In this Allbirds Tree Dashers review, we’re taking a hard look at some of the trendiest shoes currently in fashion (for good reason) with the medical community.
Here’s all the info you need to know if you’re considering snagging a pair of Allbirds Tree Dashers running shoes for work.
About Allbirds Tree Dashers
Allbirds is known for its minimalist designs with a branding emphasis on its commitment to sustainable business practices (its shoes are made from recycled materials).
Apparently, celebrities are as enamored with Allbirds Tree Dashers as rank-and-file medical workers and runners. Kate Hudson and other A-listers have become de facto promoters of the brand, wearing their own pairs around Hollywood.
Later on in our Allbirds Tree Dashers review, we’ll cover a head-to-head matchup of Allbirds Tree Dashers vs Tree Runner, another popular offering from the company, as well as other popular athletic-shoes-turned-nursing-shoes.
Allbirds Tree Dashers Features
- Cost: $125
- Offered in men’s and women’s sizes
- Four-eyelet laces
- 10.6 oz. weight (give or take, depending on size)
Shoe body made with ZQ Merino wool (recognized for humane harvesting practices)
- Super comfy for all-day, on-your-feet wear (I road-tested them)
- Elegant, stylish design – not flamboyant, but classy with just the right smidge of flair
- Made with all-natural recycled materials
- Well-reviewed by critics in the running community (if they’re good enough for marathon runners, they’re probably good enough for a us during hard day on the hospital floor)
- A bit pricier than some footwear options
- At times the shoes feels “clunky” – slightly heavy as far as running shoes go (but not a dealbreaker)
- Somewhat poor ankle support (might be an issue if you had a previous ankle injury)
Things to Consider Before Buying Allbirds Tree Dashers
Let’s run down a few things to consider before you make the purchase:
Allbirds Tree Dashers Review – Style & Design
When it comes to Allbirds’ signature style, minimalism is the name of the game. And, as fate would have it, minimalism is also a standard feature of doctor/nursing “fashion” (if we can call it that) – perhaps one reason, in addition to their durability and comfort, they’ve gained traction among healthcare professionals.
The bottom line on the style and design angle is no gimmicks, no wild designs — just sleek shoes suitable for wear in a professional environment.
You can see how Allbirds Tree Dashers stack up against other top shoes for doctors.
Allbirds Tree Dashers Review – Comfort & Extended Wear
If you’re like me, of course, style comes secondary to comfort; what good is looking great if you’re miserable during your shift?
Luckily, this is where Allbirds really delivers. As opposed to many conventionally athletic-turned-medical shoes composed of rubber bottoms, Allbirds Tree Dashers’ cushiony, air-like insoles and bottoms – which are made from castor beans, sugarcane EVA and natural rubber – make for an airy walking experience.
Weight-wise, the Allbirds Tree Dashers come in at around 10.6 oz. – a tad heavy on the spectrum for serious running shoes, but still notably lighter than other athletic shoes often worn by medical workers.
After wearing these shoes on my own shifts several rounds in a row, I can’t emphasize enough how comfortable they truly are.
Allbirds Tree Dashers Review – Durability
In comparison with other running shoes that I’ve tested out on the job, there’s a little extra reinforcement around the toe and heel, which makes for a longer shelf-life (a major concern for those of us who rack up the mileage shuttling to and fro).
Understandably, given the unique materials involved (non-petroleum, namely), many nurses are worried about the length of use they can get out of their Tree Dashers. However, I’ve worn my pair for countless hours at work – easily over 100 – and they’ve kept their form pretty nicely thanks to their solid makeup. My peers have reported similar durability with their own pairs (anecdotal, admittedly, but with a big enough sample size to lend some credibility).
Per the design specs, the Tree Dashers are intended to be worn without socks, so if that’s your thing you don’t need to worry about wearing your shoes out prematurely by going sock-less. Also, I wore them sans socks and didn’t have any issues with blisters.
Can You Return These Allbirds Running Shoes?
Yes. Allbirds has a generous 30-day return policy, not just for its shoes but for all of its extensive product lines. A few notes on the company’s return policy to keep in mind:
- Labels must be intact
- Returns only eligible in country of purchase (buy in US, return in US)
Pursuant to Allbirds’ laudable commitment to social responsibility we mentioned previously, the company donates all lightly worn or like-new returned shoes to Soles4Souls, a nonprofit group that does God’s work on a number of fronts to make the world a little bit better for the next generation
Allbirds Tree Dashers Reviews from Nurses & Doctors
The Chicago Tribute reviewed the Allbirds Tree Dashers. Here’s what they said:
The bit about the ankle support (or lack thereof) has some merit to it. As someone who dealt with a previous ankle injury, it’s a consideration I do make when looking at a shoe for athletic purposes.
However, I didn’t have any issues with my ankle while experimenting with the Tree Dashers. CNN also got in on the Allbirds Tree Dashers review action.
I overlooked the sweat/stink issue earlier when we discussed the sock-free option, so cheers to CNN for the reminder in their Allbirds Tree Dashers Review (as seen above). As anyone who has worked in a high-stress clinical environment knows, things can get stressful.
My test run took place in September (not the hottest month, but still in the waning days of summer), and I didn’t have any issues with smell, even given the sock-free style.There are some healthcare-specific issues brought up by some reviewers – for example, Reddit user wilburgrey, an RN, who said they had worn out in a little over a year had this to share for their Allbirds Tree Dashers review:
So, take that with a grain of salt. Personally, I don’t have any light to shed here because I didn’t wear mine for a year – how long exactly they last in your own case will likely depend on a number of individual factors.
Related: Prepping for the MCAT? Start Here.
