Allbirds Tree Dashers
These Allbirds Tree Dashers are the late 2020 reworking of the original AllBirds trainers. I had a pair of the original joggers when they first launched years earlier. They were woefully under-designed to be considered a serious running shoe. They even lost their new “cool” factor when Paul Ryan could be spotted walking around in them. Some years later, I am giving them another try after a few redesigns, new styles and color options, and improved engineering.
DESIGN & FEEL
I was very impressed from the initial images of the two options of the Dashers. I ended up going with the Tree Dashers for both the environmental pros (natural and recycled materials are used) and the color options (15+ when I wrote this). However, up close, they are not as appealing. Somewhat clunky in profile and boringly neutered in overall aesthetic. Despite the style deficiencies, they feel great and fit very true to size.
Super snug around the foot. The upper is made of a “Durable And Breathable Tree Material.” It performs much like the Nike FlyKnit material. The lower part of the foot is solid and responsive all the way around. It offers almost extreme arch support, which I am not used to, coming from the mostly flat Nike and On brand shoes I usually go for. The foot base is wide and unarticulated. It has a relatively low profile but does tilt you near the front of the toe box. Overall, this is one of the lightest and most breathable shoes I have ever worn. You almost forget they are there, except in cold weather when the breathability is like a door left open in winter.
The midsole is described as built of a “Supportive Dual-Density Sugarcane.” A big contrast to the carbon fiber being used by other brands like Nike. Allbirds is a certified B-Corp, so these select materials are in keeping with their mission for sustainability. The shoe box is both the shipping container and storage for the joggers. Nothing wasted and renewably designed. They are machine washable and are covered by a 30-day return policy.
FEATURES & PERFORMANCE
Again, I was pleasantly surprised with the actual function of these shoes. I found them to be a high performing and very comfortable training shoe. I just wish they were not so boring up close.
As usual, I ran, walked, and did some cross training in these to get a total assessment of them. I put fewer miles on this shoe at the time of reviewing than I usually do. The goal was tío deliver a more timely review to help in your decision making process.
Allbirds notes that these shoes are “designed for maximum energy return.” The shoes I have seen that deliver on this promise best is the Nike Zoom Turbo. In comparison the Allbirds do well in shock absorption and distribution, but I would not say I am springing into my next step. However, the absorption qualities are more than enough, as I found that my legs recovered very well the next day after a long run whether inside or outside.
Because the outer is fits like a sock, the laces are almost just there for show. These shoes don’t move or slip on you when moving in any direction. The bottom tread is also very reliable. Solid footing on wet ground, treadmill, gravel, or wood trail. These felt like the perfect every day training shoe. Quick to put on or take off, no need to re-lace, and sufficiently absorbent with every mile.
I really wish I loved the style of this shoe more because they are unbelievable and one of the most comfortable walking shoes ever. They would make a great pair of travel shoes. The wide foot base makes for a well absorbed stride with stand all day comfort. I found myself reaching for them every time I was going to run a quick errand, with just that twinge of reserve when remembering the disappointing aesthetic. At their price, it would be a good compromise for someone prioritizing comfort over style.
I love working out in these shoes. Excellent lateral coverage, great flex in the forefoot, no fuss style makes them great for workouts. I have started doing more burpees as my most dynamic exercise. I find that the jump up, kick back, and squat involved are a good way to test how a shoe moves with you. The combination movement is great at highlighting any deficiencies in a shoe. I found really none here. The kick back for your push up does highlight the lack of supporting material around the toe box. This light padding at the front is not uncommon in a running shoe. Otherwise, lots of great lateral support, just the right amount of spring, and a nice flat heels for squats.
Allbirds Tree Dashers - Product ComparisonI’ll stick to comparing these shoes against the last few running shoes I owned. The Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 37, On Cloud Cloudflow 2020 and Nike Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2.
|CATEGORY||vs. Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2||vs. Air Zoom Pegasus 37||vs. On Cloudflow 2020|
|Style:||Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2||Air Zoom Pegasus 37||On Cloudflow 2020|
|Running Use:||Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2||Air Zoom Pegasus 37||On Cloudflow 2020|
|Walking Use:||Allbirds Tree Dashers||Allbirds Tree Dashers||Allbirds Tree Dashers|
|Training Use:||Allbirds Tree Dashers||Air Zoom Pegasus 37||Allbirds Tree Dashers|
|Feel:||Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2||Air Zoom Pegasus 37||Allbirds Tree Dashers|
|Durability:||Zoom Pegasus Turbo 2||Allbirds Tree Dashers||Allbirds Tree Dashers|
|Weight:||Allbirds Tree Dashers||Allbirds Tree Dashers||Allbirds Tree Dashers|
Allbirds Tree Dashers - Summary
|7 out of 10||Lightweight & Breathable||Aesthetics|
|Solid Performance||Price (> $125)|