Skip to content
Home » Cross Training Shoes

Allbirds Wool Runners Review | 1+ Year Performance Breakdown

When it comes to Allbirds shoes, if there’s one shoe that comes to everyone’s mind it’s the Allbirds Wool Runners. The Wool Runners are known for their simplistic design, which is made with responsibly sourced materials.

As a fan of Allbirds’ mission and their casual and performance-focused shoes like the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2, I was excited to finally get a review up on my Allbirds Wool Runners.

For the most part, the Allbirds Wool Runners are a good and comfortable shoe for daily wear. However, there are a few cons that are worth noting with this shoe I’ll discuss below.

Allbirds Wool Runners Review

Who Should Invest In the Allbirds Wool Runners?

The Allbirds Wool Runners will be best for anyone who wants a casual and comfortable daily wear shoe for walking that can work well for most seasons. This shoe provides a fair amount of comfort and can be used for all-day wear, standing, and walking.

I like this model best for cooler weather and if you want a shoe with a fair amount of thermoregulation for spring, winter, and fall, then the Wool Runners can be a good option to explore.

This shoe will also resonate best with those with narrow and neutral-width feet who like having a bit more arch support in their shoes. The Wool Runners feature a heel-to-toe drop that sits around 15mm which can be hit or miss depending on your fit preferences.

The responsibly sourced materials used to create this shoe are another big reason why the Wool Runners can be a good option to explore for daily wear.

Allbirds Wool Runners

$110

Allbirds Wool Runners
4.0
Stability
4.0
Versatility
4.1
Durability
4.0

Best For

  • Daily Wear
  • 3-Season Wear: Spring, Fall, and Winter
  • Casual Walking
  • Those Who Want Responsibly-Sourced Materials

Falls Short

  • For Wide Feet
  • For Long-Term Durability
  • For Traction On Wet Surfaces
  • For Any Form of Strenuous Activity

Allbirds Wool Runners Pros

When testing and reviewing the Allbirds Wool Runners, I’ve found multiple pros to like about this shoe.

  1. Simple Design and Comfortable for Variety of Settings
  2. Good 3-Season Daily Wear Shoe
  3. Built With Responsibly-Sourced Materials

The first aspect to like about the Allbirds Wool Runners is their simplistic construction, design, and appearance. This model is an easy pick for daily wear in a variety of settings and it looks casual and clean.

Allbirds Wool Runners In Depth Review

I think if you’re someone who wants a minimally branded shoe for commuting, wearing to work, and traveling, then the Wool Runners can be a good option to explore. Plus, this model delivers a fair amount of comfort which many really enjoy.

The SweetFoam midsole is supportive yet fairly responsive. This model does a good job at walking a fine line between providing the foot with a nice base to stand on, and also being soft and maneuverable enough to be comfortable for different contexts.

Another perk of the Wool Runners is their ability to be a good 3-season shoe. Technically, you can wear the Wool Runners in every season, but there are some caveats to wearing this model in certain seasons which I’ll discuss below in the performance section.

Allbirds Wool Runners Midsole Construction and Review

I like this model best for spring, fall, and winter when the temperature is fairly level. The ZQ Merino Wool upper in the Wool Runners provides a nice level of thermoregulation. For cooler days, this model provides nice warmth and for moderate temperatures, they breathe fairly well.

My final pro with the Allbirds Wool Runners is the fact that they’re designed and made with responsibly sourced materials. One of the big draws to Allbirds shoes is their construction and company values when building shoes.

Allbirds Wool Runners Upper Construction and Review

The ZQ Merino Wool upper is responsible-sourced and the SweetFoam midsole is built with a sugarcane-based green EVA. In addition, the insole is made with a castor bean oil-based foam and the shoelaces are made out of recycled water bottles.

Allbirds Wool Runners Cons

Over the last year, I’ve enjoyed my Allbirds Wool Runners for daily wear for the most part. However, there are a few cons that are worth noting about these shoes.

  1. Long-Term Durability Can Be An Issue
  2. Not Great for Wider Feet
  3. Falls Short for Hot Weather and Strenuous Activity

The first drawback to the Allbirds Wool Runners is that long-term durability can be an issue with this shoe. More specifically, there are generally three areas where you’ll see breakdown issues with the Wool Runners and this includes the upper, sole, and boot structure.

