Allbirds changes the sneaker game. Instead of using the petroleum-based materials found in most best running shoes In the market, Allbirds strives to create a sustainable shoe with a low carbon footprint. The result? A good everyday running shoe that is better for the planet.
Allbirds Tree Flyer specifications
Weight: 9.5 oz
Fall: 8.5 mm
Of course, this is not Allbird’s first step into the running shoe market – it released Tree Dasher a few years ago, which was a super plush everyday running shoe. With Tree Flyers, the Allbirds say they have designed a light and resilient running shoe. But how does the shoe compare to some of the other performance shoes on the market? Read my review of Allbirds Tree Flyers below to find out more.
Allbirds Tree Flyers Review: Price and Availability
Allbirds Tree Flyers cost $ 160 / £ 150, which is about the same price as Brooks Glycerin 20, or Adidas Ultraboost 22. The shoe comes in a variety of sizes, including half sizes. In the men’s version, you can shop from a US 8 to a US 14, with seven different colors available. In the women’s version of the shoe, you can shop from a US 5 to a US 11, with seven colors on offer, including Lux Pink, which is part of the brand’s collaboration with Lindsay Lohan.
The shoe is widely available on the website and in stores. They also come with the Allbird’s 30-day return policy, which means that if you use them and do not like them, you can get your money back. Shoes that have light wear are donated to charity.
Allbirds Tree Flyers Review: Design and Fit
Allbirds Tree Flyers come up big – I am a UK 5 in most running shoes, but size down to a UK 4.5 in these shoes and would recommend doing the same. I do not have particularly narrow feet, but I have high arches. On its website, Allbirds says: “If you have wide feet or prefer a more spacious fit to accommodate split toes, we suggest going up half a size. For extra wide feet, go up a full size. “
The shoe is comfortable out of the box, but it does not have the same soft comfort as the Tree Dasher. The foam is definitely on the firmer side, but the Allbirds say this is because it’s designed to be responsive. You will notice the elongated, geometric design of the outsole, which provides stability under the foot, and the soft boot upper, designed to wrap around the foot. The shoe’s carbon footprint is on the back, starting at 9.92 kg CO2e. This stands for kilograms of carbon dioxide equivalent emissions. By keeping track of greenhouse gases, Allbird’s measures the environmental impact of their products.
The upper of the Tree Flyer is made of eucalyptus fiber instead of oil-based polyester or nylon that you usually find in running shoes. The robust, visible heel disc is made of recycled materials from the midsole, and the laces of the shoe are made of recycled plastic bottles. But how does all that feel on the foot? The upper is super stretchy and breathable, and it feels almost bootie-like on the foot. It is soft and comfortable, and like all Allbird’s shoes, it does well in the washing machine (a big plus if you, like me, are a runner who likes box-fresh shoes).
That said, as I mentioned above, the shoe comes a little big and even in my proper size, the upper was a little baggy on the foot. You do not get much support from the upper – it does not squeeze the foot or keep you safe in the shoe.
Allbirds launched its new midsole foam material in Tree Flyer – SwiftFoam. The “high-performance” midsole is designed to be “great on pillow and energy return, making long runs easier for your body,” according to Allbirds. It is made from castor beans and is 48% bio-based, which reduces the shoe’s carbon footprint. Allbirds says that the midsole foam has a 70% higher return speed than the foam used in Tree Dasher.
The heel counter and toe box have a flared, geometric style, which is designed to provide stability under the feet. As mentioned above, the midsole foam is not too soft under the foot, although this is not necessarily a bad thing.
The outsole of Tree Dasher is made of natural rubber. It is a traction pattern designed to give you a good grip when running on the sidewalk, even when it is wet. The outsole is also designed to have a good amount of flexibility for a smooth transition between heel and toe on the run.
Allbirds Tree Flyers Review: Performance
I ran in Allbirds Tree Flyers for a few weeks and have mixed feelings. Compared to the Tree Dasher, the Tree Flyers are firm under the feet – despite the thick midsole, you do not feel like you are sinking into this shoe. Instead, it feels like it dampens the impact of your stride. This took some time to get used to, and after a few miles it felt a little more responsive, although there are definitely better midsole foams on the market. That said, there is no better midsole foam that is as good for the planet, so it really depends on what is more important to you as a consumer.
At faster, pace sessions, the Allbirds Tree Flyers felt a little awkward, but at slower, heavy miles, they were comfortable and reliable. This is the shoe you reach for on easy runs between three and sixty miles, not a half marathon, or for a race.
Compared to the Tree Dasher, the shoe definitely has a better experience underfoot on the run. The Dasher felt a bit plumpy after too long, while the Tree Flyers are more responsive, they just are not the shoe I would reach for if I were going out for a longer or faster session.
Allbirds Tree Flyers Review: Dom
In 2022, I love the brand message that Allbirds promotes – we all need to care more about the environment and make better decisions as consumers when shopping for products. This is not the cheapest shoe on the market, but it is without a doubt the best carbon-neutral running shoe out there, and for many consumers this will be what matters most.
When comparing Tree Flyers with some of the best running shoes on the market, the Allbirds are moving in the right direction, but they are not quite there yet. It’s a decent everyday shoe, and a huge improvement over the Tree Dasher, but it’s by no means a performance shoe.
Allbirds has marketed this shoe as a performance shoe for long runs, but I disagree – this is the shoe you reach for on days when you run and commute to work, and then wear the shoe all day in the office (in my opinion it looks cool enough out to combine with jeans or a skirt).
If you are looking for a more versatile shoe around this price point, it is worth taking a look Nike Pegasus 39, the New Balance 1080v12or Brooks Glycerin 20although none of these shoes will be as good for the planet.