I am always searching for the perfect shoe. That one shoe I can wear all the time (or nearly). Ever since Vivobarefoot cancelled their awesome Terra Nova II line I just can’t find the one true shoe. I stumbled across Allbirds and it had many of the words I like: wool, all natural, etc. I couldn’t find any description about stack height or drop but figured what the heck, a comfortable pair of wool shoes would be nice, right?
I ordered the shoes and unboxed them. Put them on and immediately thought: $100 slippers. I wore them around the house for a bit and thought yep, slippers. Now it’s day 2 and a little cool in the house so I put my slippers on after reading that Allbirds offers a no questions asked 30 day refund policy. Good on them for this; I would have returned them after Day 1 otherwise. As I ease into these for the day I have early observations:
- These are not minimalist shoes. I like a very thin sole (see Vivo’s chart here) e.g. 3-5mm. Allbirds doesn’t claim these as minimalist by the way but I was hoping. There is also a noticeable drop from heel to toe, maybe 2-3mm or so.
- The toe-box is narrow. Since the upper material is stretchy this is okay, but the bottoms constrain those of us with hobbit feet. You’d think a company using New Zealand wool would accommodate hobbit feet.
- I normally wear 11.5 – 12 (45-46 EU) and these are a *snug* size 12. I assume with the wool and such they will sag out a bit over time.
- The insole is *thick* and spongy. Hate it. Will look for another insole.
Overall – I will try these out for a few days. These aren’t a replacement for the Terra Nova II (aka the perfect shoe) but worth a try.