A few months ago, I finally got a chance to try “The World’s Most Comfortable Shoe,” by the company All Birds. This winter, their Wool Runners and Wool Loungers seemed to be all over my Instagram feed, and I’ve always wanted a pair of shoes that feel as cozy and soft as I imagine walking on clouds to feel. In terms of aesthetics, I really like the look of their Wool Loungers~ which are free from logos, and have a softly curved toe. I also liked that the sole of the shoe matches the fabric~ so black for the black option, light grey for grey, and pink for pink, and so on. I think that makes the shoe look much more pulled together.
Unfortunately, All Birds do not ship to Taiwan, but luckily for me, they ship to Australia, so I leapt at the chance to purchase a pair during my trip to Melbourne. They arrived about 7 days later, in a sturdy cardboard box. The box was so cleverly designed~you can just open up the box without having to deal with scissors or strands of sticky packaging tape. Frustration-free packaging at its finest!
I chose the Wool Loungers, for both the aesthetics and practicality~ I wanted a classic, subtle shoe that would blend into my wardrobe of mostly neutral colors, that I could easily slip on and off. The Wool Loungers are designed to be worn without socks, which is perfect for me, because I hate wearing socks. According the information printed on the box, the Wool Lounger is designed in New Zealand, and made from New Zealand merino wool. The textile is knitted in Italy, and the shoe is assembled in Korea.
I put the shoes on as soon as I took them out the box, and I was pleased by how soft and cozy they were. They felt like I was walking in a world that was completely cocooned by soft wool rugs. I wore the Wool Loungers out and about my days in Melbourne, and then during my flight back to Taipei, and they were completely comfortable.
It was only after about 3 to 4 weeks of consistent wear that I noticed a hole starting to form in the toe box of my left shoe. It’s a little hard to see from the photo~ but the interior the shoe in the area where my big toe rests was basically worn away, and just a thin layer of wool remained between my toe and the elements.
I also noticed whenever I took the shoes off, that balls of the wool were coming off the insole. I took the insole out, and found it to be quite pilled.
I was a bit surprised at the level of wear and tear that occurred after only a few weeks of wear. I emailed All Bird’s customer service to ask if my Wool Loungers could be repaired. The customer service representative was helpful~ they asked me to describe the conditions that my Wool Loungers were worn in (no extreme sports, I promise!) and gave me the option of keeping the shoe for a discount off a future order, or the choice of sending the shoes back for a full refund. I chose to send the shoes back, and they provided me with a pre-paid label within Australia. By then, I had already returned to work, so I popped the box in the mail back to Australia, and my friend helped send it onto their warehouse in New South Wales.
While the current quality of AllBirds is just a smidgen off the mark, I still have faith in the company, and can’t wait to try a sturdier version of their shoes. I’ve gone over to their website, and found that they have a new line of shoes~ the Tree Runners, which is made from recycled eucalyptus pulp. It appears to be a summer shoe, because it features cooling and breathable fabric. The Tree Runners feature a similar pillow-soft wool insole as the Wool Loungers I’ve reviewed above. I imagine that it would be comfortable, but I’m not sure how cooling the merino wool would feel in a humid climate such as Taiwan. Nevertheless, I’m intrigued by both the use of eucalyptus pulp and the S-curve tread, which makes these stand out.
Note: This was not a sponsored post. I paid for all items with my own money, and all experiences and opinions expressed are my own.