If you’re in the market for a pair of comfortable running shoes, this Allbirds Dashers review will help you decide whether or not they’re right for you.
I’ve made no secret of the fact I love the Allbirds brand and all 5 pairs of Allbirds shoes I own, so it won’t be a surprise that I also love the Dashers! In this review, I’ll explain exactly why they’re now my go-to running and workout shoes, advice on how to find your perfect pair, and I’ll also share some alternatives in the unlikely event they’re not quite what you’re looking for.
Already convinced, though? Let’s buy them!
About the Dashers
Not to be confused with Allbirds Runners, their everyday sneakers, or the Flyers, their long-distance running shoes, the Dashers were Allbirds’ first shoes specifically designed for everyday running and working out.
However, the Dashers you’ll find on the Allbirds website now are the Dashers 2 – an upgrade on the original design, with a smaller carbon footprint, improved grip on the sole and overall lighter weight.
The Tree Dashers 2 are still made of Allbirds’ lightweight and breathable tree fibres, with the added benefit of being made sustainably and with ethics at the heart of the brand. They are available in a wide range of colours, including my very own purple ones, and in a striking design, with a relatively chunky sole (all the better to cushion you with). The upper is also made from one seamless piece of eucalyptus fabric, maximising comfort and stopping any pesky seams from rubbing you up the wrong way.
Now, with running shoes being a slightly more ‘specialist’ type of shoe, it was essential for Allbirds to do their research and make sure they weren’t just providing comfort, but also plenty of support to keep your feet sturdy and stable when running or during workouts.
That’s why the running shoes have been through a rigorous testing process with 90+ runners and thousands of miles of running to make sure they were good enough to release. When you step out the door for your first run, you can absolutely tell they passed the test.
Pros of the Allbirds Tree Dashers 2
As you’ll see from my overall review of the Dashers above, their positives are plentiful, but to keep this a fair and balanced review, I’ve highlighted my top 3 pros below:
One of my favourite things about Allbirds shoes is how sustainable they are. Made using naturally occurring materials such as eucalyptus fibres for the upper, recycled plastic bottles for the laces, and sugarcane for the cushioned midsole, they have a carbon footprint that is almost half of other mass-produced shoes. Their manufacturing processes are also dedicated to reducing their impact on the environment, through carbon offsetting programmes and pledges to do better. You can find out more about their sustainability practices on their website.
I cannot stress this enough. The Allbirds Dashers are comfortable. Like, really comfortable. Easily the most comfortable running shoes I’ve ever owned. I have worn them for walks lasting the whole day, and my feet have felt as fresh as when I first put the Dashers on in the morning. Even with my slightly wide feet, they stay perfectly encased and supported when walking, running and working out. Thanks to the cushiony sole and silky soft eucalyptus fibres making up the upper, they’re easy to slip on and off really comfortably, and my feet feel sturdy in the shoes no matter what I make them do. Their inherent support also means you don’t need to wear the laces too tight either, providing lots of wiggle room and breathability too.
No matter what you put them through, one of the best things about the Allbirds Dashers is the fact you can put them in the washing machine and they’ll come out looking brand new. To wash your Allbirds, simply remove the laces and insoles, pop the shoes in a delicate bag and wash on a gentle cycle with a mild laundry liquid. Leave them to air dry, and they’ll be just like they were before you got them all mucky! If you really want to get them looking brand new, you can also replace the laces and insoles from the Allbirds shop.
Cons of the Allbirds Dashers
Of course, even the best running shoes out there will have their flaws. In the list below, I’ve picked out the main cons of the Allbirds Dashers to help you make up your mind.
They are expensive
At £125 GBP or $135 USD per pair, they’re certainly not cheap for running shoes. There are much cheaper trainers on the market at the moment, but with Allbirds, you do get what you pay for. It’s also important to weigh up this cost against the fact they’ll last for a long time, and the ethical resources and manufacturing processes will understandably cost more than any made in a third-world sweatshop.
Only really good for short distances and light workouts
One potential downside of the Allbirds Dashers is the fact they are only really suitable for short distances when running and light workouts, including resistance training. As a result, if you like to run marathons or on country trails, a different pair of running shoes might be more appropriate for you. Luckily, Allbirds have also designed the Allbirds Flyers, which suit this style much better. While the Dashers have a slightly plush base, the Flyers are much more responsive against the road, helping you to stay light and supported.
The large heel may be unsightly to some
While I find the design of the Dashers ultra stylish, sleek and modern for a running shoe, I can understand why the large stepped heel design may annoy some and detract from the style for others. That said, the large heel and its angled design are essential for ankle support and to soften the impact of running and workouts.
The different running shoes from Allbirds
There are plenty of different types of running shoes available, so while this review focuses on the Tree Dashers 2, the main benefits are still applicable to each. Where they differ is in the best conditions for wear, for example, the weather or the type of track you’re running on.
To make it really easy, I’ve linked each of the different running shoes available from Allbirds below depending on what you’re looking for:
- Allbirds Tree Dashers 2 – the main focus of this review, made from lightweight eucalyptus fibres for men or women
- Allbirds Dashers Relay – a lightweight, laceless version of the Dashers, made from eucalyptus fibres for men or women
- Allbirds Wool Mizzles Dashers – merino wool fabric running shoes, with water-repellent properties ideal for cold, stormy weather for men or women
- Allbirds Tree Flyers – lightweight eucalyptus fabric shoes with a springy insole, perfect for long-distance running for men or women
- Allbirds Wool Flyer Mizzles – merino wool running shoes, with water-repellent properties ideal for distance running on cold, stormy days for men or women
- Allbirds Trail Runners SWT – Allbirds’ first running shoe designed for off-road terrain and trails for men or women
Unusually for running shoes, the Allbirds Dashers are only available to purchase directly from Allbirds and are not sold anywhere else. That means the price you see on the Allbirds site is the cheapest you’ll find them, and it’s also the same price that you’ll find in stores too. So you can be safe in the knowledge you’ve got a great deal when you buy a pair of Allbirds!
Alternatives to the Dashers
If you’re not quite convinced that the Dashers are right for you, why not check out these alternative running shoes? Each pair comes highly rated by Runner’s World for its comfort, the level of support they provide during workouts and its design too.
|Product||How they compare to the Dashers||Where to buy them|
|On Cloudsurfer 7||A great all-rounder for short runs and distance running too||Cotswold Outdoor|
|Under Armour Flow Velociti Elite||Even lighter than the Dashers at just over 7.5oz, thanks to the rubberless midsole||Amazon|
|Lululemon Blissfeel 2||A more traditional-looking running shoe than the Dasher, ideal for runners in need of more rigid support and firmer cushioning||Lululemon|
|Puma Velocity Nitro 2||Another good all-rounder, perfect for rest days and long runs and everything in between||Amazon|
Throughout this review, I’ve shared why Allbirds Dashers are the ideal shoes for running as they provide comfort and support, whilst also championing sustainability. They’re perfect for both running and light workouts, and with a range of stylish colours to choose from, you’re bound to find a pair you love.
Above all, I really would recommend the Dashers to anyone looking for a pair of comfortable, sustainable and stylish running shoes for short-distance runs, walks and light workouts. For anything more, try the Flyers and you’ll be just as happy!