THE LIFE FREE ARTICLE

Road testing the new Allbirds Tree Dasher running shoes

Rebecca Howard
Fri, 10 Jul 2020

Allbirds has made its first foray into runners with the Tree Dasher, a shoe that claims to leave no (carbon) footprint. 

The upper part of the shoe is a single knitted piece that makes it feel like you’re pulling on a pair of slippers. And once I had mine on, I didn’t really want to take them off.

I like the look of these shoes, although my feet – which are quite wide – do not look remotely dainty in them, partly because the eyelets are quite large and the laces are thick.

Allbirds’ goal was to create a performance shoe powered by natural materials, and the Tree Dasher’s carbon output is already 30 percent lower than has been estimated for the average sneaker, even before any offsets. 

Allbirds Tree Dasher running shoe


I took mine on several road runs, on the treadmill at the gym and up Mt Kaukau – through mud and over rocks and tree roots.

They were best on the road for shorter 5km runs and surprisingly grippy even in a downpour. I was worried about skidding, given they don’t seem to have much grip structure. However, even when my 30kg four-legged running companion lunged toward the post-that-must-be sniffed, I didn’t slide at all.

I did find they weren’t quite as comfortable, largely through the front of my foot, when I pushed the distance out further. 

I also found another issue. The four-eyelet setup doesn’t really make it possible to adjust the shoe other than across the top of the foot, and the further I ran, the more I experienced heel slippage. This was despite the merino wool lining in the back that’s intended to keep your foot in place. You can apparently wear the Tree Dasher without socks, but I really needed them to keep my heel from moving.

The dual-density ‘SweetFoam’ midsole, however, was great for arch support. The Tree Dashers were very comfortable on the treadmill and good on the hard-packed earth on the trails.

I did have some trouble with ankle stability on the rockiest part of the trail and the shoes had zero traction in mud. 

The Allbirds Tree Dasher sole


To be fair, I don’t think they are intended to be a trail or marathon shoe. The promo material for them says they are perfect for your morning 5k run or your dash to the grocery store.

Importantly, however, they are washable, although it took two washes to get most of the mud out.

The rundown

Materials: Sugar cane, eucalyptus, merino wool.

Carbon output: 9kg of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions per pair.

Heel drop: 7mm (forefoot: 15.5mm; heel: 22.5mm).

Price: $245.
www.allbirds.co.nz

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Howard
Senior Journalist
+64 21 911 440
rebecca@businessdesk.co.nz
Rebecca is a business journalist with more than 25 years’ experience, including more than a decade in Peru covering everything from politics, terrorism, human rights, and the war on drugs. She has worked for the Associated Press, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. Her work in NZ has included macroeconomics, listed companies and extensive coverage of the dairy sector. You can follow her on Twitter @FarroHoward or connect with her on LinkedIn here.
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Road testing the new Allbirds Tree Dasher running shoes | BusinessDesk
THE LIFE FREE ARTICLE

Road testing the new Allbirds Tree Dasher running shoes

Rebecca Howard
Fri, 10 Jul 2020

Allbirds has made its first foray into runners with the Tree Dasher, a shoe that claims to leave no (carbon) footprint. 

The upper part of the shoe is a single knitted piece that makes it feel like you’re pulling on a pair of slippers. And once I had mine on, I didn’t really want to take them off.

I like the look of these shoes, although my feet – which are quite wide – do not look remotely dainty in them, partly because the eyelets are quite large and the laces are thick.

Allbirds’ goal was to create a performance shoe powered by natural materials, and the Tree Dasher’s carbon output is already 30 percent lower than has been estimated for the average sneaker, even before any offsets. 

Allbirds Tree Dasher running shoe


I took mine on several road runs, on the treadmill at the gym and up Mt Kaukau – through mud and over rocks and tree roots.

They were best on the road for shorter 5km runs and surprisingly grippy even in a downpour. I was worried about skidding, given they don’t seem to have much grip structure. However, even when my 30kg four-legged running companion lunged toward the post-that-must-be sniffed, I didn’t slide at all.

I did find they weren’t quite as comfortable, largely through the front of my foot, when I pushed the distance out further. 

I also found another issue. The four-eyelet setup doesn’t really make it possible to adjust the shoe other than across the top of the foot, and the further I ran, the more I experienced heel slippage. This was despite the merino wool lining in the back that’s intended to keep your foot in place. You can apparently wear the Tree Dasher without socks, but I really needed them to keep my heel from moving.

The dual-density ‘SweetFoam’ midsole, however, was great for arch support. The Tree Dashers were very comfortable on the treadmill and good on the hard-packed earth on the trails.

I did have some trouble with ankle stability on the rockiest part of the trail and the shoes had zero traction in mud. 

The Allbirds Tree Dasher sole


To be fair, I don’t think they are intended to be a trail or marathon shoe. The promo material for them says they are perfect for your morning 5k run or your dash to the grocery store.

Importantly, however, they are washable, although it took two washes to get most of the mud out.

The rundown

Materials: Sugar cane, eucalyptus, merino wool.

Carbon output: 9kg of carbon dioxide-equivalent emissions per pair.

Heel drop: 7mm (forefoot: 15.5mm; heel: 22.5mm).

Price: $245.
www.allbirds.co.nz

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Rebecca Howard
Senior Journalist
+64 21 911 440
rebecca@businessdesk.co.nz
Rebecca is a business journalist with more than 25 years’ experience, including more than a decade in Peru covering everything from politics, terrorism, human rights, and the war on drugs. She has worked for the Associated Press, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal and Reuters. Her work in NZ has included macroeconomics, listed companies and extensive coverage of the dairy sector. You can follow her on Twitter @FarroHoward or connect with her on LinkedIn here.
Latest articles
Air NZ's $1,000 staff share bonus
NZ March GDP blows forecasts out of the water
NZ needs to act now to ensure resilient supply chains
Australia-UK FTA puts heat on NZ for similar deal
Beetles to eat Cook Islands invaders
Partner Content
Business events are increasingly important for corporates

Working from home is great, but there's real value in face-to-face connections.

Sponsored
Centuria provides new opportunities for industrial property investors

Centuria Capital is embarking on its second capital raising since merging with Augusta Capital in 2020.