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A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That – Reviewing the Allbirds Tree Dasher 2.0

Allbirds are new-ish to the running shoes game, with a few options put out there over the past few years. They seem to be headed in the right direction and we recently checked out one of their newer shoes – the Tree Dasher 2.0.

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First and Foremost, the Tree Dasher 2.0 is the next iteration of their original Tree Dasher (duh). We reviewed this shoe back in 2020 – our first foray into the company. While I will talk about the updates to the 2.0, I will say that the updates appear to be relatively minimal. This can be a good or a bad thing, depending on how much change you want in a shoe from season to season.

I also want to highlight up front that the Tree Dashers are not really a “performance” shoe – all things considered. They definitely fall into the running sphere, but may not be one of your top choices to lace up on your long runs. They even describe this shoe as best for “Short Distance Runs, Walks, Light Workouts”. So, to expect this to compete with the “big boys” in the endurance running sphere is both a fool’s errand AND not fair to the company.

 

We feel that these have a purpose that is both admirable and utilitarian. By that I mean the following:

  1. The commitment to being environmentally-conscious is AMAZING but the technology and construction in 2022 (perhaps under no fault of this running shoe company) may not be quite there yet.
  2. This seems like a perfect multi-use shoe. By that I mean, while it may not end up being one that tackles double digit miles every day, it can fit into so many situations. I am OBSESSED with this as a travel running shoe. I have a couple of work trips coming up and I am 100% wearing this on the plane as a casual option AND utilizing on the handful of <5 mile runs I have planned.
Looks:

In addition to being environmentally conscious, the looks of Allbirds have always been an area where they shine – and the Tree Dasher 2.0 is no different. They currently have 7 color options – 4 that are pretty straightforward and combine whites, greys, and blacks, as well as three more limited edition colors. We were sent the Blizzard with a Blizzard sole (essentially a white on white) and are obsessed.

White shoes in the rainy PNW can be less than ideal, but I just don’t care. I love how classic and sleek these look. The upper looks amazing and the midsole, complete with it’s more angular edges, provides some added uniqueness. Seriously, this is a beautiful shoe.

Construction:

As far as we can tell, a lot of the same materials and construction are utilized in the Tree Dasher 2.0. This includes all aspects of the 2.0 – the upper (eucalyptus tree material), midsole SweetFoam made from sugar cane) and outsole (natural rubber). The main focus on the updates appear to be in a fit that is enhanced to feel more like a “true” running shoe.

Upper:

As mentioned, the core construction of the Tree Dasher 2.0 doesn’t significantly differ from the original version. The one-piece knit upper remains constructed from a Eucalyptus tree fiber. It is surprisingly durable and provides basic comfort with the ZQ merino wool heel lining. In a side-by-side comparison, the heel shape seems more streamlined than the 1.0 and provided a little bit more ideal fit on the back end.

Speaking of fit, one of the main challenges we have had with the Tree Dashers is the upper’s struggle with providing one that is optimal and supportive – at least for 5+ mile runs. The bio-nylon eyelets and thicker laces are again featured in the 2.0 and were the two main features we wish were done away with. Sure they look great, but it was really hard for me to get that lock down and structure I need in a medium to long-distance running shoe. I am hoping that a future 3.0 can figure out a way to change/modify this better (perhaps more like their Tree Flyer?).

The knit is also pretty thick – at least as far as running shoes are concerned. There’s probably a fine line between too structured and too flimsy, but a thicker knit definitely adds to the weight a little bit (the shoe is over 10 ounces for a M9).

Both of those things being said, I want to again highlight that there is still good in the upper. It’s more sustainable construction is top-notch and it performs well in those shorter distances without issue.

Midsole:

The midsole is once again made with their SweetFoam – constructed via Sugarcane instead of petroleum like many other running shoes. Allbirds appears to have made some minor updates to the SweetFoam to make it more plush. But I continue to find this midsole a nice middle ground option – a feel that isn’t super bouncy, but also is not too firm either. It holds up to impact quite well considering its more natural construction.

One of the more significant changes is just the switch of the midsole to look more angular (similar to the Tree Flyer) on the heel than in its predecessor – which had a rounded, figure-8 look to it. This likely dropped some weight as a result and the heel and crash pad (i.e. the part where the heel strikes the road) seem like they have been improved as well. But overall, its a pretty consistent feel as the original and that’s definitely not a bad thing.

Outsole:

Perhaps the most significant modification to the 2.0 is the outsole. The 1.0 was pretty flat, but this new version adds a bunch of raised tread to provide an absolutely improved grip. It is still made from natural rubber derived from the sap of the rubber tree and other natural fillers. This is definitely a solid upgrade.

Conclusion:

In sum, the Tree Dasher 2.0 does everything it says it is going to do – and what more can you say about that. It is designed as an environmentally conscious and comfortable that is ideal for short runs, walks, and light workouts. And it delivers on all those promises. Going into it with that in mind and you will be very pleased with this new shoe.

Allbirds Tree Dasher 2.0 $135

Specs:

Weight: 10.23 oz – Men’s 9

Offset: 7mm [Forefoot: 22.5mm, Heel: 15.5mm]

Colors: Blizzard, Medium Grey, Natural Black, Limited Edition x 3

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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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