The Tree Flyer isn’t our first go around with Allbirds and hopefully, it won’t be our last because with every iteration they continue to deliver better and better running shoes. This latest iteration is far from a perfect running shoe but it is a marked improvement and highly capable for short to mid-length runs. They also travel really well, look good, and of course, are environmentally responsible.
Quick Details, Specs, and Availability
- Best running version of a lifestyle shoe we have seen yet.
- Sustainability is off the charts so you can feel good about your purchase.
- Probably shouldn’t be used for more than 6-10 miles.
- Weight – 9.5oz or 269g for a US Men’s 9
- Cushion – 30.5mm of cushion and a 8.5mm heel/toe drop
- Pricing – $160.00 USD
- Colors – 6 options
Construction and Materials
- Upper – The upper on the Tree Flyer is made of lightweight, breathable eucalyptus fiber. The shoe laces are made from recycled plastic bottles and the heel lining is made from ZQ merino wool. They have also added an external heel counter to lock you in place.
- Midsole – They are introducing an all-new midsole tech called SwiftFoam which is made from a bio-based Pebax.
- Outsole – The outsole is made from FSC-certified natural rubber.
What we loved
The first thing to like about the Tree Flyer is that it’s going to exceed your expectations. Like us, you’re probably not expecting Allbirds to deliver on a highly capable running shoe, but probably something more a kin to their standard everyday leisure offering. That is at least what we’ve seen before from them, but happy to report that the Tree Flyer is in a much different class. The upper does feel reminiscent of your standard Allbirds in terms of fit and feel, but things like the new eyelet system as well as the interior Achilles padding lend itself to a more performant fit.
Additionally, the new SwiftFoam is way better than what we seen from them before bringing a nice bit of firmness and responsiveness to the shoe. This delivers a more traditional running shoe vibe than we have seen from them before. They definitely give you a bit of that bounciness and that elongated midsole heel allows for more ground coverage which just means a better ride throughout the foot strike.
Of course, there’s always the sustainability conversation when it comes to Allbirds and what is not to like here. Every single element has been thought through so whether it is the use of bamboo or eucalyptus or plastic bottles, Allbirds has that aspect dialed where most brands are still struggling. It also doesn’t seem to hamper performance here as it does on other shoes we have seen, so maybe other brands take a note. It can be done.
What we didn’t
There were a few things that we didn’t enjoy of course and the first is the price tag. This is definitely not a $160 running shoe as there are a lot of other shoes we would pick first for that money. However, if you’re seeing this as a blended running and leisure shoe and realize you’ll probably throw it on for a lot more than running, then it starts to make a lot more sense. You can easily travel in these and reserve them for your easy travel running or treadmill days and you will get your money’s worth from them no question.
Next, you really don’t want to run these for more than 6 to 10 miles because at that point a lot of things start breaking down. The upper will feel a little frustrating and you’ll probably feel some hotspots starting to show up. The midsole is also definitely not in a place to take on high levels of distance, so again perfect as your travel companion where you can toss them on to run some miles in (and also great on the plane!).
One big knock for us is definitely the outside in the rain. We found them to be incredibly slippery on all of our test models and while the outsole grips really well when it’s dry outside, something happens in the rain and it can feel like you’re skating which is incredibly frustrating. These things are slippery when wet.
Lastly, when you’re choosing a color do not go with the light version because they show dirt very quickly and while you can wash them it does start to break down the shoes so we would suggest just selecting one of the dark colors. Even the midsole gets marked up faster than we would like.
So while the Tree Flyer isn’t a perfect running shoe, it is a marked improvement from their past attempts and we guarantee will have you reaching for them… just maybe not for every run. They are super comfortable and their additional structure and firmness make them a great everyday shoe so they work casually and if you travel with them, then you can rest assured you can leave your other running shoes behind. Yes, they are pricey but we see them as a nice leisure/running hybrid so you can expect to WANT to wear them a ton.
These shoes were provided by the manufacturer or its partners for the sole use of review. No implied or explicit guarantees were provided as it relates to the provision of these products and all editorial commentary is strictly the property of Running Northwest. In short, the fact they allowed us to test these shoes does not mean we are required to give it a favorable review… every product must earn it. We appreciate our manufacturer partnerships and if you have any questions, you can read our Disclosure Policy in further detail.
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.