Allbirds Wool Runners Outsole Long Term Durability Review

The upper can crease over time and lose its structure. The upper on my model has pretty much lost its shape and structure over time. Additionally, if you’re wearing this model on hot days where you’re sweating or getting them wet, then you can run into staining issues.

On top of the upper, the sole and its tread pattern can fade over time which will leave you with a pretty slippery shoe. The boot can also lose its structure and shape after excessive wear especially if you’re sliding your foot into this model.

As a whole, the Wool Runners should last you a while, but their finite details are prone to breaking down, and while I still wear my model, there are areas that I wish would have lasted longer, like the heel’s structure.

Allbirds Wool Runners Long Term Durability Review

Another drawback to the Wool Runners is that they’re not the best wide-feet-friendly shoes. The toe box on this model is pretty snug and without half sizes, sizing can be frustrating for those with wider feet.

To be honest, if you have notably wide feet and you’re interested in Allbirds, then you might be better served looking into different models as the limited forefoot width in the Wool Runners can leave you prone to feeling limited or experiencing foot overhang.

The last drawback that I have with the Wool Runners is that they fall short for hotter weather and they’re not going to be your shoe for any activity that is strenuous in nature.

Allbirds Wool Runners for Warm Weather

In warmer months, the Wool Runners can run fairly hot if you’re wearing them all day. Also, circling back to the drawback above, durability can be an issue with this shoe if you’re using them for anything outside of casual wear. There’s not a huge range with this shoe.

Performance

In the context of the performance of Allbirds Wool Runners, I’m going to discuss how this shoe performs in a couple of different contexts.

Since this shoe is designed to be a daily wear-focused shoe, I’m going to discuss how it does for walking, standing, and talk about how it performs for these activities in different seasons.

Allbirds Wool Runners Performance Overview

Testing the Allbirds Wool Runners for Walking

For walking, the Allbirds Wool Runners do a pretty good job across the board. This model is fairly comfortable and ZQ Merino Wool upper provides a nice level of thermoregulation and comfort due to its flexible and mobile nature.

On a day-to-day basis, I like to describe the Wool Runners walking performance as being best for commuting, running errands, traveling, and wearing to work. For these settings, the walking performance of the Wool Runners is solid.

Testing the Allbirds Wool Runners for Walking

Where I think their walking performance can fall short is in contexts where you’re planning to do a lot of mileage. For example, if you want a shoe primarily for walking as a means of working out, then you’ll want to explore other models.

The upper in this shoe can crease over time with prolonged used and stress and the outsole can fade which will limit this shoe’s grip on certain surfaces like New York City subway platforms (yes, I’ve almost eaten it on a subway platform wearing my fades Allbirds on a rainy day in NYC).

Testing the Allbirds Wool Runners for Standing

For standing and all-day comfort, the Allbirds Wool Runners do an okay job. They’re comfortable in the sense that their midsole gives you a nice level of support while the upper stretches nicely to accommodate the feet over time.

Testing the Allbirds Wool Runners for Standing

In the context of standing specifically, it’s worth noting that this model has around a 15mm heel-to-toe drop and a fair amount of arch support. This can be a feature that is very hit or miss depending on how you want your shoes to fit and feel.

I think at times when standing, you can feel like you’re getting pushed forward in the Wool Runners and this is due to the higher drop. This seemed to start happening more as my shoes got more worn and the upper became more stretched and relaxed.

Testing the Allbirds Wool Runners for Traveling and Walking

If you’re used to using minimal shoes with lower heel-to-toe drops or prefer your shoes to have flatter drops, then you’ll likely want to pass on the Wool Runners and look into other shoes.

Testing the Allbirds Wool Runners for Different Seasons

In the context of wearing the Allbirds Wool Runners for different seasons, these are definitely strong 3-season shoes. For spring, fall, and winter, basically, for cooler and level temperature days, the Wool Runners excel.

Allbirds Wool Runners Try On

The ZQ Merino Wool does a good job at providing your feet with some thermoregulation and the material is warm enough for cooler days. This makes the Wool Runners a good option for traveling and commuting during most of the seasons of the year.

In summer, the Allbirds Wool Runners can run a little warm and if you plan to wear them in the summer, then I’d suggest wearing thin no-show socks or going barefoot if you’re only wearing your Wool Runners for a short period of time.

