My honest review of the Allbirds Tree Dashers running shoes and whether they’re worth the hype.
It was March 2021. Gyms were still mostly closed in the Bay Area and I was itching to get back into working out and into better shape after the year that was 2020.
I had also moved to Berkeley only a few months ago, reluctantly giving up my rent-controlled apartment in San Francisco.
I decided I wanted to take up running around my Berkeley neighborhood. I thought it would be a good way to explore my new home and get my energy back up.
I also knew that Allbirds had recently released a new running shoe, the Allbirds Tree Dashers, that I was curious to try out.
And it just so happened that I was desperately in need of new running shoes at the time.
Up until then, I’d still been using my Merrell trail runners (that also moonlighted as my hiking shoes) and they were starting to fray at the seams from overuse.
Well, it’s been almost a year now that I’ve been testing out my Allbirds Tree Dashers running shoes.
In that time, I’ve done everything from bi-weekly runs around my neighborhood to walking explorations around new city streets. And I eventually got back inside a gym for workouts by the end of 2021.
I’ve tested these shoes in various terrain, both inside and outside, with running and overall working out in mind.
So, without further ado, this is my honest review of the Allbirds Tree Dashers and whether I think they’re worth the hype.
Note: this post contains affiliate links, which help run this site at no extra cost to you so I can keep providing free travel advice and tips.
Allbirds Tree Dashers Review: My Experience With Allbirds Running Shoes
In this Allbirds Tree Dasher performance review, I want to go into the specific pros and cons of these shoes to give you the full picture of my personal experience.
After unboxing the Tree Dashers from their eco-friendly cardboard packaging (no plastic in sight!), I started taking them for runs around the neighborhood.
Eventually, I also got back into the gym and they became not just my new running shoes, but my go-to workout shoes and one of my favorite pairs of walking shoes.
These are my main pros and cons about the shoes after about a year of use.
Allbirds Tree Dashers Pros
One of the best Tree Dasher features is how lightweight they are.
This is paramount in a running shoe because you don’t want to exert more effort than you need when you’re picking up your feet from the pavement.
I’m used to my feet feeling like they’re walking on clouds with Allbirds, but my new Tree Dashers went a step further with their lightweight nature.
You know that feeling of getting your haircut after letting your hair grow long for a while? Your head feels so light and your body isn’t quite used to it yet.
That’s how it felt to slip on these Allbirds Running shoes, they were so much lighter than other shoes I’ve tried out for workouts in the past.
And they were definitely lighter than my old shoes, which were clunkier trail runners.
Part of this lightweight design comes from the sustainable materials used, like eucalyptus tree fiber in the knit upper, the sugarcane sole, and the natural rubber outsole.
Another great feature of the Dashers is that they don’t actually look all the much like your standard New Balance running shoes, they’re good for everyday wear too.
In addition to them being my main pair of running shoes, I’ve worn them with casual wear when I’m running errands or going for my daily afternoon walks.
Although they’re sporty looking, with their knit upper, large outsole, and laces, they’re still a versatile shoe that can be worn for a number of activities.
No Break-in Period Needed
The pro of having no break-in period is a huge plus for me because I generally have very sensitive feet that get blisters easily.
The first pair of Dashers I bought were slightly too small. The toe area, especially, felt way too cramped, so I exchanged them for a half size up and got a 10.5 in women’s.
Once I sized up, the Tree Dashers felt amazing right out of the box.
It probably helps that I always wear socks with these shoes, but I never got any blisters or uncomfortable rubbing on the back of my heel.
One aspect that might help with this is the elastic heel collar and merino wool-lined heel counter, which helps keep the running shoe in place, in addition to the laces.
Another important aspect in a running shoe, the Dashers are breathable with their mesh upper that lets airflow come in and out.
I read one Dasher review that mentioned the toe box not being very breathable, but I haven’t noticed that in my own experience with the Dashers. My feet breathe fine when I’m working up a sweat in these shoes.
I think the breathability also helps with keeping odor down. It’s why my Dashers still aren’t smelly, even after almost a year of wear and only one wash.
In recent years, I’ve made more of an effort to support brands that focus on using sustainable materials and which prioritize and focus on sustainable practices in their production (like being carbon neutral).
And as a shoe company, Allbirds is a trailblazer when it comes to sustainability.
They were one of the first sneaker companies, that I noticed at least, that focused on making sustainability very much a part of their branding.
