Are allbirds good for running?

As an increasingly popular brand of shoes made from natural materials, Allbirds has developed a reputation for comfort and sustainability. With their sleek, minimalist design, you may be wondering if Allbirds shoes perform well for running. Here’s an in-depth look at how Allbirds stacks up for running shoes.

What Type of Shoes Does Allbirds Offer?

Allbirds currently offers several styles of shoes including wool sneakers, tree sneakers, trail sneakers, and running shoes specifically designed for jogging and sprinting.

Their very first product – the Wool Runner – launched in 2016 and became instantly recognized for its breezy, supportive merino wool upper. Since then, Allbirds has expanded into shoes made from lightweight eucalyptus tree fiber, Sugar Zeffer rubber, and SweetFoamTM – Allbirds’ proprietary blend of sugar cane-based foam.

Which Allbirds Are Best For Running?

The Allbirds style best suited for running is the Tree Flyer. This running shoe uses a lightweight eucalyptus tree upper with medium arch support from the SweetFoamTM midsole to provide a springy, responsive feel.

In 2022, Allbirds introduced the Tree Flyer Loop made with natural materials plus premium SwiftFoamTM for added comfort and 15% bio-based content.

Key Features of the Tree Flyer for Running:

  • Breathable, flexible upper molds to your foot
  • SweetFoamTM or SwiftFoamTM midsole cushions each stride
  • Firm external heel counter prevents sliding
  • Flexible traction pattern on outsole grips well
  • Machine washable
  • Sizes for men and women

How Do Allbirds Running Shoes Perform?

When it comes to running, the Allbirds Tree Flyer and Tree Flyer Loop stack up surprisingly well in terms of responsiveness, durability, and pronation control.

The SweetFoamTM and SwiftFoamTM cushioning absorb impact effectively while providing enough firmness and thickness (26mm heel, 18mm forefoot) for a responsive toe-off. Testers found the raised heel and medium arch support prevent excessive inward foot rolling for mild overpronators.

The shoes are also very lightweight with the Tree Flyer Loop weighing under 7oz for a size 9. The knit upper lined with breathable eucalyptus moves well with your foot through any stride.

One downside is that the traction of Allbirds shoes tends to wear down quicker on pavement compared to traditional rubber outsoles. They’re also not designed for long distances like a marathon. For regular runs under 5 miles however, both the Tree Flyer and Tree Flyer Loop deliver excellent shock absorption and energy return for comfortable, low-impact runs.

How Does the Comfort and Fit Compare to Typical Running Shoes?

When it comes to all-day wear, Allbirds are hard to beat in pure comfort. The supple, stretchy uppers don’t cause blisters or hot spots like stiffer synthetic leather and mesh. The cushioning remains springy even during extended wear.

For runs specifically though, the comfort and fit differs a bit from mainstream running shoes in a few key ways:

Collar Padding – Less padding around the ankle collar than performance brands like Nike and Brooks. The thin profile prevents chafing but may irritate those wanting more cushioning.

Toe Box Width – The toe boxes are quite wide which allows natural toe splay but some report lacking midfoot support and structure.

Weight – From 7-11oz depending on the style, Allbirds shoes are exceptionally lightweight but not as featherlight as specialized racing flats.

Overall, while mainstream running brands still edge out Allbirds in terms of technical innovations specific to running gait and biomechanics, they come surprisingly close in ride feel and comfort for natural material shoes.

The Bottom Line:

For runners looking for a comfortable, sustainable shoe that can handle middle distance runs a few times per week, the Allbirds Tree Flyer and Tree Flyer Loop are excellent options. They provide enough responsive cushioning and bounce in an incredibly lightweight package.

While they lack the pronation control and race-specific tech featured in shoes from specialist brands, Allbirds hold their own as a resilient, breathable choice for newer runners and short distance racers focused on feel over flashy performance features.

FAQs: Running in Allbirds

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about running in Allbirds shoes:

Are Allbirds good for walking and running everyday?

Yes. With the exception of the Wool Runners, most Allbirds styles are quite comfortable for daily walking and running due to the breathable, stretchy knit upper and ample midsole cushioning. For running specifically, the Tree Flyer is their most supportive design.

Can you run long distances in Allbirds?

While the SweetFoamTM cushioning absorbs impacts well, Allbirds lack the pronation control and external stability features needed for longer distances. They’re best for easy runs under 5 miles rather than half or full marathons which require gait efficiency.

Do Allbirds have good arch support?

Some of their styles provide decent arch support including the Tree Flyers which use raised, contoured insoles. For those requiring more support, swapping out the removable insole for a more supportive orthotic is an option.

Are Allbirds durable enough for running?

For pavement running, Allbirds have moderately high durability with most testers getting 300-500 miles before signs of significant midsole compression and outsole wear in the heel and forefoot. Rotating with a second pair can extend longevity further.

Can you machine wash running shoes by Allbirds?

Yes. Allbirds sharers are designed to hold up well to machine washing on cold and air drying. To help retain cushioning and traction, wash shoes only when visibly dirty rather than after every wear.

Running in Allbirds Conclusion

While not quite race day shoes for marathoners, Allbirds Tree Flyers and Tree Flyer Loops hold up impressively well for recreational jogging and short distance running up to 5 miles. They offer plenty of bounce thanks to SweetFoamTM or SwiftFoamTM cushioning while the breathable upper provides secure comfort over miles.

For those seeking a responsible choice in running footwear backed by a company focused on lowered carbon emissions, it’s hard to beat Allbirds’ unique fusion of comfort, durability and sustainability. While not the flashiest shoes, the understated design hides respectable performance that can go the distance for daily runners.

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