I am a bargain hunter by nature. I never buy things if they’re not on sale and will always shop around to make sure I am getting the best possible deal. It takes a special product to tempt me to break these rules, but at the end of last year I happened to stumble upon Allbirds.
Allbirds were created by Tim Brown, a former NZ All White, with the help of Joey Zwillinger, a San Franciscan. I was drawn to their story of innovation and sustainability and of course their product, the wool runner, is pretty darn good-looking too. The pair experimented with how to turn merino wool into a fabric suitable for footwear because of its technical properties and sustainability. Essentially, merino wool is odourless, moisture wicking and heat regulating. Because of this it is even claimed that you can go sockless and they are also machine-washable.
I really like how every step of the process has been thought about. From the sourcing of the wool to the box they arrive in, purchasing Allbirds Wool Runners is a unique experience. You feel like you have really invested in something. Speaking of investing, they are not an insignificant expense. A pair of Allbirds will set you back $95 USD or $160 NZD. They also only currently ship in the US and New Zealand, but I wouldn’t be surprised if this changes as they seem to be taking off.
I have been wearing my Allbirds for a couple of months now and they seem to be holding up pretty well. When I first put them on I was worried that they were a bit small but they seem to have loosened with wear, so I would say they are true to size. I have tried wearing them without socks and it’s a pleasant experience but I’m not sure that I would be so keen for it in Summer. To me they do feel like they keep my feet on the toasty side, but it is the middle of an English Winter so that is fine with me for now.
The Allbirds come in a couple of stock colours with the company bringing out various different limited edition ranges. I am personally not such a fan of the black soled Wool Runners, which is why I went for the grey. I always get comments on them whenever I wear them and I do find them really comfortable.
They aren’t a replacement for a sports running shoe but they make a stylish and eco-friendly addition to your wardrobe. I recommend trying them for yourself.