All Allbirds shoes are made with sustainable materials, many of which include eucalyptus trees, sugarcane, and merino wool.
As a company, they’re also dedicated to having a low carbon footprint, tracking their emissions through five different areas of production.
And they’re not only a 100% carbon neutral company, they plan to cut their carbon footprint by 50% by 2025 and down to zero by 2030. And less carbon = better for the environment.
That’s a look at how Allbirds has focused on sustainability as a whole and what initially drew me to the company, but what about the Allbirds Tree Dashers specifically?
Like other Allbirds models, such as the Allbirds Wool Runners, the Tree Dasher uses merino wool. However, it’s a very small amount, mostly on the heel counter, to help support and keep your heel in place.
Other materials in these shoes include FSC-certified eucalyptus trees (turned into fiber for the knit upper), a castor bean insole (an alternative to petroleum-based foam), a natural rubber outsole, and a dual-density SweetFoam midsole that’s carbon negative green EVA.
The Dashers also have bio-based nylon eyelets and the shoelaces are made from recycled plastic bottles.
Cushioned midsole and arch support
Although I wish the ankle support was better (I’ll explain this more in the cons), the Dasher support, when it comes to the shoe’s midsole and arch support, is exactly what I was looking for.
There’s no doubt about it, the Allbirds Tree Dasher is a comfortable shoe.
And a lot of that comfort derives from the cushioned dual-density SweetFoam midsole, the castor bean insole, and the rubber outsole, which helps a lot with impact.
A good running shoe should be comfortable to, well, run in, and the Tree Dashers are my go-to running shoes for a reason.
They provide the support I need (especially as someone who has bad knees) and keep my feet comfortable and cozy at the same time.
Another thing I like is that the castor bean insole is removable, so if you need more arch support, you can replace it with a heavier duty insole.
Not too pricey
Usually priced at $125, the Tree Dashers are currently on sale for $99.
Even at the $125 price point though, that’s not terrible for running shoes, especially ones that are sustainably made.
One of the aspects I like about Allbirds is how accessible their pricing is.
Even though they’re a trendy shoe brand that focuses on sustainable products (which sometimes translates to higher prices), they keep all of their shoes at an affordable price for consumers.
Similar to other styles of Allbirds, the Tree Dashers have both classic colors that don’t often change and seasonal limited edition colors.
The classic colors are more muted with mostly greys, blacks, and whites, but the limited edition colors are all kinds of fun.
At the publication of this article, their limited edition colors include purples, oranges, greens, and blues.
Workout shoes don’t have to be boring and I love how the Tree Dashers come in a good variety of colors for every type of style.
For myself, I bought the limited edition Puukeko color with a white sole (which is still available a year later). It’s a deep blue with a subtle pink color that comes through the mesh.
Allbirds Tree Dashers Cons
Although I like that the outsole is sustainably made with natural rubber, it’s also huge. Okay, maybe huge is an exaggeration, but it’s much larger than what you’ll find on your average running shoe.
It took me a while to get used to how big the sole expands out, especially on the sides and behind the shoe.
I’m sure this helps with the overall bounce and support in the shoe, but stylistically it’s not always the most attractive (especially with a bright white sole).
Soft knit upper
Another feature of these knit shoes that I have a love-hate relationship with is the breathable mesh upper.
Yes, I love that this feature makes these shoes more breathable, but the mesh upper almost feels too soft and malleable at times.
The laces help keep my feet in place for the most part, but the one-piece upper can feel a little too flexible compared to a more traditional running shoe where you’re feet are more locked in.
Not much ankle support
Another aspect that I’m not too fond of with the Allbirds Tree Dasher, which goes back to the one-piece knit upper, is that there’s not a ton of ankle support in these shoes.
The heel counter is soft and cushiony with its lining of merino wool that helps make sure there’s no heel slip, but the heel collar is soft and elastic.
In other words, it’s probably not going to stop your ankle from going the wrong way if you land on it weirdly.
I, as I’m sure most runners do, generally like a little more ankle support in my running shoes.
I guess that’s the trade-off though with having a knit upper; you’re basically trading breathability and stretchiness for more support in the upper part of the shoe.
Other Types of Allbirds Running Shoes
These are some other Allbirds models that are similar to the standard Allbirds Tree Dashers if you’re looking for something slightly different.
And, as with all shoes from Allbirds, these alternative styles are also machine washable.
