Shortly after Allbirds first launched on Kickstarter in 2016 with an on a regular basis sneaker manufactured from merino wool, I bought a mint inexperienced pair for my birthday. They have been gentle and ethereal, and so they grew to become my favourite journey and on a regular basis footwear. Since then, the corporate has steadily expanded its lineup to incorporate trainers, excessive tops, slip ons, activewear, socks, underwear, and extra. In the present day, it launched its first-ever path shoe: the Allbirds Path Runner SWT.
I took them for a spin forward of the discharge to learn how they carried out within the wild—right here’s how they stack up.
What It Is
Allbirds already has three working shoe fashions on sale, however the Path Runner SWT is the corporate’s first trail-specific working shoe. Whereas many footwear are created from petroleum-based supplies, this shoe options pure supplies like sugar, wool, and timber—that’s what the “SWT” within the identify stands for.
Sustainability is a typical thread that runs by way of practically every bit of the Path Runner SWT.
Each Allbirds shoe options merino wool, and this one is not any completely different. The merino wool lining on the inside of the higher feels gentle towards your ft, however it additionally helps with odor, moisture, and temperature administration. On the surface, the higher is created from robust recycled polyester for sturdiness and safety in moist or dry climates, and a low-cut sock cuff retains out dust and precipitation. The laces are created from recycled water bottles, and the midsole is created from Allbirds’ proprietary cushioning materials referred to as SweetFoam; it’s derived from renewable sugarcane grown in southern Brazil. Even the rubber outsole is FSC-certified, that means it’s pure and sustainably sourced.
With a heel-to-toe drop of seven millimeters, the Path Runner SWT falls within the medium drop class (stack peak is 18mm on the forefoot and 25mm on the heel). The outsole lugs are formed like macaroni elbows to offer grip on rocky, muddy, and grassy surfaces. In response to Allbirds, the design was impressed by mountain bike tires and David Hockney pool work, and it goals to inject a way of playfulness right into a class that tends to be overly aggressive.
In response to Allbirds, the Path Runner SWT has been examined over 2,000 miles by path runners and hikers, together with Allgood Collective members Jorge Maravilla, a two-time San Francisco Marathon winner, and Iman Smith, a marathoner and working coach.
Why We Like It
As somebody who’s loyal to Hoka One One path footwear for his or her supreme cushioning and bounce, I used to be frightened that the Path Runner SWT would go away my ft delicate to small bumps on the path. Normally after I take a look at new footwear, it takes a few week of working in them for my ft to regulate (in the event that they do in any respect).
However proper out of the field, the Path Runner SWT was snug on a five-mile path run. Through the first half-mile on pavement, the rubber was adequately grippy, however I didn’t really feel like I used to be working in cleats like I do in some path footwear with massive lugs.
As quickly as I hit the path, they began to shine. The noodle-shaped lugs caught to the bottom and saved my ft steady even in unfastened gravel, and my footfalls felt softer within the dust than on pavement. Despite the fact that this pair has a slimmer profile than my common kicks (Hoka’s Speedgoat 4), that they had loads of floor space to grip the terrain and take up affect.
Sneakers which can be too stiff are likely to tire out my arches rapidly, as my toes and heel flex with out the remainder of the foot shifting with them. Too flimsy, then again, and there’s not sufficient safety from rocks and roots. The Path Runner SWT fell completely within the center, with each sufficient flex and enough assist for longer efforts.
We’ve solely had one frost right here in Flagstaff, the place I stay, so I’m unsure but how these will really feel within the chilly or carry out within the mud and snow. However the merino wool higher ought to give them a comfy really feel, and wool’s pure antimicrobial properties will assist preserve foul smells at bay.
General, Allbirds will get two thumbs up: One for lastly making a path shoe and a second for using sustainable supplies in footwear (which makes up a good portion of the waste that results in landfills).
I’ve medium-width ft, and I crammed these out. Runners with extensive or slim ft might need points with the match—both too little or an excessive amount of room.
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