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Run, hike, bike – these shoes from the editor-loved Allbirds brand have proven themselves.
I’m not exaggerating when I say I’ve tested hundreds and hundreds of sneakers over the years. As a long-time health and fitness journalist, it doesn’t take me long to break these types of shoes into a few different categories: great for running, best for long walks, a solid elliptical, perfect for the trails, and so on.
However, the pair I’m always looking for, the true unicorn shoe, is a solid travel sneaker. I’m talking about sneakers that aren’t too bulky and don’t take up too much space in my bag. These sneakers need to get me through vacation, but they also need to function as comfortable walking shoes, with enough grip for hiking trails and city strolls. Of course, it’s also a big plus if the shoe is neatly stylish and good for sightseeing.
By that kind of criteria, I don’t come across a surplus of ideal travel sneakers (again, unicorn). So I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered the Allbirds Women’s Tree Flyers.
Buy: allbirds.com, $160
I’ve been a fan of Allbirds sustainable shoes for years and I’m in good company – celebrities like Jennifer Garner, Hilary Duff, Blake Lively and Mila Kunis have been spotted wearing the brand. But when I first tried on Tree Flyer in June 2022, I knew the supportive yet lightweight sneaker would change the game.
I decided to really put the Tree Flyers to the test when I packed them as my sneaker-designate on a trip to Hawaii last September. At this point I’d only worn them once so I took a chance by essentially breaking them in while on vacation. Luckily they held up. From my flight from Los Angeles to Honolulu to running the hills of Lanai and hiking on Oahu, they provided the ultimate in comfort.
The very first day I got to Lanai, I laced up my Tree Flyers and went for a run. They felt cushioned on my feet and kept my step springy as I jogged up hills tucked away in the middle of the island and down streets lined with hundreds of pine (yes, pine) trees.
On a hike to Koloiki Ridge, the grippy natural rubber tread helped me stay stable as I floated from gravel roads to dusty trails. At the summit, I was greeted by an expansive, breathtaking view, along with a family of bighorn sheep scaling the canyon. Later, when I hopped to Oahu, these lightweight sneakers continued to provide support as I explored different corners of the island.
Although these shoes came almost fresh out of the box, by the end of the trip my feet were completely blister free. I was also really impressed with its versatility, thanks to some thoughtful features.
The Tree Flyers were specially developed for long-distance runs and have a highly cushioning, high-performance sole that is designed to relieve the body for kilometers. I also loved that the lightweight, breathable eucalyptus fiber upper compresses for easy packing (without damaging the shoe’s structure or support).
Also, these sneakers actually have a very cool look – mine are the cream Hush color which is a unique neutral shade with multicolored eyelets. They’re also available in nine other colors, including classic black, luxurious beige, and blooming teal. The geometric construction of the outsole feels almost futuristic – and it’s also a functional choice, as it helps maximize cushioning while minimizing weight. In addition, the grippy tread made of FSC-certified natural rubber offers a contrasting splash of color on the underside.
Buy: allbirds.com, $160
Like all of their products, Allbirds’ Tree Flyer is made using environmentally friendly materials and sustainable manufacturing processes which means you can feel good about the impact of this purchase.
Allbirds customers also rave about these sneakers – the shoe currently has more than 315 five-star reviews on their website. One Allbirds shopper shared: “I’ve already worn them in four cities for two weeks – in the rain, on many plane trips and for running. I love them because my feet are comfortable,” he continues, “I also feel good that they’re sustainable.” Another shopper said, “These are the most comfortable sneakers I’ve ever worn. They are, frankly, like walking in slippers.”
Buy: allbirds.com, $160
Having worn the Allbirds Women’s Tree Flyer shoes extensively during my trip to Hawaii, I can also attest to their quality. They’re definitely not the same color as when I left (thanks, dusty hikes), but nonetheless, these sneakers have earned the title of “travel shoe” and will undoubtedly accompany me on future adventures.
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Read the original article on Travel & Leisure.