Wool Dasher Mizzles
Since this is the water-resistant version of the Tree Dasher, this is a great shoe for anyone who lives in a wet climate.
And the Wool Dasher Mizzles aren’t just your average running shoe, they also have Allbirds’ signature merino wool lining and upper and they have better traction.
These made the top of the list for my favorite waterproof walking shoes for women, for a reason.
Allbirds Trail Runners SWT
If you need running shoes that are also good for rough terrain, the Allbirds Trail Runners SWT is another good alternative to the traditional Tree Dashers.
These shoes have even more traction for dirt or rocky trails, a water-resistant finish, and a mudguard that prevents tears and protects feet.
Wool Dasher Fluffs
Okay, the Dasher Fluffs are pure cute. These are a limited edition Dasher alternative that basically looks like you stepped in sheep’s wool (but in a good way and not weird at all).
These fluffy running shoes are pretty similar to the traditional Tree Dashers but with a fluffy wool upper and a slightly warmer feel.
The Staple Dashers is another limited edition running shoe from Allbirds that was made in collaboration with Jeff Staple.
These are basically the exact same as the standard Tree Dashers but with a slightly sleeker design and a partial wool and partial mesh upper.
Allbirds Tree Runners
The Allbirds Tree Runners aren’t technically marketed as a “running shoe,” but they’re a sporty style of Allbirds that I’ve used for workouts in the past.
If you’re looking for a slimmer and sleeker active shoe, these could be another good alternative since they work great as a walking shoe or a go-to travel shoe.
Allbirds Tree Dashers vs Tree Runners
Since a lot of people ask about these two shoes, and I’ve used and tested both, I wanted to break down the main differences between the two.
Allbirds Tree Runners offer more casual comfort, with less of the heavy-duty support that you’ll find in the Tree Dashers (especially the outsole).
They’re great for casual wear, although I’ve found the Tree Dashers to be surprisingly versatile as well.
Basically, if you’re looking for a sporty, versatile sneaker that can also be supportive enough to be a good walking shoe, the Tree Runners are a good bet.
If you’re looking for a more supportive workout shoe that can also be used for more high-impact activities, the Tree Dashers would be a better pick.
Allbirds Tree Dasher Sizing Tips, Fit & How They Should Feel
When it comes to Allbirds Dasher sizing, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Also, note that this Allbirds Tree Dasher sizing section is based on my personal experience with the women’s version of the shoe.
How Does Sizing Work? Do Allbirds Tree Dashers Run Big or Small?
One thing I love about the Dasher sizing is that they come in half sizes.
I never understand why some shoe companies don’t offer half sizes (I’m guessing it has to do with money and what sells) when everyone has such different sized feet.
A half-size can make all the difference when you have in-between feet.
I generally wear a size 10 in women’s, which is the size I initially bought in the Allbirds Tree Dashers.
However, the toe box is a little short and I found the 10s to be too cramped for my liking.
I used Allbirds’ very easy exchange policy to get the 10.5, which fit me much better. So, from my experience, I’d say to size a half size up, especially if you’re in between sizes or you don’t want cramped toes.
Do Allbirds Tree Dashers Stretch?
The upper knit material of the Dashers is very stretchy, but the rubber lip of the sole that runs around the bottom of your toes is not.
This is ultimately why I decided to just exchange my Dashers that were slightly too small and get a half size up.
Because the Dashers come in half sizes, I’d recommend getting the exact size you need instead of relying on them to eventually stretch.
Are Allbirds Tree Dashers Comfortable?
Yes, as I said in my list of pros above, this is a major plus of the shoes. I love how comfortable the Dashers are for workouts and running around town.
How Long Does it Take to Break in Allbirds Tree Dashers?
This is one of the few running shoes I’ve owned that I didn’t need to break in over a month or so.
Once I had the correct size, the Dashers fit super well and I never got any blisters from them.
How Should Allbirds Tree Dashers Fit When I Try Them on?
The Tree Dashers should feel snug but not cramped. If your toes are already hitting the front edge of the shoe or feel like they’re on top of one another, you could probably get another half size up.
You also don’t want your foot to be moving around while wearing them.
The laces can keep the shoes on to an extent, but they won’t make for a very comfortable pair of shoes if your feet are slipping around a lot.
Do Allbirds Tree Dashers Provide Enough Support?
