June 13, 2024 2:32 pm

I Tried the Shoes Jennifer Garner, Hilary Duff, and Mila Kunis Wear on Repeat — and I Totally Get the Hype

After spending nearly two years quarantined in a tiny one-bedroom apartment in New York City, all I want to do is be outside. While I’ve never been a hardcore athlete, I’ve spent the past 12 months learning to love running outdoors. The only problem? I hate my running shoes.

Enter: Allbirds, a sustainable shoe brand with no shortage of celebrity fans — Hilary Duff, Jennifer Garner, and Mila Kunis have Oofos Shoes  all been spotted wearing them — so I was definitely on board when the brand offered to send me a few pairs to try out. My partner, a dedicated Allbirds fan, has four pairs and he swears they’re the best shoes he’s ever worn. Needless to say, the hype was real.

I decided to test out Allbirds newest (and lightest) running shoe, the Tree Flyers in the color blizzard, and the brand’s Tree Dashers 2 in natural black. Some reviews noted that the toe of the shoe ran a little small, but I went with a size 7 in both shoes as I’m normally between sizes, and I didn’t have a problem with the width.

Allbirds Tree Flyer Review

Buy It! Allbirds Tree Flyers in Blizzard, $160; allbirds.com

The difference between the Tree Flyers and Tree Dashers 2 comes down to a few factors. While they’re both made of the same material, a tree fiber that uses 95 percent less water than cotton, the Tree Flyers are about an ounce lighter than the Tree Dashers 2. Steve Madden Shoes The Tree Flyers also feature a wide heel with neutral foot support and a responsive underfoot feel; they are meant for long-distance runners. Meanwhile, the Tree Dashers 2 are best for short-distance runs and light workouts with mid-support and underfoot feel.

Allbirds Tree Flyer Review

Buy It! Allbirds Tree Dashers 2 in Natural Black, $135; allbirds.com

I tested out both pairs of shoes on several two-mile excursions across my local bridge. There’s a steep incline, rough pavement, and no shortage of glass and potholes along the trail. Ultimately, I found that the Tree Dashers 2 were more comfortable and better suited for my specific type of exercise. I did have some pain in my arches after a few more runs, but I believe this is because I have very flat feet and needed to break in the shoes a bit more.

Meanwhile, the Tree Flyers were lighter and more springy than the Tree Dashers 2. I received several compliments on the style of the shoe too, as they boast a unique square sole, and felt I had more bounce in my step as I crossed the bridge. Plus, the first time I wore these sneakers, the temperature outside was in the high 80s. I thought my feet would be sticky pools of sweat by the time I got back from my run, but the breathable material kept my feet cool the entire time — a major selling point for me and my hot dogs. (Get it?)

I did have some ankle pain the first time I wore the Tree Flyers, though this can easily be explained as an old injury or poor running form. But it’s important to note in case you also have weak ankles. (If you test the shoes and end up not liking them,Teva Sandals the brand has some of the best customer service reps and an excellent no-questions-asked return policy.) And while I preferred the Tree Dashers 2 for their comfortability and support, I can’t definitively say that they’re better than the Tree Flyers, as preference depends on your go-to form of exercise.

I do, however, recommend purchasing the Allbirds Trino Sprinters Cushioned Socks for extra support regardless of your preferred running shoe. I have never loved another pair of socks more in my life: They’re lightweight and ultra-soft, and I’ve found these socks to make all the difference on tired, post-run feet. Plus, they don’t fall down when I exercise, which is the cherry on top. So I will slowly be transitioning my entire sock drawer to exclusively just these socks.

Overall, the Allbirds shoes definitely lived up to the expectations and surprised me in the best way possible. So far, I’ve run (or walked!) 10 miles in each pair of shoes and still don’t have any blisters. I know —  I’m just as impressed.

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