Allbirds is back with their latest performance-focused running shoes—the Allbirds Tree Flyers. I’m a bit of an Allbirds junkie and a runner, so I wanted to personally test the Tree Flyers to see if they live up to the hype.
I’ve been wearing my Allbirds Tree Flyers for about four months and I’ve put in around 200-250 miles (between both running and walking) so in this Allbirds Tree Flyer review, I’m going to share what I like and don’t like about the Tree Flyers.
Allbirds Tree Flyers — Quick Overview
The Allbirds Tree Flyer was designed to be a sustainable, high-performance running shoe that can compete with the traditional high-performance running shoes from big-name brands like Nike, New Balance, Asics, etc.
I’ve personally tested just about all the Allbirds shoes and the Tree Flyers are easily my favorite in terms of comfort and performance—I also think it’s one of the coolest looking in the Allbirds lineup. And while they might not be right for advanced runners, I think they’re a very solid choice for many everyday runners.
How I Tested My Tree Flyers
I’ve worn my Allbirds Tree Flyers running shoes on NYC pavement during both walks and runs. Most of my runs were about 3-7 miles and I’ve done multiple 8-12 mile walks. I’ve only worn my Tree Flyers during the late spring and summer so I can’t speak to cold-weather performance.
Many people wear their Allbirds sock-free but I always wore socks with my Tree Flyers (I don’t recommend wearing these without socks).
My Running Credentials
I’m not an elite runner but I typically run around 20-30 miles a week with one long run each week that’s around 10-13 miles. I typically run an 8:45-minute mile so I’m a pretty average runner. I’ve also completed two marathons.
I typically wear New Balance 1080s or Asics Novablast on my runs.
Quicks Tree Flyers Facts (Via Allbirds)
- New bio-based SwiftFoam midsole is light, bouncy, and ready for distance running.
- Lightweight, breathable eucalyptus fiber upper provides next-level comfort.
- Heel counter and flared, geometric midsole help keep your stride steady.
- Heel Drop 8.5mm (Forefoot: 22.0mm, Heel: 30.5mm)
- Weight 281.64g (9.93oz)
- Price: $160 w/ free shipping at Allbirds.com
My Past Allbirds Reviews
As I mentioned before, I’ve owned multiple styles of Allbirds so I feel confident I can speak to the Tree Flyers and how they compare to other Allbirds models.
- Allbirds Wool Runners Review
- Allbirds Mizzle Review
- Allbirds Tree Runners Review
- Allbirds Tree Dasher 2 Review & Allbirds Tree Dashers Review
- Allbirds Tree Pipers Review
- Allbirds Wool Pipers Review
Full Allbirds Tree Flyers Review
The Tree Flyers is Allbird’s second attempt at creating a true, eco-friendly running shoe. Their first attempt was the Allbirds Tree Dasher (technically they have their Tree Dasher V1 and Tree Dasher V2).
The older Tree Dasher left a lot to be desired as a true running shoe (although it was a very comfortable walking shoe). This new Tree Flyers is designed to improve the shortcomings of the Tree Dasher—and it’s certainly a big improvement.
Let’s dive in to see what the Tree Flyers gets right and what could be improved.
Overall Thoughts Of The Tree Flyer
There are two ways to evaluate the Tree Flyer—as a true, high-performance running shoe and as an everyday walking shoe.
As a walking shoe, the Allbirds Tree Flyers is great. I really enjoy wearing them and I find myself always reaching for my Flyers when I head out for the day (and I have a ton of shoes to choose from… but that’s another issue). They’re comfortable, have a lot of cushioning, provide good breathability thanks to the knitted upper, and I like the overall “futuristic” style.
The Tree Flyers is also a very capable “daily trainer” running shoe that I feel is best suited for runs up to 5-6 miles but you might be able to push a few more miles out of your run. It’s a comfortable run with a good amount of cushion thanks to its SwiftFoam™ midsole that still provides a decent amount of spring/return. The stretchy upper is also comfortable and hugs your foot well.
The Tree Flyers is certainly not a perfect running shoe (I’ll go into more detail throughout the article) and it doesn’t perform quite as well as other running shoes at its own price point, but it’s still impressive considering its sustainable materials.
Is The Allbirds Tree Flyers Comfort?
The Allbirds Tree Flyers is a very comfortable shoe—for both everyday walks and as a “daily trainer” running shoe. I never experienced any hotspots during my runs/walks (I wear no-show socks) so I’ve had to deal with blisters or weird rubbing on my ankles.
The new SwiftFoam midsole provides a good amount of cushioning but it’s still fairly firm. I actually found that the foam became a little more squishy after about a mile into my runs. I felt supported in both my runs and walks. The wide base of the sole and the exaggerated heel also help add more stability to the shoe.
The sock-like knit upper is very stretchy, it hugs my foot well, and it’s super easy to slip on.
The SwiftFoam Midsole
The Tree Flyer has a new bio-based, futuristic-looking SwiftFoam midsole that is lighter and more responsive than their older “SweetFoam” soles. I found it firm yet still bouncy and I’d say this sole is designed for easy/moderate pace runs around 6-8ish miles—which is a nice sweet spot for most general runners. You could maybe push it to that 10-12 mile mark but your legs might start feeling more fatigued than they would if you were running in other high-performance shoes at this price point.
I found that this new SwiftFoam midsole is a bit firmer than previous Allbirds shoes but it seemed to loosen up and become more responsive after about a mile.
As you can see, the heel of the Tree Flyer is exaggerated and sticks out quite a bit more than in most shoes. I believe this is to help absorb the impact for runners who are “heel strikers.” I thought it might be weird at first glance but I never experienced any issues with it. However, some people have mentioned that they sometimes hit their heels when walking down flights of stairs so that’s something to keep in mind.