I’m a 30-something-year-old female that has on-and-off bad knees and the Allbirds Tree Dashers have been supportive enough for me, whether I’m running or walking.
The only part of the shoe that’s not as supportive as I would like is around the ankle, but so far I haven’t had any issues with turned ankles or weird landings.
I also like that the Dashers come with a removable insole, so if you need more support you can replace it with a heavy-duty insole.
Are Allbirds Tree Dashers Good For High Arches?
The Allbirds Tree Dashers should work fine for people with high arches.
The removable insole provides medium support for the arch, but can also be easily replaced with one that works better for high arches.
Are Allbirds Tree Dashers Good for Wide Feet?
Unfortunately, the Tree Dashers don’t come in “wide” versions. I honestly don’t think I’d recommend the Tree Dashers if you have wider than usual feet.
The toe area, especially, is a bit shorter and more narrow than other running shoes I’ve owned, and the overall frame of the shoe and its insole is a “regular” width. I don’t know if I could see it accommodating someone with wide feet as well.
Can You Wear Allbirds Tree Dashers With Plantar Fasciitis?
I don’t see why not. The heel counter has a good amount of support and is lined with merino wool to keep your heel in place better.
The large outsole also does a good job of cushioning and supporting the heel during high-impact workouts.
Can You Wear Allbirds Tree Dashers With Bunions?
Although I wouldn’t necessarily recommend the Dashers for people with very wide feet, the Dashers should work okay for people with bunions.
The reason for this is because bunions are located at the base of your big toe.
The mesh upper is at the right location and stretchy enough to accommodate bunions, and the thin merino lining adds a little extra softness too.
Allbirds Tree Dasher Durability
How is the Quality of Allbirds Tree Dashers?
Although I wasn’t sure how well the knit upper would hold up after a year’s worth of moderate use, the shoes still look as good as new a year later. Even the removable insole is still holding up great as of now.
I’ll update this article if anything changes, but as of now, the Dashers are holding up well to my regular workouts (2-3x per week) and active lifestyle.
Are Allbirds Tree Dashers Waterproof?
No, the standard Tree Dashers aren’t waterproof. If you’re looking for running shoes that hold up better in wet conditions, I’d recommend checking out the Wool Dasher Mizzles.
These are the exact same shoe as the Tree Dashers but without the mesh upper, and they have the added benefit of being water-resistant and having more grip.
How Long do Allbirds Tree Dashers Last?
As with any running shoe, this always depends on how often you wear the shoes and what type of terrain your use them on.
It’s also good to keep in mind that running shoes should be replaced more often for maximum support. On average, running shoes should last between 300-500 miles, and the Dashers are no different.
In terms of my personal experience with the Dashers’ durability, for general wear and regular workouts 2-3x per week, they’re still going strong a year later.
The support still feels good and there aren’t any tears or holes in the mesh upper, even after putting them through the wash.
How to Wash Allbirds Tree Dashers
To wash the Dashers, take out the laces and insoles first. I washed the laces and insoles by hand separately and then let them air dry.
Once the shoes are bare, put them into some kind of cloth bag. I used a reusable grocery bag but something like a pillowcase works as well.
Now, they’re ready to throw into the washing machine! Wash them on the “gentle” or “hand wash” cycle in cold water with a dollop of mild detergent.
Once they’re done, let them air dry in a warm room or on a warm day outside. Easy peasy!
How to Take Care of Allbirds Tree Dashers
There’s not really any special care needed for the Tree Dashers, you can treat them as any other pair of running shoes.
I’d say to just not wash them more than you need to. And also to follow the instructions above (especially with removing laces/insoles and putting them in a bag) so they don’t get snagged in the washing machine.
Allbirds Return & Exchange Policy
Allbirds offers free shipping on any orders over $50, so the Dashers qualify for free standard shipping.
They have a no-questions-asked 30-day return and exchange policy, which means you can take your new pair of Allbirds outside, test them out, and still return them if they’re not for you.
That is, as long as it’s within 30 days from your purchase date and the labels are still intact.
Returns and exchanges for the Dashers are also free. Because of this, I sometimes recommend ordering two sizes and just sending back the one that doesn’t work since it’s so easy to do and doesn’t cost extra.
Allbirds Discounts & Coupons
So, do Allbirds Tree Dashers ever go on sale? In fact, they do! Right now the Dashers are on sale for $99, down from their usual $125.
As a general rule of thumb, Allbirds doesn’t offer regular sales or discounts on their products, not even for major holidays.
