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Shoe ReviewsTrail

Allbirds Trail Runner SWT Review

What You Need To Know

  • Weighs 12.36 oz. (350 g) for a US M10 (unisex)
  • As always, a totally sustainable runner from Allbirds
  • A comfortable, stylish shoe that’s light on the conscious
  • In case you missed the first line, it’s quite heavy for a running shoe
  • Available now for $130

ALEX: The much anticipated, first-ever trail runner from Allbirds has landed. The eco-friendly shoemaker just released the Trail Runner SWT, a highly capable trail shoe creatively designed and powered by sugar, wool, and trees. The Trail Runner SWT is preceded by the Tree Dasher and Wool Dasher Mizzle. The outsole tread is designed after that of a bike tire, inspiring runners to roll through nature.

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The Good

ALEX: The Trail Runner SWT is comfortable and stable. The ZQ-certified Merino Wool and recycled ripstop polyester upper offers a sock-like, secure fit that naturally thermoregulates and manages moisture. The bio-based belong eyelets and TPU heel counter make this shoe stand proudly apart from its largely synthetic-based competitors. 

The stack height (18 mm at the forefoot and 25 mm at the heel) allows for a stable ride with ample ground feel. The 7 mm drop kicks this shoe out of the minimal and into the medium category which can be a nice break for my ever-shortening Achilles tendon. The toe box also feels roomy enough without feeling too sloppy.

I definitely appreciate Allbirds’ approach to sustainability, while maintaining a high level of comfort. That does come at a cost (especially in terms of weight and performance), but the Trail Runner SWT still delivers an acceptable product while managing to integrate industry-leading practices into its construction.

Shop Trail Runner SWT – Men Shop Trail Runner SWT – Women

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The Bad

ALEX: Buyer beware: there’s a break-in period. It took about 3 miles for the material over my toes to break in and stop putting pressure on top of my foot. Not so much a negative, but more so a warning.

I found the Trail Runner SWT to be hot and heavy. Similar to the Wool Dasher Mizzle, the merino wool upper feels really warm. It’s like wearing a thick wool sock over my wool sock. And while Allbirds invites users to run sock-free in their performance sneaks, that never ends well for me or the shoe. Weighing in at over 12 oz for a women’s size 8.5, this one is chunky. In fact, it’s one of the heavier trail shoes we’ve ever reviewed. 

Finally, while I appreciate the simple, seamless, no-fuss design of the upper, it’s missing a tongue. I like to lock down my laces, especially on technical terrain, but it’s too uncomfortable without the protection of the tongue.

Shop Trail Runner SWT – Men Shop Trail Runner SWT – Women

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Allbirds Trail Runner SWT Conclusion

ALEX: The Allbirds Trail Runner SWT feels like a lifestyle shoe with a little more edge. If you’re looking for a high-performing trail shoe, you won’t find it here as the shoe is a little heavy and dead. They feel like I’m running in a pair of sneakers with macaroni and cheese stuck to the bottom.

That said, for the casual outdoor person who just wants something comfortable to kick around (or maybe even run a couple miles in), the Trail Runner can work. It’s certainly a great option for someone on the go as it packs down nicely and provides a one-stop-shop for all your running/walking/casual needs during your travels. Of course, I applaud Allbirds’ creative approach to sustainable footwear, but this one is more of a travel/recovery/casual shoe. 

You can pick up the Allbirds Trail Runner SWT for $138 by using the shop link below.

Shop Trail Runner SWT – Men Shop Trail Runner SWT – Women

Alex is an ultra runner who lives for the long, cold Minnesota winters. She works in public health and enjoys applying creative problem solving to emerging health and environmental issues faced by local communities.

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