Wool molds to your foot with each wear
Temperature controlling and deodorizing
Unparalleled arch support
No half sizes
We purchased the Allbirds Wool Runners so our reviewer could put it to the test. Keep reading for our full product review.
As an avid traveler, I am always looking for ways to simplify my packing, which means I need a pair of shoes that will take me from the plane, to the gym, and into an all-day exploration of a new city, while still looking fashionable. The typical running sneaker feels too sporty and is hard to pair with everyday clothes, and a leisure shoe doesn’t offer the comfort of a conventional sneaker. We tested the Allbirds Wool Runner to see whether it offered a versatile style with the support of a workout shoe. Read on to see if this pair of shoes lived up to its promise.
Performance: Take them anywhere
I have a high arch to my foot and it’s often hard to find footwear that will be supportive enough without an additional insole, especially in active footwear. Many of the sneakers I have tried resulted in my foot feeling numb part the way through walking around during the day. These wool runners not only supported my high arches but felt like a little springboard for my feet. I actually wanted to wear these shoes, which is not a feeling I’m accustomed to. The sneaker is extremely light and flexible.
As I tested these out in the winter months, I wanted to see if the shoe held up to it’s “cool in the summer, warm in the winter” claim. Most days I wore these sockless to run errands in about 40 degree weather and my feet felt comfortable. Not too warm, but definitely not cold. When working out in the shoe, they felt supportive and held up to my daily cardio routine. I’m not sure you could run a marathon in these, but they are great for getting in 30 minutes on the treadmill.
Design: Better than expected
I have a confession: I’m not a big fan of sporty looking sneakers outside of the gym. It’s a cardinal sin for a travel junkie, but I have to say, these wool runners changed me. I chose the Jackalberry color, a deep forest green, and it lent to my wardrobe seamlessly. I wore them with athletic gear, jeans, even a dress, and dare I say, they were cute. Allbirds come in a variety of colors ranging from neutral tones to a loud bright red, so there is a shade to suit everyone’s unique style.
Opening a pair of new sneakers without digging through a mountain of tissue paper was refreshing and thoughtful.
Functionally, the design is comfortable and durable. They basically feel like supportive slippers that you can wear in public. The tread on the bottom of the shoe is shallow, however, so I wouldn’t recommend wearing them on extreme hikes or in icy weather.
Allbirds are known for their sustainable makeup that is completely washing machine safe. Just pop them in a delicates wash bag, wash them on the gentle cycle, and let them air dry. The interior and upper exterior are made completely of merino wool, which accounts for their durability and softness. Merino wool also acts as a natural wicking agent and doesn’t retain odors. Though they are made out of wool, they are not itchy at all. The material is soft enough to go sockless and is temperature regulating. One thing about these runners is that they are not waterproof. I wore them in the rain and they are water resistant, but if you are in a bad storm your feet will get wet.
Staying true to their low carbon footprint pledge, the laces of the wool runners are made from post-consumer recycled polyester. The soles are made of SweetFoam, derived from Brazilian sugarcane, and is the world’s first carbon negative green EVA. When the shoes arrive, there is no excess packaging. They are shipped in the shoebox and include a removable insert you are encouraged to keep in the shoe when you aren’t wearing them. I recycled one cardboard box, and that was it!
Fit: True to size
I’m a size 9 in women’s shoes but can go half a size up or down depending on the cut. Allbirds are true to size, but the brand doesn’t make half sizes. If you typically wear a half size, the brand recommends taking the next size up for their Wool Runners. There is enough room in the toe box while still remaining snug for a good fit. The best part about these shoes–you don’t need to break them in. Because they are made out of wool, the shoes form to your feet the more you wear them.
I wore them with athletic gear, jeans, even a dress, and dare I say, they were cute.
Comfort: Like a hug for your feet
Sneakers, by design, are created for comfort, but if you have a high arch like I do you could find that even the highest-rated kicks can leave you with achy feet or even numbness after a long day. I found Allbird’s Wool Runners to be supportive and fashionable. The more I wore them, the more they molded to my feet.
Price: Worth it
Good tennis shoes run the gamut in price point, but if you are looking for a shoe that can take you just about anywhere, Allbirds are worth the investment. Teetering around $95 a pair, it’s hard to justify the almost three-figure price tag for a shoe that isn’t noted for its athletic features, but if you are on a plane as much as I am, this shoe is your ideal travel partner. Since these shoes can go with any outfit, they have likely saved me hundreds of dollars in overweight baggage fees so I’ll happily pay the price.
I have a high arch and find that even the highest-rated kicks can leave me with achy feet after a long day; however, I found these sneakers to be supportive.
Chuck Taylor All Stars vs. Allbirds
This is an extremely hard comparison for me as I am a diehard Converse fan. They look great with everything and instantly add an edge to a plain outfit. That being said, Converse is notorious for being very flat in the sole and I always have to wear an insert for them to be comfortable. I’ve never minded because they look fashionable, but you can’t go for a run in a pair of Converse. While Allbirds don’t offer the classic rocker edge that Converse do, they can take me from a workout to dinner seamlessly. Admittedly, the Allbirds look sportier than a pair of Converse, but in the end they are more comfortable and more versatile for a jetsetter lifestyle.
I also admire the eco-friendly aspect of the Allbirds brand. Opening a pair of new sneakers without digging through a mountain of tissue paper was refreshing and thoughtful. The cost of a pair of Allbird’s is almost twice that of a pair of Chuck Taylors, but you get twice the use out of them.
The Allbirds Wool Runners have a thoughtful design and undeniable comfort that combines an athletic shoe with a fashion sneaker, which allowed me to pack less on trips and wear these shoes in a variety of environments.
- Product Name Women’s Wool Runners
- Product Brand Allbirds
- Price $95
- Weight 1.5 lbs.
- Color Jackalberry
- Color Options Natural grey, natural black, tuke jo, and natural white. Limited: mist, savanna dawn, tuke matcha, jackalberry, twilight, tide pool, orchard, frost, cocoa, malibu, and storm
- Material Merino wool, carbon negative SweetFoam, and post-consumer recycled polyester