However, sometimes these random sales (like the Dashers currently being on sale) happen every once in a while.
They offered a Cyber Monday sale in 2021, but it’s unclear if that will happen again in future years.
Where to Buy Allbirds Tree Dashers
The only place to buy the Allbirds Tree Dasher running shoes is on the official Allbirds website or at one of their brick-and-mortar stores. They’re currently being sold for $99, down from their usual $125 price point.
You also might be able to find some Dashers on places like Facebook Marketplace or Poshmark, depending on where you live.
However, I generally recommend purchasing directly from Allbirds since they have such a good return and exchange policy, plus free shipping for their shoes.
FAQ About Allbirds Tree Dashers
What are Allbirds Tree Dashers Made of?
The Allbirds Tree Dasher is made from sustainable and natural materials.
These include a thermoregulating eucalyptus fiber upper, castor bean insole, natural rubber outsole, a sugarcane-based dual-density SweetFoam midsole that’s carbon negative green EVA, bio-based nylon eyelets, and recycled plastic bottles for the shoelaces.
They also have a small amount of ZQ merino wool lining.
Where are Allbirds Tree Dashers Made?
The Tree Dashers are made in Vietnam.
Are Allbirds Tree Dashers Really Washable?
Yes! After a particularly muddy walk this winter, I tested out the Tree Dashers in my washing machine.
As instructed on the Allbirds website, I took out the laces and put the shoes in a soft bag to protect the mesh upper from any snags or rips.
I then put them on the gentle cycle with cold water and air-dried them in the sun. They looked as good as new.
I’ve also washed my other Allbirds shoe styles in the past, so I can vouch for how machine washable Allbirds shoes are.
Do You Wear Socks With Allbirds Tree Dashers?
Unlike my Allbirds Wool Runners, which I almost never wear socks with, I always wear socks with the Allbirds Tree Dasher running shoe.
Since I’m usually always working out and working up a sweat when I wear them, I like wearing socks to keep my feet from feeling gross.
Even Allbirds recommends wearing socks with the Tree Dashers because they’re made for working out in.
Do Allbirds Tree Dashers Get Smelly?
After almost a year of use, my Tree Dashers still aren’t smelly in the least. The only reason I washed them before was because of mud and caked-on dirt, but not because of the smell.
It’s actually pretty impressive with how much I’ve worked up a sweat while wearing these shoes. I’ve had some very good workouts in them.
Are Allbirds Tree Dashers Good Overall Workout Shoes?
I’d have to give this question an emphatic yes! They’ve been my go-to workout shoes for the past year.
I love the support they give my feet, no matter what type of activity I’m doing, the natural bounce to the outsole, and how breathable they are.
The lack of odor is another big plus in a pair of workout shoes.
Are Allbirds Tree Dashers Good Walking Shoes?
This would have to be another yes. Another thing I’m a fan of when it comes to the Tree Dasher is how versatile they are.
Although I have a quality pair of hiking boots now, I use the Dashers for short hikes, running errands, and long walks around town.
In addition to being my main workout shoes, they’ve also become the shoes I grab when I want to go for walk, especially a long one.
Conclusion: My Overall Thoughts on the Allbirds Running Shoes
If you’ve made it to the end of this Allbirds running shoes review, congrats and bravo!
I know there’s a lot of info packed into this article, but I hope it helped you get a clear picture of my experience with the Allbirds Tree Dashers and how I’ve implemented them into my daily life.
Most people who want to learn more about the Tree Dashers want to know if they’re actually a legitimate running shoe. And to that, I’d say yes and no.
The Tree Dasher is a good running shoe for someone who’s a beginner to a moderate runner.
They’re good for light jogging and even some full-on sprinting from time to time, but I don’t think I’d recommend them for marathoners or serious runners.
Mostly, this is due to the lack of ankle support and the almost-too-flexible mesh upper.
There are better and more professional shoes on the market for those that are at that higher level of activity.
With that said, the Tree Dashers are great for anyone who’s looking for a solid pair of workout shoes who also happens to run a few times a week.
They’re also great walking shoes, and they’ve actually turned into my go-to walking shoes for lengthier walks around town.
In other words, they’re perfect for my active lifestyle and as someone who’s an occasional runner. If that sounds like you, the Tree Dashers are probably a good fit for you too.
Looking for more shoe reviews? Check out our related posts below!
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