Travel Gear Review: Allbirds – the most comfortable shoes in the world

Don’t you just love it when you find a pair of shoes that ticks all the boxes?

Pretty colours (so important for us girls, am I right?) – tick.

No blisters – tick.

Natural materials – tick.

Sustainable production – tick.

Crazy comfortable that I could wear them 24/7 – tick.

Introducing…

Allbirds sneakers!

Isn't it hard to find a great pair of shoes? When we came across Allbirds sneakers we were sold - they're insanely comfy and are made of natural materials!

We love sneakers. Thankfully I have a pretty casual workplace because I wear them almost every day! We’re always on the lookout for new kicks – because who doesn’t get sick of the big name sneakers?

We approached Allbirds after seeing them featured in a New Zealand fashion newspaper – these brightly coloured, wool sneakers looked like just the ticket. And lucky for us, we were sent a pair each to thrash about in and push to the limit. Yep, they make both women’s and men’s shoes.

Woolly shoes. What?!

Allbirds sneakers are made from wool. No jokes! They’re woven from pure New Zealand merino, shorn from the sheep in our fair country. This is part of what makes them so damn comfortable – the merino is soft, warm (but not too warm) and doesn’t rub your feet and give you blisters.

I have never been able to wear shoes without socks because of the blister problem, and so what a relief it was to be able to wear the Allbirds au naturel! The natural properties of merino helps stop the shoes from smelling, and if they do end up a bit whiffy then you can just throw them in the washing machine (yup!) and they’ll be all clean and fresh in no time.

Isn't it hard to find a great pair of shoes? When we came across Allbirds sneakers we were sold - they're insanely comfy and are made of natural materials!

This photo above is of me wearing the shoes in the ocean. Yes, the ocean. In the process of taking this photo they got all salty and sandy and I had to hose them down with fresh water afterwards. But no worries – the shoes dried out and were completely the same – no salt marks, no smell.

I commute to work by bicycle and have worn my bright blue Allbirds on many occasions getting to and from work. Even with no socks the shoes don’t get smelly or sweaty – it’s amazing!

(And yes, I tried to take a photo of me cycling while wearing the Allbirds sneakers and it didn’t go to plan – nobody told me how hard it is to cycle with one hand, have your iPhone in the other, aim the camera in the right direction and still look where you’re going!)

As well as being totally functional, Allbirds sneakers look great, don’t they? I can’t tell you how many comments I’ve had from people wondering where they could get a pair. I was wearing them out shopping one day and a lady in a fancy shoe store came up to me and asked!

30 days in the shoes

We’ve had our Allbirds sneakers for over a month now, and thought it would be cool to make a list of all the things we have done in the past 30 days while wearing these shoes, to show you how versatile they are!

  • Cycling to work
  • Walking to the local farmer’s market
  • Short bush walks
  • On the beach/in the surf
  • Out for meals at numerous cafes
  • Date night at the movies
  • On shopping trips
  • Doing gardening at home
  • Going to the supermarket
  • Walking around town

Isn't it hard to find a great pair of shoes? When we came across Allbirds sneakers we were sold - they're insanely comfy and are made of natural materials!

One of the coolest things about Allbirds sneakers is that they have a fantastic 30 day trial program. You can order a pair and try them for 30 days – literally go hiking in them, stomp some grapes, get them all muddy, whatever! – and then if you don’t love them you can send them back for a full refund and your old shoes are donated to the charity Soles 4 Souls, which sends them to impoverished countries. How great is that!

You can buy Allbirds merino sneakers at allbirds.com and they cost $95 USD or $158 NZD. They currently ship to the US and New Zealand but are expanding their range soon!

Thanks to Allbirds for sending us sneakers for this review. As always, you’ll receive our honest opinions regardless of who is footing the bill.

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15 comments

  1. Nice review. I just heard about these shoes and bought some last week, and took my first 1-hour sockless walk in them a couple of days ago. They were very soft at first, like socks, but quickly started to pill and rub, and by the time I got home, I had two bleeding raw spots on the back of each heel, plus a pretty good blister on the ball of one foot. I don’t really blame the shoes, though– I think I went too far for a first walk, and I should have known that the wool would pill. I’m going to wear them with socks for a while until all the pilling gets worked out of them.

    I think they look great, but my only other wish is that they had about half as much heel, and zero heel lift. All I wear is minimal sneakers like Vivo Barefoots and Merrell Vapor Gloves. These feel like I’m wearing spongy high heels. They are comfortable and plenty wide and flexible, and very light.

    I think I’ll probably keep them since I can see many uses in my work for a cushy heel (walking around big convention centers, standing on concrete for long periods of time, etc.). And I love the simplicity of the style. Also, since my bloody DNA is now soaked into the heels, I don’t feel right sending them back!

    • Petra
      Author

      Oh no! How awful that you drew blood! I’ve got to say that I wore mine with socks the first few times and then went barefoot. I agree that the heel is quite chunky but it does make them super comfy! Hope they don’t give you any more blisters 🙁

    • Petra
      Author

      They’re still great! They haven’t lost their shape or pilled or anything. They’re super comfy to wear with no socks as they’ve moulded more to my feet. I’ve washed the innersoles and they’re still all good. No complaints at all! 🙂

  2. india

    would you recommend taking these shoes as your main pair of walking/hiking shoes while travelling? I’m going backpacking through central and south america and am not sure if I should get some of these to take or if some other pair of running shoes would be better. I’m concerned maybe these aren’t stable/supportive enough or have enough traction, what is your opinion? I’m not exactly sure of how much hiking I will do but I’m sure I’ll do quite a bit of walking even if I don’t do much hiking.

    • Petra
      Author

      To be honest, no. They’re great for walking around cities but I wouldn’t go hiking in them – compared to running shoes they don’t have as much support which you need on uneven trails. They’re awesome shoes though but perhaps not best suited to your trip! Happy travels 🙂

  3. Anonymous

    Great review, super accurate! I love my pair so much!!!! I use them sailing and for casual stuff, even skating and some hiking. They are basically like the best sandal ever plus more support and functionality.

  4. Danielle

    Can you tell me how the cushion and arch support is? If it’s not great, would they have room for a cushioned heel cup/partial insole? (I have plantar fasciitis, and struggle to find casual shoes that are both fashion-conscious and comfortable, and a lot of low-profile shoes don’t have enough vertical space to accommodate an insert.)

    • Petra
      Author

      The cushion is good but arch support not great to be honest. Not sure if there would be enough room for an insole but I guess you could have the laces looser. You could also take out the whole insole and replace it.

  5. K Georgia

    Has anyone ever noticed these shoes have a smell to them? I wore them today for the first time ever (sockless) and while sitting at my desk I kept smelling a sulfur smell like someone nearby had nasty flatulence. Eventually I realized it was these shoes! I love how comfortable they are, but I’m not thrilled by the fact my shoes make me smell like a fart. Wanting mostly to see if I’m the only one experiencing this or if this is a bizarre anomaly.

    • Jeff

      I just got a new pair of these today. Was wearing them in the car with the window down. I kept smelling the same sulfur-like smell and assumed it was coming from outside. Got home and realized it was the shoes! So no, this is not an anomaly. Thank God they’re washable. I’m hoping that’s just their “new shoe smell” and after a washing this is not a problem, because I can’t in good conscience send back some of the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever worn!

  6. Pingback: Allbirds Review: The Perfect Travel Shoe? - OUT AND OUT

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