RCS Review: Allbirds

I took the plunge.  I recently pulled the trigger on a pair of Allbirds Wool Runners.  I have been looking at this style of shoes for quite some time, but was apprehensive because I’m not that hip.  I was looking at these as an alternative to driving mocs or my old New Balance 990s.  I work in a business casual environment where jeans are allowed, and it’s actually gotten pretty common to see white soled shoes and athletic shoes like these.  I figured for $95, why not.

I placed my order, and a few days later, they arrived.  The packaging was really cool, very ‘business school’:

Let’s get into it:

The fit is true to a little small.  I wear a 9-9.5 in dress shoes, and got a size 10 in the Allbirds.  They fit well.  The shoes are extremely light, as I would have expected.  The wool fabric is breathable, and hasn’t really shown a ton of wear after wearing them for a bit.  I’ve intentionally avoided wearing them when it’s raining for obvious reasons.  I wear no-show socks with them as to extend their life, and it seems to be working.

Without a doubt these are some of the most comfortable shoes I own.  They wear well, and it feels like I’m cheating a little when I wear them, like a new pair of cleats in the middle of baseball season.

In terms of styling, I wear them with almost exclusively with 5-pockets in various shades of tan.  I haven’t worn them with blue jeans, especially darker jeans, but it’s not to say that never will.  I pair them with an OCBD and a cool belt.   I’m sure I’ll Midtown Uniform these up with a vest when it cools off.

So far, I’ve been really happy with these shoes.  I like that they don’t have any markings or labeling; I went with the Sage color this time, but like the Natural Grey as well.  The $95 price tag gives them a really high value proposition.  I think these are a good look, guys.  There’s a little Silicon Valley/VC to them, but not enough to turn off us in the General Population.




  1. Nem
    07/23/2018 / 8:12 AM

    This is very interesting since I’ve shifted to a “sneaker” about one day a week at my casual office this summer.  I have pair of grey, Vans, two pair of Tretorns (white/green and faded denim/white), and just last week a pair of Sperry’s Cloud CVO Deck Sneaker I found at their ICAST booth in Orlando the week before.  Your comment about trying to avoid the Silicon Valley / VC look is absolutely right.  The Allbird looks comfortable, and the Yeezy sole keeps it from looking so orthopedic.  Good report!

  2. jason
    07/23/2018 / 10:13 AM

    Its worth noting some of the history here – they ran a kickstarter campaign some years back under a different brand (Wool Runners in early 2015) and pissed a lot of people off b/c their sizing was so off that there was no chance they would fit.  For example I ordered a size 12 that barely fit my friend who wears a 10.  They were super unresponsive and did nothing to correct or attempt to correct this.  (Yes, I get it was a KS)  But I for one won’t buy from them again

  3. HLL
    07/23/2018 / 12:46 PM

    Man – I cant get on board with them. But I like how you try things! They seem like my feet would just sweat and I guess I cant get that out of my head. I’ve always been a New Balance fan and the 247’s are on point for me lately. I really like a sporty/low profile/old school look and they hit it for me.

    • JBL
      07/24/2018 / 5:03 PM

      I second the NB 247’s.  Love that shoe and you can get the 247 Classic on sale now for $60 since they just launched the new version 247.

  4. Chadworth
    07/23/2018 / 1:31 PM

    I’ve had a pair for about a year now.  They are by far the most comfortable shoes I’ve ever owned.  I’d ditch the no show socks though.  When wearing socks, even wool no show socks, they aren’t as comfortable.  I’ve never had an issue with smell fortunately, but the great thing about these shows is that you can throw them in the washing machine when dirty.  They lose a little bit of their shape when washed, but otherwise they are fine.  I have the dark gray with white soles, and if they offered a light-medium gray, or a slate-blue gray I would order another pair asap.

  5. GEM
    07/23/2018 / 2:33 PM

    I’ve  been looking at these for a little while now as I need an alternative on the concrete floors / traveling through airports.  Based on what you’ve seen, think they’ll be good with 501’s, button down, and blazer or is the profile a little too bulky?

  6. JW
    07/23/2018 / 5:50 PM

    Have they solved the issue of the shoes losing their form after 9-12 months. My pair ended up looking like slippers. Durability was an issue even without ever getting them wet. The store I NYC is pretty great. I picked up the loafer for my wife last fall. 

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