Reviewing the Allbirds Wool Runners

I’m not the biggest fan of them for summer, though, because some colorways can show sweat stains over time. Additionally, I’d suggest limiting wearing this shoe on rainy days. The upper can absorb water and the outsole lacks adequate traction on smooth surfaces.

Allbirds Wool Runners Vs Tree Dasher 2

If you’re on the fence between the Allbirds Wool Runners and Tree Dasher 2, then it’s a good idea to first define how you plan and want to use the shoes. Both of these shoes vary pretty greatly in regard to their intent and best uses.

allbirds tree dasher 2 running review

For example, if you plan to exercise or run in your shoes, you’ll want to go with Allbirds Tree Dasher 2. This model is designed to withstand the demands of exercise and running and has more durability features for this context.

Additionally, the midsole in this shoe will be a little more responsive and energy return, while the outsole will provide additional grip, which will promote performance and durability.

Allbirds Wool Runners Vs Allbirds Tree Dasher 2

Despite their name, the Wool Runners are best used for daily wear and casual walking. This model’s ZQ Merino Wool upper can break down pretty fast if you use it for exercise and running.

Plus, the outsole on the Wool Runners is smooth and its texture can fade pretty fast if you’re running with this model, which would then deteriorate this model’s long-term durability.

Allbirds Wool Runners Vs Tree Dasher 2

My Advice: If you want to run or exercise in your shoes, go Tree Dasher 2. This model can also be worn for daily wear, traveling, commuting, and walking, so it’s a nice model for versatility.

Conversely, if you only want a shoe for walking and wearing much more casually, plus, you want a warmer upper construction, then go with the Wool Runners.

Allbirds Wool Runners

Allbirds Wool Runner

Pros: Comfortable, Casual
Cons: Long-Term Durability
Size/Fit: True to Size/Narrow Width
Offset: 15mm
Price: $110
TF2 Rating: 4
Allbirds Tree Dasher 2

Allbirds Tree Dasher 2

Pros: Versatile, Casual
Cons: Not Great for Serious Running
Size/Fit: True to Size/Neutral Width
Offset: 7mm
Price: $135
TF2 Rating: 4.6

Allbirds Wool Runners Sizing

The Allbirds Wool Runners sizing is really interesting and I have a few thoughts and suggestions on how to size their models. The width of the toe box in the Wool Runners runs fairly snug and the length is true, but a little on the shorter size, in my opinion.

For example, I went true to size in this model with my normal size 10 and my toe is pretty much at the end of the toe box. Below, is a picture of where my big toe is sitting in the Wool Runners.

Allbirds Wool Runners Sizing

I think if you have a narrow and neutral-width foot and are not in-between sizes, then you should be safe going true-to-size. If you have wide feet, then you’ll likely want to go up a size to ensure you have enough toe box room.

If you’re in-between sizes, regardless of your foot width, then size up as it’s the safer call and it will give you more room in the toe box.

  • Allbirds Wool Runners Sizing Thoughts: Narrow and neutral-width feet, go true to size. Wide feet, size up. If you’re in-between sizes, size up.

Allbirds Wool Runners Sizing and Fit

If you have additional questions on the Allbirds Wool Runners sizing and fit or how they compare to other models, drop a comment below.

Construction Details

Below, I’ve listed some of the biggest construction details that influence the Allbirds Wool Runners’ durability and performance.

  • Heel-to-Toe Drop: Around 15mm
  • Weight: 8.9 oz (for my size 10 model)
  • Removable Insole: Yes
  • SweetFoam Midsole, Built With Sugarcane-Based Green EVA
  • ZQ Merino Wool Upper
  • Shoe Laces Constructed With Recycled Water Bottles
  • Castor Bean Oil-Based Insole Foam
  • Four Core Eyelets
  • External Heel Tab

If you have additional questions on the Allbirds Wool Runners’ construction, drop a comment below.

Takeaway Thoughts

The Allbirds Wool Runners are a pretty good daily wear and casual shoe built with responsibly-sourced materials. This model delivers a fair amount of comfort and has a simplistic look that can go with a variety of styles.

This model is also a good option for daily wear in cooler months when you want a little more insulation and warmth in your shoes.

The main drawbacks that I have with the Wool Runners involve their sizing and long-term durability for their price.

If you have additional questions on the Allbirds Wool Runners, 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.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *