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First Impressions of the BRAND NEW Allbirds Tree Flyer

Allbirds has made a variety of shoes – from everyday sneakers to boat shoes – but their newest shoe, the Allbirds Tree Flyer, is their next step into performance footwear.

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Looks:

There are three colorways for the Flyer:

  • Lux Beige
  • Buoyant Yellow
  • Natural Black

We reviewed the Buoyant Yellow pair which, surprisingly was a more understated than I initially imagined it would be. I was expecting an eye-popping neon (which would have been fine), but instead received a knit upper interlacing yellow and black together to create a more muted visual. It’s really a great looking shoe.

A few other visual notes that stand out (with details coming below):

  • “PLASTIC” heel cup on the back FOR STABILITY
  • Incorporated knit tongue
  • Unique eyelets for laces
  • Angular midsole

Comfort & Construction:
Upper:

The upper is made with Allbirds “Tree” construction. Here’s the description, straight from the company:

Our Tree fiber—TENCEL™ Lyocell—is mainly sourced from wood grown in South Africa. The cultivation relies on natural rainfall, which means there’s no need for artificial irrigation and fertilizers. Compared to traditional materials like cotton, it uses 95% less water and cuts our carbon footprint in half.

In addition to the visuals of the upper (as seen above), we found the upper to be very breathable. I am not 100% sure if their Tree Dashers were constructed from the same material, but I can vouch that there is a much better fit and hold on my feet in the Flyer. Much more.

The laces were also changed to be flatlock (great idea as their old laces were not ideal) and the eyelets are both cool AND reflective. The heel has a nice cushion all the way around. I was expecting some heel rubbing (given my propensity for this with these sorts of designs), but it still has yet to be an issue.

Midsole:

The Flyer’s midsole is brand new foam which aptly-named SwiftFoam. I really enjoyed my Allbirds Tree Dashers, but found that they really hit their sweet spot on shorter, potentially more casual distances. The first few runs in these have really showcased their commitment to forward momentum in the running sphere as the midsole is definitely lighter (over 30% from their Tree Dashers midsole) and absolutely is more cushioned and comfortable. They claim a 70% energy rebound return and I believe it. It definitely feels more like a “true” running shoe than the Tree Dashers ever did.

All of that is cool on its own, but to know that the midsole is constructed from a castor bean oil-based resin and through this process, they are able to use less material and less energy. Less is more for the environment.

As with a variety of new running shoes on the market, the Allbirds Tree Flyer comes with an flared heel on the back for additional support. Some people swear by this feature and others don’t think they are necessary – but the Flyer’s angular (instead of rounded) take on this is definitely snazzy no matter where on the fence you sit.

Outsole:

The outsole is completed with grip in mind and the pattern. There’s a subtle raise to the lugs – enough to notice visually but not really too much that you feel it on the roads. We have been trying these out the last month in the Spring here in Oregon (which has been stupid wet) and we haven’t had much issue with grip on the roads in these conditions. The lugs also indicate that these can transition to light trails without much of a problem – though probably won’t hold up to technical options.

Conclusion:

Given our historical review of this shoe company, the Allbirds Tree Flyer is a HUGE upgrade and modifications have been made that really seem to be made with runners in mind. These were surprisingly comfortable and performed like a running shoe – obviously a good thing. The new knit fabric keeps the foot more secure than the previous pair we tried and the heel counter provides a nice balance that hadn’t experienced before. While we have only been running in these for a month, the Flyer’s have been tested for over a year by over 130 runners with nearly 4000 miles.

These are both comfortable and functional – and are probably the most environmentally-conscious running shoe we have reviewed to date. It might not end up being our go-to racing shoe, but we are finding ourselves reaching for these as a lighter everyday trainer. We aren’t disappointed and we think you will enjoy this as well. Recommended.

Allbirds

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Shoe:
  • Allbirds Tree Flyer ($160)
    • Released: May 17, 2022
    • Weight: 9.49oz – Men’s 9
    • Offset: 8.5mm [Forefoot: 22.0mm, Heel: 30.5mm]
    • Colors: Lux Beige, Buoyant Yellow, Buoyany Orange, Natural Black, Blizzard

Thank you to Allbirds for providing us with a sample pair. Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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