Allbirds Shoe Review: Wool Runners

Five Word Review: Amazing Customer Service, Comfortable Shoes

 
Unsponsored Allbirds Wool Shoe Review

Unsponsored Allbirds Wool Shoe Review

 

Let me clarify something important right up front: Despite the name “Wool Runners,” these shoes are made more for ‘running to get frozen yogurt’ rather than actual running. Allbirds are made of superfine merino wool and are a very unique, casual, comfortable shoe. I had been wearing Chucks (converse) or Nike running shoes in the capacity that I now wear my Allbirds and feel a little bit EXTRA and put together. I have even worn them to work a few times and (while holding my breath) no one has said anything. They have a variety of colors including their classic colors and a rotation of limited edition colors. I ended up with the “Fry Tuke” color (a pale violet/neutral).

Originally I went for River (a bright blue), but the color was a bit much for my wardrobe. The shoes cost $95 (no tax, no shipping, free returns). The return could not have been easier. You have 30 days to try them, wear them and if you aren’t happy for any reason, return them. They e-mail you a prepaid return label (which is a huge plus for me). Alternately I heard they are at Nordstrom and they also have a very generous return policy. I wear a 10 and originally purchased a 10- BIG mistake.

Picking your right size:

I would recommend sizing UP at least 1/2 of a size. Their women’s shoes only go up to a 10, HOWEVER,our shoes are made from one model, which means they're actually UNISEX! Men’s sizes are 1.5 larger than women’s and there's no difference in the width! If you wear a women’s size 11, a men’s size 9 or 10 should be a good fit (depending on if you tend to size up or down). If you wear a men’s 7, a women’s size 8 or 9 should be a good fit (depending on if you tend to size up or down).  If you end up falling into a half-size conversion (i.e. you're a true women's 11, which corresponds to a men's 9.5), we've found that most customers size down in the Tree Runners and up in all of our other styles. Please note if you have a wider foot, we'd suggest going up to the next full size as well.” I usually wear a 10 but found them to run very small. I would have ordered a women’s 11. Because 10 is their largest women’s size, I was advised to order a men’s 9 (the straight equivalent of a women’s 10.5). They are much more comfortable, but could even stand to be a little bigger.

 
The “Tuke Fry” Color Allbirds Wool Runners

The “Tuke Fry” Color Allbirds Wool Runners

 

A note about care:

Because you are basically wearing a fortified wool sweater around on your feet, if you choose a lighter color, they do show stains/marks more easily. I keep running into trouble around my car with black/grease marks. I have been using my trusty Laundress Stain Brush and Fels Naptha (that I use for EVERYTHING), and so far the marks have come out mostly with those. Their recommendations for stronger marks: “We typically recommend soaking the shoes overnight in cool water, and then hand-washing them with a gentle detergent. If you have a stubborn stain, it could be worth spot treating the area with citrus-based stain remover and repeating as necessary. I personally use an old toothbrush to scrub the spot with a little water and Shout” (Brittney, Customer Service).

 
 

Overall:

Overall, I would definitely recommend trying the Allbirds shoes because really, you don’t have anything to lose except access to your $95 for about 2 weeks if you end up doing a straight return. However, if you love them as much as I do, you are looking at a great cost-per-wear situation and will have a super comfortable shoe to wear for years hopefully! They say you don’t have to wear socks with them and they also sell replacement insoles if yours get too stinky/worn. I would definitely recommend getting a darker color, sizing up, and wearing these for a trip to Disneyland, Europe, or running around town!