Update: Be sure to also check out the 6 Month Review Video.
When I first heard about Allbirds and their Wool Runners I immediately placed an order knowing absolutely nothing about them. To say I’m obsessed with merino wool would be an understatement considering the majority of my wardrobe is made up of it. A year ago I actually jokingly mentioned to my wife how I wished someone would make merino wool shoes and here we are!
Order placed I learned more about Allbirds, their story and motivation, and my eagerness to try them out only increased exponentially. A mere 3 days later I slipped them on and… Wow.
At the time of this writing I’ve had my Allbirds for just over 2 months. In that time I’ve worn them every single day. Walking around town, running errands, in sweltering temperatures, moderate rain and even some light hiking off the beaten path. In my past 3 year quest to reduce my wardrobe to light, high quality, high performance items, shoes have always been the most difficult to nail down but in just a couple of months I truly think Allbirds may finally be the one.
My criteria for footwear is first and foremost they must be light. For me the less weight on my feet the happier I am. I am not a fan of big bulky shoes and the Wool Runners, while not the lightest shoe I’ve tried, most certainly fit the bill of “lightweight” for me. Slipping the shoe on is reminiscent to pulling on a pair of your favorite heavy indoor winter socks. The shoes molds to your foot out of the box and so ends the break in period.
The softness of the texture around the top of your foot is welcoming in a way that reminds you that this is no ordinary shoe. You can flex your feet and toes freely without any counter pressure which was a very odd sensation at first since it’s quite unexpected for a shoe. Very quickly however it felt so natural that reverting back to my lightweight running sneaker felt downright constricting.
My second criteria was they must be simple in looks. The simpler and cleaner looking the shoe the more versatile it can be for me. The Allbirds have no markings, logos, or accents of any kind. The color combination of the wool and the sole completes its fashion statement.
Third is they must be versatile. This is by far the hardest criteria in my search through the years and I think Allbirds has settled on the perfect combination. As a result I can wear these with casual shorts, dressy shorts, jeans, sweats, casual pants and still look like my footwear was chosen purposefully.
The most common question I get is how they handle in rain. As luck would have it, I was able entertain this scenario on two separate occasions. The first was a moderate walk in the rain for about five minutes. I have to admit I was hesitant to step out in them being very conscious of avoiding puddles and splashes. Regardless the shoes did get wet, like any shoe would. My feet however were completely dry. While reassuring, I knew it wasn’t a true test.
The following week delivered my second opportunity with a very heavy downpour. This time I walked as I normally would paying no attention to where my feet landed. Arriving home the shoes were expectedly completely wet. Again my feet were dry and the outside of the shoes dried up a few hours later.
Anyone wearing shoes made of wool are going to be most likely drawn to comfort as a priority. Surprisingly Allbirds was able to design a shoe that are not only super comfortable but durable as well. With summer winding down quickly I’m looking forward to wearing the Wool Runners in the crisp cool fall weather. Even more so paired with some heavy merino wool socks in the winter chill. I’m not so sure I would venture out in the snow with these on but who knows… I might surprise myself and give it a go.
Anyone looking for a comfortable, light, simple, multi purpose pair of shoes must not miss out on giving Allbirds a serious look.