ALEX: The much anticipated, first-ever trail runner from Allbirds has landed. The eco-friendly shoemaker just released the Trail Runner SWT, a highly capable trail shoe creatively designed and powered by sugar, wool, and trees. The Trail Runner SWT is preceded by the Tree Dasher and Wool Dasher Mizzle. The outsole tread is designed after that of a bike tire, inspiring runners to roll through nature.
ALEX: The Trail Runner SWT is comfortable and stable. The ZQ-certified Merino Wool and recycled ripstop polyester upper offers a sock-like, secure fit that naturally thermoregulates and manages moisture. The bio-based belong eyelets and TPU heel counter make this shoe stand proudly apart from its largely synthetic-based competitors.
The stack height (18 mm at the forefoot and 25 mm at the heel) allows for a stable ride with ample ground feel. The 7 mm drop kicks this shoe out of the minimal and into the medium category which can be a nice break for my ever-shortening Achilles tendon. The toe box also feels roomy enough without feeling too sloppy.
I definitely appreciate Allbirds’ approach to sustainability, while maintaining a high level of comfort. That does come at a cost (especially in terms of weight and performance), but the Trail Runner SWT still delivers an acceptable product while managing to integrate industry-leading practices into its construction.Shop Trail Runner SWT – Men Shop Trail Runner SWT – Women
ALEX: Buyer beware: there’s a break-in period. It took about 3 miles for the material over my toes to break in and stop putting pressure on top of my foot. Not so much a negative, but more so a warning.
I found the Trail Runner SWT to be hot and heavy. Similar to the Wool Dasher Mizzle, the merino wool upper feels really warm. It’s like wearing a thick wool sock over my wool sock. And while Allbirds invites users to run sock-free in their performance sneaks, that never ends well for me or the shoe. Weighing in at over 12 oz for a women’s size 8.5, this one is chunky. In fact, it’s one of the heavier trail shoes we’ve ever reviewed.
Finally, while I appreciate the simple, seamless, no-fuss design of the upper, it’s missing a tongue. I like to lock down my laces, especially on technical terrain, but it’s too uncomfortable without the protection of the tongue.Shop Trail Runner SWT – Men Shop Trail Runner SWT – Women
ALEX: The Allbirds Trail Runner SWT feels like a lifestyle shoe with a little more edge. If you’re looking for a high-performing trail shoe, you won’t find it here as the shoe is a little heavy and dead. They feel like I’m running in a pair of sneakers with macaroni and cheese stuck to the bottom.
That said, for the casual outdoor person who just wants something comfortable to kick around (or maybe even run a couple miles in), the Trail Runner can work. It’s certainly a great option for someone on the go as it packs down nicely and provides a one-stop-shop for all your running/walking/casual needs during your travels. Of course, I applaud Allbirds’ creative approach to sustainable footwear, but this one is more of a travel/recovery/casual shoe.
You can pick up the Allbirds Trail Runner SWT for $138 by using the shop link below.Shop Trail Runner SWT – Men Shop Trail Runner SWT – Women
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