While my style is pretty classic, I am not above a good trend- especially when it comes to items with a cult following. Earlier this year, I started noticing coworkers and fellow Pure Barre ladies walking around in shoes that looked like the were made out of, I don’t know, carpets? Sweaters? Felt? I obviously inquired further and found out about “allbirds: The World’s Most Comfortable Shoe.” (Their actual tagline.) I have scoliosis, and, as I’ve gotten older, the toll that bad shoes take on me isn’t even worth the fashion trade-off anymore. I wear gym shoes 90% of the time so I’m always looking for styles that look more athleisure than “hang on, let me finish this 5k.” (Plus, LOL. Like I run.)
As I’ve mentioned on here with some other online-only retailers, I have a hard time making that first purchase when I’ve never tried on an item in person before. However, when I found out Nordstrom was having an allbirds pop up at the time, I decided to order a pair for my upcoming trip to Italy. I knew the Italians would hate me for sullying their beautiful country with gym shoes, but I needed something I could wear without leaving crippled from back pain. So I ordered!
Here are some major perks of allbirds-
- They’re machine washable! Just throw them in our washing machine and set out to dry.
- You don’t need to wear socks because the softness of the inner material. If they get smelly? See item above.
- They’re made of merino wool (aka not carpet)- it’s all natural and sustainable so there’s less impact on Mother Nature
I absolutely love the trend of sustainable, ethical products that are popping up and gaining popularity. I want to support them all, and it helps when they have an amazing product on top of it! … but then something terrible happened. I started noticing a dull ache in my knees. I attributed it to more walking in the nice weather and some intense barre classes, but I started noticing it only happened after, sigh, I’d been wearing the allbirds. I was officially an allbirds failure.
While I ended up returning my pair, there are a few things worth mentioning before you swear them off. Like I mentioned above, I have pretty significant scoliosis which affects the pressure on my hips and knees. It only takes my gait being thrown off a bit for me to start feeling the effects pretty intensely. In fact, I felt like the shoes were incredibly comfortable while I was wearing them. I was already bragging to people about how great they were and how excited I was to finally have a pair. Unfortunately, it must have thrown my body off just enough to ache later.
I talked to everyone I knew who owned a pair about their experience, and the overwhelming majority loved them. However, another friend who deals with uneven hips also experienced some pain after wearing them so it’s possible they’re just not great if you have a postural abnormality. The good news? allbirds will take them back for a full refund within 30 days if you try them and they aren’t for you.
I’m still all about good, ethical companies who are committed to sustainable practices so I’d buy another pair in a second if I could! Plus, they make a bunch of other colors so you have plenty of cute options! Responsible product + stylish? Why not give it a shot?
The face of someone who doesn’t yet realize they’re an allbirds failure
They were so pretty up close!