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Allbirds SuperLight Trainers Review | These Were a Letdown

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The Allbirds SuperLight Trainers are one of Allbirds’ first few cracks at building a training shoe with a low carbon footprint. This model boasts a lightweight construction and breathable upper construction.

As a fan of Allbirds shoes for daily wear, I was excited to see how their first training shoe would perform in the gym. This shoe is interesting, to say the least, and while I think there are some good traits with it there are also things that give me pause.

Report Card: Get the Quick Facts

Allbirds SuperLight Trainers

Allbirds Superlight Trainers Quick Facts

Price: $120 USD

Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm

Stack Height: 11mm (forefoot)/17mm (heel)

Width: Narrow/Medium

Pros

  1. This shoe can be good for beginners that want a training shoe for casual HIIT and at-home workouts.
  2. If you love lightweight shoes, then you’ll enjoy how this shoe feels on the feet. It virtually feels like nothing with its weight.
  3. This model has a low carbon footprint and if your primary concern with your gear is its sustainability, then these may be a good option to explore.

Cons

  1. The durability of this shoe is sub-par. After just one training session, my pair had its toe box’s material start to lip and fray. I’m hoping this is an anomaly.
  2. This shoe’s width and upper volume are limiting so if you have wider and thicker feet you may want to steer clear of these.
  3. The lack of outsole tread will be a performance limter for these shoes in the contexts of serious training and outdoor workouts.

Who Should Buy the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers?

The Allbirds SuperLight Trainers will work best for anyone wanting a lightweight shoe for casual workouts. I think if one of your primary training shoes asks is having a model that feels like nothing on the feet then you’ll enjoy this shoe.

For context, my size 10 shoe has a weight of 5.25 oz which makes this model by far the lightest trainer I’ve ever worn. On top of this, I also think this shoe can work for those who primarily train at home or do more casual workouts.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers

If you’re newer to working out and only plan to do bodyweight exercises or light dumbbell and kettlebell sessions, then the stability of this shoe’s midsole should be plenty fine for your needs.

Regarding fit, this model will work well for anyone with narrower and low-volume feet. This shoe’s low-profile upper gives them a sock-like fit through the midfoot and for narrow feet, the toe box should feel good for your width asks.

Who Shouldn’t Buy the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers?

For any form of serious training, I’d suggest passing on this shoe. In the context of “serious”, I’m referencing those that want a shoe for lifting heavy, working out on different surfaces, or wanting durability for high-stress sessions.

This model’s lack of rubber outsole tread hinders its ability to grip surfaces like turf. On top of this, surfaces like concrete can wreak havoc on this shoe’s long-term midsole durability.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Sled Pushes

On top of this, I’m not convinced that this shoe’s upper durability will be the best-performing long-term. I’ll elaborate on this below in my performance section, but during a circuit of sled pushes and burpees the toe box overlay on my right shoe already started separating.

The last population that will want to steer clear of the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers is anyone with wider feet (EE or wider) and thicker feet. The midfoot’s upper volume can feel a little snug for this foot anatomy.

Allbirds SuperLight Trainers

$120

Allbirds Superlight Trainers Product Shot
2.8
Stability
3.0
Versatility
3.5
Durability
2.0

Best For

  • Bodyweight Workouts
  • Casual HIIT
  • At-Home Workouts
  • Low-Volume/Narrow Feet

Falls Short

  • For Serious Training
  • For Wider Feet
  • For Long-Term Durability

Allbirds SuperLight Trainers Pros

Over the course of my training and wear testing with the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers, I found a few things to enjoy about this model.

  1. One of the Lightest Shoes I’ve Trained In
  2. Good for Warm Climates and Casual Use
  3. Low Carbon Footprint

The first thing to like about the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers is its weight. This shoe definitely delivers on its weight, and if you love lightweight training shoes, then you’ll enjoy the feel of this model when training.

My size 10 shoe has a weight of about 5.25 oz, which is pretty insane for a training shoe, as most models weigh between 8.5 to 14 oz. If you want the lightest shoe possible for working out, then the weight of this shoe won’t disappoint.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Bodyweight Workouts

The second thing to like about the SuperLight Trainers is their breathability and use for casual workouts. I can see these shoes being a great option for anyone living in warmer climates for the majority of the year.

The eucalyptus tree fiber and polyester upper breathes really well and if you want a shoe for working out on hot days or in hot classes, I could see this shoe being a really good fit for your needs.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Home Workouts

This model also works decently well for casual training and if you’re not needing a model for heavy training, outdoor workouts on concrete, or tougher cross-training sessions then these shoes should be plenty fine for your workout asks.

