I don’t think anyone would have expected Allbirds to jump into the running market especially given their shoes are more designed around comfort and loungewear than anything else. That being said they did and the result of that is the Allbirds Tree Dasher which looks just visually stunning, retains their commitment to the environment, and definitely sets the stage for a whole new player in the market.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- A model for sustainability across all aspects of the shoe
- Weighs in at 10.6oz or 301g for a US Men’s 9
- Has 22.5mm of cushion and a 7mm heel/toe drop
- Retails at $125.00 USD
- Comes in 6 colors for Men and Women
First, the packaging experience on the Tree Dasher is spectacular, feeling more like an Apple product than a shoe in its design. Upon opening the package, you get your first look of the shoe and then you get to feel it. The shoe is really well designed, materials feel solid, and the eucalyptus upper alone is a pretty amazing work of engineering. The midsole and outsole seem firm at first, but you would never guess they were made of sugar cane.
Slipping the shoe on feels just as good as you might imagine. That upper goes on like a sock and that little wool heel padding sits softly against the back of your ankle. It laces down pretty well and stays laces, they are a little chunky which is odd, but they work. It is comfortable under foot, the midsole and outsole has a nice firmness to it and a decent rocker.
In run, you start to see the limitations pretty quickly. Slower paces are totally not a problem at all, so for most recreational runners these will feel just great. The midsole provides plenty of firmness and bounce and the upper holds you decently well. When you start dialing up the speed, the upper does start to slosh a bit and doesn’t hold you like more performance oriented shoes would. A stronger mid-foot stability element would help a lot with this. The actual midsole is decent from a feel perspective and the outsole seems like it will last for quite a while.
All that being said, material usage is really where Allbirds shines and when you get down into, it kind of blows your mind what they can do.
The upper is fully seamless and made a single piece of flexible, breathable, and lightweight material that is derived from eucalyptus trees. It is soft to the touch, flexes nicely, and the only call out is long term durability, but we will see. The heel lining is made of wool that is soft against your lower Achilles and then a lighter version of that same wool is extended along to the center to help keep your foot in place. Even the eyelets are made of a bio-based nylon and while the laces are probably one of the weirdest spots on the shoe, they still work really well.
The midsole on the Dasher is a dual-density technology that Allbirds calls SweetFoam. It is derived from sugarcane and is the world’s first negative green EVA product. It feels very firm to the touch and durability to date seems very high. It doesn’t have the massive bounce of some shoes, but it definitely does its job for most runners.
The outsole is flared which helps improve stability and even manage some level of pronation. The actual sole is composed of a blend of SweetFoam and natural rubbers.
Style & Aesthetics
The Tree Dasher comes in 6 colors for men and women and we think they are just amazing looking. You can wear these for a run, casually, or even for work.
The Allbirds Tree Dasher running shoe was unexpected, to say the least, but it is a beautifully designed shoe. Couple that with their commitment to the environment and it is hard to see too much bad about the shoe. What we can say is that it definitely is not a performance-oriented shoe. The upper materials just move a bit too much to keep you secure at high speeds, but for a lot of folks, they will work just fine. Last bonus, they look great and are better in general than the Allbirds you probably have seen before.
Check Out Other Reviewers Thoughts
As always, we gather together some of our favorite reviewers so you can get a well-rounded view of the shoe. Here are our favorites.