The label revealed today its debut running shoe, the Dasher, a road-ready model it describes as being “powered by the sun, rain and soil.”
“Running shoes are almost always made from oil-based plastics because there’s a prevailing belief that natural materials can’t perform in the same way synthetics can,” an Allbirds spokesperson told FN via email. “We wanted to prove that you can make a competitive performance shoe by harnessing the incredible properties inherent in nature.”
The shoe, according to Allbirds, was created via responsible sourcing techniques and made with natural materials including its Sugarcane-based SweetFoam, eucalyptus and a reengineered version of its merino wool.
“We reworked our sugarcane-derived SweetFoam into a dual-density midsole that provides the cushioning and energy return needed for running. Our Tree material has been transformed into a zonally-constructed one piece upper that reduces friction and increases stability. Pair that with an outsole made with FSC-certified natural rubber for more traction and durability,” the spokesperson said. “Altogether, the result is a rigorously tested, best-in-class performance product that doesn’t sacrifice any of our core sustainability standards.”
The Dasher, Allbirds explained, was designed with comfort and performance in mind, and has been tested over thousands of miles by more than 50 amateur and professional athletes. It described the sneaker as an ideal choice “for everything from your morning 5K to your dash to the grocery store.”
Although still a young company, Allbirds has earned a positioned as an industry leader in sustainability. After entering the conversation in 2016, the label has earned hundreds of thousands of fans and racked up accolades including FN’s Brand of the Year in 2018.