The final thing to like about the SuperLight Trainers is that they deliver on their low carbon footprint claim. This shoe’s construction has a lot of recycled and sustainable materials and its carbon footprint comes in at 2.13kg CO2e.

Allbirds SuperLight Trainers Cons

I’ve found a few cons to keep in mind with the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers that I’ve found along the course of my testing and review process with these shoes.

  1. Long-Term Durability Can Be an Issue
  2. Outsole Isn’t the Most Grippy
  3. Lack of Width Limits the Fit Range

My first knock against the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers is their durability. I’m hoping that maybe my shoe is a one-off anomaly, but I’m not impressed by this shoe whatsoever regarding its durability for my investment.

For $120 USD, I would hope that a training shoe would last longer than a singular session. In my first workout, I performed a circuit with sled pushes, pulls, and burpees and I started to have the midsole pull away from the upper.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers Durability

Mind you, this was only after about 15 reps of burpees. Sure, it’s an exercise where you’ll have more abrasion on a shoe’s upper, but it’s a bodyweight exercise and the material should last longer than 15 reps and a few sled pushes.

Another complaint that I have with the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers is their outsole construction. I get that Allbirds wanted to save on weight so they limited the rubber tread on this shoe, however, this comes at a performance cost.

If you regularly train on turf or wooden gym floors, then you may want to pass on this shoe. I was sliding all around in this shoe on turf and it’s not a model that I would want to go “all out” with during a training session for this reason.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for HIIT

This outsole construction will also be problematic for those that regularly train outdoors on concrete. The friction from concrete can cut into the midsole foam and create some fraying.

The lask knock that I have with the Allbirds Superlight Trainers is its lack of width and upper volume. For wide feet, pass on this shoe and consider something like the Nike FM5 for HIIT (yes, this is a rare Nike shoe that has a wider build!).

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers Sizing

I also noticed that the midfoot can feel a little low at times and if you have high arches or thick feet, you’ll want to consider this before investing in this shoe.

Performance Assessment

To break down the performance of the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers, I’ll discuss my experience with how these shoes perform for lifting, versatile training, short runs, and daily wear.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Lifting

For lifting, the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers do an okay job if you’re keeping your training lighter. These shoes are marketed as shoes best for bodyweight and home workouts, so for these contexts, they’ll be fine.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Lifting

If you’re using lighter dumbbells and kettlebells in your cross-training sessions, this model will set you up well. For example, their stability would be fine for a walking lunge with 50-lb dumbbells.  

However, to test this model’s midsole stability with more dynamic lifting, I did perform a circuit with 70 lb dumbbell snatches with them, and their performance was just “okay”.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Dumbbell Workouts

At this weight, I noticed the midsole compress and shift my weight forward a little bit, so I think if you’re going to lift in this model you’ll want to cap your loading in them and skip on barbell and machine work with them.

This — on top of this shoe’s lacking outsole grip — is also why I didn’t want to test these shoes for barbell and machine work. The potential risk of slipping wasn’t worth it, in my opinion.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Versatile Training

For versatile training, this shoe works but at the end of the day, I thought it was kind of a letdown. I didn’t expect this shoe to perform the best for lifting, for example, however, for versatile training I had higher hopes for this shoe.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Burpees and Bodyweight Exercise

To start with the good, I like this shoe’s weight and how it feels sock-like on the feet. This will be a good training shoe for warmer climates and for those who like training barefoot in their shoes.

For things like box jumps, high knees, and jump rope, the weight of these shoes feels great. I also like how breathable this shoe’s upper is. The eucalyptus tree fiber breathes well and keeps these shoes cool when training.

My issues with this model for versatile training, and more specifically harder HIIT workouts, revolve around their lack of outsole grip and durability issues. The grip issue is a bummer because it limits the range in which you can use this shoe for versatile training.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Outdoor Training

The durability problem I ran into around the toe box is something that I think will happen to others, too (I hope not, though). The toe box’s upper isn’t reinforced the best and I’m curious if mine started peeling due to the stress from the sled pushes or burpees. 

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Short Runs and Daily Wear

For short runs, I didn’t test this shoe for runs outside of a 1-mile warm-up and cooldown jog. I didn’t like the feel of these shoes for running and you’ll want to limit their use for treadmill running if you want them to last, in my opinion.

