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Is Allbirds’ workout apparel as great as its shoes?

A little natural fiber can go a long way.

Left: Allbirds promo image, one man and two women running in Allbirds activewear outside. Right: Woman smiling wearing Allbirds running tank. Credit: Allbirds / Reviewed / Sara Hendricks

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Depending on your interests, the name “Allbirds” could be synonymous with a few different things. Perhaps your first thought is the ubiquitous machine-washable wool walking sneakers that the brand—and many wearers—claim is the most comfortable kind out there. Or maybe it’s the eucalyptus-based running shoes, the eucalyptus ballet flats, or the cozy merino-eucalyptus loungewear.

Now, you can add one more thing to Allbirds’ ever-expanding word-association list: Performance gear for exercise.

What is Allbirds activewear?

man wearing allbirds natural run shorts.
Credit: Allbirds

Like its shoes, Allbirds' activewear line is made with natural materials.

Allbirds’ performance collection includes workout clothing made of eucalyptus and/or merino wool and, as such, each item bears the word “natural” in its name: There’s the Natural Legging ($98), Natural Bike Short ($68), Natural Run Form Tank (or a running tank with a built-in bra, $68), Natural Run Tank (a tank with no bra, $48), Natural Run Tee ($58), and Natural Run Short ($68).

The bike shorts, leggings, and both tanks come in women’s sizes XS to XXXL, the tee comes in men’s sizes XS to XXXL, and the standard shorts come in men’s and women’s sizes XS to XXXL. Each item comes in black and gray, and limited-edition colors "shadow" (dark blue) and "aubergine" (dark purple).

Like its loungewear line, the workout clothes are labeled with a score that represents the carbon footprint required to make it. For example, Allbirds says the leggings require 14.5 kilograms of carbon and the tank without the shelf bra requires 4.7 kilograms of carbon. It also claims that the line’s natural-based material helps make it twice as breathable as synthetic materials without sacrificing stretch and support. And, true to Allbirds’ typical form, the brand claims each item is washer- and dryer-friendly—though the brand recommends line-drying for sustainability.

The company sent me the Natural Legging, Natural Run Form Tank, and Natural Run Short, all in dark blue, to test out ahead of the launch. Here’s the lowdown on each item, ranked in order of how much I liked them.

1. Allbirds Natural Run Form Tank

Women wearing Allbirds run form tank.
Credit: Allbirds

The Run Form tank top was my favorite part of the collection.

This $68 running tank is my favorite item from Allbirds’ activewear line. I got it in my usual size small and it fit true to size, with the slightly cropped length hitting the top of my hips without revealing too much skin. The eucalyptus-wool blend material feels different than most polyester- and spandex-based workout tops I’ve worn, with more nubbiness and texture than I’m used to. But despite the wool content, it wasn't itchy or uncomfortable at all.

At first, I was skeptical about the shelf bra. I own activewear tanks with built-in bras that I wear for things like barre and yoga, but never for running or anything that demands a lot of movement. But as this tank has “run” in its name, I dutifully took it out for a 30-minute jog and was dumbfounded that I didn’t feel like I had to grab my breasts to hold them in place even once. I gave it another, even riskier try and wore it to a cardio dance class—and it worked there, too. Chestier people may need to supplement or substitute with something more supportive (I wear a 32D, which sounds big, but really isn’t), but for small- to medium-sized chests, the Run Form Tank has the rare built-in bra that holds up to high-impact movement.

Once I put it through two very sweaty activities, I washed the tank in my machine in cool water and let it air dry, and it looked as good as new once it was done.

2. Allbirds Natural Legging

left: women's legs wearing allbirds leggings. right: woman taking mirror selfie wearing allbirds outfit.
Credit: Allbirds / Reviewed / Sara Hendricks

The leggings fit well and held up to sweaty workouts.

The $98 leggings are the priciest offering in Allbirds’ workout apparel collection, and the one that has the most competition. For the most part, they hold their own. Allbirds says the leggings are meant to sit high on the waist and offer mid-weight and mid-support. This felt accurate to me—the leggings paired well with the tank, and came up high enough on my 5-foot-7-inch frame that I feel like I would have sufficient coverage if I just wore them with a sports bra. The fabric, which is the same blend of eucalyptus and wool as the tank's, also felt supportive yet airy during my sweaty outdoor run and never slipped down or made me feel overly hot.

Unfortunately, the material was a little less comfortable around my lower half. The texture felt a little itchy, possibly because the fabric was covering more real estate. I also felt that they weren’t quite as compressive—and, relatedly, as flattering—as some Lululemon leggings I own. That said, this looser fit felt more comfortable around my waist. Finally, even though I didn’t feel like I was overheating during my run, the blue leggings made it look like I was, showing all the places where I was sweating in darker blue patches. It dried quickly, and likely could have been avoided if I’d had the black pair. Still, if the thought of visible crotch sweat freaks you out (understandable), steer clear of these leggings.

Overall, if you have $98 to spend on workout leggings, I think Lululemon’s Aligns are the better bet for overall support, fit, and feel. That said, I don’t think anyone would regret this pair.

3. Allbirds Natural Run Short

left: woman wearing allbirds running shorts. right: woman taking a mirror selfie of her wearing allbirds running shorts.
Credit: Allbirds / Reviewed / Sara Hendricks

I was "meh" on the shorts.

Allbirds’ $68 running shorts fell flat for me. The shorts, which have a drawstring waistband, are constructed primarily from merino wool that Allbirds claims provides stretch and temperature regulation. To me, they had some give, but they mostly felt stiff, and I found myself sweating enough that the material stuck to my legs as I was running. They don’t have a liner either, which I think is a must for running shorts. The size small was also too big on me—odd, considering how well the other items in the same size fit well—and I had to yank the drawstring extra tight to ensure they stayed up.

However, there’s one thing that could make this pair a holy grail for some: its pockets. These shorts sport three roomy ones: two at the front and one on the back, plus an extra mini pocket inside the front left one. They don’t snap or zip shut, so they aren’t a good repository for your key and phone during a run, but they should hold pretty much anything while you’re walking around. I also put these shorts through the dryer once I washed them in hopes that they would shrink a bit—they didn’t, but the material seemed to hold up well to a low tumble dry.

All told, I think the stiff, heavy material and pockets could make these shorts could work well for hiking or rock climbing (provided you keep your essentials zipped in a fanny pack), but they just didn’t jive for running with me.

Is Allbirds performance gear worth it?

left: man wearing allbirds shirt. right: man and woman running in allbirds clothes.

Could Allbirds' workout apparel be your new go-to? Quite possibly.

With prices ranging from $48 for the basic tank to $98 for the leggings, Allbirds activewear is on par, price-wise, with other high-end athletic brands such as Lululemon, Athleta, and Outdoor Voices. I also think it’s mostly on par, quality-wise, with these brands.

Based on my experience, the Natural Run Form tank is absolutely worth it, the Natural Legging could be worth it, and the Natural Run Short isn’t really worth it, unless the pockets and heavy-duty fabric call out to you. And, of course, if you’re a fan of the Allbirds brand and its sustainability claims, you won't be disappointed to integrate these products into your routine.

Shop Allbirds performance gear starting at $48

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