How to Wash Allbirds Tree Dashers
Pull out the inserts and remove the laces.
You can either use your hands the old-fashioned way your grandma did it (or maybe not; depends how old you are) or, fortunately, you can also toss them (gently, of course) into the washer since machine-wash is an option with Allbirds Tree Dashers. Modern solutions to modern living.
Use the Gentlest Cold Cycle
If machine-washing is your convenient go-to, be sure to put it on the gentlest cycle with cold water to avoid damage to some of the more delicate parts.
You need to air-dry these (no dryer cycle)!!
Let Air Dry for About 12 Hours
Luckily, due to their light weight and airy materials, as with many running shoes, they dry fairly quickly. I live in a relatively dry area without a lot of humidity, so take my experience with a grain of salt, but mine tend to completely dry within a 12-hour time frame – a small enough window for a quick wash-and-dry cycle in between shifts.
Allbirds Tree Dashers Review FAQ
You’ve got questions about your new pair of kicks, possibly including the ones below. We’ve got answers.
Are Allbirds Tree Dashers supportive?
Yes. The foamy insoles and soles support the arches nicely, even during a long day of pounding the hospital floor.
Are Allbirds waterproof?
The Tree Dashers variety are not waterproof (given their wool components). However, other Allbirds shoes — like the Wool Runner Mizzles, Runner-up Mizzles, and Dasher Mizzles – are treated with water-resistant materials.
Can you run in Allbirds Tree Dashers?
Of course. The Tree Dashers are, in fact, designed as running shoes. The reason that any nurses and doctors use them is because they have passed the road test (runners know what a comfortable shoe for clocking miles feels like).
Are Allbirds Tree Dashers good for standing all day?
Yes. If you get one takeaway from this Allbirds Tree Dashers review, it’s the exceptional wearability of these shoes — even for lengthy, taxing hospital shifts.
Do Allbirds Tree Dashers run big?
No. In fact, many reviewers have claimed that they run small. However, being a size 8 myself, I can attest to the fact that they fit just like I would expect them to.
Alternatives to Allbirds Tree Dashers
Nurses and doctors have a ton of options when it comes to picking out the perfect pair of work shoes. Here is how Allbirds match up against some other popular brands among healthcare workers.
Allbirds Tree Dashers vs Tree Runners
Allbirds has an extended line of “Tree+[suffix]” shoe names as part of its branding efforts, which can understandably be confusing. Here’s how Allbirds Tree Dashers stack up against Tree Runners, another favorite among Allbirds loyalists.
- Both made with renewable, recycled materials
- Both are machine washable
- Both are lightweight
- Runners come in at $95 whereas Dashers cost $125 ($30 more)
- Tree Runners are designed for more “casual” wear (“running errands, not 5Ks,” as the company puts it) while Dashers are specifically marketed to runners
- Tree Dashers’ midsoles are designed for harder impacts
Basically, Tree Dashers are made for pounding the pavement whereas the Runners are more for casual wear. Each is great for nurses’ and doctors’ purposes – the Dashers just have a little extra support (which you pay for, obviously, in the $30 add-on cost).
Allbirds Tree Dashers vs Brooks Ghost
The Brooks Ghost is a super-popular shoe for nurses and doctors. The highlight, arguably, of the Brooks Ghost 13 is its Segmented Crash Pad that stabilizes your stride as you make each step and impact with the ground – perfect if you’ve had joint issues in the past that can be aggravated by a long shift on the hospital floor.
How Allbirds Tree Dashers stack up against Brooks Ghosts:
- Tree Dashers are less expensive than Brooks Ghost 13
- Both are well-reviewed as mid-level running shoes
- Allbirds Tree Dashers are slightly heavier (10.6 oz. or so) compared to Brooks Ghost 13 (10.4 oz.) – a small difference, though, that likely won’t mean a lot to you as a nurse or doctor at work.
Learn more about the Brooks Ghosts and their entire roster of shoes for healthcare workers in our 11 best Brooks shoes for nurses.
Allbirds Tree Dashers vs Adidas Cloudfoam
Adidas is best known for its classic indoor soccer shoes, but it also makes a mean running/nursing shoe in the form of the Adidas Cloudfoam.
How Allbirds Tree Dashers stack up against Adidas Cloudfoam:
- Adidas Cloudfoam is significantly more affordable (starting at $65 with lots of options for promotional discounts)
- More design and color options for Cloudfoam
- Cloudfoam shoes are made with non-recyclable materials (textile synthetics)
- The Tree Dashers have laces (which require tying obviously) whereas the Cloudfoam are slip-on (no laces)
Adidas Cloudfoam, while not as highly regarded for its performance as an athletic shoe, is a substantially cheaper and respectable substitute for the Tree Dashers if you’re not willing to spring for the extra $60 bucks or so.
Adidas Cloudfoam made our list of the 9 best tennis shoes for nurses.
Final Thoughts on our Allbirds Tree Dashers Review
Given all the info we’ve covered here, Allbirds Tree Dashers are well-received in the running community, popular among celebs (Obama even wore a pair out in public ), and ideal as a footwear remedy for a long, taxing day at the hospital.
Consider Allbirds Tree Dashers if you:
- Don’t mind paying a bit extra for a classy pair of work shoes
- Are committed to social responsibility (Allbirds partners with multiple nonprofit groups and uses recycled materials in its shoes as well like castor beans, sugarcane EVA and natural rubber)
- Don’t require special footwear (like extra arch or ankle support) due to a previous injury or chronic joint pain
- Are in the market for machine-washable shoes that dry fast
- Prefer to go sock-less (they’re designed for sock-free wear)