Two years ago, my wife Erin surprised me with a pair of Allbirds. They were, bar-none, the most comfortable pair of shoes I’d ever owned. The company’s pro-environment mission and messaging resonated with me. I also was attracted to Allbirds’ novelty—this was before they blew up and you began to see rip-offs all over Amazon and Instagram.
Since receiving that first pair, I’ve changed a lot. I got laid off twice. I moved to New Jersey. I became a hard seltzer drinker. I began using a bidet. I did Whole30 twice, paying way more attention to my diet and nutrition than I’d ever had before in my life. And I started working out regularly, making up for the years of lost time when I’d go to the gym every once in a while in exchange for a more intense, daily regimen (it probably had something to do with being employed by Men’s Health).
But one thing has remained the same: I still wear the crap out of my grey Allbirds Wool Runners. And although they’ve taken a bit of a beating, they’re still one of my go-to casual pairs of shoes that have lasted two years. As someone who listens to a lot of Dad Rock but has no children, wearing Allbirds sock-free just feels right.
So when I heard that Allbirds was making a new running shoe, I was intrigued to say the least. After a week of trying out the new Tree Dasher style, I can confidently say it adapts the original Runners for more intense athletic pursuits without sacrificing the things I loved about Allbirds in the first place. And yes, the Allbirds Dasher is worth your money.
First, let’s talk about composition. The Tree Dasher sets itself apart from oil-based plastic competitors by touting natural materials. The shoes are made of signature merino wool, eucalyptus fiber, and a sugarcane-based SweetFoam. The upgraded dual-density soles provide more underfoot cushion and are wider in the back than the original Runners, which is excellent for running and HIIT workouts. The Dasher is also infinitely more breathable than my other pair of Allbirds, so I don’t have to worry about stinking them up (one downside of my beaten-up original Allbirds: they make your feet a little toasty in the warmer months). The toebox is generous and stretchy—you’ll be able to wiggle your toes without feeling like the shoe is super loose.
I also appreciate that from an aesthetic perspective, the Tree Dasher retain Allbirds’ low-key signature look without looking too similar to the company’s other options—that’s what makes Allbirds so special. This gives them a dual-purpose: you can work out in Dashers, but you also wouldn’t look goofy wearing them around without full workout gear.
But probably my favorite part about the Dashers is Allbirds’ dedication to producing environmentally-friendly kicks. Yes, they feel good on your feet, but they also go easy on your conscience, too. In an age where we should all be doing anything and everything we can to lessen our carbon footprint, why not incorporate that approach to our footwear, too?
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