Allbirds, the brand known for its merino wool walking around sneaker, launched its first performance shoe, the Dasher. Aimed at runners, this lightweight shoe is made with all-natural materials: a sugarcane sole and a blend of renewable eucalyptus and superfine merino wool in the upper. It’s machine-washable and is carbon neutral, which is something most running shoe brands don’t offer right now. Did we mention it’s comfortable, too?
Allbirds leaned on 50 amateur and pro athletes to test the sneaker and get it ready for race day. And after a few pilot runs of my own, I can vouch that the sneaker feels smooth from the first step. I was pleasantly surprised with its performance, considering the brand only made lifestyle shoes until now.
A merino wool heel pad and contoured castor bean sock liner keep your heel locked in place, and there’s no break-in period or hot spots. The look of the outsole is a bit unusual given the bulky hexagonal shape under the heel, but after three days, I was used to it and took to slipping them on (sockless, I might add) to pick up coffee.
The Dasher could quickly become my new travel sneaker (when that time returns) — built for five-mile runs in the morning followed by a day of walking, these look and feel great. It doesn’t resemble a super technical sneaker, which is both a pro and a con. While the shoes are ideal for easy or recovery days, I will likely reach for something a bit snappier when I head to the track.
Look for The Dasher at Allbirds.com starting today in four colors: tan, white, mint and grey. And stay tuned for our full review once we log more miles in them.
Photos provided by Nick Kova.
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