As far as everyday walking goes, I think the SwiftFoam midsole is great. I’ve done multiple 8-12 miles walks in my Tree Flyers and they’ve been super comfortable.
Breathable eucalyptus fiber upper and laces
The knit upper is made from eucalyptus fiber. The material is lightweight and breathable and it does a good job of hugging your foot. I was honestly impressed by how well this upper performed and it’s super comfortable.
When it comes to the laces, I’ve heard multiple people mention how they don’t seem to stay tied while running. I never had a problem while walking but there were times when they came untied while running. Personally, I’d replace the laces if you’re running a lot in your Tree Flyers.
Tree Flyers Outsole and Traction
The outsole is made from FSC-certified natural rubber that’s placed in high-wear areas. There are cutouts in certain spots to help keep the weight down and to add a little flexibility to the sole. I found that the treads gave plenty of grip/traction.
Overall I’m happy with the durability of the rubber outside after wearing the shoes for multiple miles. The only part that’s starting to wear down is the outer front edge of the shoe but your results will vary based on your running/walking style.
The Tree Flyers have a hard plastic heel counter that cups the heel/foot and helps keep your foot locked in. Most shoes have a similar hidden heel counter but the Tree Flyer is on the outside of the shoe—which I think adds to the futuristic design.
Tree Flyers Style and Looks
Style is subjective but I personally like the overall style of the Tree Flyers. The most noticeable feature of the Tree Flyer is the angular and futuristic-looking sole. It’s a lot different than I’ve seen in other shoes but it weirdly doesn’t look too “out there” when you see it in person. I also appreciate the minimalist design and subtle branding.
The Tree Flyer comes in multiple colors—from standard black to multiple bright colors.
Allbirds Tree Flyers Running Performance
Ok, let’s dive into the Tree Flyers’ running performance for all the running geeks.
The Tree Flyers have a lot of cushioning so the comfort is certainly there. The sustainable SwiftFoam Midsole provides less energy return than other similarly positioned running shoes from companies like New Balance and Nike—but I’m still impressed by its performance.
Everyday runners probably won’t notice that much of a difference in performance but your legs might feel more fatigued for those pushing for peak performance—especially if you’re really picking up the pace.
Personally, I found that the knit upper and hard heel counter did a nice job of holding my foot on steady everyday runs. That said, one drawback of most knit uppers is that you can’t get a super tight fit because you’re limited in your ability to cinch down your foot. So for fast runs/sprints, you might experience a little slippage.
Overall, the Tree Flyer is a fun everyday running shoe that offers a balance of performance and sustainability.
Allbirds Tree Flyers Walking/Everyday Performance
I’m a huge fan of my Tree Flyers as an everyday walking shoe. I seriously wear them daily and I find myself reaching for them more than any other shoe I have in my rotation. I love that I can pull them on and off without untying the laces.
I can easily walk 5-10 miles in them and don’t feel any discomfort or painful rubbing. The mesh does a good job of ventilation so the shoe doesn’t get overheated.
I also like the look of the Tree Flyers and I’ve gotten comments about them from random people on the street. My Tree Flyers are the Cream Hush (Blizzard Sole) colorway but they have multiple other options—I might pick up the Lux Beige colorway if I buy another pair.
Is The Allbird Tree Flyers A Good Travel Shoe?
Thanks to their cushioning soles, breathability, and packability, the Allbirds Tree Flyers make great travel shoes. I’ve personally worn my Tree Flyers while exploring NYC so I can see them working very well as a travel shoe.
They’re also great for airports and flights because they’re easy to slip on and off. The mesh upper also expands if your feet swell on long flights so that helps with overall comfort while flying.
I also think the Tree Flyer’s overall minimal aesthetics are low profile enough to not really stand out so you can wear them with a variety of outfits.
Allbirds Tree Flyers Vs Allbirds Tree Dasher 2
I’ve tested both the Tree Flyer and Tree Dasher 2 and I’d easily choose the Tree Flyer over the Tree Dasher 2 when it comes to a running shoe. As a walking shoe, I’d also choose the Tree Flyer over the Tree Dasher 2 but it’s more of a toss-up so either would be a good option.
Personally, I also think the Tree Flyer is a better-looking shoe than the Tree Dasher 2 so that’s another reason I’m a bigger fan of the Tree Flyer.
Overall Final Thoughts On The Allbirds Tree Flyers
Major kudos to Allbirds for making a performance running shoe using sustainable materials. They haven’t quite reached the performance levels of other high-end running shoes that use synthetic/non-sustainable materials but they’re getting super close.
I’d classify the Tree Flyer as a daily running shoe for runs up to about 6-7 miles at an easy/moderate pace. It’s also excellent as an everyday athletic walking shoe you can wear out and about in your daily life.
I’d skip the Tree Flyer if you need a running shoe for long runs (10+ miles) or if you’re trying to really pick up the pace as these aren’t great speed shoes.
And finally… the price. At $160, the Tree Flyer isn’t cheap and it’s as expensive (or more expensive) as many other high-performance shoes from the big guys. Then again, you’re also paying for a sustainable shoe that produces 27% less carbon emissions (even before additional carbon offsets) so I’ll cut them some slack.
Read More Allbirds Reviews
I’ve written multiple reviews of various Allbirds shoes.
- Aer Travel Pack 3 Review | My Hands-On, Travel-Tested Thoughts - September 23, 2023
- The Best Travel Backpacks | In-Depth Buyer’s Guide & Backpack Reviews - September 10, 2023
- How To Travel Solo In Europe | Your Guide To Solo Travel Planning - September 7, 2023
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Thanks For Reading! — James