Outside of not enjoying their feel for running, I was also concerned with this shoe’s durability for running. If they had issues with the lighter demands of my cross-training session, I figured they’d be problematic for running, too.

Testing the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers for Walking

 In the context of daily wear, the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers will work best for those who live in warmer climates. For example, if you live somewhere like Miami, Florida, and you want a shoe for running errands, then going to work out these will work well.

My concerns with them for daily use are their lack of warmth for cooler months and their outsole durability and I’d also pass on using them in inclement weather. Mud and water could cause the midsole to break down faster.

My Experience In the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers Summary

My Lifting Experiences With This Shoe

For lifting, I’d give this shoe a 4/10 with the acknowledgment that this shoe isn’t technically designed for heavier lifting and strength training.

Here are some of the lifting tests I did with them with my thoughts.

  • 70 lb dumbbell snatches: Midsole lacked stability.
  • 55 lb walking dumbbell lunges: Okay stability for this weight.
  • 65 lb rear-foot elevated split squats: Work okay.
  • 100 lb sandbag squats: Fine.

My Versatile Training Experiences With This Shoe

For versatile workouts, I’d give this shoe a strong 5/10. The lack of outsole grip and durability issues I ran into are my main concerns with this model in this training vertical.

Here are some of the lifting tests I did with them with my thoughts.

  • Box jumps: Lightweight with fine responsiveness.
  • Jump rope: Breathable and athletic.
  • Skater strides: Poor stability and moderate security.
  • Sled pushes: Poor outsole grip and durability.

While I think there is a niche population that will enjoy the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers, I’m underwhelmed with their performance. From a sub-par fit to durability issues, these shoes haven’t been my favorites by any means.

Allbirds SuperLight Trainers Sizing

For the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers, I think you’ll be safe going true to size in them if you have a narrow to medium/neutral-width foot. Their length runs true and their width is biased towards medium-width feet.

I have a foot width that hovers around an “E” width and these shoes were okay if I went barefoot in them or wore thin no-show socks. However, if I wore socks with what I would call a normal thickness, they felt way too snug through the midfoot for me.

Allbirds SuperLight Trainers Try On Review

If you currently wear Allbirds and enjoy their fit, then you’ll likely be fine in these shoes, but for wider feet, you may want to tread lightly if you’re thinking about investing in these shoes.

  • Allbids SuperLight Trainers Sizing Thoughts: True to size for narrow and medium-width feet.

Allbirds SuperLight Trainers Sizing and Fit Assessment

If you have additional sizing and fit questions about the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers, drop a comment below and I can help you out accordingly.

Construction Details

If you’re familiar with Allbirds, then you know a lot of their construction nuances come with the materials used in their shoes. Below are some of the key construction details to note about these shoes.

Allbirds SuperLight Trainers Midsole Construction

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: 6mm
  • Weight: 5.25 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: No
  • Eucalyptus Tree Fiber and Polyester Upper
  • Sugarcane Based EVA Foam Midsole
  • SweetFoam Insole
  • Bi0-Based Nylon Eyelets
  • Rubber Outsole Tread
  • Shoelaces Made From Recycled Plastic
  • 4 Core Eyelets

If you have additional construction questions about the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers, drop a comment below.

Takeaway Thoughts

Overall, the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers have been one of the bigger letdowns from shoes that I’ve tested lately. Going into this model, I had high hopes that it could be a good versatile option for anyone wanting a low-carbon footprint shoe.

While this shoe delivers on its carbon footprint promise, its performance doesn’t quite do the same. The sub-par outsole traction and upper durability give me pause with this shoe.

If you have additional questions about the Allbirds SuperLight Trainers, drop a comment below or reach out to me personally via Instagram (@jake_boly or @that_fit_friend).

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly, CSCS, MS Sports Science

Jake Boly is the Founder and Editor-In-Chief of That Fit Friend. He's often regarded to as a go-to resource in various performance shoe communities. He’s been formally reviewing shoes and training gear for over 7 years and has hand-tested over 400 pairs of shoes. Jake is known on the internet and YouTube for blending his review process with his educational, strength sports, and personal training background.

Jake has a Masters in Sports Science, a Bachelors in Exercise Science, a CSCS, and he's been personal training for over 10 years helping hundreds of clients get stronger, lose weight, and accomplish their goals. He uses his exercise science brain and personal training background to make curated and thoughtful review content on the fitness gear he's testing.

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