive as mine.

I wish I had more complaints about these shoes.

One thing I will say is that, because they consist of a matte woven fabric and have a blunted toe, they don’t look as formal as some leather flats. (Rounded toes, to me, seem more casual than pointed toes, though this could be a personal hang-up of mine.) Because of this, they may not be appropriate in some offices—but that shouldn't stop anyone from wearing them on a commute.

Should you buy the Allbirds Tree Breezers?

The Tree Breezers’ $100 price may be a turnoff to some people. But they seem like a total bargain when other shoes in this space, like Rothy’s and Tieks, are much more expensive and, in my experience, significantly less comfortable. If you like wearing flats, and you’re OK with becoming one more person who can’t stop talking about how comfortable your Allbirds are, you’ll be happy to get yourself a pair.

Get Tree Breezers from Allbirds for $100

Other Allbirds to try

With the popularity of its brand, Allbirds has been expanding its shoe line. In addition to the Tree Breezers, we have tested and reviewed the Wool Runners and Tree Dashers. But they have a number of other options on the Allbirds website, including the “Toppers,” and the extra-low-rise sneakers The Skippers.

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

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