I just want to preface this by saying I've never been a shoe person. I've always had very few pairs of shoes and before becoming more conscience about the environment, would try to buy the cheapest pair of shoes possible (do y'all remember Payless?). But when I needed new sneakers last year, I decided I would finally invest in a good pair of shoes that were not only from a sustainable company I could stand behind but that would provide the proper support for my bad back. I did some research and landed on Allbirds.
Price: $98 for the wool and tree runners, but you can find cheaper secondhand options on Poshmark and Depop or other sites
I always prefer to buy secondhand, if possible, so when I saw these on Poshmark in amazing condition, I had to buy them. I paid around ~$60 but honestly, I would be willing to pay full price for these. They are absolutely amazing. They're extremely comfortable and provide a lot of support, which is exactly what I was looking for. I have a bad back so I can't stand or walk for too long but with these I can be on my feet for longer.
The shoes are made with wool, which I was worried may be itchy at first, but they are super soft and not at all itchy, even without socks. Since its so hot in Florida, I thought my sweaty feet would stink them up, but they don't smell at all even after long wears! I've put these shoes through a lot and they have held up really well. I walk my dog in them twice a day, every single day and I've gotten them wet and dirty in Michigan's rain, mud, and icy weather. They do get a bit dirty on the outside, especially since they're a cream color, but I just throw them in the washer and they are good as new. Even the lining feels extra fluffy after I wash them. Though I've given them quite the wear in the last year, aside from a small stain on the front, some darkening of the tip, and a tiny little hole on the inside, they're still kicking!
As if being comfortable wasn't enough, they also look cute. I wear them more casually but I have also worn them with more dressy outfits. These shoes have definitely earned the 'Favorite Shoe' title.
Aside from these shoes being my favorite, the company itself is incredible and super transparent. Allbirds offsets their carbon emissions and uses sustainable materials like wool and their own SweetFoam, which is carbon negative. Allbirds also began donating shoes to healthcare professionals almost as soon as the pandemic began gaining traction in the US, which I thought deserves a lot of respect.
Overall, I think this has been an amazing pair of shoes. I've put them through hell and back and they are still holding on though they're starting to show signs of wear. Considering how much I wear them, I don't think they'll last me another year but I will definitely be repurchasing a pair when these kick the bucket. Since I've had good luck finding these secondhand, I will probably continue to replace this shoe with a cheaper secondhand option and would consider buying the Allbirds mizzles, which are waterproof, at full price.
What size should I get?
These shoes only come in whole sizes. I was worried the size 6 may be a bit too small because I'm usually a size 6.5, but they fit like a glove! They fit perfectly without socks, but if I did need to wear socks (in the cold, for example), they're a little tight but not uncomfortably so. I've also tried the size 7 and found that one was too large for me. If you are in between sizes, I would recommend sizing down for a more snug fit (and if you don't mind not wearing socks) and sizing up for a looser fit with thicker socks.
How do you wash them?
So I'm guilty of not having read the care guide. According to the Allbirds website, you're supposed to remove the laces and soles and place the shoe in a delicates bag before washing on a cold, gentle cycle. I definitely don't do that (oops). I basically throw them into the washer with all my laundry, soles and laces intact. When they come out of the washer, I simply remove the soles and leave everything to air dry near a window. Even without following instructions (again, my bad), they come out clean and looking and feeling as great as before I washed them. I'm sure if you follow the care guide and take better care of your shoes than I did mine, they will last even longer.
Thrift the Look
Or shop similar thrifted pieces
New to Poshmark? Get a free $10 credit just for downloading the Poshmark app and entering the invitation code AMAYABUENO when you create your free account. You can then use your $10 credit toward your first purchase. This offer is only available via the Poshmark app. You will not receive the $10 credit when you sign up for an account on their website.
Would I buy this again? Yes! I would be willing to pay full price for a new pair but more likely than not, I can find a pair secondhand for cheaper.
How long will they last? Are they good quality? I bought them secondhand and they were in great condition. I've also been wearing the heck out of them for over a year now and have washed them several times and, aside from a bit of staining at the tip, they look and feel good as new. They do have a small hole on the inside but I think they will continue to last me a long while and if you take better care of yours than I did mine (woops), they'll probably last even longer.
Are they affordable? They are definitely not cheap but worth their price. You can also try finding them on Poshmark or another secondhand site. I've sometimes seen pairs on Poshmark for under $30!
These shoes are so comfortable they are part of my travel uniform. Read about my travel uniform here!
Do you have Allbirds? What do you think about them?