Welcome the Allbirds Tree Dasher to the expanding family of fabulous footwear made from natural, sustainable materials. Friends, this is the one we’ve been waiting for! I am so happy to bring you this good news. The Allbirds Tree Dasher is the company’s first performance shoe designed for running and in my case, walking quickly/jogging slowly.
I’ve had the pleasure of taking some long walks with the dog and shorter jogs with my son during quarantine and I can say with full confidence that the Allbirds Tree Dasher provides more support and stability than my wool runners (read my original Allbirds review).
Let me break down the construction of the shoe for you, and how my feet experience each component.
The Unique, Durable Upper:
The seamless one-piece upper is made from eucalyptus tree fiber which is breathable and presents two benefits. One, if you have sensitive toes due to neuropathy, bunion or hammertoes, you’ll appreciate the smooth feeling of the Allbirds Tree Dasher seamless upper. Two, there’s an enjoyable light and breezy feel to the knit upper as it allows for air to circulate around feet–a great shoe for summer!
Since the upper is made of one piece, it fits a bit like a sock–a secure yet soft fit around the ankle. The signature eyelets are embroidered directly to the internal structure of the shoe. Add a nice thick lace and you’ve got a great custom fit across the instep.
If you have narrow heels like I do, you may experience a tiny bit of slippage, but I find it helps to wear a pair of sport socks like Allbirds Trino or other no-show performance sock. I do appreciate the merino wool heel pad that provides extra cushioning and takes up some of the room around the ankle.
Supportive Insole, Midsole and Outsole:
These are the features that elevate the Tree Dasher above the rest of the Allbirds styles when it comes to support and stability. A removable contoured castor bean sock-liner combined with a dual-density EVA midsole offer moderate arch support. While the arch support isn’t as aggressive as my Nike Zoom Winflos, it’s noticeable and feels great. Since the sock-liner/insole is removable, I imagine you could use your own orthotic, but it could alter the fit of the shoe.
The midsole and outsole are made of SweetFoam™, which is derived from sugarcane and made into the world’s first carbon-negative green EVA (a durable, shock-absorbing foam typically made from petroleum). Isn’t that brilliant? And I can attest to the fact that it provides excellent cushioning from heel to toe–more so than the sole on my wool runners.
As you can see in the photos, the outsole on the Allbirds Tree Dasher is thicker and wider in the back for better stability. There are two natural rubber pads on the outsole for good traction.
How’s the Fit?
The Tree Dasher is true to size. I typically wear a size 10, so that’s the size I ordered and it fits perfectly. I had a little difficulty getting my foot into the shoe initially since the upper is one piece and I have a high instep, but this is less of a problem now after a few wearings. The toe box is generous without looking clown-like and allows toes to move around comfortably.
I wouldn’t recommend the Tree Dasher for extra narrow or extra wide feet–it should fit a medium to slightly wide foot best.
Overall, I’m thrilled with the Allbirds Tree Dasher performance shoe. It’s a true feel-good shoe: my feet feel good and I feel good about wearing a shoe made from sustainable eucalyptus, sugar cane and merino wool.
You can find the Allbirds Tree Dasher in four colors, women’s sizes 5-11 (yes, they have a 10.5!), for $125 from Allbirds.com. Men, there are Tree Dashers for you in sizes 8-14 for $125 from Allbirds.com.