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Allbirds, a sustainable clothing company, that many techies love to wear in Silicon Valley.
Yet, I purchased them not because of it being a “trend,” but because I was looking to purchasing shoes that were more Eco-friendly.
Thus, I ended up going with a pair of Allbirds. More specifically, the Allbirds Tree Dashers.
But, after having them for a year and a half, I can safely say, that I will never purchase Allbirds again.
My Allbirds were extremely comfortable. Going out for long walks and runs, they felt comfortable and supportive.
They looked alright, and with them being machine washable, were extremely easy to clean.
Structurally, they have held up. One of the laces started threading a few months after I purchased them, but have held on for over a year now. The fabric for the shoe has held together, and does not show any significant signs of wear.
At first, they were grippy on the roads, allowing me to stop or turn on a dime whenever I needed too. Especially if it was raining out.
However… that was only at first.
After 7 months of wearing them, I started noticing a lot of grip issues. I couldn’t wear them in the wet anymore. Understandably, they were nearly useless in winter (ice + running shoes = bad idea).
But, even when the ground was slightly slick, if I was running through a puddle or something, I would slip. I honestly didn’t think it would be possible to hydroplane while running, but something was happening.
What made it worse, was walking in parking lots. The paint they use for the pedestrian cross walks and parking spots was darn near impossible to walk on. If it was raining, it felt like I was walking on ice to the point where I avoid panted areas like the plague now.
Fast forward to now, and my shoes have nearly no grip. The soles are completely worn and have formed holes.
They are now at the point where it is uncomfortable to wear them, and I feel unsafe wearing them in the rain.
When I bought them, I was running 3 times a week for around 2 and a half miles each day. Around 6 months after purchasing them, I switched to walking daily (the same distance).
So, in total, I have put some decent miles on these things. However, they have not lasted nearly as long as other shoes I have owned in the past. Heck, even my old converse lasted many years, and I was walking a lot more during the time I wore them.
Getting new shoes
I have recently become interested in barefoot walking and zero drop shoes. Although I don’t actually go walking barefoot, I try to go shoeless whenever I am just hanging around my house.
That ended up bringing me across XeroShoes. They looked rather interesting, and a few people I know wear them, so I decided to give them a try.
As I write this post, I am waiting for them to arrive to my house. Unfortunately, they appear to be stuck in FedEx’s “Smart"ship hell right now, as they have been at a FedEx location 5 minutes away from me for 2 days now, with no sign of actually being delivered.
Hoping these shoes will be a bit better, and will last a lot longer. At least they have a “5,000-mile” guarentee.
Allbirds, at least from what they say, are a more eco-friendly shoe. However, the amount I spent on them, and the time they survived, is definitely not worth it in my opinion.
If I have to replace them every 9-12 months just to make sure I can stay standing and not injure myself from slipping in slick conditions, then I can’t see them as a decent “eco-friendly” alternative to a normal shoe. Not to mention my wallet would not like it…
They were fun shoes while they lasted. But, I will never purchase an Allbirds shoe again.